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OMG...no LC!!!

I have amassed a fine aray of cookware over the years...lots of copper: saucepans. a big saute pan, and a few skillets; some blue steel and some cast iron frypans; a big SS stockpot. I have a casserole that is copper, about 6 qts., my only piece of fairly light gauge copper...but no LeCreuset, Staub, or the like. When I want to make something most people would make in a Dutch oven if it requires browning I use a frypan and then transfer to and bake in the casserole. Some dishes get baked in a ceramic casserole. Am I really missing out by not having a workhorse enamelled cast iron Dutch oven? Everyone who has one seems to rave about it. (Not asking to open up the Staub/LC debate),

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  1. I don't know. I don't think so, but I don't use those cookware. I had an enameled Dutch Oven (in fact several), but after awhile, I felt a regular bare cast iron Dutch Oven fits me better.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      Ditto. Enameled cast iron Dutch ovens are nice, great in fact, but give a regular CI Dutch oven anyday. A whole lot cheaper, also, if money's an issue.

      1. re: bushwickgirl

        The only advantage of enameled cast iron like LC is the ability to see the amount of browning on the bottom and sides. But if you use a stainless dutch oven then that's not an issue.

    2. You are missing the ability to do EVERYTHING in one pot, and by that i mean
      4)and serve the food in the same vessel in which you did 1-3!

      When i make Beef Burgundy, all operations are done in the same pot-the browning, the braising with win, and the oven time. so i definately save on dishwashing time.

      Even better, the pot is pretty and can go right to the table!! IMO, bare cast iron, while very useful, isn't very attractive.

      AND i can make a killer stewed fruti in my LC-can't do that in a bare cast iron because the acid reacts with the iron and gives a weird flavor.

      1 Reply
      1. re: arupiper

        I'm with you - now that I have one (ok, 2), I use them all the time, for everything. We've baked bread in it, we've braised, I use it for stir frying like a wok, I fry. It just works for everything, and is easy to clean. And it looks really pretty just sitting there on the stove top, so I never end up putting the most used one away. Probably one of the most useful things in my kitchen.

      2. Thanks one and all for the isights and perspectives. If I ever see one on the super cheap at a garage sale I will try it, but for now I will stick with what I have and wash the extra skillet when I need to brown something first. I definitely see the attractive presentation benefits as well as the one pot benefits, but I never take things to the table. Guests sit at the kitchen counter and swill wine while I cook, andf then I plate the food for them to take to the table/ So if I am using anything that is less than attractive, the cat is already out fo the bag. The one shape, however, that really intrigues me is the rondeau. I believe LC calls it a wide Dutch oven or the like. It looks like such a great shape I am guessing I will never see one in a garage sale, but you never know!

        1. Tim I know I cam late.

          To me LC DO really shines in the oven when I cook pot roast type recipes, which needs a big chunk of meat to be braised in the oven for 2-3 hours. I sometimes notice that DO cooks the same things for shorter cooking times than the heavy duty SS, which is attractive to me. For my very often in-oven uses, I prefer the oval shape better, which provides the best fit to most of the meat in the recipes I cook. (The hight of the pot can be adjusted by using parchement paper, so, to me low/wide is not that important.) As far as you do not cook those often like me in fall and winter, you don't miss anything. As a matter of fact, when I am tired of heaviness of DOs, depending on the size/shape of the meat, I use my AC 6qt stockpot, which has lower side than the typical SS stockpots. I use my smaller round DO for stews and soups, but any heavy SS pot can handle it. If your braising is mostly for short time and on stove, any SS suate pan for sure does it. So, for uses on stovetop, you probably do not miss anything.

          Also as Arupiper pointed out, it really shines on the table. not only it is beutiful on the table, but also it keeps things warm longer than the heavy duty SS. We have someone visiting us at least once a month. I am so glad that I do not need extra large plates, large bowels, just for presentation purpose, which means less need to be cleaned:)

          Edit : I like my bare cast iron fry-pan a lot, but I probably do not choose bare cast iron DO. I do not have it so it is my speculation, but I might need those extra presentation plates etc for that. Also, I have neverseen bare cast iron DO in oval shape.

          1. If you don't feel your copper pot is good enough to brown meat as you indicate, I wouldn't braise in it either. You can braise in a coffee can, but that doesn't mean it's the best pot for the job. The beauty of cast iron is it's ability to retain and distribute heat. There IS a difference in the outcome of a dish, even in the same recipe braised in All-Clad and braised in a Le Creuset. All you have to read the Le Creuset reviews and you will see post after post of people who made the same recipe in All-Clad and Le Creuset and they are in awe of how much better that same recipe tasted made in Le Creuset.

            While you can braise in almost anything, you will have a better outcome in Le Creuset or enameled cast iron in general, and it's also preferable for the additional reasons stated here. It's a better all around choice for that use.

            9 Replies
            1. re: blondelle

              blondelle, you have the AC 6qt French braiser and LC 6.75 Wide round, which are similarly sized. How different are they in terms of any difference of outcomes of the same recipes with those two? Which one do you take if you are forced ( I know you don't edit and I do not mean you shoud or anything, OK) :) I am just curious because you have both and you can compare things while most of people in cluding me do not have both.

              Edit: I think it is beneficial to Tim, too, as the 6.75qt wide round appeals to him and when he wants to buy/get it, comparison with the 6qt AC french braiser might become a part of his research:)

              1. re: hobbybaker

                Hobbybaker, I'm afraid I don't have the A-C French braiser. I just have the LC 6.75 qt. low wide. The closest A-C I have to that is the A-C 4 qt. braiser with the domed lid. It's more like a two handled fry pan. Got it for an awesome price, but haven't used it as I'm not sure if I'm keeping it. I was thinking that might be similar in use to the low wide also. Got the low wide LC for $99.99 at WS and couldn't pass it up. I'm just one person but I like the idea of cooking a larger amount and freezing leftovers.

                Not sure what you mean about me not editing. Please explain.

                1. re: blondelle

                  So you have the 4 qt braiser. From our communication in the other thread, I thought you have the 6qt french braiser as it sounded you are very familiar with the item's in and out. Sorry. I think you have many ACs and it was the part of your portfolio. I meant by "edit" is selling the redundant items if there are such things. You ask opinions on those occasionally about your pieces, I guess :) I just thought it is an intersting comparison if it is possibly done by someone who has both :)

                  1. re: hobbybaker

                    Yes, I am way too familiar with a lot of cookware. More so than any normal person needs to be :-). I really should get myself a job at WS. I thought you meant edit in the literary sense and I was confused there...LOL! I do really need to edit but I'm so afraid once I sell something I will want it back and won't be able to get it at that price again. I get stuff as it's an awesome buy, plan on selling some off and then can't seem to part with it. I spend so much time trying to decide what to keep and so far no luck in deciding or editing it down.

                    As for the low wide and the French braiser, the A-C is best for hot and fast, and then maybe slow, while the LC is best for long and slow.

                    I'm one person in a studio apt. and have enough cookware for 4-5 chefs. No one needs 25+ pieces of LC and A-C, but it makes me happy!

                    1. re: blondelle

                      You are right for deciding which to sell because there are items which are going to end up as a closeout even though it is a special to you. Most probably you will never see them again, so better to keep it:) 25+ is not so too many. I counted mine and it was close to 20:) For someone, it is jewelry, for you cookware and I find cookware is better than jewelry. At least it is practical:)

                      1. re: hobbybaker

                        Only another cookware junkie would say 25+ isn't so many...LOL! Actually I count 30 which is ridiculous. These were all mostly bought at awesome prices. Might want to add the 4 qt. A-C saute & simmer, but have to get rid of some of these first. But which? Don't even cook that much---hoping that has a yet after it :-). I should also add I'm only one person. See the problem?

                        Here's my stash!


                        1 qt. saucepan
                        1.5 qt. windsor--like the shape and pouring rim
                        2.5 qt. windsor
                        3 qt. saucier with pouring rim, helper handle and domed lid
                        4.5 James Beard pan--about the same as above but larger.
                        4 qt. saucepan with helper handle and slight domed lid
                        4 qt. saute
                        6 qt. deep saute
                        8 qt. stockpot
                        10" braiser
                        13" braiser
                        12" frypan and cover
                        7.5" frypan
                        12" stainless round nonstick grill
                        Double burner grill pan
                        11 X 14 petit roti

                        Le Creuset

                        2.75 qt. soup pot
                        3.5 qt. round wide
                        3.5 qt. buffet casserole
                        4.5 qt. oval
                        5.5 qt. round oven
                        6.75 qt. round wide
                        11" oval gratin
                        smaller roaster with rack

                        And loads of LC stoneware too!


                        Calphalon nonstick crepe pan
                        Calphalon 11" oval nonstick roaster with rack
                        9 X 13 oval stainless roaster with rack
                        10" Cuisinart Multiclad frypan
                        9" Staub oval roasting pan
                        large graniteware stockpot

                        Was thinking of selling the 2.5 qt. windsor as I have the 3 qt. saucier, and returning the 4 qt. saute, and maybe selling the JB pan and replacing it with the saute and simmer to use as a wok, but the JB is a great pan too and a collectors piece. Also, not sure if I need the 13" braiser with the LC one, and A-C 12" frypan but side by side it IS larger, and better for searing than the LC, and needed if I need a larger frypan than the 12", for a larger batch or to saute down piles of greens. Really don't need the LC buffet casserole, but that's a great piece too! What to do---what to do?

                        Anyone PLEASE!!! Chime in and help me edit the A-C. Give me your list of what to keep!

                        Haven't really used much of it yet to have favorites, but hands off my LC! I actually have someone who wants to buy my satin black soup pot, but I'm not sure. It's a great shape and the black makes it better for no knead bread and curries with spices that will stain the other LC, and it can be used a higher temps as a small wok because of the high temp finish. Love it ALL....LOL!

                        1. re: blondelle

                          I would start with roasting pans. But only if you are REALLY serious to edit, and I know you. So don't recommend to do. I even know you will add a couple of d5 pieces soon. The 10 piece set is already available at the outlet. Soon, individual piece will join, if I speculate correctly :)

                          1. re: blondelle

                            Blondelle, since you own the 4.5 qt. oval and the 6.75 qt. round wide, can you tell me what the difference is between the two? Or does their being different sizes make this impossible? Thanks in either case.

                2. re: blondelle

                  Thx, Blondelle. It would be a misstatement that the copper pot won't work for browning, but it has a tin lining (so no super high heat), is probably about 1.5 mm, and is tall enough that you can't brown many pieces in it without them steaming. Plus, although two pan techniques works ok, it is a PITA to deglaze the frypan and transfer the fond to the big pan (it is, after all, one of the best parts!) SInce I am cooking for two usually, most of the time I use the one pot option of a big (#24) saute pan, probably between 2.5 and 3 mm thick. I like the heat retention attributes of iron and cast iron and tend to cook way more things that are acidic than not (I even use white wine over red in a lot of sauces because I like the shaprness it adds).

                3. Have you thought about borrowing a LC Dutch oven from a friend and making your decision based on experience? I'd carry my LCs out of the house in a fire but they may not be the end-all-and-be-all for everyone.

                  I'm not being flip with this suggestion. I think it is a viable idea and should give you the answer you seek.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Sherri

                    great idea, but no one I know has one (that I know of). But I will start asking!

                    1. re: tim irvine

                      Tim, even if none of your friends currently owns any LC pieces, once you put the word out, I'll bet that a frieend of a friend will come forth. You can borrow some of mine but I fear the shipping costs would fund a small LC of your very own.

                    2. re: Sherri

                      They would be one of the few things to survive the fire. Pop a roast in and run for the hills

                    3. Yes, you are missing out on not having a Dutch Oven, whether LC or some other brand of cast iron enamel pot. I did the same as you for years browning in a fry pan or pot and transferring it to a baking dish and not only does it waste time and there is more clean up, it doesn't do the job as well. Invest in a dutch oven, you won't regret it. I have both LC and Staub, love them both, but tend to use my larger 7.25 quart LC dutch oven more than my 5 quart Staub - more versatile with the extra room.

                      1. I have 2, 3.5, 4, 5.5, 7.5 Le Creuset "dutch ovens", a #7 and a #10 (holds about 8 quarts) Griswold cast iron dutch oven, and a #9 Piqua (a different old company; mine's from about 1900) CI dutch oven...AND a 10 quart All Clad rondeau AND a 6 qt. All Clad "stock pot" which actually is short and squat, like a dutch oven, and I think they're all *necessities* so you know my opinion on the matter. :-D

                        11 Replies
                        1. re: Beckyleach

                          As far as I remember correctly from the past post, becky has also extensive AC saucepans, 2 AC sauciers, and fry-pans/saute pans, and french skillets, too. Don't you? It is good that someone like you guys with extensive AC/LC collections are here in this board :) I think grnid's collection is also extensive:)

                          1. re: hobbybaker

                            Hello, my name is Becky and I am an All-Clad Le Creuset Addict. ;-)

                            (my daughters are waiting for the day my arthritis gets too compelling. Hah! I'll lug these around till my wrists break. )

                            Shall I do the Count of Shame? It IS a bit shameful, as we live on one income, in a very modest, slightly shabby farmhouse, with two old cars...but I LOVE my cookware!

                            All-Clad stainless:

                            1/2, 1, 2, 3, 4 qt. saucepans
                            2, 3 qt. sauciers
                            3 qt. saute
                            6 qt. stock pot
                            10 qt. rondeau
                            7" and 10" skillets
                            large roaster
                            enormous French skillet w/lid
                            just bought on Ebay: asparagus cooker

                            (Looking at, drooling: 12 qt. stockpot, small roaster/roti, 14" stir fry, pasta pentole, 2.5 qt. winsor.)

                            Le Creuset:

                            Aforementioned (but may be slightly off on capacity) 2, 3.5, 4, 5.5, 7.5 Le Creuset "dutch ovens" or round French ovens

                            #20 covered saucepan
                            #14 saucepan
                            grill skillet/pan
                            3 quart (or is it 3.5?) braiser
                            4 various sizes gratin dishes
                            smaller covered skillet
                            and an unusual, aproximately 3.5 quart coquette ? thing that looks like this:

                            ...but mine is in an odd shade of powder-grey/blue

                            In my defense (hanging head at this cookware promiscuity) a LOT of the All-Clad was bought "seconds" and much of the Le C was either thrift store or hand-me-downs--but not all.

                            1. re: Beckyleach

                              Thanks becky and brondelle. Compared with you guys like AC/LC gurus, I am at a bit lighter side of the addiction. Hope chow has a space for cookware portfolio in the profile section. Maybe I should make a proposal :)

                              1. re: Beckyleach

                                Oh, help! Where's the intervention? I just found a slightly used 8 quart All-Clad stockpot on Ebay for less than $100 and hit "Buy It Now" before I could talk myself down.

                                Add one more piece to the Wall of Shame. ;-)

                                1. re: Beckyleach

                                  I also have the 6 qt stock pot and the 8 qt stock pot. I initially got the 8 qt as a part of set and was happy with it. However, I could not leave the 6 qt stock pot witha steamer inseart sold just for $39 at TJmaxx. I always thought I would eventually sell one of them at ebay but never make it:) I really love the shape of the 6qt. It is a really great pot. My excuse was "hey, 6 qt plus 8 qt makes 14 qt and I don't have the 12 qt, so let's keepit for a big crowd :) "So, I am well disqualified to intervene;) Congrat on your new collection.

                                  1. re: hobbybaker

                                    CAn i join this group of allclad/lecreuset addicts???

                                    Okay, here goes:

                                    In the All Clad:

                                    8 qt stockpot
                                    7 inch skillet
                                    10 inch skillet
                                    12 inch saute pan
                                    1 qt sauce pan
                                    4 quart casserole

                                    Le Creuset

                                    5.5 qt Round
                                    5 qt Braiser
                                    8 qt Oval
                                    15.5 qt Goose Pot (en route as i write)
                                    1 qt Cast Iron Au Gratin (also en route)

                                    I swear, no more cookware!!! I don't NEED anymore!!!!

                                    1. re: arupiper

                                      sure. Mine is very lite:)
                                      0.5 qt butter melting pot
                                      1qt saucier, 3 qt saucier
                                      2qt saucepan, 3 qt sucepan
                                      6qt stockpot, 8qt stockpot
                                      steamer insert
                                      10" skillet (in box, never used), 12" skillet w/lid
                                      9x13 SS oblong baker, 3.25qt square porcelain baker , 3.0 qt rectangular porcelain baker, 12x15(?) bakingsheet
                                      2qt round, 3.5 qt round, 3.5 qt buffet/casserole, 6.75qt oval, 9 inch fry-pan
                                      Calphalon: Contemporary Roasting pan,
                                      Lodge: 8" skillet

                                      Now seriously considering to add either CA multiclad pro 5.5 qt casserole, or AC 6qt buffet casserole in stead of a saute pan (avoid a long handle). Also, before summer, want to add a pressure cooker finally (Now on research. Either one 6qt or a set of 6qt and 3-4qt) . Interested in the new LC heritage line 2.0qt pot.

                                      Enjoy your Goose pot and Au gratin!!!

                                      1. re: arupiper

                                        15 pieces of AC
                                        11 pieces of Tramontina tri-ply
                                        3 LC - but tempted by the buffet casserole
                                        CI grill pan
                                        2 roasting pans
                                        1 Calphon tri-ply 'everyday' pan
                                        2 woks
                                        6 carbon steel
                                        12 various pieces of porcelain baking and gratin dishes
                                        23 chicago metallic and WS baking pans
                                        4 LC stoneware baking dishes

                                        Oops forgot to add the 2 wagner cast iron skillets

                                        Yes, it's good to air our shame here although I suspect none of us are truly that ashamed!! I keep thinking I will stop buying cookware and then I think I'll try just one more thing..... and I can't seem to make myself sell anything either!

                                        1. re: knet

                                          knet -- I thought we were sisters in tiny kitchen pain! Where do you keep it all?

                                            1. re: knet

                                              interesting how commonalities form around a thread but diverge from the original topic (not complaining...everyone on the thread must like it or they wouldn't keep going). Somehow the "real" issue eventually percolates up (or down). I guess I really started the post because I read here about how much many people love LC and Staub (my brother, 1500 miles away, has a ktichen full of LC) and it sounds awesome, I am a cookware junkie and admired Julia's flame LC in the movie, and my wife asks, "Why would we bring anything more into our not too large kitchen?!" For the record, I have:

                                              - small (1 qt) aluminum saucepan with French long handled lid,
                                              --three copper saucepans, each w. long handled lids (probably 1.5, 2.5 and 5 qt,, more or less)
                                              --a 10" copper saute pan
                                              --a 10" oval copper frypan
                                              --a 12" copper frypan
                                              --14" blue steel frypan
                                              --blue steel crepe pan
                                              --blue steel omelet pan
                                              --3 qt. AC saucier
                                              --8" AC fry pan
                                              --copper/ceramic double boiler
                                              --10 qt. W-S generic stockpot w. various inserts
                                              --gorgeous copper roasting pan that was a ton
                                              --6 qt copper casserole
                                              --carbon wok
                                              --copper pomme vapeur (yeah, really)
                                              --6" Cast iron frypan (great for toasting spices)
                                              --10" cast iron frypan
                                              --copper gratin (cheap, thin, losing its thin tin wash, but great for clafouti)
                                              --spatterware canning kettle

                                              I probably forgot something (and did not get into the baking list, including many cool tinned pieces). But the question was, "What next?" A 6 qt. LC or a rondeau see/med the logical step. I WILL track down some sort of large enameled cast iron casserole and try it. Unchecked I might have set my sights on a fish poacher, but my wife does not share my love of whole poached baby salmon with beurre blanc,

                                              I use them all. I have a few ceramic pieces I use pretty regularly, too, different size ceramic casseroles, gratins, South American dark ceramic oval baking dish with a pig snout on it, and a tagine.

                                              hmmm what next? maybe I'd better stop. It sounds like an addiction when I write it all down!

                                2. I have AllClad and Le Creuset, but my standard issue cast iron is my go-to. I found my dutch oven in an alley... ;-)

                                  1. I have a small and a large enameled cast iron dutch oven, one of which is LC brand, the other KitchenAid (who knew they made those, but it's great). As far as I'm concerned, the only advantage such pots have over a much cheaper bare cast iron oven is that you do not have to worry about ingredients, especially tomatoes and various acids like wine and lemon juice, reacting with the bare metal. But that is a very big plus, and I am happy to have these pots. I, too, waited a long time, because the pots are pricey.