What's the right size & shape Staub Dutch Oven for me?
What's a good first Staub, and when's the best time to buy (i.e., do they go on sale? If so, when?)
Here's what I want it for: soups, stews, roasts, chickens, spaghetti - for two people.
I've been lusting after a Le Creuset 5.5 QT Round French Oven. However, now looking at Staub, I see that Chef's Resource sells slightly smaller Staub 5QT Round & Oval Dutch Ovens, an Oval 5.5 Coq Au Vin Cocotte Dutch Oven with a rooster knob, and larger Round 6.5 Quart and Oval 7QT Oval Dutch ovens.
I'm worried that 5QTs may be a tad small for a chicken or for the amount of soup I usually make, but 6.5 or 7QTS sounds too big. And Round vs Oval? I've never had an oval piece of cookware, and I have a small gas cooktop, but oval might be better for chicken. (I intend to use this mostly on the cooktop).
Any recommendations on a good first Staub for me? And should I wait for a sale? Staub is harder to find than Le Creuset, and I'm leaning towards the LC because it's on sale at Williams-Sonoma (20% off).
I recently purchased a Staub 7 quart round cocotte and I'm very happy with it. I made poulet en cocotte with a 5 lb bird and it turned out beautifully. The chicken was super juicy and everything cooked to perfection on the stovetop. I felt it was just the right size for the chicken plus potatoes and onions. I'm glad I went with this size and not the smaller 5.5 quart since I like to cook a whole chicken. I bought mine at WS in Graphite. Love it.
Dutch ovens are measured at the top, but remember that they have sloping, not straight, sides. Thus the bottom surface area can be significantly smaller than the.area across the top. If you're concerned about size, I would call the store before ordering and ask them to give you the bottom dimensions. Top vs.bottom dimension is a much more significant consideration for determining if something will fit inside than inner vs. outer. The walls of a pot are less than 1/8" thick, so there will be less than 1/4" difference between an inside and an outside measurement.
I have owned a Staub 8 qt round Dutch Oven for several years now. I use it daily to bake Jim Lahay's No Knead Bread and it makes a perfect loaf of bread. I also use it weekly in the fall and winter for stews, chilis, soups, etc and it never fails to impress.
My Staub oven cleans up very easily and is absolutely the most beautiful piece of cookware I have ever laid eyes on. I expect it will last for many many years and will become a prize possession in my daughter's kitchen.
One thing to consider ... it is quite heavy for lifting in and out of the oven or off the stove.
Not sure if this helps anyone, but there are some Staubs at Marshall's at the moment, both round ($39.99) and oval ($49.99)....sorry, not sure of the qt. capacity but the oval one would hold a large chicken or a roast easily. I've been wanting a dutch oven for years, but was holding out for either a Staub or Le Creuset. So, when I saw them yesterday I went ahead and got an oval one, beautiful orange-to-red color.
Can't wait to try it out!
poptart, Orange-red sounds like this one sold by Chef's Resource:
If you got it for only $50 I'm extremely jealous. I guess I'll have to go to Marshall's sometime. Actually, there's one not too far from where I live. Tell me, though, was yours a "HomeGoods" Marshalls? (The one near me isn't).
Congrats on your new Staub!
Took a look at the brochure that came with it and it's from their "Basix" line. So maybe this is one of their more affordable lines? Looks beautifully made, is made in France. The handle is the same enameled material as the oven itself....pic attached.
The Marshall's I found it at was in Boston...no Home Goods. Could be worth checking TJ Maxx out if you have those nearby, they often carry similar items.
Good luck on your search! I plan to roast a chicken in mine today. :-)
If your heat souce is round (the flame ring) I don't think an oval pot would work as well, though maybe any problem would be negligible. I cook for 2, and use my 5 1/2 qt. LC a lot! It seems just the right size--approximately the same diameter as the standard Pyrex mixing bowl I use for a cake, meatloaf mixing, everything, and approximately the same diameter as a dinner plate.
re: blue room
Yesterday I drove to Williams-Sonoma (after finding out that there's one near me) and I bought a Le Creuset 5.5 QT Round French Oven like yours.
I thought I might want the Staub 6-qt. Coq Au Vin in Grenadine. The shape and size seem better for chicken and roasts, I like the idea of the self basting spikes, rougher interior that takes seasoning well, dark interior that cleans up better or at least doesn't show stains, and Staub is reputed to be superior for browning/searing meat.
At the risk of re-igniting the Staub vs Le Creuset debate, here's why I went with the LC:
1. Price. WS is offering 20% off LC thru 12/13. I couldn't find a sale on Staub. If I had run across a Staub 6QT for $52 like cutiepie721 reported in another thread (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/461190) I would have grabbed it too.
2. Availability. I couldn't help but wonder why WS doesn't seem to be selling Staub? Didn't they used to? Anyway, it meant that I could inspect the LC but not the Staub.
3. Quality Control and Customer Service. Going thru the Staub vs LC thread, it sounds like maybe Staub had better QC back in 2007 when that thread started. More recent posts and Amazon comments indicate some problems there - enough that I'm hesitant to order a $200+ Staub sight unseen. Staub has a Limited Warranty and there are complaints about their CS. Someone who bought the Staub I like from Amazon had a big issue with their quality control, and there's a whole thread on another forum about their QC and CS. I think LC probably wins on this issue hands downs. Their CS is widely praised, and they have outlets for seconds which failed their QC checks. And even their seconds are said to be almost perfect. It's nice to know my expensive pot is guaranteed for life and that LC isn't nit-picky about honoring their guarantee.
I'd love to get a Staub someday to complement my 5.5QT LC French oven. Having never even used a French oven before, I'll have to use it for a while before I can figure out what should be my next piece of enameled cast iron. I'm thrilled with the LC and can't wait to start putting it to use. I haven't made stew or roast beef in years because the meat was always too tough and dry, and at this time of year I like to make beef barley soup. Those are probably what I'll try first!