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Simply Calphalon Enamel Cast Dutch Oven vs Lodge, Tramontina, LC???

Ok so I am new...and new to dutch ovens for that matter. I am looking to expand my cooking to braising, soups, chili...which much of I do in stockpots now except braising of course. I just got my first LC in a smaller 3 1/2 qt for christmas. And I need to get a bigger one to do my soups and chili...I make much more then a 3 1/2 can handle! So my quest is for a 7+ qt one. If money was no object I would do the staub...that is an easy one! However I cant swing 250 - 300 for an enameled dutch oven! Of the bargin enameled dutch ovens for starters I want to stick with the round shape for it is ideal for stove...which will make up most of my use. Interior is a goofy one for many complain about the white staining...this is why I like the staub but it is out of my price. The only bargin Dutch Oven that has a black interior enamel finish is the Calphalon. I cant find any reviews on it nor its place of manufacturing. I also considered the tramontina and the lodge both however are white interiors. Both are very well liked. So if anyone knows how this dutch oven stacks up...I am all ears. I love the look and design of the calphalon for it looks to copy the staub very closely. I am looking for chipping, staining (might not be an issue being black).

I have to add one thing to this...does the staining on the white interior prevent it from performing or does it cause the dutch oven to lack something...other than appearance...seem so many crab and complain about the interior staining...the cleaning of it and so on. I dont want to bleach it...I dont like putting bleach on any cooking surface, it might just be me but I just dont like the idea.

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  1. I prefer to think of the interior staining on my Le Crueset pieces as a patina reflective of its age and long and loving use. The cooking performance is not impaired by this patina.

    1. Welcome Soapbox.

      <However I cant swing 250 - 300 for an enameled dutch oven! >

      If this is not a time-sensitive issue, you can always wait to see for Home Goods or TJ Maxx to sell the discount Staub for about half the price.

      Both the Lodge Color (Lodge enameled) and Tramontina enameled have better reviews than Simply Calphalon Enamel.

      The staining on the white interior does not prevent it from performing. However, (this is an important part) the excessive cleaning does. A lot of new users tried to bring the enameled back to pure white, which can be done, including using bleach, but repeatedly doing so actually harm the enameled somewhat. I am speaking from my own experience. I had two Lodge Color Dutch Ovens.

      Now, there is another kind of Dutch Oven if you are not against Teflon nonstick, and they look very attractive to me. They are the aluminum Dutch Ovens. They are much lighter, and they conduct heat very well too.

      http://www.amazon.com/Nordic-Ware-Tra...

      http://www.chefscatalog.com/product/2...

      <And I need to get a bigger one to do my soups and chili>

      At the end, Dutch Ovens will work for soups and chili, but a typical stock pot will also work too. Something to consider.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Thanks but I am trying to avoid non-stick as a whole...too much swirling controversy with it, same with Aluminum. You mentioned something about the calphalon reviews...I have found one actually review...and it was a buyers review. I believe these are very new. I have seen a ton of reviews on the calph anodized but not the cast iron enameled. If you have any links....that actually have reviews and not just ratings I would love to see them.

        1. re: soapboxpreacher

          I see. You are talking about a set of calphalon enameled cast iron cookware. I was thinking about an older version which has been at least 5 years:

          http://www.amazon.com/Calphalon-Ename...

          I don't have any review for the Calphalon Simply Enameled Cast Iron.

      2. Our local Costco is offering a "made in France" dark interior Dutch oven in 8 qt. for around $80.00.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Cam14

          Ill be heading over tonight to see.

          1. re: Cam14

            Ok...actually got out there at lunch...it is an 8 qt oval...need a round. It wasnt too bad either.

          2. I have the Tramontina one, and it works great. Comes with high recommendations from Cooks Illustrated too, a great, affordable version of the Le Creuset. This is the link to the one I have: http://www.sears.com/tramontina-usa-i...

            1. I agree with the idea of finding a bargain on Le Creuset or Staub. There's extensive discussion elsewhere on the board about how best to utilize Le Creuset outlets. eBay is another option.

              I don't mind paying retail for LC as I expect it to last a lifetime and I want to get the color I really want each time (so far I have 4 pieces).

              As I've mentioned elsewhere, the release on the new LC interior enamel is excellent. So far I have no staining, and it is not due to meticulous maintenance. It just comes clean with very little trouble.

              2 Replies
              1. re: foiegras

                How long ago did they release this new interior? Oh and how would I know if my new 3 1/4 has it? Let me know.

                I have a TJ Maxx and Home Goods around here so I could look there but isnt that stuff not up to quality specs? More over it could chip easier and so on.

                I wouldnt get one of these off eBay. I havent found any significant deals there and as of late eBay has not been much of a saving as it use to be.

                1. re: soapboxpreacher

                  couple years ago? First it was exclusive to W-S. They changed the handles at the same time, you'd be able to tell by that. Other LC threads have all the details.