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LC 2.25- quart braiser/casserole

n
Normandie Oct 17, 2009 11:05 AM

Some of us were talking about a month ago about the braisers when I got the 5-quart size. I love it and find it's good for large braises with veggies, or tossed pasta dishes, etc. But I want a smaller one. There's a 3.5 quart size, and I found a couple of vendors offering this baby one 2.25 size. I really don't think I want the 3.5-quart (at the moment); I have a 3.5 oval FO I can use for most things.

But I'm having a hard time imaging the size of this and was wondering if anyone had a braiser this size. What things could I do in it? DH and I are having more dinners by ourselves as the kids are growing up and are out a lot. Is it big enough, do you think, to do braises for two? Could I do things like corn bread or other savory quick breads in it? Things like tarte tatin?

Also, is this something I could cook rice in? I don't mean a paella, but just straight rice for a side? Does the braiser shape work for that? Because the size would be perfect for it.

http://www.chefscatalog.com/product/9...

  1. pikawicca Mar 27, 2010 09:37 PM

    This little guy is perfect for 2 people if you don't want leftovers. Tarte Tatin? No. Rice? I haven't cooked rice in anything other than non-stick for at least 20 years, so a big NO there.

    1. r
      rovergal Feb 8, 2010 04:44 PM

      Just wanted to share that I just got a 1.5 quart braiser/buffet casserole off of eBay, in Flame.

      It's really too small to do a lot with, since there are two of us, but I just loved how tiny and cute it seemed next to my 3.5 quart, that and it was a really great price, since it was used!

      4 Replies
      1. re: rovergal
        s
        souvenir Feb 8, 2010 07:45 PM

        Fun- I've never see one that size. I think it would be great for au gratins or macaroni and cheese for two.

        1. re: souvenir
          r
          rovergal Feb 11, 2010 04:55 PM

          You're absolutely right - I used it for potatoes au gratin last night, and it was the perfect size!

        2. re: rovergal
          gulfcoastgal Jun 4, 2010 04:10 PM

          I found one in the 1.5 in flame as well and have used it often I have a a 3.5 in red as well ( wish I had the smallest in red but I am GRATEFUL to have found it and have never seen another for sale) I use them to roast veggies and always add a full garlic all cut up plus onion to the veggies plus EVOO and a bit of water and herbs and they are always a hit
          I used both in one meal 2 weeks ago I find it very useful

          1. re: rovergal
            gulfcoastgal Aug 20, 2010 10:15 PM

            Let me know if you want to sell it I have a single daughter who could use it since it is a good size for cooking for one
            gulfcoastgal

          2. s
            souvenir Jan 9, 2010 08:09 AM

            I was near the Vacaville Factory Outlet store a couple of days ago, so I gave the store a call to find out if there was a monthly special on any one particular size. If I understood the salesperson correctly, the 2.25 qt braiser/buffet/casserole is $100 (I'm assuming this is for a second) in any color they have in stock until 1/31/10.

            I was hoping for a soup pot shape sale, so I didn't stop by the store. I do think this is a pretty good deal, and people contemplating this size may want to check it out.

            5 Replies
            1. re: souvenir
              r
              rovergal Jan 17, 2010 02:41 PM

              The Woodbury Commons LC Outlet store in NY has this $100 special on the 2.5 qt braiser as well, although they are getting low on some of the colors. I wanted Dijon and they were out of that one. :(

              They also have a special on the 4.5 qt round Dutch Oven for $100 as well this month. Another great price for a great piece!

              1. re: rovergal
                hobbybaker Jan 18, 2010 12:02 AM

                Hi, revergal - Great info. Are those deals for seconds?

                1. re: hobbybaker
                  r
                  rovergal Jan 20, 2010 06:42 PM

                  Yes, they are seconds - most of what the outlets have are seconds, but they only have visual defects.

                  They will let you look them over and will keep bringing you more if the first ones have obvious defects. On the worst ones, there is a little extra cast iron blobs on them, or a spot/smear of the enamel, but mostly it's just a bit of color over spray into the inside, or maybe a few tiny dots of a different color on the lid.

                  I try to avoid the ones with the extra blobs of cast iron or smears, but the others look nearly perfect. I got a cherry 2.5 qt braiser, and we opened 6 boxes before I found one I was ok with. But on the blue one I bought, they all looked fine.

                  It's amazing that they are considered seconds since they look and function like first quality!

              2. re: souvenir
                gulfcoastgal Jan 23, 2010 06:12 PM

                I went to the Houston Le Creuset outlet today and got 2 in the 2.5 qt braiser for presents and they look great We looked at a lot and the 2 we chose had minimal issues one had a pencil dot size of red on the sand inside and the other had no real issue $99 each plus a scratch off for next month Feb (30% !!!) wow great deal
                gulfcoastgal

                1. re: gulfcoastgal
                  s
                  souvenir Jan 24, 2010 09:19 AM

                  I bet the people who receive your presents will be very pleased. It's great to know that someone else was able to take advantage of this sale!

              3. w
                woollyweather Jan 7, 2010 07:23 AM

                I appreciate this discussion. Its exactly what I've been thinking about for a week. Unfortunately there are no stores nearby where I can compare the 2.25 vs. the 3.5 size Le Creuset braisers.

                1 Reply
                1. re: woollyweather
                  k
                  Kokopelli1 Jan 7, 2010 07:42 AM

                  Woollyweather, is there a Sur La Table store near you. If so, they carry both Staub and Le Creuset. They carry the 2.5qt Stuab braiser and the 3.5 qt Le Crueset Braiser. That would be a close approximation of the 2.25 qt Le Creuset braiser vs the 3.5 qt braiser. I do have the Staub 2.5 qt braiser and find the size very useful for 2. That being said..... I probably would not repurchase that particular Stuab piece as I don't care for the waffle bottom when braising. Too hard to clean up. Love my Staub Coq Au Vin piece though!

                2. p
                  pinch_of_salt Dec 29, 2009 05:03 PM

                  Well it's a couple of months since you posted this but I'm just now building my LC pieces and wondered if you are happy with your 2.25 braiser/casserole? I purchased a new one off EBay and have a question. The one I received is matte black and looks like its cast iron without the enamel on the inside or outside of it. i went to the uk website and they do show two blacks on the site - one matte and one glossy (they call onyx) but they describe it as enameled... It's rough to the feel and not at all like the other smooth enameled pieces I have.. Has anyone else seen one like this? And is it enameled - but just not smooth? ? Sure would like to here what others have to say. Thanks.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: pinch_of_salt
                    b
                    blondelle Dec 30, 2009 04:07 PM

                    Your matte black is definitely enameled both inside and out. The advantage to that finish is that you can sear at higher temps than the sand enamel and it will develop a patina over time and become more nonstick than the sand enamel. The pores in the rougher surface allow oils to polymerize and form a nonstick finish over time just like the black interior Staub. It also comes with the stainless knob which is more versatile than the phenolic one.

                  2. n
                    Normandie Oct 22, 2009 08:06 PM

                    Just to update, in case anybody else is thinking about the braiser products.

                    I decided to get the 2.25-quart braiser, versus the 3.5-quart. It arrived yesterday, and as it turns out, for me, it was the right choice. But IMO that's only so because I do have the 5-quart braiser to accommodate larger volumes of food.

                    I haven't actually used it to *braise* yet, but I used it last night to cook the veggies and beef for fajitas and tonight, for a smaller side dish of linguine tossed with baby spinach. With the fajitas, I sauteed the veggies first, then removed them in order to turn up the heat to cook the meat. That was more because of heat issue than the size, since the veggies had cooked down.

                    True, it's not huge, but it's certainly big enough to fit 3-4 portions of meat, depending on the cut. And it will be perfect for some of the breads and tarts I'd like to bake in it. Again, though, probably not the most practical choice if one doesn't have the 3.5 or 5 already.

                    Almost forgot! Thank you all for your input and helping me to decide.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Normandie
                      bushwickgirl Oct 22, 2009 08:33 PM

                      Bravo, and it's good to have a few versatile sizes in your kitchen cookware repertoire.

                      1. re: bushwickgirl
                        n
                        Normandie Oct 22, 2009 09:36 PM

                        I agree, bushwickgirl. It's also nice to have at least one LC piece that one can lift. :-)

                    2. b
                      blondelle Oct 17, 2009 02:02 PM

                      I think it's great for all the uses you want it for and it's fine for a braise with 2-3 servings. If you're going to go through all that time and trouble though for a braise don't you want at lease another meal or two out of it for the both of you? I think the 3.5 braiser is much more useful. The 3.5 oval is an entirely different shape and function the the 3.5 qt. buffet casserole. If you had a 3.5 saucepan you wouldn't not buy a deeper 12" frypan just because it held the same amount. Totally different animals!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: blondelle
                        n
                        Normandie Oct 17, 2009 02:35 PM

                        blondelle, I don't *usually* cook to have left-overs. A couple of exceptions--e.g., I'll make two meatloaves at a time and freeze one.

                        I never really think of a braise as being a lot of trouble, but to be honest....I wouldn't mind a few more nights off from cooking. So how long would the left-overs keep?

                        I do use the oval for braising with good results and also when food volume calls for it my 5-quart round. I'll usually put a double layer of foil down over the food and that works well.

                        1. re: Normandie
                          z
                          ziggylu Oct 19, 2009 03:08 PM

                          I cook in a two person househuold and don't cook for leftovers. I ahve the 3.5 qt brasier and find it to be a perfect size for us. I've looked at the smaller one and think it's too small as a primary piece. Depends on what your'e going to do with it, but anythign involvign cuts of meat, even for two people, I think you want the 3.5 qt.

                          I have a 2 qt copper saute and rarely use it. Sizewise they're pretty comparable.

                      2. bushwickgirl Oct 17, 2009 01:10 PM

                        Get out your qt. measuring cup, pour 2.25 qts. water in a bowl and you'll have a good idea of the volume it holds.
                        You can certainly bake quickbreads in it and it would be great for baked rice pilaf-style, finished in the oven. I just don't know about braising, the dimensions read 13x4-ish so it's really not very deep. It could possibly hold a couple nice loin chops or chicken breast on the bone, but it would probably be more suited for a stew, stew-for-two. Maybe that's what you had in mind when you wrote braise. It would be great for poaching smaller portions of fish and you could do quick veggie sautes, stove top, as well.
                        No tarte tatin, though, you need a skillet for that.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: bushwickgirl
                          n
                          Normandie Oct 17, 2009 02:21 PM

                          I really meant all three of those type things, bushwick--a couple of chops, a couple (literally a couple, btw....two) pieces of chicken, and, yes, stew.

                          Thanks for the info re the tatin. Perhaps you can tell I don't have experience with it, but it is something I'm interested in trying. ;-)

                          1. re: bushwickgirl
                            s
                            souvenir Oct 19, 2009 10:44 AM

                            The 13x4 dimensions must be including the handles and knob on the lid for the 2.25qt size. I have the 3.5qt and just measured it. It is approximately those dimension minus the handles and knob.

                            I was in a Le Creuset factory store last Saturday, and they were having a great deal on seconds in various colors in their store. I looked at the 2.25 qt braiser, and while I think it is cute, I couldn't justify trying to make space for it. My impression was that the lower half of the pan is approx 10" round (minus handles) and 1.5-2 inches deep. Similar to an All Clad petite braiser size and shape.

                            1. re: souvenir
                              n
                              Normandie Oct 19, 2009 01:03 PM

                              Yes, I'm quite sure you're right about the dimensions not including the handles.

                              I think I'm going to go for it. I think it is what I want for side dish veggie sautees, which I do often, and I would like something like this for savory breads at the table. Thank you for the first-hand report, which helped.

                              And, sigh, if this is too small, I'll just have to go for the 3.5-quart next time...I've got the fever.

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