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Sep 8, 2009 04:40 PM

Oval vs Round Staub french oven

Hi. I currently have a 7.25 quart Le Creuset french oven, but want something a little smaller. I'm considering the Staub 5 qt. oval oven or the 4 qt. round oven. I'm thinking the round oven would make more sense, but I like the size of the oval, but wonder how the shape works on the stove top?

I'd appreciate others opinions.


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  1. Did you know that Staub makes a 5 qt. round? That might be a good compromise.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pothead

      Thanks, I realized that after I typed it. the two pots are on sale at a local kitchenware shop, so that's why I'm considering them. A case of not really needing as I have more than enough good cookware - just want it because it's so gorgeous and it's almost my birthday.

    2. I wish ALL of my ovens were oval. To me, the oval can hold any meat that the round can --- and more. Most meats I do aren't round so it seems to just make sense.

      2 Replies
      1. re: c oliver

        I agree with C_Oliver. The oval will fit more shapes of meat items than the round.

        1. re: c oliver

          In the LC the difference is only about 1/2"-3/4" longer in the 5 qt. oval than the 5.5 qt. round. Not that much. If you're making meat with veggies, the veggies nicely fill out the spaces on either side in the round where the meat isn't. If you use an oval that fits the meat, where do your veggies go? There really is no difference in the finished result using an oval, and the round gives you more room for veggies to cook with the meat. I like the round better for top of the stove cooking.

        2. I currently have an 8 quart Le Creuset Oval and I've got my eye on the 5 quart Staub round. I expect the round will be get a more even heat distribution while on the burner but mostly I just want one!
          The oval will be better for larger cuts but the round should be great for stew, curries etc and a better fit for no knead bread.

          8 Replies
          1. re: Fritter

            I started out with two round Staubs, but now that I have an oval, I agree with c and baybritta. I tend to reach for the oval and have put another larger oval on my wish list, because I like to roast a lot of meats and veggies together.

            Fritter, I find the key, as with any cooking application, is to allow enough time for proper pre-heating. I just put the oval pot on the burner on low, or medium-low, and forget about it for a while, as I either finish my prep or sit down and have a cup of coffee. By doing that, and allowing enough time for conductivity to do its thing, I haven't once yet noticed any problems.

            But sometimes our choices depending on how and what we cook, and I liked your point re the bread. Which just goes to prove, once again, what our mothers and various cooking hosts always taught us: use the proper pan for the job. You sound excited about the round Staub, anyway, so that's definitely what you should get. I can tell you I've gotten tons of use (and successful meals) out of mine...uh, just in case you need any encouragement. :-)

            1. re: Normandie

              I really like my oval Le Creuset. I just want a round Staub so I'm just trying to convince myself I *Neeed* one! :-)

              1. re: Fritter

                You definitely need one. For high-temp applications (eg browning beef before you make a stew), the round oven maintains much more even temperatures across the bottom. Once you get to the low-temp part of the recipe it doesn't matter so much.

                I'd say my round ovens get used 70% of the time or more as opposed to the oval ovens. If I only had one, it would be oval. But why stop at one?

                1. re: alanbarnes

                  alan, my oval LC is small--a 3.5-quart. So that may be why I haven't noticed any unevenness in the heating, and maybe I will when I get a larger oval. However, I can see there could be a benefit to that (maybe?) during the browning process--e.g., if you're browning cut-up poultry or stew meat, and some pieces are cooking more quickly due to size or thickness, you could move them to the ends of the oval, right? (Not unlike cooking on a grill?)

                  Oh, well, like many others here, I see, I just think enameled cast iron is one of mankind's greatest innovations, so...round, oval, rectangular, parallelogram...I'll take 'em all.

                  1. re: alanbarnes

                    "But why stop at one?"

                    That's exactly what I'm thinking!

                  2. re: Fritter

                    To Fritter:

                    Oh, I can tell you *neeeeeeeeeed* one. You *neeeeeeeed* one for the soul. Don't forget your soul, Fritter. Very important not to neglect that, especially to motivate ourselves through the arduous drudgery of daily cookery and clean-up. ;-D

                    1. re: Normandie

                      Well I'm happy to say that I was gifted with a beautiful Staub 5 qt. round cocotte for my birthday this weekend in grenadine and it's just gorgeous. It will be good when I don't want to a make a huge dish in the larger LC. Looking forward to trying it - love both the Staub and the LC and am so happy to now have both. Just have to figure out what I want to cook in it for it's maiden voyage. I think it's time to stay out of cookware shops for the next while - I'm running out of space. Time to purge.

                      1. re: lominator

                        First and foremost, lominator, a very happy birthday weekend to you. Many happy returns and I wish you the best of luck in the coming year.

                        What a nice present! That is such a beautiful, rich color--the grenadine. It looks like a beautiful glass of wine, to me. My only two Staub pieces are in the brighter red (pimiento?) and yellow. That's small and I use it for rice, etc. Very cheerful on a winter's night.

                        I agree with you that the 5-quart is a really practical size. You can make something substantial in it, but at the same time it was just right the other night when I made *something* (can't remember what) for just hubby and me the other night. Oh. Stew, I think. Enough for dinner plus just a little left over for his lunch yesterday.

                        I've got my current order in for the 5-quart LC braiser, and I know I want a 10-inch LC skillet, and then I'm going to stay away from the vendors myself for a while. There are a few more pieces I will be able to use, but I'll take some time to think about it. I don't want to buy just for the sake of buying. Want to make sure I'll be able to multi-task with them.