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Le Creuset Newbie Questions

DonnaMarieNJ Jan 14, 2012 08:31 AM

I have a few questions about Le Creuset.

Is every piece made the same way/the same material? When I was looking on amazon, I saw some descriptions say that the piece is ovenproof to 350, while descriptions for other items state some other temp. Another difference I noted is that some descriptions state that the piece is dishwasher safe, and others say hand washing recommended.

Can I put every piece on the stovetop (flame)? I mean, I wouldn't put a butter or utensil crock on the flame, but could I? Or is it because they are "stoneware," they would crack? Could I take their baking dish, cook a chicken in the oven, then put it on top of the stove on a flame to make a gravy?

Do they have a few colors that will stay around forever? I don't want to buy an item this year in one color only to find out next year that the color has been discontinued.

I called the company today before I posted, only to be zapped into their voicemail. Maybe they are closed on Saturday, but they didn't mention that while I was holding.

Thank you.


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  1. RudysEquipment_Supplies RE: DonnaMarieNJ Jan 14, 2012 08:37 AM

    You might have been looking at stoneware if it said ovenproof to 350F. Also the stoneware is cannot be put on stovetop. As far as colors staying around LC is the worst at changing there colors every year. Flame and red have been around forever. Blue was too but they changing the shade of blue for 2012. All other colors are open for change every year. Drives me crazy.

    Where in NJ are you?Amazon isn't always the best bet for LC.

    19 Replies
    1. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies
      DonnaMarieNJ RE: RudysEquipment_Supplies Jan 14, 2012 08:48 AM

      I am in Essex County.

      I love the Caribbean and the Fennel, but am afraid to get anything in those colors.

      What about black? Is that a standard color?

      Where should I get LC? I do have Williams Sonoma nearby, but I thot Amazon would be less expensive.

      1. re: DonnaMarieNJ
        blondelle RE: DonnaMarieNJ Jan 14, 2012 01:11 PM

        With so many gorgeous colors why limit yourself to just one? Buy a whole range of colors to enjoy and then you don't have to worry about one color being discontinued. Each of my many pieces are a different color. More fun to have a rainbow.

        1. re: blondelle
          charlesbois RE: blondelle Jan 17, 2012 04:42 PM

          This. I have blue Le Crueset stoneware baking dishes and a white Le Crueset salt cellar, but red and green Staub cocottes (nb: they are almost exactly like the Le Crueset dutch ovens). It's so cool to have different colors. Before the Martha Stewart dutch ovens were recalled, I had a big red one and a smaller teal one that were given to me separately. Those colors were so much fun!

          1. re: charlesbois
            foiegras RE: charlesbois Jan 17, 2012 05:55 PM

            I didn't know MS ones had been recalled!! Who made them?

            1. re: charlesbois
              CricketPug RE: charlesbois Jan 19, 2012 06:31 AM

              Agree. I'm building my collection in various colors. It's more fun that way!

          2. re: DonnaMarieNJ
            mojoeater RE: DonnaMarieNJ Jan 16, 2012 07:30 PM

            Shop LC online at Bed Bath and Beyond. Decide what you want and take one of the 20% off coupons to the store. If they don't have it in stock, they will order it, give you the discount and ship it to your home.

            I went to a local specialty kitchen store in order to see the colors and feel the pieces first. Their prices were higher than BBB even before the 20% discount. And I agree about getting a variety of colors!

            1. re: mojoeater
              Jay F RE: mojoeater Jan 16, 2012 07:57 PM

              But BBB *smells* so awful, I can't imagine going into one of their stores.

              1. re: Jay F
                mojoeater RE: Jay F Jan 16, 2012 08:41 PM

                I don't understand. Is your local store stinky? Ours is not, nor the others we've visited in other states/cities.

                1. re: mojoeater
                  Jay F RE: mojoeater Jan 17, 2012 07:48 AM

                  Smells like Glade, incense, faux cinnamon, that kind of thing.

                  1. re: Jay F
                    mojoeater RE: Jay F Jan 17, 2012 01:46 PM

                    I find perfume and cosmetic counters in deprtment stores far more odiferous. And if I can save $50 on a Le Creuset piece by going to BBB, I will!

                    1. re: mojoeater
                      Jay F RE: mojoeater Jan 17, 2012 01:56 PM

                      Go right ahead! I didn't tell *you* not to shop there.

                      (I don't do department stores, either, btw. Stenchpits, all of them.)

                      1. re: Jay F
                        southernitalian RE: Jay F Jan 18, 2012 12:19 PM

                        That's hilarious Jay! I never thought about it but they are a bit much. How do you feel about Subway or Hollister?

                        1. re: southernitalian
                          Jay F RE: southernitalian Jan 18, 2012 02:05 PM

                          I've heard some people don't like the smell of Subway because of the bread baking, but the few times I've been there, I didn't notice. And I don't know Hollister.

                          1. re: Jay F
                            melpy RE: Jay F Jan 20, 2012 08:10 AM

                            It isn't the bread, those onions emit odd fumes! Not like the onions from the market.

                        2. re: Jay F
                          blondelle RE: Jay F Jan 18, 2012 02:55 PM

                          Oh dear! That's a bit extreme. I guess you never cook cabbage or garlic. What do you do when you're cooking in all your Le Creuset and one of the ingredients has an odor? Do you abandon the dish?

                          1. re: blondelle
                            Jay F RE: blondelle Jan 18, 2012 04:42 PM

                            I love garlic.

                            Hate cabbage. I have never cooked it.

                            But I was really talking about chemical, perfumey, glade-y smells.

                            1. re: Jay F
                              mojoeater RE: Jay F Jan 18, 2012 06:34 PM

                              Subway has an incredibly chemical smell. Having worked in a bakery for years, I can honestly say the Subway smell has nothing to do with real bread baking.

                              1. re: mojoeater
                                Jay F RE: mojoeater Jan 18, 2012 07:36 PM

                                It was discussed here earlier this year: http://www.chow.com/food-news/86822/w...

            2. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies
              Robin Joy RE: RudysEquipment_Supplies Jan 17, 2012 08:48 AM

              I get a little smug satisfaction from using LC shapes and colours that I've had for 25+ years and are no longer available. Stupid, maybe, but I can't help it!

            3. Sid Post RE: DonnaMarieNJ Jan 14, 2012 08:41 AM

              You are probably looking at differences between ceramics (stoneware) and enameled cast iron. Some of the cast iron models have different knobs that may reduce maximum oven temperatures.

              In terms of colors, avoid the trendy or exclusive colors and you should be fine. White for example has been around a long time and will continue to be. Blues, Oranges, etc. come and go with different shades over time.

              You can cook in enameled cast iron like you would in cast iron. Be aware that you don't want to shove or scoot your enameled cast iron across burners on stove racks because it will mar the finish. Also don't use metal utensils in them to preserve the finish.

              12 Replies
              1. re: Sid Post
                RudysEquipment_Supplies RE: Sid Post Jan 14, 2012 08:43 AM

                Actually white is discontinued for 2012

                1. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies
                  DonnaMarieNJ RE: RudysEquipment_Supplies Jan 14, 2012 08:48 AM

                  And that was one I thot would be around for a while.

                  1. re: DonnaMarieNJ
                    RichardM RE: DonnaMarieNJ Jan 14, 2012 09:06 AM

                    Try not to get too hung up on colors. The only color that has always been available is flame which was the original color back in the '60s. Of course, you will pay a premium for that color. If you want to save money look for discontinued colors at places like TJMaxx. Or custom (WS only) colors which didn't sell well. Also, some pieces don't come in all available colors (even flame).

                  2. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies
                    Sid Post RE: RudysEquipment_Supplies Jan 14, 2012 12:35 PM


                    Wow, discontinuing a standard color.

                    1. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies
                      mshedd2011 RE: RudysEquipment_Supplies Jan 14, 2012 09:28 PM

                      Which colors were discontinued for 2012? Any new colors for 2012??

                      1. re: mshedd2011
                        RudysEquipment_Supplies RE: mshedd2011 Jan 16, 2012 09:21 AM

                        Black, white, kiwi and colbalt are disconinuted. And they seem to be thinning out caribbean and dijon and cassis(purple). Marseille is the new blue replacing colbalt.
                        I'm sure end of 2012 Cassis and caribbean will be gone too.

                        1. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies
                          foiegras RE: RudysEquipment_Supplies Jan 16, 2012 05:13 PM

                          Aren't both Caribbean and Cassis Sur la Table exclusives? Would we get news of new exclusives prior to their being discontinued? How does this usually go?

                          1. re: foiegras
                            Jay F RE: foiegras Jan 16, 2012 06:22 PM

                            foiegras: "Aren't both Caribbean and Cassis Sur la Table exclusives?"

                            Maybe they were once, but they're not anymore.

                            1. re: Jay F
                              mshedd2011 RE: Jay F Jan 16, 2012 07:16 PM

                              Does anyone know what will happen to Linen and Ocean? I have been told that WS has discontinued both colors. Will they show up at other locations since they have been discontinued by WS? I made a phone call to LC and they were very unsure. The woman said she wasn't sure that it looked like WS only had a timed time exclusive on those colors.

                              1. re: mshedd2011
                                Jay F RE: mshedd2011 Jan 16, 2012 07:29 PM

                                If the "exclusive" is over, they could show up at the outlets, but I don't know. I would probably call my closest outlet store.


                                1. re: mshedd2011
                                  foiegras RE: mshedd2011 Jan 17, 2012 05:58 PM

                                  That's interesting ... I figured Linen was being discontinued (by W-S), since it was on sale, but I hadn't heard about Ocean. There were local reports of its being a top selling color.

                            2. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies
                              pamf RE: RudysEquipment_Supplies Jan 18, 2012 12:07 PM

                              Cobalt is featured (or should I say closed-out) at the Le Creuset outlet stores this month (Jan 2012). 30% on enameled cast iron, 25% of other cobalt items. 25% off stainless steel cookware.

                      2. d
                        DonnaMarieNJ RE: DonnaMarieNJ Jan 14, 2012 09:00 AM

                        This link says to HAND WASH and reviews state that the 1 qt is only 3/4 quart (not a problem with me - just pointing it out).

                        So, should I had wash all LC?


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: DonnaMarieNJ
                          rasputina RE: DonnaMarieNJ Jan 14, 2012 11:41 AM


                          Here is their care and use page that covers their different products. Personally I don't put any of it in the dishwasher, even the couple stoneware pieces I have. I certainly would not put the enameled cast iron in the dishwasher as the edge of the bottom pieces and the rim of the lids are care cast iron on all of the ones I own.

                        2. Jay F RE: DonnaMarieNJ Jan 14, 2012 12:52 PM

                          I have, and have had over the last 30 years, lots of LC. I don't know anything about the stoneware. Only the cast iron. The only color that has been constantly available during this time is Flame, but I disagree that you will have to pay a premium for it. You can find plenty of it at LC outlet stores. Sometimes the prices at the outlet stores can be higher than you'd expect, but sometimes you can get great deals. You get free shipping most times if you spend over $100.

                          A hell of a lot of LC cast iron has been made in Cobalt. It's been available since at least 1999. Right now, they're clearing it out at the outlet stores. http://lcstores.com/locations.asp

                          They're re-introducing Indigo (my favorite color) at Sur La Table this month, and I imagine if it is a success, it is the color that will replace Cobalt universally. That probably won't happen for a year or two. They did the same thing with Fennel, introducing it as a SLT exclusive for a year or two, then making it available everywhere. If you like blue, SLT's Indigo might be a good color choice for you. http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO...

                          LC America *is* closed on Saturday and Sunday, as you surmise.

                          White has been deleted.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Jay F
                            blondelle RE: Jay F Jan 17, 2012 06:43 PM

                            The new blue replacing Cobalt is called Marseille. I found two stores selling it in CA, although the photos one shows is of the Cobalt as it would be in the Signature collection and their photos are of the standard collection. Here's a site that is showing a lid in Marseille. Don't know how accurate it is. Looks like a slightly shaded version of the older French Blue.

                            Scroll down


                            1. re: blondelle
                              Jay F RE: blondelle Jan 18, 2012 05:47 AM

                              Thanks, Blondelle.

                          2. f
                            foiegras RE: DonnaMarieNJ Jan 14, 2012 01:29 PM

                            My Le Creuset goes in the dishwasher, and then I do additional cleaning by hand if necessary. The new finish in the Signature line from W-S cleans up better.

                            I also buy each piece in a different color (all of mine look good together). I don't have anything in Flame ...

                            1. d
                              DonnaMarieNJ RE: DonnaMarieNJ Jan 14, 2012 04:39 PM

                              THANK YOU, EVERYBODY!

                              1. cellophane_star RE: DonnaMarieNJ Jan 18, 2012 02:59 PM

                                I can't believe they're discontinuing Cobalt. Most of my pieces are in this colour. I tend to stick to blue shades for the pricier items. However, I have ramekins in 6 different colours as well as a kettle and serving bowl in Caribbean.

                                And discontinuing white! I recently bought a loaf pan (in cobalt) , which was only available in cherry, white & cobalt (the French flag colours) so I assumed white would be around forever.

                                Also, I'm pretty sure they're discontinuing their Truffle colour (an earthy mushroom-y brown).

                                1. kaleokahu RE: DonnaMarieNJ Jan 18, 2012 05:49 PM

                                  Hi, DonnaMarie:

                                  In order of your questions: No. No. No. Yes. No. No (although they hoodwinked us into believing otherwise). If you don't want to be buying colors that will be discontinued next year, well, don't bet the farm on it.

                                  Five no's and a yes. IMO a pretty succinct advisory on LC in general.


                                  1. c
                                    chowda RE: DonnaMarieNJ Jan 20, 2012 07:58 AM

                                    Hi LC fans, I'm not entirely sure if these are good prices (I am a LC newbie also), but I was walking through Bloomingdales last weekend and saw this sale on Le Creuset products (see attached picture). Unfortunately I do not know if the sale is still going on, but I'm sure a quick call to Bloomingdales would do the trick.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: chowda
                                      CricketPug RE: chowda Jan 20, 2012 08:53 AM

                                      They look like good prices to me!

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