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Other than for meat....what is your best use for Le Creuset 5.5qt oval ?

My WS has the 5.5qt oval on sale for $149. I don't cook meat, I do cook soups....wondering what other people use it for? I was thinking I could use it for doughnuts - has anyone used it for that before? My most used LC piece is the buffet casserole. For the price, I feel like I should grab it.. As always, appreciate the feedback!!

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  1. Mac and Cheese

    My Mrs makes a family style spaghetti dish
    which could or could not use meat.

    Use your imagination. :-)

    1. I value enameled cast iron cookware for it's slow, even heat (once it's heated up) and it's non-reactive surface. I love making soups, stews and dishes that involved browning onions and other aromatic vegetables and building upon those rich flavors. Having said that, I'm not wedded to Le Creuset, now having a few Lodge color pans.

      I have seen posts commenting on how the oval ovens, never heat evenly on the stove top with the long ends (those with the handles), remaining cooler that the shorter ends.

      Keep us posted.

      1 Reply
      1. re: redrako

        ahhhh....very good point about the uneven heat on the stovetop. Makes sense...thanks!!

      2. Its good for chowders, brown/render the bacon, then make some soup. If you don't cook meat at all (like no bean-stews or use of bacon), that makes it a tad less useful. Good for a roux, as well, if you want to venture down the gumbo path.

        The oval is more designed for meat, to handle something like poultry, and you risk a bit more of a hot spot in the oval-ly ends, but its nothing drastic..

        1. Dutch ovens work great for deep frying if you do not have a conventional fryer. The heat retention keeps oil hot just make sure you have a candythermometer as it can get extremely hot

          1 Reply
          1. re: clint1245

            Awesome, clint--thanks--was thinking to use as a deep fryer, since LC maintains temps so well. The candy thermometer will really be put to use!

            1. Baking bread. It is perfect for Jim leahys no knead bread recipe.

              1. stew, spaghetti sauce, chili, I've fried chicken in mine.

                1. My personal opinion, others will certianly vary, if you don't cook meat, there is probably another pot that will work just as well and cost less. Where I believe the enameled cast iron excells is in a one pot meal where you can carmelize onions, brown meat, deglaze with wine and broth, reduce, and roast in the oven. Shure, you can make french onion soup in it and many other non meat dishes, but you can also do that in any number of other pots. I make soup in the DO all the time, but before I got it I made soup in something else and it worked just fine. Where I see a real difference in performance is when you brown meat stovetop and move it to the oven to finish.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: mikie

                    kind of agree with mike. Unless you cook meat or you cook for a crowd, 5.5 qt could be just a bit too big. (Needless to say, it depends on how big your family is. ) I doubt if you will use the pot in the oven unless you cook meet. If not, a round shape makes much more sense on stove top unless you have a 28cm ring on an induction stove. The oval shape is designed so hat the pot provides a snug fit to roasts, whose shapes are rectangular.
                    With $179, it is likely that you will find a 3.5-5.5 qt round shape at LC outlet stores and it might be a better fit. Also, if you cook grains often, even smaller LC makes sense, such 2qt or 2.75 qt. I think they are in the price range around $100 usually. I love my 2qt for cooking rice and grain. It tasts very different when I use LC rather than a small stainless sauce pan.

                    1. re: hobbybaker

                      Thanks everyone....I ended up getting the 5.5 qt round instead of the oval. All in , was $177 on sale at WS. Have already made Jim Lahey's no-knead bread twice---PERFECT for that! Really appreciate all the feedback.

                        1. re: Jay F

                          Flame! It was either that or the dark green.

                        2. re: apple342

                          Congratulation. As I don't see the 5.5 qt sale on WS site anymore, i guess people just snatched it!