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Fontignac 8½-quart Cast Iron Oval Dutch Oven $112.91 with FREE Shipping

This is a great price for a quality oven. Be aware that this brand is VERY heavy. I could barely lift the 5 qt. with the cover. It's made by Staub I think and is nice quality. A steal for that size but should come with a hydraulic lift! Comes in blue, green and red in a gorgeous, shiny variegated glaze. Metal knobs and basting nubs. The interior is a yellowish beige.

http://www.cutleryandmore.com/fontign...

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  1. That looks like a good deal. And more reason to keep up with strength training!

    1. I get their weekly flyers and frequently take advantage of their sales. Here is a link for Fontignac
      /Staub:

      http://www.staub-fontignac.com/index....

      1. They also have the smaller 5.25 qt. for $99 and change.

        1. How do these compare to Staub or Le Crueset?

          19 Replies
          1. re: Sid Post

            I've only had experience with Le Crueset. But the web site looked interesting and the company seem to have been around for several decades. However, I had never heard of Fontignac until I got the email flyer. If I read the info correctly, it has been around longer than Staub.

            1. re: Sid Post

              The enamel is very pretty and looks about as nice as the Staub enamel. Not sure how it wears but I've read good things about it on the net. The walls of the pot are thicker than Staub or LC and that makes it very heavy. The interior is an unpleasant yellowish beige that looks kind of dirty to me.

              1. re: Sid Post

                Hi, Sid:

                Other than the enamel colors, they are equal or superior to... We Americans have been well-trained to accept that LC and Staub are worth their asking prices, despite the fact that all these makes go for MUCH less in France.

                Aloha,
                Kaleo

                1. re: kaleokahu

                  They go for MUCH less in France because they are manufactured there. You don't have the high costs of shipping to the US, so of course they are cheaper in France! Has nothing to do with their worth.

                  1. re: blondelle

                    Hi, blondelle:

                    The CI stuff in France is largely supermarket-priced. However you attribute it (costs of shipping, etc.), ECI does not command the prices and reverence it has bought by dint of marketing in USA. But it is pretty, and for (unknown) reasons, Fontignac has not hired a color consultant or mimicked LC and Staub. Otherwise, the jig would be up...

                    Aloha,
                    Kaleo

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Agreed. It's coming over in a cargo container. It's basicaly how much they can stuff into it, not the weight.

                      2. re: blondelle

                        Marketing in general overwhelms all other costs for most "everyday" products. France may be a very expensive place to live, wages may be very high, and raw materials may be very expensive but Staub and LC spend a huge amount on marketing and limit their brands to boutiques and forces MAAP pricing upper end chains.

                        If I ever went to France, I'd be shopping for cookware and I would pay the cost of freight for most things.

                        1. re: Sid Post

                          BTW, Williams Sonoma has the Staub 4 qt. wide oven for only $79.99. I almost bought one because of the price but I have the 3.5 qt. wide LC oven that I also got there for $79.99. It also wouldn't go with my LC colors. If can use it it's a great deal! You can make just about anything in it.

                          1. re: blondelle

                            Do you have a link for this? Or was it included with sort of web email code?

                            Thanks!

                            1. re: Sid Post

                              As far as I know it's only available in store as part of their summer sale. The WS outlet might have it but their shipping is very high. You can also call the 800# and they can check inventory and maybe a store will ship it to you if you have none near you. Mine just had the gray and brick. No blue. Not crazy about the Staub colors they carry. Cutlery & More also has some Staub on sale but less of a discount.

                              1. re: blondelle

                                Cutlery & More had the graphite grey Staub starter set that is tempting me. The Staub selection is pretty darn good though, as you mentioned their discount price isn't quit as aggressive as some other places.

                          2. re: Sid Post

                            Yep, marketing usually overwhelms all the other costs. Shipping usually account a very small fraction of the total cost, which is why many today's prodcuts are shipped all oversea. Take Apple iPhone for example, the display module, touch screen are made in Japan, application processor and SDRAM are made in Korea, RF Transceiver and GPS Transceiver are made in Geraman, Bluetooth is made in USA,

                            It is so cheap for companies to ship products across the globe.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              "It is so cheap for companies to ship products across the globe."

                              My friend is a pilot for FedEx and their company growth has been fueled big time by electronics and similar items coming out of Asia. Electronic devices and components can be air shipped very cheaply.

                              1. re: Sid Post

                                Cast iron is VERY heavy and costs a heck of a lot more to ship than electronics. With the rising fuel costs it still can't be that cheap to ship

                                1. re: blondelle

                                  Cast iron is not light, but not that heavy. Steel is being shipped around the world. Shipping cost (commercial) is really a small part these cookware.

                                  Lodge Color enameled cast iron is made in China, while Le Cresuet enameled cast iron is made in France. There is no reason to believe the shipping from France is somehow more expensive than the shipping from China. If anything, it is the other way around.

                                  You can easily get an enameled cast iron Dutch Oven (made in China) for $20-30:

                                  http://www.amazon.com/Classic-Grass-G...

                                  How much do you think the shipping cost contributes to that $30. Even if you think 100% of the price is shipping, which it obviously isn't, that would only contribute about 15% of the Le Cresuet price point.

                                  1. re: blondelle

                                    Hi, blondelle:

                                    I don't think Sid was implying that Staub or LC is air-freighting their iron anywhere. Shipping containers, rail and motor bulk freight, more likely. Yes, it costs (and those costs are probably rising), but you know everyone's *still* making some profit on those low ovens at $80, so how high can freight be per unit?

                                    Aloha,
                                    Kaleo

                                    1. re: blondelle

                                      "Cast iron is VERY heavy and costs a heck of a lot more to ship than electronics. With the rising fuel costs it still can't be that cheap to ship"

                                      Air shipped electronics and sea and rail shipped cookware really aren't as different as you might think. I seriously doubt anyone ships large quantities of cast iron cookware by air.

                                      Sure maybe by FedEx/DHL/UPS to the third world (special case) but, by sea and rail for almost everywhere else.

                                      Sea, rail, and motor freight are the norm for anything heavy that isn't urgently needed. Electronics are generally small and lightweight so, they get air freighted to support "just in time" manufacturing and delivery to retail sales outlets. Cookware doesn't fit this business model, especially heavy and relatively cheap cast iron with an indefinite shelf life (which electronics do not have - they need to hit the market fast).

                                      1. re: Sid Post

                                        I am very certain that the shipping cost is equal or less than 2% fo the Le Cresuet sale price (e.g. less than $5 for a $250 Dutch Oven).

                                        The evience for the low cost of shipping is apparent. If shipping fee is a major cost, then an enameled cast iron cookware from China would have to be about the same as that from France -- since the major cost (shipping) would have to be the same. But we know they are not the same. A Le Cresuet Dutch Oven is about $200-250. A cheap enameled cast iron from China is $20-30.

                                        Marketing usually dwarfs other costs. Some industry more so than others. For the kind of product like Le Cresuet where the end users are the common mass population, marketing is very huge.

                        2. This was just delivered to me today. I got it in blue. I must say, the outside is beautiful to look at. I was disappointed in the interior enamelling, though. It has several pinholes, and there is a strange rough/pinholey spot in the very center about the size of a nickel that looks like the paint was too thick there and may have bubbled while curing. The interior color doesn't bother me; it's only slightly darker than the LC. There are scratches on the lid, as well, but I can live with that. I compared it to my 7.5 qt LC, and I can honestly say I would rather spen the extra for the LC.