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what le creuset items do I really need?

d
dainish Jan 28, 2009 06:20 AM

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 skillet...like a grill pan? What size Dutch oven? Do I need baking dishes if I have Pyrex ones that I can use? Thanks!

  1. Soop Jan 28, 2009 06:34 AM

    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
      b
      BigE Jan 28, 2009 06:38 AM

      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).

      1. re: BigE
        Soop Jan 28, 2009 07:15 AM

        Oops, yeah cm.

    2. z
      ziggylu Jan 28, 2009 07:06 AM

      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
        HaagenDazs Jan 28, 2009 07:53 AM

        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.

        http://www.staubusa.com/

        1. re: HaagenDazs
          jkgourmet Feb 17, 2010 08:19 PM

          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.

          http://www.AnythingGoesGourmet.com

        2. re: ziggylu
          d
          dainish Jan 28, 2009 07:54 AM

          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: dainish
            HaagenDazs Jan 28, 2009 07:55 AM

            Regular cast iron or carbon steel.

            http://www.lodgemfg.com/

            http://www.broadwaypanhandler.com/bro...&

            1. re: HaagenDazs
              MikeB3542 Jan 28, 2009 08:07 AM

              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
                HaagenDazs Jan 28, 2009 09:23 AM

                Good point.

                1. re: MikeB3542
                  chef chicklet Feb 18, 2010 06:53 AM

                  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!

              2. re: dainish
                r
                RGC1982 Jan 28, 2009 04:36 PM

                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
                  HaagenDazs Jan 29, 2009 05:41 AM

                  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
                    r
                    RGC1982 Jan 29, 2009 07:05 PM

                    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
                      jkgourmet Feb 17, 2010 08:27 PM

                      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.

                      Jeanette
                      www.AnythingGoesGourmet.com

            2. j
              jzerocsk Jan 28, 2009 07:59 AM

              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
                d
                dainish Jan 29, 2009 04:48 PM

                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
                  j
                  jzerocsk Jan 30, 2009 05:53 AM

                  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. m
                mdfifi Jan 28, 2009 08:05 AM

                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. s
                  Stuffed Monkey Jan 29, 2009 04:57 AM

                  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
                    MMRuth Jan 29, 2009 05:05 AM

                    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.

                  2. c
                    City Kid Jan 29, 2009 06:19 AM

                    I got my le Creuset set as a gift at my wedding shower more than 30 years ago and have almost never used the skillets. I use my much cheaper nonstick or plain cast iron for eggs and sauteeing. The dutch ovens are great and very versatile though. I have a 6 quart, which is a very useful size to cook for several people. I have a huge, oval dutch oven (9 quarts I think), enamel covered cast iron and similar to le Creuset called a "du feu," don't recall the manufacturer offhand, which is great when cooking for a crowd. It's designed to collect the moisture from cooking under the lid, helping with self basting. Also have several pieces of Dru (Holland) enamel cast iron, similar to LC, which are great and also beautiful -- light blue with dark blue tulip design -- for serving. They are vintage, however, and not sure they are made anymore. They are my favorite.

                    Oval is the way to go in dutch ovens, if you can find it, for when you want to cook long cuts of meat or ribs.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: City Kid
                      Jay F Sep 7, 2010 05:46 PM

                      What do you do with a chicken in a Le Creuset oven, oval or round? I like to roast chicken, so the skin gets brown and tasty. Doesn't the chicken skin get gross, cooking in liquid (I assume) in a LC oven? The oval ovens look so perfectly chicken-sized, but I've never been able to let myself buy one because all I can think of is soggy, possibly purple, chicken skin.

                      This is not a joke. Please, anyone, help me out here.

                      1. re: Jay F
                        Soop Sep 8, 2010 02:58 AM

                        I wouldnt roast my chicken in a DO. I'd get one of these if you like roast chicken:
                        http://www.amazon.co.uk/Master-Class-...
                        Keeps it high and dry, while your vegies/gravy gets the juice.

                        1. re: Soop
                          Jay F Sep 8, 2010 11:01 AM

                          Yeah, I have one like that. Thanks.

                    2. s
                      sobriquet Jan 29, 2009 06:34 PM

                      I have probably 25 assorted Le Creuset pots and pans. You absolutely must have a 5.5qt dutch oven. The 6.75qt oval one might be a better bet if you only plan on getting one dutch oven so you can make larger batches for a crowd. It's also easier to do big cuts of meat in for braising.

                      I also *strongly* recommend their braisers. I have the 3.5qt and the 5qt. I think these might be their best pieces and are incredibly under-appreciated. What can you do with it? You obviously can use it as a braiser (I make large braised briskets in it), but I also frequently use the bottom for frying, use the bottom as a cast iron skillet, and for cooking pasta.

                      I'm lucky enough to have my grandmother's vintage Le Creuset skillet that has their old style enamel on the inside and over the edges. The new skillets have a rough black finish that is inferior and difficult to clean. That's why the braiser is so excellent - the pot has the same old-style smooth cream colored enamel, so you get great performance and it cleans up without much effort.

                      A roasting pan is a good idea - you can use it to make casseroles, baked goods, and after you roast, you can put it on a burner and make a pan sauce.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: sobriquet
                        j
                        janeh Jan 29, 2009 07:21 PM

                        I agree re: the Lodge fry pans - cheaper and better. Also, can't beat Pyrex, especially with lids. However ....I have lots of Le Creuset, some from wedding presents 20+ years age, some from yard sales, some from the L.C. outlet and I use and enjoy it all. Even the impulsively purchased pumpkin shaped dutch oven. I have three sizes of oval Dutch ovens, two sizes of buffet pans, a big pot with a handle, a couple of other things. If I could have only one piece it would be a 5.5 or 7 quart Dutch oven. Register for anything that appeals - I like giving L.C. as wedding gifts, knowing that it will last (unlike the fancy towels). Someone might hint to your out of town guests that the L C outlets ship purchases over $100 at no cost. WIshing you a long and happy marriage.

                        1. re: janeh
                          c
                          citizenconn Jan 30, 2009 11:14 AM

                          I diagree with some of the comments and like the new Le Creuset enameled fry pans and use them daily. As long as you pre-heat the pan it only requires a small amount of fat to cook eggs or other items without sticking.

                          But I would recommend the new Lodge enameled cast iron skillets even more. They have more volume and higher sides than the Le Creuset ones and are even more "non-stick" with just a little fat. I much prefer them to their preseasoned cast iron counterparts. You can even get a lid for them. And Target has then for less than $40. That's the way we roll at my house.

                          I have been wondering about the Green Pans they have at Target. They might fit the bill of what you are looking for if you don't want the weight of cast iron.

                          1. re: citizenconn
                            s
                            sobriquet Jan 30, 2009 01:33 PM

                            The new LC skillets aren't *bad*, but they're vastly inferior to the old-style enameled ones. I have both. My point is that for a skillet, I'd go with All-Clad.

                        2. re: sobriquet
                          Jay F Sep 7, 2010 05:50 PM

                          The cream-colored interior is one of LC's big selling points for me. I love being able to see what I'm cooking. Calphalon never worked for me for that reason. That, plus their 8-qt round oven equivalent was so light, it wouldn't stay in place when I stirred things in it. It was cheap, though, and I was able to give it to someone who appreciated it.

                        3. l
                          lominator Feb 17, 2010 10:10 PM

                          7,25 quart LC dutch oven, large roasting pan and gratin dish (I have the small ones, but I think they are discontinued), Some of the most frequently used cookware in my kitchen and their performance is stellar!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: lominator
                            m
                            Mistral Sep 7, 2010 10:39 PM

                            LC for Dutch Ovens - Fabulous!!!

                            Don't buy the skillets - decent stainless (preferred) or non-stick will do the job at a fraction of the price.

                            1. re: Mistral
                              Soop Sep 8, 2010 02:59 AM

                              The frying pan is really good for steaks.

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