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Is my new 9.5 qt Le Creuset oval dutch oven too big?

rararachel Nov 22, 2013 08:17 AM

Yesterday I was a very lucky birthday girl and received a 9.5 qt oval Le Creuset dutch oven. I am currently using a vintage 4.5 round Le Creuset (marked with E for sizing, old school style) and it's just too small for my big batches of stew, roasts and other braises.

I'm a huge fan of Molly Steves All About Braising and she recommends using a dutch oven no bigger than necessary. Something about the air circulation. So I'm wondering if I should trade mine in for a 6.75 qt instead, but maybe I'm crazy and should count my blessings here.

I live in a 2 person household but often cook for parties of 8-10. Any experiences with these size people care to share?

  1. c oliver Nov 22, 2013 08:20 AM

    Keep it! Better too big most of the time than too small sometimes. IMneverHO :) And maybe try to find a cheaper Lodge for somewhere in between.

    1. r
      rasputina Nov 22, 2013 09:41 AM

      I'd keep it. My biggest LC is the 7.25 round and I wish I'd gotten the 9.

      1. kaleokahu Nov 22, 2013 12:08 PM

        Hi, rararachel:

        If you often cook for 8-10, this would be a good size. The 6.75 would be better for smaller parties or leftovers for 2. For 2, IMO the 5.5 is best.


        1. Chemicalkinetics Nov 22, 2013 02:31 PM

          To be honest, you know the answer better than any one here because only you know how much you usually cook.

          For me 9.5 quart is way too big.

          1. c
            Cam14 Nov 22, 2013 03:47 PM

            If you can lift it comfortably, even when full, keep it. You can always lower the ceiling with a piece of parchment paper. You'll need it for those larger parties and can watch for a buy on a 6.75 later.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Cam14
              foiegras Nov 24, 2013 05:41 PM

              And you'll have another birthday next year ;)

            2. m
              mikie Nov 23, 2013 09:17 PM

              We have a 9 qt. round and it's amazing how often it gets used. We use the 5.5 the most and the 2.75 the least, but that 9 gets it's fare share of use. Probably going to see a double batch of french onion on Sunday.

              3 Replies
              1. re: mikie
                c oliver Nov 24, 2013 07:45 AM

                Yep. Even though there's just two of us, the portions we cook when using a DO are big. If I'm doing a pork shoulder it will be for a dinner party and then multiple leftovers. I don't think the size of the family has anything to do with it.

                1. re: c oliver
                  mikie Nov 24, 2013 04:24 PM

                  That double batch is cooling while two bowls are in the oven right now. There's two of us as well, but it takes about 2-3 hours to make the onion soup, although a good portion of that is just simmering, it still needs attention. I'm not going to make a fresh batch for just two bowls. It freezes and reheats very well. I'm always making double batches of things that serve 4, just because it's so easy to reheat. I think I made 80 little meat balls the last time I made Italian Weading soup. I think you are absolutely right, it's not the size of the family, but what and how you cook.

                  1. re: mikie
                    c oliver Nov 24, 2013 04:56 PM

                    When I make Hazan's Bolognese sauce I make a 4X or 5X batch, freeze in two cup portions and I'm good for a number of months.

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