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Jan 9, 2009 02:50 PM

HELP! Is it toooo big? 9-quart Le Creuset

Yipee! I received a 9-quart Le Creuset for my birthday! The one I asked for. Only one problem: Am I deranged to have asked for such a large pot!? There are just two of us! I want my Le Creuset to be a well-used piece. So, here's my question: Is it okay to use the 9-quart pot for a soup or stew or chicken that could just as easily have been cooked in a smaller pot, say a 6- or 7- quart pot. Pros and cons, please... Many thanks. -Molly

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  1. I think it's too big. I would have gone with the 7 quart which i think is more versatile.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jenhen2

      I agree. I cook generally for the two of us, and use my 7 quart for risotto, soups and stews. It's also big enough to make short ribs for six, etc. I think the 9 quart only makes sense if you are usually cooking for larger crowds, or freezing a lot of what you cook.

    2. I also think 7 quart might be the better size. Plus will it take the two of you to lift it when full???? I wouldn't go smaller than 7 however. I recently found a great deal (I thought) on a 5 qt. Staub but it's too small for the 5# pork shoulder roast I'm doing now. But, hey, congrats and happy birthday.

      1. Not if you are young, strong and regularly work out at the gym with weights :)

        It will be very heavy when you fill it with food. Just make sure what you are cooking can get scooped out and doesn't require you to lift and pour out.

        3 Replies
        1. re: RGC1982

          Okay, it will be HEAVY! But what about the cooking itself? Will it produce poor (less than optimal) results to cook in an over-sized pot when a smaller one would do the job? Is there a rule about how filled a pot should be - or whatever? And, what about the fact that the pot itself extends beyond the stove burner...? Thanks. - Molly

          1. re: lifespan

            I cook for two or three most times, and, my five quart LeCreuset or my six quart Staub can hold a whole chicken, or a two pound helping of veal, plus potatoes, carrots and gravy. I think the 9 quart size may cause evaporation to happen to more quickly because of the large surface area of the cooking liquid and the relatively small amount of food in it. You will need to keep the lid on tightly and turn your heat to lower than usual to get the same result -- but it will be the same result.

            It is never ideal to have a pot that extends too far beyond your burners, but that happens all the time with large pots and they are still used and loved, so it isn't all that bad. Do you cook on gas or electric? It is less of an issue with electric because the heat will spead through the cast iron if you heat it up slowly, while flames tend to stay in one area and burn in the middle unless you crank the thing up. I think most people would find their burners are smaller than the 9 quart pot, but if you go low and slow, or cook in the oven (which many recipes can adapt to), you will be okay. Me? I'd probably invest in a 3.4 or 4 quart for two people in addition to the big pot. It will be a little easier for you to deal with. I would save the 9 quarter for when you have to cook for more than the two of you, with the exception of a pot roast or chicken, when the extra room will be good to have. Good luck and thanks for having a sense of humor. If you read my posts, you will see that I am more concerned with heavy pots now that I have gotten a bit older, so I just smiled when I saw your post.

            1. re: lifespan

              It all depends on what you're cooking, but if you're doing a braised chuck roast or similar cuts, you want a fairly snug fit so the liquid comes at least halfway up the sides of the meat. The bigger the pot the lower the level of liquid, or the more braising liquid you'd need to add. And more liquid is not necessarily a good solution.

          2. We're a two person household. I use my 5.5qt most frequently of my round ovens for us at home(I have a 2.75, 5.5, and 8 qt round).

            I use the 8qt when I cook on Sundays for my family. There is typically 8 of us. The 8qt is more than big enough for me to feed everyone and have a couple days worth of leftovers to leave my parents to start the week.

            I think 9qt is definitely overkill for an everyday pot for a 2 person household. For that matter I think the 7 is too large for two people as well...but YMMV on that if you don't mind multiple days of leftovers or putting things in the freezer.

            1. I received the 9 qt LC as a gift as well last Christmas. One of the issues for me is that we have a double sink, rather than a single larger sink, and the 9 qt is a challenge to wash in this smaller area sink. Unless I really need the volume of the 9 qts, I opt for a smaller option. We also have a 6qt round Mario Batali. In retrospect, the 7 qt LC might have been the better way to go, rather than needing the space to store two large and heavy dutch ovens.

              Also for me, I find it really deceptive to look at the various sizes in stores. They never seem as large there as they do when they are actually in my kitchen.

              Good luck with your decision!

              2 Replies
              1. re: souvenir

                I've never used a LC that big, how heavy is it full?

                1. re: chuckl

                  I have never weighed it; I'll try to remember to do so next time I use it. For me, it's not the incremental weight difference of the 9 versus 7, as much as the incremental size difference of the 9 qt versus the size of our sink.

                  At the moment, it's a 2-stage process to wash it: initial rinse in our too small porcelain kitchen sink and then over to the laundry room sink to have the room to comfortably wash it.

                  And of course, the other key factor is the number of servings we cook at a time. Most days, we're a two person household, but usually when one of us is cooking in the larger pots, it's for 4-7 diners, although most recently it was soup for 11, and then an intention to have some leftovers (no leftovers with the 11 group).