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Le Creuset - Help me Choose 7.25 or 9 qt

I'm buying a dutch/french oven today and waffling between these too and having a hard time deciding. I'm hoping to be making lots of leftovers for lunches/freezing etc. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

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  1. Will you be able to lift a 9 qt full of liquid and food? That thing is darned heavy.

    1. Ditto, it's heavy. WS has a 13 qt Staub and just for grins I calculated it's weight when full, right around 50 lbs. In a 9 qt pot you will likely have 2 gallons, water is about 8 lbs to the gallon, so minimum is pot, say 15 lbs and another 15 for contents, so you're at 30 lbs of hot pot coming out of the oven as a minimum. Anything that doesn't float is going to add weight to that. We have a 8.85 qt Staub and when it gets used, I'm the one moving it around, my wife can't manuver it, or at least she doesn't like to. Same thing with the 25 lb turkey. Other than this issue, you can get alot of food in a 9 qt DO. We usually use the 5.5 and still have left overs.

      1. More people choose the 7.25 qt than the 9 qt.

        I just measured the bottom surface that touches the burner on my 7.25 qt, and it's 8-3/4". It's a good thing to match the size of the bottom of the pot to your burner size. If you have flat/glass/induction burners, I understand a perfect match can be essential. I still have regular gas burners.

        I don't own a 9 qt, as I imagine it would be way too big for me.

        I use the 5.5 qt most frequently, and I get plenty of leftovers. Plus, it stores in my fridge with the shelves in their desired configuration without my having to flip the lid over. That's where it is right now, or I could measure the bottom for you. I think 5.5 is the most popular size; you could check with cs@lecreuset.com to be sure.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Jay F

          The forest green Dutch oven you see on America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country is a 6-1/2 qt. Tramontina, which costs about $50.

          1. re: greygarious

            Also, I read the ATK book on "Low and Slow Cooking" over the last couple of weeks, and they said they liked the Tramontina. They expected, and determined, that the 7.25 qt Le Creuset and the 8 qt All Clad would win their competition, but they were surprised by how close the Tramontina came to meeting the two "bests."

            I've already taken the book back to the library, but IIRC, two of the criteria were making chili and deep frying something -- French fries? I don't recall the specific category in which the Tramontina was deemed a weaker candidate.

        2. I think I have every size of LC and use them all especially during canning season. I recently added the 9 quart in between the 7.25 and 13.5. I have no trouble managing the 9 quart full of whatever and I am no weight lifter!!!

          What do you usually use for the recipes you are planning on making? Will this be a new style of cooking or have you found that you have out grown what you are now using? If this will be a new style of cooking I would start with the 7.25 and work from there. The LCs are very expensive and you don't want to spend that amount of money and find that it is too big for your needs. If you find that you need a larger pot than the 7.25 you will probably also use the 7.25.

          1 Reply
          1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

            Another consideration is your age. The older I get, the less able I am to lift heavy filled pots. When I bought (two separate occasions) my most recent two pieces of Le Creuset, I tried them out at the store. I tried them at both levels of my double wall ovens.
            They made the decisions really easy as some were just too heavy and the ones I bought were just right. For me.

          2. 9 qt. seems huge. My 5 qt. round LC (or maybe it is 5 1/2 qt.) is the workhorse of my kitchen and I cook for a family of 4 and I like leftovers for freezing. The second most used one is my 6 3/4 qt. oval and I generally only use that when I have company. Personally, on a regular basis, I think 7.25 is more than enough.

            1 Reply
            1. re: valerie

              Ditto. I have the 5 qt for a family of four. It is heavy, and quite large enough for everything except a huge pot of chicken stock (for which you really don't need LC).

            2. They also have a 16 qt goose roaster, but then again that just confuses the topic.

              If you're really jonesing for both, buy the 7 qt Martha Stewart cast iron pot at Macy's when they're half off (which they are right now). That way the normally, $150 pot will be less than $100!!!!

              Then, if you want to, you can still drop the $250+ on the Le Creuset. The only bummer about the 9 qt is that it doesn't come in as many cool colors as the 7 qt.

              1. Oh, also, if you love cast iron, you should read Molly Stevens' All About Braising.