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),
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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:)
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.
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 :)
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!
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:)
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
12" frypan and cover
12" stainless round nonstick grill
Double burner grill pan
11 X 14 petit roti
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!
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 :)
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).