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Apr 22, 2014 04:39 AM

New stainless line from Le Creuset - looks just like their cast iron!

This is a mirror image - actually it really is as it's polished stainless - of their iconic cast iron design. So cute except for the price.

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  1. When I first saw this stuff yesterday, I thought they'd simply redone the lids on their old line of SS, because the handles are the same.

    But it's not just a new lid design. They've moved manufacturing from China to Belgium. The new line also sports a "proprietary steel blend" that "resists pitting and scorching to maintain its luster over time".

    The old pans are still available on Amazon.

    2 Replies
    1. I think with this line they might have a better chance of taking on All-Clad. They have a lot of features the AC line doesn't have like better steel and pouring spouts. If they can get the price down some they have a chance, as their name is just as prestigious as AC and these look very nice and are distinctive. It says in the photo above that they are made in Portugal.

      21 Replies
      1. re: blondelle

        What is the specification of the "better steel" LC uses.

        Also my All-Clad has the "precision-pour rim" LC has copied.

        1. re: pabboy

          <What is the specification of the "better steel" LC uses.>

          No specifications, just as All-Clad gives no specifications. Nor do most cookware makers.

          < Also my All-Clad has the "precision-pour rim" LC has copied.>

          Copied from whom? Rolled rims are the norm for clad cookware. All-Clad tri-ply, Cuisinart French Classic and Tramontina stand out because of their flat rims.

          1. re: DuffyH

            My question was posed to blondelle who said LC is better than AC because of better steel and pouring spout.

            1. re: pabboy

              Oh, crap, I thought you were responding to me. That'll teach me to look at the RE: before I reply. Apologies.

              1. re: pabboy

                I have no idea why it's better except that someone posted here that it resisted pitting and scorching better. I know nothing about this except I got a notice of it in my in box this morning. I just liked the look of it. I didn't think any stainless could compete with cast iron for slow steady heat.

                  1. re: blondelle

                    What in the world is "slow steady heat" anyways? Place any cookware, All-Clad, Le Creuset, Lodge, aluminum, porcelain, pottery, into your oven at 175F and you have "slow steady heat". Unless Le Creuset comes with magical mystical pixie dust.... of course that's another story.

                    1. re: pabboy

                      Thee's an LC outlet store in Orlando. I'd venture to guess that more than a few of those pots have been sprinkled with pixie dust. :-)

                      1. re: DuffyH

                        I don't care what they sprinkle them with as long as the price is right :-)!

                1. re: DuffyH

                  Hi, Duffy:

                  I'm also puzzled why LC brags about the performance of this tri-ply, by saying it "mimicks" the performance of their cast iron. If the core is of decent thickness, it should out-perform CI. Where it might not is the ever-vaunted heat retention, but in no case which I can understand would this tri-ply line mimick anything besides some other clad.

                  By the way, I'm not sure I buy the whole basting theory for the rings stamped into the covers. On *none* of the LC CI I've ever owned have there been rings on the *inside* of the covers. Moreover, the rings on this new style of SS cover are convex from the outside, and so probably concave from the inside. I've never seen a "self-basting" feature on any pan cover which is concave. Frankly, I think the rings are there solely as a way to brand the pans as LC, although if the steel is thin they may theoretically make the covers a little less likely to bend.

                  Note that LC is also now hucking "surgical grade" SS for its linings as being "safe". Were they acquired by Saladmaster?


                  1. re: kaleokahu

                    Happy Tuesday, K!

                    That brag puzzled me, too. I was supposing (hoping?) they were talking about the lid, not the pot itself. Because if CI is so good it wants mimicking, then why not just buy LC ECI in the first place?

                    I do believe you're right about the rings, they're likely just there for brand ID, and serve no function whatsoever.

                    When I saw that "surgical" claim, I actually winced. Seriously, LC? Seriously? This is what you're reduced to? You couldn't just stick with your "proprietary blend"? You've gone and jumped the shark.

                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      Hi Kaleo,

                      "mimicks" the performance of their cast iron . . .

                      It's marketing my friend, plain and simple. LC has done an excellent job of making their cast iron products extremely popular with home cooks, why, certianly not because of the even heat distribution, but because they have marketed the product as high quality and publisized the up sides. Now, how can they make a SS ply product and say the oposite. You will not see an advertisement from LC stating that unlike their ECI products the new less expensive SSply cookware has better thermal response and more even heating across the cooking surface. That's not good marketing. They have convinced many customers that LC ECI is the best cooking implement known to exist and now this new product "mimicks" that best in the world performance will intice someone, many someones they hope, to purchase their new product. I mean after all, how many LC pieces can one person collect? (retorical question, no answer expected).

                      My question is where do I go to hold one and where can I find the prices? I still need that 2qt. saucier, Mrs. mikie didn't buy the copper idea and the K is still her territory, I'm just a guest cook. ;)

                      1. re: mikie

                        Self basting debunked by CHOW

                        Maybe LC realized:
                        1) where multi-ply clad excels, LC really sucks
                        2) Lodge and other CI not only perform better but cost 75% less.
                        3) LC is surviving on aesthetics alone.

                        1. re: pabboy

                          but there was no meat in the pan to reabsorb the moisture. I wouldn't consider that debunked.

                          1. re: pabboy

                            LC certainly has its place. I wouldn't want to do a long slow braise with acidic (or even wet) ingredients in my bare CI Lodge DO. I also wouldn't use clad for applications which require good heat retention.

                            Saying it survives on aesthetics alone is rather close-minded.

                            1. re: Sirrith

                              Maybe you should season your Lodge so it's not "bare CL" otherwise why have a "bare CL Lodge DO"?

                              1. re: Sirrith

                                Good morning, Sirrith,

                                <I also wouldn't use clad for applications which require good heat retention.>

                                In CI's test of French fries, they found that the 2 SS DOs had the fastest recovery and the Tramontina SS pots had the least temp drop. I'd always bought into the whole 'cast iron for fried foods' meme before, but after seeing that, I'm not at all convinced.

                                I'd like to see more testing done to answer the question of which is more critical - not losing heat, or quick recovery. I suspect it's going to be the latter, since there's no way to prevent the former.

                                <Saying it survives on aesthetics alone is rather close-minded.>

                                Agree 100%. LC ECI are excellent pots, and flat claims that uncoated CI is better ignores reality.

                            2. re: mikie

                              Hi, mikie:

                              Well, yes, it may be shrewd marketing to those who have been pre-hoodwinked by LC into believing that their ECI is "the best cooking implement known to exist". And I certainly don't expect LC to suggest that their ECI doesn't measure up to their clad.

                              Still, as this board exemplifies, there is a broad category of experienced LC users who accept that LC ECI in general is perhaps not the best performer for stovetop use. IMO, blowing smoke up *their* dresses as with this new ad copy will serve only to further undermine their already-tenuous credibility.

                              But they may just not care. I mean, they've shamelessly prevaricated about how "even-heating" their ECI is for decades now, and nevermind that the claim is demonstrably false.

                              I guess it's a matter of perspective whether one can find irony in the "mimicks" claim. I just find it tragicomical that they've boxed themselves in so well they must describe new clad line performing like their mediocre CI.

                              As to where to handle it, I don't know, but I'm sure it will be showing up in the kitchen megachains soon, and in the LC outlets soon thereafter.


                                1. re: blondelle

                                  Thanks, still looking for that 2 qt saucier, it appears the LC only comes in 3.5 qt, a bit larger than I think I need.

                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                I think probably because they know people don't want low grade and there has been chatter over the last year or so about all the low grade stainless going around. In everything not just cook wear. Fishing gear, automotive parts etc. It used to be stainless was 18/10 stainless and great. But now it scratches, bends, corrodes

                        2. I don't like the ribbed lids with the knob handle - they are replicating something from the ECI line that really does not make any sense in SS - it feels frivolous and overly stylized to me.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: JTPhilly

                            I didn't know but I just read last week. The reason for those rings (or sometimes raised bumps) you see inside pot lids is a self bast feature. Causes the condensation to hit them and fall on whatevers below instead of running off to edge of lid and pot.

                            I think they look awesome. Ill take JTphillys set :-)

                          2. Have not seen this stuff yet. A good pot is one with no holes. After that, buy what you like. LC is fun. Genuinely dumb people will buy whole matched sets, then blame the cookware for their lack of true cooking knowledge.

                            This stuff is very pleasing to they eye, and if you like it, buy it. High end cook ware will not make you a cook, but the point is to have fun.

                            Ignore those who can tell you all about thermodynamics and metallurgy but don't know how to adapt to utensils at hand.

                            Great looking stuff!

                            28 Replies
                            1. re: law_doc89

                              Yes, by all means only pay attention to those whose knowledge is limited to trite aphorisms learned at the strip mall evening cooking school.

                              1. re: law_doc89

                                <A good pot is one with no holes>

                                how are you wrong? Oh, there are so many ways. Yes, good pots will have no holes. However, not all pots without holes are good.

                                1. re: law_doc89

                                  < Genuinely dumb people will buy whole matched sets>

                                  I won't say it is because they are dumb. Sometime people don't care. We only have so much attention span. We cannot pay attention to everything. I do like to pay attention to things like cookware, but I don't pay much attention when I shop for a cell phone.

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                    Got it, short attention span not "dumb."

                                    Buy what you like, what is fun, what gives pleasure.

                                    Expensive stuff is no substitute for skill, nor knowledge, nor is following "recipes."

                                    If you know how to cook, you will be able to adapt to anything. You, also, will appreciate good quality If you are illiterate, you will not be able to read this.

                                    1. re: law_doc89

                                      law_doc89, you're contradicting yourself while insulting others. I hope it's unintentional. Your say "Buy what you like..." and then deride people who choose cookware sets.
                                      You can't have it both ways.

                                      But what I really want to tell you is that sometimes sets make perfect sense, a fact often overlooked (and not just by you) here on Chow. If a set has 3 pans I want, and the set cost is less than the open stock cost for those 3 pans, it's a smart purchase. Even if the other pans are ones I'd never use, it still makes sense.

                                      As one who recently had to buy almost all new pans, I can tell you that more and more makers are putting together useful sets with wide appeal. They're moving away from tiny pans and adding ones that never used to be sold in sets, like sauté pans and braisers. It's a whole new world out there.

                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                        No contradiction at all. Buy what you like, but don't think it will make you any better of a cook than you are!

                                        And, how is that insulting?

                                        Sets can always makes "sense", but sets mean that one may have one style of cookware that leaves no versatility.

                                        1. re: law_doc89

                                          <Sets can always makes "sense", but sets mean that one may have one style of cookware that leaves no versatility.>

                                          What's not versatile about a batterie of stainless steel that includes frypans, saucepans, dutch ovens, and the like? You keep saying that good cooks will be able to adapt to anything. I contend that stainless steel, especially if it's got a thick base or core, hits the sweet spot for so many things that little or no adaptation is needed.

                                          Consider the 5-piece set of this new LC line. Saucepan, frypan and stockpot/DO in useful sizes. There's not much that can't be easily prepared in these pans.

                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                            Hi, Duffy:

                                            You're missing the point. Which is: If you know how to cook (defined as having the correct unstated "technique" and never using recipes), then you can transcend the laws of physics.

                                            The superior being who knows the secrets and eschews recipes actually has the power to dictate thermodyamics *to the pan*. For instance, this mystic mastery allows the knower to actually alter the specific heat capacity of cast iron to surpass that of aluminum:

                                            Student: "I didn't think any stainless could compete with cast iron for slow steady heat."

                                            Master: "[I]t can't." [Peals of thunder sound as nature submits]

                                            Seen in this light, sets (or any pan other than the Master's Singular Pan) are but limiting crutches of the novitiate. Until one can, for example, adapt to making stock in a crepe pan made of cardboard, he is genuinely dumb.

                                            We must now go forth, into the kitchens of the world, to preach the gospel that salvation is to be found for any pot sans holes. Eternally damned be those who walk in the path of sets or science!


                                            1. re: kaleokahu


                                              Ah, I begin to see the light. Thank you for lifting the veil from mine eyes. I see now that I was doubly blind, for I have studied not only science, but alas, set theory too. It is no wonder I could not see the way of the singular pot.

                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                Thanks K -

                                                Very accurate.

                                                You will indeed be invited to speak at my funeral.



                                                Distinguished Doctor of Perspicacity.

                                                1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                  Hi, Robert:

                                                  We could do the service in this style if you like:


                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                    Morgen K-

                                                    Nice, but I'm not sure about the setting. And the chap in the safety vest delivering the eulogy, doesn't have the dignity and grace becoming of a lackey.

                                                    Regarding the language: Do you have a link to Google translate please ?

                                                    I'm sure there's wisdom and prose here, somewhere.

                                      2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                        They could be inexperienced. I once bought a matched set when I was just starting out. Also, some people are freaked out by unmatchedness. I would call it more OCD, it's not related to a lack of intelligence.

                                        1. re: foiegras

                                          Well, I can understand that. Having a matching set does mean something. It is pleasing to the eyes. Afterall, we want matching flatware and dinnerware. Why not cookware, right?

                                          I think everyone at one point or another wanted a matching set of cookware. Some of us remaining so. Others decided that there are more important things.

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                            I do like the look of cookware that is similar in appearance, at least. Also, being value-minded, I always check out sets once I know what pots I want. I've got no aversion to getting what amounts to some free cookware.

                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                              Yeah, I particularly have suggested the Tramontina cookware set to others. Although many chowhounds are against cookware set, this really should be a circumstance decision. Yes, sometime cookware sets include pieces you will never use, but sometime that is not true. In the case of the Tramontina set, it is just so inexpensive as a start-out set ($130), and the pieces are useful.


                                            2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                              I'm extremely picky about my shoes matching ;) I like all 4 tires on my car to match, and I will admit I like cookware that matches to a point. That point is not that all my cookware matches, but that types of cookware match. My cast iron skillets are Griswald, my enameled cast iron is Staub (grenadine), new SS is Viking, knives are Wusthof. All the pieces were not bought as a set, but I like the uniformity. My grilling tools are Lamson Sharp, they don't match any other cooking tool, but in the catagory of grilling tools they are all the same. I figured if I liked the way the 6 qt Viking sauté cooked and handeled, I'd like the 3 qt as well, and I do.

                                              Different types of cookware serve different functions and I don't expect them to look the same or even similar for that matter. I just don't like a hodge podge of hardly anything, wild flowers maybe.

                                              1. re: mikie

                                                mikie, that makes absolute sense to me. I was nodding my head as I was reading. :-)

                                            3. re: foiegras

                                              Hi, foiegras: "They could be inexperienced. I once bought a matched set when I was just starting out."

                                              The Horror! Just kidding.

                                              I would daresay a large majority of all cooks in modern times started out using sets of cookware--their family's, what was gifted to them, and/or even what they bought after they had gained a lot of experience. I certainly did.

                                              I'd further wager that most professional chefs started cooking in pieces from a set. Although they might choose differently *now*, that change of heart does not make them (in the parlance of this thread) "genuinely dumb", inexperienced, or lacking in technique.

                                              What IS preposterous is the idea that a cook can leave the womb (or the weekend cooking school with a French name) fully formed and sage enough to scoff at others' progression in the culinary arts, uninformed and unaided by science.

                                              One reason many people look askance at sets is that their own experience is with set pieces that are less than great for general cooking. Sure, a $20 cast iron skillet is going to run circles around its Revereware equivalent at searing steaks, but if the race is run between that CI piece and say a Demeyere 5* Proline or a monolithic aluminum pan >4mm thick, don't bet the farm on CI. In fact, unless the race is between very small pans, single portions, and/or on an exceptionally even hob, the race won't even be close. To realize and espouse this--along with providing the empirical proof science can provide--is something to applaud, not deride.


                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                <One reason many people look askance at sets is that their own experience is with set pieces that are less than great for general cooking>

                                                Just so, K. Just so.

                                                <To realize and espouse this--along with providing the empirical proof science can provide--is something to applaud, not deride.>

                                                And this, too. Well said!


                                          2. re: law_doc89

                                            "A good pot is one with no holes."

                                            Therefore you must not be a good pot.

                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                              I know how to cook with any utensils and don't blame my tools.

                                              1. re: law_doc89

                                                That's nice. It sounds like you've left no room for improvement. Congratulations.

                                                Do you work on your cars with crescent wrenches and pliers?

                                            2. re: law_doc89

                                              <Ignore those who can tell you all about thermodynamics and metallurgy but don't know how to adapt to utensils at hand. >

                                              How about this: Learn about thermodynamics and metallurgy so you can buy the right tools, therefore no need to waste money then have to adapt?

                                              1. re: pabboy

                                                I recommend you see the movie "Jean la Florette."

                                              2. re: law_doc89

                                                "Ignore those who can tell you all about thermodynamics and metallurgy but don't know how to adapt to utensils at hand."
                                                Why would you assume that those who discuss thermodynamics and metallurgy would be any less able to adapt to different pots and pans than you? Seems to me they would actually have a leg up in this respect, assuming roughly equal cooking skill otherwise.

                                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                                  Because of what I read around here. you can have expensive tools and still not be able to do anything right, All of this gets off the point for the OP, which is still getting what you like is fine, But don't confuse tools with technique. People spend thousands, then condemn the stuff they bought, not knowing how to use it etc. These LC have style, and I can see where some will enjoy having them as decoration, I doubt there is much about them to differentiate from many other SS pots and pans.

                                                  1. re: law_doc89

                                                    "Because of what I read around here."
                                                    Examples please.

                                                    On one hand, you're arguing that cooking skill matters more to your final results than what cookware you have. This is true, assuming tools that are at least minimally adequate. Though even in this respect, it should be noted that great cooks the world over seem to find they get better results when they use great tools.

                                                    But you're also arguing that people only bother to understand the science behind their cookware because they're bad cooks in the first place. This is foolishness. Knowing how an engine works doesn't make you any worse at driving.

                                              3. Very pretty!

                                                Not for me though.I just buy stuff as I need it ( I have a LC 5.5 French Oven---it's great). I'd pick other pieces for SS.