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Cast iron alternative for use on induction

Hi all, my mom loves my le creuset cast iron dutch oven and how it cooks but it's too heavy for her (she's looking for a 6 qt). She also has an induction cooktop which cast iron works wonderfully on.

My challenge this Christmas is to find her a cast iron alternative dutch oven that works on her induction cooktop. I don't want to use a disc so the Emile Henry line is likely out of the question. Ideally, the dutch oven is enameled as well.

Can anyone recommend products for me to look at? Cost is not a factor.

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  1. Check out the Revol Revolution line, but their biggest one is less than 5qt I believe.

    2 Replies
    1. re: cutipie721

      I checked - the largest they have is just under 4 qt. But I love the look and tech. Might get one for myself one day. I'm at a loss.

      1. re: manhattan01

        I am pretty sure this one is 4.75qt, but it's oval
        http://www.amazon.com/Revolution-6423...

        If she braises elongated items often, the oval shape may even work in her favor.

    2. Hi, manhattan:

      Well, since cost isn't a factor, there's this: http://www.kitchen-universe.com/de-Bu...

      Aloha,
      Kaleo

      1. <my mom loves my le creuset cast iron dutch oven and how it cooks but it's too heavy for her >

        <Ideally, the dutch oven is enameled as well.>

        So you want the cookware to be enameled, but not enameled cast iron due to the weight, right? If so, why not enameled steel then? Three examples:

        http://www.amazon.com/Chantal-Enamel-...

        http://www.amazon.com/Imusa-C20666-10...

        http://www.amazon.com/Le-Creuset-Enam...

        Just to give you an idea: a 5.5 quart Le Creuset cast iron oven is 11-12 pounds, whereas a 6 quart Chantal enameled steel pot is 9 pounds, and the Imusa 4.5 quart is less than 2 pound (very thin).

        Now, I must warn you that that steel actually has the same density as cast iron. The only reason that a steel enameled Dutch Oven is lighter is that steel cookware are usually made thinner, and I assume you know what a thinner Dutch Oven means, so I won't spell it out here.

        An All Clad Dutch Oven would be slightly lighter, and induction ready, but it won't be enameled.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          manhattan,

          If you don't want enameled steel, then you probably need to tell us what is more important to you. Thus far, you have asked for (1) lighter than Le Cresuet enameled cast iron, (2) induction compatible, and (3) enameled. I assume the first two are must. If you are willing to look outside of enameled cookware, than I will suggest you to look at the multi-ply cookware like All Clad which has a steel layer induction compatibility, an aluminum core to distribute heat and to reduce weight.

          All Clad 5.5 quart triply dutch oven: 7 pound:

          http://www.amazon.com/All-Clad-Stainl...

          Tramontina 6 quart disc bottom Dutch Oven - 5.2 pound:

          http://www.amazon.com/Tramontina-Gour...

          Again, the Le Cresuet 5.5 quart oven is 11-12 pound, so we are talking about something about half the weight, and cook just as well if not better, and definitely easier to handle for an elderly -- dishwasher safe, not fragile...etc.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Thanks Chemical, I've been reading a few posts elsewhere and most seem to say that the All Clad SS dutch is the way to go. Both my Mom and I are big fans for ATK and Cooks Illustrated and they gave very positive reviews for the All Clad as a cast iron alternative.

            But yes, for my Mom, Induction ready and lighter than traditional cast iron are a must. The enameled factor - not a big deal though through my own experience, it is a little easier to clean than stainless steel.

            I'll lend her my stainless steel cuisinart pot - it's not great - the evenness of the heating is poor but it might be good enough for her to see if she likes cooking in it before I pull the trigger on the all clad or tramontina.

            1. re: manhattan01

              <I'll lend her my stainless steel cuisinart pot - it's not great - the evenness of the heating is poor but it might be good enough for her to see if she likes cooking in it before I pull the trigger on the all clad or tramontina.>

              Makes perfect sense -- see if the stainless steel surface is something she can work with. Some love it, but some don't. As for cutiepie's suggestion for Revol Revolution cookware, it is a good interesting product, but it is only slightly lighter.

        2. There are many pieces of cast iron cookware available now at Overstock.com which might do. For example:

          http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/...

          1. My recommendation would be a Tramontina Lyon pot, thick (8mm) straight-gauge aluminum (as opposed to cast aluminum) coated in nonstick, with steel inserts in the base so that it works on induction. Very responsive and even heating on all heat sources, including induction (for which it was designed).

            It's not lightweight, but a lot lighter than the equivalent size of cast iron, enameled or no. There is a 5qt Dutch oven that weighs 8 lb., and a 7qt that weighs 10.5 lb. Equivalent sizes of Le Creuset would be at least 11 and 15 lb. The Lyon pots are also usable because of their tight seal for stovetop baking.

            Here's a link to the 5qt: http://www.chefscatalog.com/product/2...

            10 Replies
            1. re: ellabee

              I was searching and wasn't able to find this for the original poster. What a great suggestion. I hope the original poster will take a close look at this. It perfectly fits his written requirements:

              1) Lighter -- 8 lb instead of 12 lb
              2) Induction ready
              3) Very thick aluminum for great heat distribution and heat retention
              4) Beautiful exterior coating -- rival enameled surface
              5) Overall very beautiful design

              The nonstick coating will be something the original poster has to decide. Some people just do not like nonstick coating, but it is by far the easiest cooking surface to hand wash.

              Have you had a chance to use one? Tramontina keeps surprising me with interesting products. I was looking at Nordic Pro Cast (Cast Aluminum) Dutch Oven. Very beautiful looking, thick but light, beautiful, with a nonstick interior surface -- however, the Nordic ones are NOT induction ready:

              http://www.hsn.com/cnt/search/searchr...

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                I have the 4 qt Dutch oven, which has been the ideal vessel for cooking carnitas and sugary reductions (ketchup, pumpkin butter) on the induction unit.

                I've never been a big fan of nonstick, in fact have never had a nonstick pan until this one, but love this pan. Very well made; it was a line brought out in 2011 for Tramontina's 100th anniversary, and has been almost invisible in the US market. It was first introduced on Home Shopping Network as a stovetop baker; then, months later, it appeared in the Chef's Catalog online offerings. Other that, I haven't seen it sold anywhere else.

                Between the nonstick surface and the even heat of the thick aluminum, it's significantly less easy to scorch things in the Lyon pans. Not inexpensive, but a great and versatile piece for anyone with an induction cooktop and needing lighter weight than cast iron.

                1. re: ellabee

                  Personally, I don't like non stick cookware either but mainly because I've never had good success with them. I find them very difficult to produce good fond. Also, I've found on my two non stick skillets I own, the non stick coating is deteriorating (likely due to my mishandling). How durable would you say the tramontina is? Thanks again.

                  1. re: manhattan01

                    <How durable would you say the tramontina is?>

                    Great question.

                    Ellabee. How long have you had the Tramontina Lyon Oven? 1 Year? Yes, you are right. It is not inexpensive, but it looks very well. One last question: Which color did you get? :)

                    1. re: manhattan01

                      The 4-qt Lyon Dutch oven (garnet color) has been here for about ten months. I don't use it for saute-then-braise kinds of dishes where deglazing a fond is important to the result, but mostly for the thick reductions and carnitas I mentioned earlier, and quite a few soups. Well, now that I think of it I've also used it for some lamb and pork stews, which I used to religiously brown and deglaze, but have moved to the let-meat-pieces-sit-oiled-with-aromatics-then-cook-on-medium-5-minutes method that I learned from (I think) a Melissa Clark post.

                      I use wooden and plastic/nylon utensils only with the non-stick Lyon; no wear so far. However, it's fair to say it would be much more heavily used if I didn't already have a great old enameled cast iron Copco 4-qt DO that I use when making stews in the oven. And if the Tramontina pan weren't here, I would have gotten by with the Copco for induction carnitas and ketchup etc. -- with the disadvantages of two pounds of additional weight, somewhat more difficult cleaning, and a bit more sticking and scorching. FWIW, I only use wooden and plastic/nylon utensils with enameled cast iron, too.

                      The Lyon doesn't go in the dishwasher here, but neither do any of the other cooking pots (small DW, plus personal preference and habit -- a lot of my cookware is not DW safe).

                      1. re: ellabee

                        Thanks so much for the info again ellabee (and everyone else). My mom will be test driving the stainless steel DO this weekend - if it's a pass, I'll get her the All-clad d5 dutch. I was reading somewhere the site that sells irregular all-clad cookware and it seems like a decent deal - especially with 20% off all items not on special. that would put the DO just under $180.

                        If it fails her test...well...I guess she'll keep the thin cast iron DO she picked up at a hardware store. And I'll be out of christmas ideas.

                        1. re: manhattan01

                          <I guess she'll keep the thin cast iron DO she picked up at a hardware store>

                          There you go. If she likes it, she likes it. Is it enameled or bare cast iron? Good luck

                          1. re: manhattan01

                            One of the nice features of induction is that you can set it for uber-low so a thin pot probably won't be a problem.

                        2. re: manhattan01

                          I've got Tramontina ns skillets, the Pro line from Walmart. They've got the best ns coating I've ever seen, and I use a metal spatula on them. Don't own a plastic spatula, I hate them. Despite scratches, they're still decent after 3 yrs. Not as good as new, and I'm getting ready to ditch them now (been using my Calphalon tri-ply SS for eggs lately and just bought a de Buyer FB crepe pan to try) but if you're looking for ns cookware, it's very good. Treat it better than I did and it should last a long time.

                    2. re: ellabee

                      Wow...that is really nice looking too. That's pretty much everything on my checklist - and I'll probably get this if my Mom is ok with the non-stick coating.

                      And they ship to Canada...that's a bonus. :)

                    3. You've gotten a lot of good suggestions here. Let me add that I just the other day got the catalog for CHEFS, website CHEFScatalog.com . Many cookware companies are now carrying lines that are "induction-capable. To site a few that have DO/stockpots in the size you're interested in:

                      o Sol Thermolon Ceramic Nonstick
                      o All-Clad d5 brushed stainless steel
                      o All-Clad stainless steel with copper core
                      o All-Clad (regular) stainless steel
                      o Cuisinart tri-ply green gourmet nonstick cookware
                      o Cuisinart MultiClad Pro cookware

                      That is what I found in their paper catalog. Maybe they'll have even more online. Happy shopping.