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Is my Le Creuset too large?

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I just bought my first piece- a 9qt round. It's a tight squeeze on my stove but fine.

I've seen some people mention that you should never have it less than half full. Is that correct and why? We are a family of five and I find that my 7 qt crock pot is a bit small, especially when doubling some recipes, so I went for the 9 qt. I don't plan to fill it full each time though... it will probably generally be about 1/3 full. Is that ok? Am I somehow damaging the pot if I don't fill it to 1/2 full or more?

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  1. Hi, mainlobster:

    No, don't worry, you're not going to damage the pot by underfilling it. It just may not be the ideal size for certain preparations (e.g., braises) that don't mostly fill it, that's all.

    The 9Q LC oven is about the largest I'd recommend for stovetop use, though, if you want even browning of things.

    Aloha,
    Kaleo

    1. Cook whatever amount you want in it. There is no "rule", or issues, with cooking the amount you desire.

      By the way...we even own a LC 15qt goose pot (and we have actually used it).

      3 Replies
      1. re: JayL

        Hi, Jay:

        I attended a dinner last week where the hostess braised two good-sized chickens in that goose pot, and it was still too big.

        Aloha,
        Kaleo

        1. re: kaleokahu

          It is a BIG mofo! LoL

          Gotta love the thing, though! haha

          1. re: kaleokahu

            The goose pot is good for three chickens. OR for a fair amount of meatball soup.

             
        2. I would usually fill a pan at least half way. A thinner layer of food will probably cook more quickly, especially in something that distributes the heat well. But as long as you don't boil the pan dry, and you keep an eye on cooking time, you will not damage your pan or your food, as far as I know.

          Breaking the rules a little is OK if you make adjustments.

          1. My first Le Creuset was a 9 quart round. It's still my favorite and most used of my 5 pieces. I usually fill it at least half way even though there are just 2 of us and visiting daughters. Love leftovers.

            1. hi mainlobster101,

              I think you should be fine with under filling your pot. The only thing I might recommend is that when braising for a long period of time, put a piece of parchment paper directly over the food so that you don't lose too much moisture. This is more for the sanctity of your finished dish than the well being of your pot. The pot will be just fine. Your food might end up dry.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sherrib

                Hi, sherrib: "Your food might end up dry."

                This is precisely the problem, even if you don't simmer the prep dry. There isn't enough depth of braising liquor for any but the thinnest things, even if you use your parchment trick (which is great BTW). The best analogy I can make is springboard diving into a kiddie pool.

                Aloha,
                Kaleo