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LC 2.25- quart braiser/casserole

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...

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  1. 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

      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

        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

          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.

      2. 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

          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

            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. 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

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

            1. re: bushwickgirl

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

          2. 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

              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. 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

                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!