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Oct 20, 2010 05:08 PM

Le Creuset wide vs braiser

I'm wondering if anyone has seen both of these or used both and could comment on which to purchase for my kitchen. I currently own the Cuisinart Multi Clad pro 12 piece set and a LC 5.5 Qt round French oven. My Cuisinart set has a 3.5 qt saute pan, I always wished I had a larger one, and when I saw the LC braiser, I thought, voila! but alas, it doesn't come in my color (not really a serious consideration) at my local store, they suggested the wide round french oven as a substitute that I could get in a color I like (caribbean or white). I'm looking for something that has a larger base, more room in the bottom. I'm not an expert, so that is the only thing I was considering along with the braiser being less deep... any thoughts?? Thanks in advance!!

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  1. I own the wide French dutch oven, and it is the bomb. It's the only Le Creuset I own, and I would never trade it for the narrower and higher-walled LC dutch ovens that most people seem to get first. You can brown more stuff in this one with its wider bottom, but the height is also adequate for almost any soup or chili recipe or the like. Plus I think the slightly lower walls make evaporation easier to exploit.

    15 Replies
    1. re: Bada Bing

      What size wide round, Bada Bing?

      1. re: Jay F

        The lid and the pot both have "30" imprinted on them, so if that's centimeters, it would be equivalent to about 12." I think it has a 6.75 quart capacity, but it still seems wider at the bottom than the 7.25qt round dutch oven.

        1. re: Bada Bing

          That makes sense. The 7.25 round oven is 28 cm.

          1. re: Jay F

            I did some quick calculations (my computer is smarter than I am), and it's interesting that, even though the diameter difference is less than 1", the wide French oven has a bit more than 14" square inches (or 92 square centimeters) more surface area than the 7.25qt oven.

            That's room for at least one or maybe two more chicken thighs.

            1. re: Bada Bing

              Wow. Thank you for such diligence.

              I'm going to be doing some braising over the next few months, probably some 2-3 # slabs of chuck, and some coq au vin, and this wonderful vinegar/garlic chicken dish I used to make from the Freres Troigros' Nouvelle Cuisine cookbook from back in the '70s. And I'm trying to figure out the right French oven.

              I don't intend to make huge batches, just enough for four at a time, but I'm most used to the 4.5 qt round, and it just wasn't big enough. I'd be stirring, and the pot would be so full, I'd slop liquid on the stovetop, even the back wall.

              So, I've narrowed it down to one of these three:

              6.75 qt. Round Wide 3.75”H X 11.8”W X 11.8”D

              5 qt. Oval 3.55"H x 9.2"W x 8.8"D

              5-Quart Braiser: 2.6"H x 12.75"W x 12.75"D 15.7 pounds

              The braiser seems as if it would be too short, plus someone said it had an unusually heavy lid.

              Any opinions on sizes, anyone? I currently own the 4.5 qt (24) and 7.25 qt (28) round ovens.

              And thanks again, BB, for the calculations.

              1. re: Jay F

                Jay, If I were you, I would pick an oval which you don't own currently, but it depens. To me having 7.25 qt round and 6.75 qt wide round sounds sort of overwrapped. Adding something else (oval or braiser) makes more variety of use. But again it depends. If you don't use the DO much in the oven, maybe oval does not make much sense to you either. I don't say the domed shape of lid of 5qt braiser is "unusually" heavy but it is a bit too heavy for my hand. I feel the lid of the 3.5 qt braiser is already enough to me :)

                1. re: hobbybaker

                  Thanks. I'm going to be getting Molly Stevens' book on Braising, and doing some cooking out of it. I suspect I'll be doing stuff in the oven as well as on top.

                  1. re: Jay F

                    Jay. "All about Braising" is excellent!! I bet you will make something from her book almost bi-weekly in fall/winter like me. I Hope you get the one in Fennel color! Happy cooking!

                    1. re: hobbybaker

                      I've actually just ordered this book this holiday based on your recommendations for it HB. I'm looking forward to getting it in and reading through it.

                2. re: Jay F

                  You have the low wide as higher than the 5 qt. oval. I don't think that's correct as the oval should be higher. If the 4.5 qt. round isn't large enough I don't think the 5 oval will be either as it's just 2 cups more. I would add the 6.75 wide, or the 6.75 oval. Since you already have the 7.25 round size, maybe the 6.75 oval would be a nice addition.

                  1. re: blondelle

                    Blondelle, they just make too many things that are almost identical. I found my info on, where I see:

                    round wide
                    oval wide


                    I've been looking at this so long, my mind is numb. I have to take a break.

                    Thanks for your help.

                    1. re: Jay F

                      Jay, the best place to get the right numbers (Weight and size) is the WS website ( in the tub of the "More Info").

                      Based on that 5qt oval has 4.5 inch height vs 4 inch of 6.75 qt wide round. So 0.5 inch difference.

                      However, note that they don't have some products, such as 5.5 qt wide oval, 3.5 qt wide round or 7qt oval. yes it is confusing and makes people dizzy : )

                      1. re: hobbybaker

                        Thanks again, hb. I thought my brain was going to fall out of my head last night.

                        1. re: Jay F

                          You're not alone. I had a dream last night about how my neighbor downstairs, who only cooks using a microwave had a delivery of every item LC makes and I started to cry. It is mind boggling.

                          1. re: MrsT

                            I had a semi-similar dream ("too many choices" theme) a couple of nights ago. Two women, one of whom looked like the Queen of the Night from "The Magic Flute" were trying to convince me to use razor blades that had eight blades. I couldn't even get to three IRL.

      2. Go with the wide unless you want to use it more for frying and saute rather than braising. I can lift the 6.75 wide, but not the 5 qt. braiser easily for some reason. The lid on the wide is heavy, but the 5 qt. braiser lid is VERY heavy. You can use the wide for soups and chili and for things where the lower sides of the braiser wouldn't work.

        1 Reply
        1. re: blondelle

          Share the same thoughts with blondelle on the lids . I have a 3.5qt braiser (buffet casselore), which i love to use for braising recipes for shorter time & paellia etc etc. The lid of 3.5qt buffet casselore is heavy enough for me so I cannot think about the lid of 5.5 qt buffet casserole for me . I have just bought a 6.75 wide round- have not used yet. However, you can cook soups and chilis with your 5.5qt DO for at least around 8 people I guess, so it depens on what else you want to cook with, too. Anyway, the weight of the lid of the 5.5 qt braiser/buffet cassrole is absolutely a consideration I would say.

        2. I have the 3.5 qt braiser and love it -- since I don't have a cast iron skillet it also doubles as that. But I have to agree with the others that the wide DO is probably more versatile. You'll likely get as much or more surface area for browning, etc, and the sides won't be so high they'll get in your way -- but high enough you can cook almost whatever you like in terms of stews, soups, etc. Plus, you get the color you like! ;) Enjoy.

          4 Replies
          1. re: herring

            To herring and hobby baker (as well as anyone else who might know): what number is in the lid of the 3.5 qt braiser? Thanks.

            1. re: Jay F

              I think it is 30. Jay. Following past thread might be a help. (Repsonse from grnid in the middle on the numbers. )


              1. re: Jay F

                It is 30. I just checked! Heavy little devil :-).

            2. I have and use both. The biggest question is what are you planning on using it for? The braiser, I use almost like a saute pan, for things like sauteeing veggies - I've even roasted whole chickens in it in the oven. I don't braise in it though - I prefer my stainless saute pan for that. This may be because I like to braise stovetop and I find all my cast iron cookware have hot spots and I end up with a burnt ring of food on the bottom (maybe I'm not as good a cook as I sometimes think). The 6.75 qt wide round is more useful in a different way. It has as much surface area as the braiser (if not more) and I've made everything from stews to paella in it. Very very versatile pan. For braising, however, you may want something with lower sides - something with minimal room for evaporation of the liquids. Again, you have to see what you want to use it for.

              1. We have a white 3.5 wide round which has higher
                Sides and I use it for meat and veggie braise
                And I have 3 buffet braisers 3.5 red. 1.5 flame and
                1.5 red. I LOVE the braised and they are my fav
                LC pieces The 2 little ones can touch into the oven alongside
                Bigger ovens easily I roast veggies in the 3.5
                Prob 3 nights a week the shallow pan is perfect
                For it and roasted veggies are insanely tasty I gave away
                My 6.5 to my brothers wife as they cook for a
                Larger group and my girls are now grown and did
                Not want the white. You cannot go wrong Enjoy

                375 for an hr and stir every 15 min --too easy