Author Topic: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?  (Read 3415 times)

Trifele

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Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« on: January 17, 2017, 07:27:08 AM »
So I cook large meals on the weekend for leftovers during the week.  I use either the crockpot, an oven roasting pan, or my large stove-top soup pot.  I have been reading on various threads about how superior cast-iron Dutch ovens are for stews, soups, roasts, etc.  These are the things I make all the time, so I am seriously interested in trying out an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven.  But they are expensive.   

It appears that Le Creuset makes Dutch ovens that get rave reviews.  They retail for $300 plus.  I have been searching Craig's List for months looking for a used one, and have posted a wanted ad there. No luck.  Not only no Le Creusets, but no used Dutch ovens at all.  What gives?

What would you recommend?  Is a Dutch oven worth it in terms of superior food outcomes, or should I stick with what I have -- the crockpot, the roaster, and the soup pot?  If I bite the bullet and buy a new Dutch oven, should it be Le Creuset or are there other less expensive brands that are just as good? 
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 08:11:34 AM by Trifele »

Another Reader

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Re: Dutch oven advice?
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2017, 07:39:58 AM »
Joshua Kennon wrote about these on his blog.  While he likes those and IIRC the Staub, he said the Lodge was a reasonable alternative.  It is made in China, however.  I picked one up at a Target closeout for $38 shortly after reading that article.  They should be available in 6 quart for under $60.  IMO, nothing beats a dutch oven for browning and simmering stews and pot roasts.  The enamel finish does not need seasoning and makes clean-up easier.

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2017, 07:45:33 AM »

acroy

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2017, 08:00:31 AM »
No it is not worth it... It is for the Consumer Sucka who believes the marketing ;)

We got a big one for free. It is heavy. Crazy heavy, throw your back out heavy. DW and I cook large meals as well, and could not figure out the benefit vs. crockpot or just the huge cheap Pyrex baking dishes. We gave it away. Good luck!
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Trifele

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2017, 08:10:10 AM »
Excellent!  Thanks!  So literally no difference between an expensive brand like Le Creuset and the Lodge or Staub?  No difference in how long the enamel coating lasts? Forgive the ignorant questions.  I have literally never cooked with one.

I do have a plain (non enameled) Lodge cast iron skillet that has seen daily use for the past 10 years.  Love it.     

lthenderson

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2017, 08:29:33 AM »
I have a whole set of Le Creuset and they definitely hold up much better than Lodge or other brands. But they are expensive new. I bought all but one of mine at estate auctions for under $20 each.

KCM5

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2017, 08:42:39 AM »
I have an enameled Dutch oven made by Cuisinart. It was probably $75.

It holds up fine. I don't have a Le Creuset to compare it to. But I haven't had any problems with it with at least weekly use for the last 10 years. I don't see it giving up the ghost any time soon. I love it, for the record. Great for stews, braising, etc. And I have a stock pot that is the same size but choose the dutch oven for everything but boiling pasta, even if it is heavier therefor a bit more work to clean. But I'm not frail or anything. Cleaning it is no big deal.

GizmoTX

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2017, 08:46:02 AM »
We have 2 Le Crueset dutch ovens, 5 qt & 8 qt, & love them. They are heavy & expensive, but do an excellent job with holding temperature, being easy to clean, & look good. They work on all cooktops including induction. There are Le Crueset outlet stores that can save money.

An acceptable lower cost alternative is Tramontina, sold at Sam's Clubs.

renata

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2017, 09:18:12 AM »
Another vote for Lodge enamel dutch oven. Have had mine for several years now and works and looks great!

Pigeon

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2017, 09:46:40 AM »
I've got a knock-off that I bought at Aldi's for about $30 several years ago.  I like it. I use it for pot roasts and stews and stuff does come out better than if I make it in my Revereware dutch oven or the crockpot.  It's held up well. I doubt Aldi sells them now, but I have seen similar pieces sold many places at far less than Le Creuset, and I'll bet they are fine.

pbkmaine

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2017, 10:08:21 AM »
I use the Revereware stainless steel with aluminum core dutch oven that my mother used and her mother before her. You can get one for $5 at a thrift store.

mskyle

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2017, 10:14:20 AM »
We have a Cuisinart and some other knockoff brand from TJ Maxx... they're definitely not as nice as the Le Creuset. But they are more than adequate for my purposes.

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2017, 01:08:45 PM »
I use the Revereware stainless steel with aluminum core dutch oven that my mother used and her mother before her. You can get one for $5 at a thrift store.

They don't do well in the oven.  The Bakelite handles are damaged at high temperatiues. The point of the Dutch oven is that it acts like an oven.  It surrounds the food with heat even on the stove top.  Revereware does not do that.  I have my grandmother's seasoned cast iron Dutch oven, but the enamel ones stick less and are easier to clean.

Winter's Tale

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2017, 01:13:40 PM »
I have a 4 qt (maybe 5 qt) LeCreuset that I received as a gift and a 6 qt Lodge that I bought myself.  The Lodge was about $50 whereas the comparable size in LeCreuset would have been about $250 or more.  I have been quite happy with the Lodge. 

brute

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2017, 01:23:52 PM »
Le Creuset is my guilty pleasure. They're so pretty.

They also hold up to regular use better than any other dutch oven I've found. I do most of my cooking in a 5qt edition. They're easily worth twice what a knock off brand is. Here's my suggestion.

Find one at a yard sale that is cheap, even if there are some scratches/stains/chips. Call Le Creuset customer service. Tell them you received it as a gift a while back and that it hasn't held up to regular use. Then send it in to them for a free replacement. Easy.


Trifele

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2017, 05:52:45 PM »
Ha ha Brute!   That is a clever move, but I couldn't do it. I'm lawful good, lol.

Thank you all for the advice!  I really appreciate it.  I have not had any luck finding a used one, so I am going to buy a Lodge.  If I learn how to cook with it and really love it, there may be a Le Creuset in my future. :)

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2017, 06:34:22 PM »
Part of using them properly is having a really low setting for simmer.  Boiling toughens meat.  Getting the temperature right makes the Dutch oven work like it should.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2017, 07:15:08 PM »
I have a large oval Le Creuset and a small round Cuisinart.  The Creuset was a gift from spendy stepmother.  She lugged three of them home from the outlet mall in Florida to Southern Ontario.  She swears that between the extra weight luggage charge and tipping a bellhop and the exchange rate she should have just bought them in Ontario.  But man does food taste amazing made in them.  Much quicker than using the crock pot.  The Cuisinart works almost as well - the only difference is that the inside out it is browning.  It probably cost a 1/10 of the Creuset (70%off at Canadian Tire).  I use them equally just depending on the size of the recipe.  Same taste results. 
I love that I can use it on the stove top and then into the oven and then out onto the garage floor for cooling and overnight storage (the Canadian version of the extra fridge)
You have to be careful doing the dishes.  My friend was washing up after a particularly wine soaked dinner and dropped the lid of his Creuset.  He broke his foot and the lid and some of the floor tiles and dented a cupboard door.  He doesn't have anything nice to say about them.  They are a bit of a workout to wash and put away but I just leave them to soak overnight.
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gimp

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2017, 10:12:44 PM »
I think your standard lodge cast iron dutch oven, for about $19, is a good buy. I'd spend more ... if I was buying a larger one. From lodge.

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2017, 04:39:28 AM »
I think your standard lodge cast iron dutch oven, for about $19, is a good buy. I'd spend more ... if I was buying a larger one. From lodge.

The enamel one does not require seasoning and is much easier to clean.  It won't scratch the delicate glass cooktops that are popular today.  I have my grandmother's cast iron dutch oven from the 1920's but prefer the enamel for practicality.  For the same size, it's $60 vs $35.

lizzzi

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2017, 05:39:22 AM »
I had a Le Creuset 6 qt. Dutch oven that I bought for around $100 new and used for almost 20 years before it got a chip in it. I went to buy a new one, and they were $300--yeah, right--no way. I bought a Lodge enameled 6 qt. Dutch oven on 'Zon Prime for I think $38. It functions exactly the same, and I am very happy with it. For me, a 6 qt. enameled cast iron Dutch oven is a kitchen essential. I use it all the time for chili, pot roast, and soups.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2017, 08:26:56 AM »
+1 for Lodge. Cast iron anything is almost always superior.

We also have the stovetop grill/griddle (goes over two burners), which my wife made fun of me for purchasing when we were in grad school. It's our most-used kitchen item, and works well enough that I feel no need to buy a grill.

We avoided induction (glass-top) stovetops when we bought our range. Just went with the standard electric coil type (which was also cheaper). No regrets.
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stashgrower

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2017, 04:06:41 AM »
I hesitated over the price, but really enjoy cooking with Le Creuset. I stalked their dutch ovens on the second-hand market. One of mine gets almost daily use, so it counts as  worthwhile. In fact, I just made dinner with it! I can't offer a comparison with other brands.

actionjackson

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2017, 01:07:42 PM »
Wife and I have a couple of them. She purchased them with points through a vendor awards program at her previous job.

They are great, but make sure you have done your research on how to use/care for them. I had no idea, and I was cooking with one of them on high heat and the enamel ended up coming off after a couple of months. That's a big x-nay apparently, they're only for low heat cooking.

Miss Piggy

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2017, 03:33:43 PM »
I own far more than my fair share of Le Creuset, Staub, and Lodge cast iron cookware, plus a couple of no-name-brand items from JCP and Sam's Club. I love them all, but I really "baby" them. I'm super-careful when using and washing them, and I can honestly say that I have never had a scratch or chip on any of them, even the bargain brands. I use them for a variety of purposes several times a week.

Just to reiterate a couple of points that have been made already:
  • The enameled cast iron does not need to be seasoned and is super-easy to wash.
  • Never, never, never use anything more than medium heat. Use low heat if possible. These things are not meant for fast cooking.

If you have stores like TJ Maxx, Homegoods, and/or Marshalls near you, check them out. I always see factory seconds there.

gimp

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2017, 04:45:34 PM »
I think your standard lodge cast iron dutch oven, for about $19, is a good buy. I'd spend more ... if I was buying a larger one. From lodge.

The enamel one does not require seasoning and is much easier to clean.  It won't scratch the delicate glass cooktops that are popular today.  I have my grandmother's cast iron dutch oven from the 1920's but prefer the enamel for practicality.  For the same size, it's $60 vs $35.

I season my cast iron pans; I've never bothered to season my dutch ovens.

Cleaning them has never been a problem either. Sponge. Water. Bit of soap. After cleaning, boil the water off.

Jet9

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2017, 08:24:46 PM »
My Staub Dutch oven easily falls into the category of things I can't live without. I've had it for about 15 years and use it almost daily. The Lodge options may be fine - never tried them - but if you ask me, Staub is worth the price.

Cranky

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2017, 02:55:42 PM »
Le Creuset is very, very nice, but not, for me, $300 worth of nice.

I have the equivalent dutch oven that aldis sells from time to time, and I like it. It's very heavy, though. I also have a big Le Creuset baking dish which I bought, brand new, at the thrift store for $8. I also like it a lot, and it is also very, very heavy. They would make excellent murder weapons, or could be part of an exercise program. Other than that, I can't say that I find them life changing.

If you are 25yo, and buy that pan now and use it for 50 years, it's a good investment. But I don't think it will revolutionize your cooking. Sorry.

lizzzi

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2017, 03:57:22 PM »
Actually, I'm in a minimally-furnished apartment at the moment without my Lodge enameled Dutch oven, and I'm going crazy without it. So much that I can't make...grrrr. Aldi didn't have theirs up here in the NY store--I know the one that others have mentioned, and would buy it if they had it. Just looking even at Amazon, the prices vary so much that it's crazy. Shop very carefully--it is ridiculously easy to spend more than you need to, even for the Lodge. Watch the prices for a while before you pull the trigger.

SilveradoBojangles

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #29 on: January 21, 2017, 04:05:54 PM »
The reason you have found no used Le Creusets on craigslist is because they last for a really long time. They work very well, and are pretty enough to use when serving, but one can easily live without one. If you decide you really want a Le Creuset, check out an outlet store where you can buy factory seconds (usually, there is a tiny paint splatter that makes them un-sellable at full price). We have gotten 2 there over the years (a dutch oven and a braiser) and I would say that they were worth it because those are the two pans we use the most (like, almost daily), followed by cast iron pans. If you cook a lot, and are willing to spend money on things that will last 30 years and are pretty, then go for it. If not, then there is no need to get one.

If you like cast iron and the lifestyle it entails (seasoning, not letting it rust, etc), I would suggest a lodge dutch oven. It will last for years and is very affordable.

I have heard (from my sister, who sells cookware) that Staub is also good if you want an enameled pot at a lower price.



Trifele

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #30 on: January 21, 2017, 05:17:07 PM »
Thanks everyone!  Great batch of advice here.  :)

Well Respected Man

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2017, 09:02:07 PM »
-1 on easy to clean. Whenever I make a batch of black beans in our Le Creuset, it darkens the enamel. We have a cleaning technique that involves hydrogen peroxide and maybe other stuff, but it's a pain.

-1 on heat at medium or below. Sometimes you need to sauté some onions or other  veggies at medium high when you're making a sauce. What kind of $300 pot can't handle high heat?

I find our cast iron pans much easier to clean, so I would go with the 1920's cast iron Dutch oven, and season it. The enamel really doesn't add anything.
 

lizzzi

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #32 on: January 21, 2017, 09:44:54 PM »
My le Creuset darkened a little over the years, but I always found that the enameled cast iron was much easier to clean than my un-enamaled Lodge 10" cast iron skillet. And I would use high heat when, for example, sautéing the onions and peppers for chili, or the onions, celery, carrots when starting a pot of soup. It never hurt the le Creuset, and it doesn't seem to be hurting the Lodge enameled Dutch oven.

LearnTo

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #33 on: January 22, 2017, 11:32:19 PM »
I own far more than my fair share of Le Creuset, Staub, and Lodge cast iron cookware, plus a couple of no-name-brand items from JCP and Sam's Club. I love them all, but I really "baby" them. I'm super-careful when using and washing them, and I can honestly say that I have never had a scratch or chip on any of them, even the bargain brands. I use them for a variety of purposes several times a week.

Just to reiterate a couple of points that have been made already:
  • The enameled cast iron does not need to be seasoned and is super-easy to wash.
  • Never, never, never use anything more than medium heat. Use low heat if possible. These things are not meant for fast cooking.

If you have stores like TJ Maxx, Homegoods, and/or Marshalls near you, check them out. I always see factory seconds there.

Yes, I made the mistake of browning things on med high in my Le Creuset and got a brown residue that I could NOT get off the enamel, then it started burning every time and was unusable.
They did replace it but it was a pain.

Goldielocks

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #34 on: January 23, 2017, 01:58:24 AM »
Too heavy.  I am always worried about setting it to hard on my glass top stove, too.

The only thing it does better than my heavy aluminum, 25 year old "Dutch oven" or Pyrex or covered metal roaster, or 14" covered, oven safe skillet is cooking overnight bread. 

Bread loves the hot heavy dishware to get the crust. 

That is the only thing my enamelled pot is now used for. Thank goodness I got a kitchen aid version from Canadian tire on sale.

OutlierinMA

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #35 on: January 24, 2017, 01:05:24 PM »
+1 on essential piece of kitchen equipment. I use mine every week to bake my sourdough bread, and it makes a beautiful crust that can't be replicated without it. I also use it for stews, for slow cooking things in the oven, just about everything.

I have a Le Creuset that I received as a gift, but if I were buying one for myself I'd buy a Lodge. SweetHome did a review of dutch ovens and recommended Lodge.

MicroRN

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #36 on: January 25, 2017, 08:53:17 AM »
On the one hand, I love all my Le Creuset.  However, they were also all gifts, so I don't know for sure if I'd pay what they cost.  My mom has given me a Dutch oven, stew pot, skillet, and saucepan.  She has some that's over 40 years old that she still uses all the time.  Even so, she looks at places like TJ Maxx to find deals on it and rarely pays retail.   

The dutch oven gets used almost every day and is my go-to pot.  It's just the right size for everything I do.  On weekends, I might use it 2-3 times a day.  I use it for soups, stews, spaghetti sauce, rice, oatmeal, hardboiled eggs, steaming vegetables, making jam, and anything else I can think of.  The stew pot is good for bread and larger quantities of stews than the dutch oven will handle, and it's pretty frequent that I will use both when prepping dinner.  The skillet also gets used regularly for eggs, though I prefer my 12" All-Clad skillet for most things.  The saucepan rarely gets used.

Acorns

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #37 on: January 25, 2017, 05:57:33 PM »
I love my one Le Creuset and use it multiple times a week! I have an off brand enameled cast iron dutch oven and after a few years of use the handle on the pot top has gotten loose (yes, I have tightened it but it gets loose after a few uses). I have cooked high temp, low temp, stove top, oven with it and it holds up great. I bought it at about 40% off retail at TJ Maxx, you don't get to pick a pretty color like if you buy it from Williams-Sonoma, but it functions just as well. Mine is only a couple years old and the enamel still looks pretty bright, but I have a friend who's LC pots are about 15 years old with heavy use and the enamel is a bit darkened, I think that is normal.

ice1717

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #38 on: January 29, 2017, 07:05:43 PM »
Staub and Le Creuset are on par in terms of reputation, quality, and price point.  I prefer Staub for a couple of reasons:

1. Staub has a black enamel interior that does not stain like the white enamel of the Le Creuset.
2. The underside of the Staub lid has dimples for more even distribution or the condensed steam from the lid while cooking.

I have had a Calphalon dutch oven (Similar to Lodge price point) for about 5 years and it is nice, but the white enamel discolored quickly and developed a spiderweb like appearance over the years.  It is also more difficult to clean than the Staub and has chipped the exterior enamel in a few places.  My Staub will last to be handed down to my 18 month old's kids, but the Calphalon might not make it another 10 years.  I would need to be a much better cook to tell the difference in the quality of food the two produce.

Cranky

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #39 on: January 30, 2017, 05:04:33 AM »
Are people really very troubled by stained pans? I have some pans that are 50+ years old, and they aren't all that beautiful, but it hadn't occurred to me that this was a problem.

Lookilu

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #40 on: January 31, 2017, 02:42:50 PM »
Le Creuset pots are also my guilty culinary pleasure. I prefer LC's light interior so I can really tell how dark some of my food--like caramel, browned butter, or roux--actually is during the cooking process. TJMaxx, Ross, HomeGoods, Tuesday Morning are all good places to find pots for about half price, and the LC Outlets can have some great bargains, relatively speaking. http://www.lecreuset.com/outlets

travelbug

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #41 on: February 05, 2017, 03:58:57 AM »
I have a Le Crueset dutch oven and two cast iron fry pans. I love them and would cull almost anything else in my kitchen before getting rid of these.

I bought them all on deep sale in the after Christmas sales and the fry pans cost less than $100AUD each (I loved the first one so much I hunted and found another one the following year which is great as I can cook two items at once). The dutch oven was also on clearance for under $150AUD.

They are amazing at retaining an even heat and cook anything from crepes, stews and meat to perfection.

chaskavitch

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #42 on: February 12, 2017, 09:46:07 AM »
Excellent!  Thanks!  So literally no difference between an expensive brand like Le Creuset and the Lodge or Staub?  No difference in how long the enamel coating lasts? Forgive the ignorant questions.  I have literally never cooked with one.

I do have a plain (non enameled) Lodge cast iron skillet that has seen daily use for the past 10 years.  Love it.   

I only have a Lodge enameled dutch oven, so I can't compare the actual differences, but from what I've found online, the enameled cookware from Le Creuset has one more layer, which is supposed to make it last longer.  Also, I believe the warranty is more comprehensive, and the product isn't made in China like Lodge enameled cast iron.  Like I said, though, I went with Lodge, because I wasn't finding any secondhand Le Creuset, reviews indicated that if treated well they perform about the same, and I couldn't justify spending multiple hundreds of dollars on a pot...

Meowmalade

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #43 on: February 12, 2017, 11:13:51 AM »
We have a Lodge (4 quart), a Staub (2.5 quart), and a Le Creuset 1 quart saucepan (CL find!).  The Lodge is nice for the price but has chipped a bit.  I LOVE the Staub and I think the quality is the best-- I love the black interior (the Le Creuset is extremely stained from making chai) and the glazes are rich and have a feeling of depth.

If you're looking for a lifetime purchase, I'd look for a Staub!  Here's a 7 quart factory second that's still available if you're looking for a huge one, or they also have some smaller clearance ones (availability only shows when you try to put it in cart): http://www.zwillingonline.com/11092818.html
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Miss Piggy

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #44 on: February 13, 2017, 04:53:04 PM »
If you're looking for a lifetime purchase, I'd look for a Staub!  Here's a 7 quart factory second that's still available if you're looking for a huge one, or they also have some smaller clearance ones (availability only shows when you try to put it in cart): http://www.zwillingonline.com/11092818.html

I have ordered a couple of their factory seconds, and I have yet to figure out what made them seconds.

Telecaster

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #45 on: February 13, 2017, 05:07:20 PM »
Are people really very troubled by stained pans? I have some pans that are 50+ years old, and they aren't all that beautiful, but it hadn't occurred to me that this was a problem.

I kind of dig the staining.  It comes from honest use, it means the pan has a story.   

The wife and I have a pretty nice set of Le Creuset, which we got as wedding gifts.  They get tons of use, we love 'em.  I don't know if they are better than the comparable Lodge enamel though.  I suspect not much.   I've heard (see Acorns post above) that TJ Maxx sometimes has factory seconds for big discounts.  I've also heard they can be picked up at thrift shops.  I know a guy who got a pretty nice collection that way. 


Drole

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #46 on: February 20, 2017, 10:27:03 AM »
Tuesday Morning carries these regularly.  Or similar brand

vdub6127

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #47 on: February 26, 2017, 11:42:44 AM »
Another +1 for Lodge. Can't say I've cooked in a Le Creuset, but getting the Lodge was pretty revolutionary to my cooking and I can't imagine it getting much better than that.

That being said, I'm always on the lookout for Le Creuset at yard sales and thrift stores. If you get lucky, you can always "upgrade" that way and give the lodge away to a buddy.

rollacorolla

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #48 on: February 27, 2017, 12:57:42 PM »
I have several Le Creuset and Lodge enameled dutch ovens and use them both a lot.  Cooking performance is identical, they both can get a nice browned fond when searing/sauteeing and de-glaze easily.  However, the enamel on the lodge did wear thin, almost all the way through on the bottom, after 5 years or so (I still use it).  I have 10+ yr old Le creuset that still look fine.  I did have one le creuset that cracked and flaked off the enamel when I left it on the fire to preheat with nothing in it for too long.

IMO, the Le Creuset will last longer, but is very much not Mustachian at 10x the cost.  You can find them discounted at stores like Marshalls or Big Lots at times.  I would not pay full price for one and would just be happy with replacing a lodge every 5-10 years.  Or just skip enameled and get seasoned cast-iron and learn how to take care of it.

Side topic.  If soups, stews, braises, etc. are your thing, you should get an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker.  Those dishes will cook much faster and turn out better with a pressure cooker.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2017, 12:59:21 PM by rollacorolla »

Anon in Alaska

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Re: Dutch oven advice needed -- Is Le Creuset worth it?
« Reply #49 on: March 02, 2017, 06:03:23 AM »
Keep an eye open for garage sales in ritzy neighborhoods. I paid $4.25 used for my LeCrousset 15 years ago because it had a big scratch on the bottom. Fifteen years later it's still fine, but it looks as if it might rust out in another 50 years....