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Jan 28, 2009 06:20 AM

what le creuset items do I really need?

I'm working on a wedding registry and I need to get rid of my non-stick pans (I have birds and it's super dangerous to use them at all). I was planning to get a set (or individual pieces) of stainless steel pans (probably All-Clad), but I really need something to make eggs in without leaving most of the eggs in the pan and without using a ton of oil/butter. Someone recommended le creuset for this purpose. I was wondering what Le Creuset pieces I might need beyond a small a grill pan? What size Dutch oven? Do I need baking dishes if I have Pyrex ones that I can use? Thanks!

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  1. I'd recommend a cast iron frying pan (either 26 or 28 inch, but if you'll just be using them for eggs, the ommelette pan) and a cast iron casserole pot. Size depending on how many you regularly cook for.

    I'd use pyrex for the oven and le creuset for the stove - the difference being that the iron retains heat better.

    I'm no expert, but I'd suggest those two only.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Soop

      26 or 28 inch? That's a huge frying pan. :) I assume you are talking in centimeters?

      10 or 12 inch fry pan would be the way to go.

      Personally, I love my dutch oven, but I got one from Lodge (~$200 less than LC).

    2. Personally I"m not a fan of the LC skillets, grill pans or sauce pans. YMMV on that.

      For versatility I'd register for a 5.5qt Dutch oven and 3.5qt buffet in LC(or similar). For the rest of the cookware I'd look at other materials.

      11 Replies
      1. re: ziggylu

        I agree. Don't waste registry dollars on LC frying pans/skillets. That's what regular cast iron is for (Lodge Cast Iron) at fractions of the price. I do suggest looking at Staub rather than Le Creuset. LC is winning the popularity contest, but Staub is the better option.

        1. re: HaagenDazs

          Respectfully, I disagree. The Staub I owned simply did not cook/heat as evenly as the Le Creuset. I also suspect that the Staub will not last as long (though as the LC is "only 15 years old and the Staub is 4 years old, it's hard to tell as yet.)

          Sometimes, you DO get what you pay for. And I've found, in the case of enamel coated cast iron, Le Creuset is definitely worth the extra cost.

        2. re: ziggylu

          So what would you recommend to use to cook an egg or pancakes that's NOT non-stick and will allow me to use little or no butter? Thanks...

            1. re: HaagenDazs

              REGISTER for a Staub or LeCreuset round Dutch oven .

              BUY Lodge pre-seasoned skillets (12-inch is perfect) and Dutch ovens (I prefer the ones with the loop handles and no bail).

                1. re: MikeB3542

                  mike you prefer the lodge over Le C for dutch oven? May I ask why? I ask because I was going to purchase the Le C for myself, and perhaps I'll change my mind. I do love my cast iron pans.

                  geez just looked at how old the post was, anyone else care to give me their insight? tia!

              1. re: dainish

                Anodized aluminum. Virtually non stick, and light weight. Easy for an omelette flip.

                As for LC, go with Dutch ovens, and as other posters have indicated, skip the skillets and go for Lodge. 12 inch is a good size. I do like the small LC skillet with the dark interior -- it is great for small sautes, is good looking and you can even serve out of it. I would consider one small round Dutch oven, one large round Dutch oven, and one oval for long roasts.

                1. re: RGC1982

                  Anodized gets scratched up pretty easily. I'm not into everything looking pretty but it's anodized surface can scratch off over time.

                  Oval versus Round:

                  I've yet to find an oval pot that is longer than my largest dutch oven is wide. Point is, you don't necessarily need an oval one "for long roasts" when your large, round dutch oven will work perfectly and is often "longer" than most oval ones are anyway.

                  1. re: HaagenDazs

                    If all you are doing is making eggs, there is no reason for an anodized pan to get scratched up unless you are using metal spatulas or scrubbing it to death. Nope, I vote for my two cheap Calphalons as excellent alternatives to traditional non-stick skillets. Notice I said cheap. You need to be prepared to toss your non-stick or anodized aluminum pan after a number of years of use. These are not forever pots.

                    As for oval versus round, it depends on the size. My 6 quart Staub oval is longer (and larger) than my largest LC round Dutch oven. I have no need to use a very large, round DO -- 5 quarts is more than enough for my small family. If you are using the bigger (and heavier) sizes, no wonder you have no need for an oval pot. Oval is nice for a long veal roast or brisket, and it takes less space in an oven too, but round should form the backbone of your DO collection, On that, we agree. Since the OP is registering for a wedding, no harm in requesting one.

                    1. re: RGC1982

                      I agree with RCG in relation to non-stick pans being replaceable, if not disposable. They are cheap and easy to use, as well as easy to scratch and then pitch away in the trash. Perfect for eggs, especially if you want them prepared with very little butter or oil. Pop over to Walmart or Marshalls and get a set of 3 for less than $20 and you're set.

                      In regard to Dutch (aka French) Ovens, I like having a smaller (5 to 7 quart size) round size as well as a larger 9-13 qt oval size. The smaller round one does fine for groups of 4 or less, while the larger one can be reserved for entertaining six or more. Getting an oval shape just gives you the option, the additional benefit, ov being able to cram a whole chicken or roast in there without crowding.


            2. I don't dislike my LC skillet, but if you want to make eggs without a lot of fat you will not be pleased.

              The grill pan gets a lot of mixed reviews as well. There are MUCH cheaper grill pans that perform just as well.

              The LC stoneware baking dishes are decent but nothing special. If you've already got pyrex stoneware and you aren't interested in coordinating LC colors, it's probably pointless.

              The LC cast iron baking dishes can be pretty useful if you can lift them. I do most of my roasting with one.

              One LC style that I find immensely useful is the brasier/buffet casserole. It's a round, shallow lidded pot. It's extremely versatile.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jzerocsk

                I don't have pyrex stoneware--I have glass. Glass in every size and shape for the oven or for storage. Some with lids. Do I need stoneware for the oven?

                Sigh. My mom is not what you'd call a cook, so I grew up with all non-stick cookware, chocolate chip cookies from the nestle roll of dough, and maybe some corningware. She has an electric skillet that she leaves the oil in and reuses. I have caught their dog licking the outside so I now refuse to eat anything she fries in oil. She never had a food processor or stand mixer or good pots and pans or knives. She used to use steak knives to cut everything, despite having a "knife drawer" in the kitchen.

                I love to cook and bake and try new recipes all the time, so I'm just trying to sort out what I need for what kinds of cooking. It's becoming overwhelming.

                1. re: dainish

                  No, the glass pyrex should be fine for the oven. No need to replace it with LC (or any other bakeware) unless you really wanted to.

              2. As far as the DO, I'd also recommend the 5.5 qt. I have 2 LC's smaller and one larger. While I do use them all, the 5.5 qt. gets the majority of work. I'm usually cooking for three people. Good luck with your decision. I really love my LC cookware.

                1. From my experience my LC dutch oven is the favorite and the LC grill pan wasn't so good in the begining but with a little bit of time (not moving the food too quickly and use) I am now very happy with it. For eggs I am quite happy with an anodized skillet. It does need some fat, but not too much.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                    I'm very dependent on my LC Dutch Oven (7 1/4 size), and also use my grill pan a lot to cook meat, fish, toast bread, grill vegetables, etc. I do have a couple of ceramic pieces that I bought at great discounts at outlet stores, but I only use them occasionally. My pate terrine gets used maybe 10 times a year - not just for pate, but for gratins for the two of us, etc. I also have some small ramekins that I use a lot - that, again, were dirt cheap at the outlet store. Oh, and I do have the LC cheese fondue set, that I use a couple of times a year.