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Martha Stewart I Can do Without, But Her Enamel Cast iron Pots?

It never ends. The day I finally decide to splurge and buy an LC 5.5 Qt. Azur blue factory second for $140.00, the Macy's flyer arrives. It had MS's enameled cast iron 7QT. for $70-80. While I find MS, at best, an annoying know it all, could her pots be another story?

Times being what they are, the allure of a bargain is very, very tempting, especially at half the price of the LC.

Help! ( I really want to keep the LC). Thanks in advance. Toby1355

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  1. Sounds like you picked up the same one I did. I got the 5.5 in red and the 3.5 in the blue.
    Loving both of them!

    I don't have any experience with MS line, but we'll see if this link will post.
    The reviews on amazon avg 3 stars. They state it cooks well, but the enamel chips easily.

    Personally, I've got a 6.75qt oval LC on my wish list.. keep hoping to find a 2nd locally but may go up to the outlets soon.

    1. I just want to comment that your title is very funny.

      1. I had one of her pots chip on me. I don't think they're made well at all.

        If you do go the MS route, scrutinize every inch and tap it in different places with something solid but that won't scratch, like a wooden spoon. It's been a few years, but I'm pretty sure it was a bubble in the enamel, that, when pressure was applied to it, it popped, exposing the iron.

        1. toby1355, reading the amazon reviews as well as the "chipping" post here, it would seem that you are getting what you pay for with the MS line. I have some LC pieces that are more than 40 years old and they have never chipped with all these years of hard use. Never.

          Doing some quick math, if I had saved the $70 you might save by buying MS instead of LC, that would translate to a savings of less than $2 per year for my 40 years of problem-free use.

          Resist the allure of this tempting bargain. You get what you pay for in the case of LC.
          "Buy in haste, repent at leisure" = motto for the MS line.

          NB: I was cautioned at one Amazon reviewer mentioning the plastic handles on the MS ......... this will keep you from using the MS pots for baking the great "No Knead Bread". Just another thought in the arsenal of reasons to buy quality. The plastic is also likely to have issues long before the metal LC handles.

          If the dollars are truly a deal-breaker, Lodge cast iron is a great option and will save a lot of money.

          1. I have the MS 5.5 qt "chili pot" from Macys (and there is a batch of chili cooking in it now ) at $49.95 - 10% it was a great deal. It has served me well though I have nothing to compare it to. It has gotten stained but so is my mother-in-law's LC

            I did see in Bed Bath and Beyond the Henkles (who now owns Staub) now has a line of cast iron that is Made In France if I remember correctly it was $140 for the 7 qt - the ubiquitous 20% coupon

            2 Replies
            1. re: Jack_

              Question: Where is the MS product made?

            2. Where does one buy "seconds" of Le Creuset? I have lusted after one for years. (I live in NYC area)


              4 Replies
              1. re: lichow

                I got my baby in Marshall's which usually has a few. They also are currently stocking a few Cuisinart enameled cast iron. But that's another post.

                1. re: lichow

                  Hey lichow -- the Le Creuset outlet in Riverhead (the Tanger outlet mall) is almost entirely seconds. I've bought three pieces there and all are virtually perfect; the tiniest imperfections make them seconds (and the imperfections are cosmetic, never workmanship). They start about 30% off retail prices, I think, but the outlet always has sales and coupons that can get you another 30-40% off of that. Plus, they also have additional sales on oddball pieces and colors. I've found some really terrific bargains there. They're fairly well-stocked, but if you have your heart set on a particular item or color, you should definitely call ahead. Oh -- and if you go to Tanger, there's also a Williams Sonoma outlet there that usually has LC at good prices, though a much smaller selection. Good luck!

                  1. re: herring

                    Wow, thanks for the info on that outlet--I had no idea. I crave that 6.75 qt LC. I did go to Marshall's today and got the 5.5 in Chili Red; it is gorgeous and I have wanted one for so long but always only saw the 3.5 or 4.5. Just to gloat on what a great deal I got I went to Cook's Companion, a nice kitchenwares store here in Brooklyn with "discounted" LC prices and the same pot was $229. I felt very proud of myself. Thanks for the Marshall's tip, toby1355.

                    1. re: lichow

                      Congrats on your new french oven! It's so much better when you get a bargain. Last I was there, the Riverhead outlets didn't have any of the wide french ovens (that's what you're looking for, right?), so it pays to call before you schlep all the way out there. (They haven't had any skillets, which will be my next LC item, the past few times I've been.) Also, I should have clarified: The initial discount is off the manufacturer's suggested retail price, so the "full price" pieces at the outlet are often not too far from what you'll find online (though usually a little cheaper). What makes the difference is getting the outlet stuff on sale. Happy shopping! (And if you can, let me know which Marshall's you go to (is there one on Flatbush Ave?). I had no idea they sold LC items at such great prices!)

                2. I have a putty-colored MS dutchie from her K-Mart line. It is just fine and the handles aren't rubber. I have never had chipping but then again, I don't knock my dutchies around. I wash them in a rubber dishpan by themselves, and let them sit on a cooling rack to dry. I am not a fan of Martha the person, but have never had any problems with her product lines, which I find well-designed and soundly made. She is both a perfectionist and a control freak so it stands to reason that she would make sure her products are serviceable.

                  1. Like you I wanted the LC version, but could not afford it, I recently purchased the MS cast iron version at Macy's and Ihave really loved it.