Author Topic: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?  (Read 42954 times)

zataks

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #50 on: June 27, 2014, 02:53:55 PM »
No, when we're talking about enameled cast iron dutch ovens we're talking about ones where the inside is enameled too. In the case of Le Creuset it's a beige shiny enamel; in the case of Staub it's a black matte enamel, but in both cases (as well as for the cheaper brands such as Lodge, Martha Stewart, etc.) it's always enamel and never bare cast iron.

I would count a bare cast iron dutch oven (e.g. the "regular" Lodge kind you might take camping) as an entirely different category than an enamel one.

Gotcha.  The Sur la Table braiser I have is only enameled on the outside: ((http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO-1112721/Sur+La+Table+Red+Braiser+)

MicroRN

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #51 on: June 27, 2014, 03:21:57 PM »
No, when we're talking about enameled cast iron dutch ovens we're talking about ones where the inside is enameled too. In the case of Le Creuset it's a beige shiny enamel; in the case of Staub it's a black matte enamel, but in both cases (as well as for the cheaper brands such as Lodge, Martha Stewart, etc.) it's always enamel and never bare cast iron.

I would count a bare cast iron dutch oven (e.g. the "regular" Lodge kind you might take camping) as an entirely different category than an enamel one.

Gotcha.  The Sur la Table braiser I have is only enameled on the outside: ((http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO-1112721/Sur+La+Table+Red+Braiser+)

According to the description, that braiser has a "black matte enamel interior,"  which is the same as the Le Creuset skillets.  The pots have a cream interior enamel. 

zataks

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #52 on: June 27, 2014, 03:28:37 PM »
According to the description, that braiser has a "black matte enamel interior,"  which is the same as the Le Creuset skillets.  The pots have a cream interior enamel.

I see that, looks and feel like iron to me though.  =\ 
I DO like that cream colored enamel of the LC though--makes it easy to see stuff in a dark sink.

TomTX

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #53 on: June 27, 2014, 07:30:27 PM »
The Costco stuff is made in France. Hmmm

My thoughts/suspicions, exactly.  If they have both brands, compare weight too.  I've been pretty pleased with Kirkland stuff throughout my purchasing history at Costco.  The return policy (although I don't think I've ever used it) is apparently phenomenal too, just in case.

The Kirkland enameled dutch oven we looked at a couple of years ago was NOT Le Creuset. Not even close.

We have friends who cook with a Le Creuset dutch oven all the time, and have been using it for at least 40 years, probably longer and it still looks and works great.

bonjourliz

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #54 on: June 27, 2014, 08:06:04 PM »
LC replaced my cracked piece (which I had bought from their outlet, and did not have a receipt) for free.  With a better version - the replacement came with a.lid, while the one I bought did not.

Daleth

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #55 on: June 28, 2014, 01:32:54 PM »
I have been drooling over the Le Creuset pans and bakeware, I was wondering any of you have it and if it's worth the money, is this kind of a buy it for life type of deal.

I don't really need it, but I could replace a couple of pans in my rotation, I think one os aluminum, not encased and I have read bad stuff about that.

I am also looking for some really good knives for the kitchen, I just want the 3 sizes we would use the most, I don't want a clunky butcher block and other sizes we won't use.

Thanks

Here's my "yes but" answer: Yes BUT only if you get the pans at eBay, Craigslist or garage sales. Many of the pieces currently sold in stores are made in China, which I have to assume means lower quality than the ones hand-made in France (and it's not like they lowered the prices to make up the difference). So the new ones I consider overpriced for their quality. The old ones, they can be worth it if you find a good deal.

Daleth

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #56 on: June 28, 2014, 01:34:44 PM »
My enameled Lodge Dutch oven is about 5 years old and looks like it will last a long time. 

Having had a chance to compare side by side, I actually liked the looks of Staub enameled ovens over Le Creuset.  They come with the self-basting lids, and the fit and finish seemed nicer, with a tigheter fit to the lid and more beautiful enamel finish.  Price is about the same, so if I ever decide to splash out for something like that, it will probably be the Staub oval 5.5 quart.

I have a Staub Dutch oven. It's great. Made in France, not China. I haven't had the chance to compare its functionality to a Le Creuset or anything else, but it is great, though I tormented myself for a little while about how much I'd spent on it.

garth

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #57 on: June 28, 2014, 04:05:05 PM »
We received two LC dutch ovens when we got married. Love them. Also got a wicked set of pots and pans, 4 or 5 nice knives, and some stoneware baking dishes. 10/10, would get married again.

Now, the LC pate terrine...yeah, we probably didn't need that.

fxsts12

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #58 on: June 28, 2014, 08:15:46 PM »
Picked up a Guy Fiery 7 at dutch oven for $50 @ bon ton around black Friday with shipping included. Save your money on the dutch oven, since it is not used nearly as much as everything else. For knives buy a used wustof or hankels and have it professionally sharpened.  ATK rated the victorinox 8" highly and it is worth buying new about $35.

zataks

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #59 on: June 28, 2014, 08:20:27 PM »
Picked up a Guy Fiery 7 at dutch oven for $50 @ bon ton around black Friday with shipping included. Save your money on the dutch oven, since it is not used nearly as much as everything else. For knives buy a used wustof or hankels and have it professionally sharpened.  ATK rated the victorinox 8" highly and it is worth buying new about $35.

It'll be a cold day in my kitchen if one of my knives is being sharpened in someone else's hands.  Get quality tools and learn how to sharpen knives yourself; it's not difficult.

rocklebock

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #60 on: June 28, 2014, 09:46:24 PM »
Another plug for Victorinox knives. Can't be beat for the price.

I got a couple Le Creuset casserole dishes as a gift, and they're nice. I'd buy more if it was at a garage sale or something. Otherwise I could never bring myself to spend that kind of money, especially on something like a Dutch oven that I'd use maybe once a month.

dragoncar

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #61 on: June 29, 2014, 12:07:16 AM »
Another plug for Victorinox knives. Can't be beat for the price.

I got a couple Le Creuset casserole dishes as a gift, and they're nice. I'd buy more if it was at a garage sale or something. Otherwise I could never bring myself to spend that kind of money, especially on something like a Dutch oven that I'd use maybe once a month.

I feel like you guys are stalking me, because I just cut myself on a new Victorinox knife, while cutting veggies to put in my new Le Creuset dutch oven, both gifts from different people.

Clarion

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #62 on: June 30, 2014, 03:23:47 AM »
I thought of your post when I was reading this article.  It should answer your question about the cookware!!

http://renewablewealth.com/articles/min-max-your-life/


Basenji

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #63 on: April 03, 2018, 07:20:33 AM »
Cooks also does some good equipment testing. https://www.cooksillustrated.com/equipment_reviews [Free trial membership can at least get you to the knife and cookware sections. Or check out your library collections online.]

I agree with everyone, what you buy depends on what you need to do. Cookware are tools. I have a LC dutch oven purchased more than 10 years ago and I use it constantly for dutch oven-type applications (braising and soups, stews, and pasta sauces). My workhorse. But I would only buy LC for the dutch oven and certainly it is worth trying to find it used. Put feelers out with friends and family and on Nextdoor or Freecycle-type places. We also have yard sale purchased good quality cast iron frying pans for high heat searing (steaks) and pancakes, etc. We have cheap large pots for boiling water, canning, etc.

My knives are a combo of a cheap paring knife, cheap serrated bread slicer, cheap large hacking/sawing knife for hard things like acorn squash/pumpkin/frozen shit I need to hack at, and a high-end, persnickety, carbon steel traditional Japanese vegetable knife for the endless vegetable chopping I do. Buy the tool for the job that makes sense and makes your work easy, safe, and efficient. Don't buy for looks.

I notice you said "bakeware" too. Wha are you baking? Same deal with bakeware as other tools, depends on what you want to do. If you are doing bread, a basic metal loaf pan is fine. For baking sourdoughs, a cast iron dutch oven is great. Enameled is not needed.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2018, 07:27:40 AM by Basenji »

brute

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #64 on: April 03, 2018, 08:05:45 AM »
As a note, if you Le Creuset dutch oven ever does chip, they'll send you a new one for free. That's what got me to pull the trigger on a 5 qt 10 years ago. It was chipped when my mother was looking at it and dropped it on the floor. (I'll never know why she needed to pick it up, nice one mom. But I forgive you).

5 minute call to customer service, and a new one was on it's way.

Imma

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #65 on: April 03, 2018, 08:37:04 AM »
I inherited a Le Creuset Dutch oven from my great aunt. After years and years of use, it's still in perfect condition. I've passed it on to my brother now, I bought a larger size last year. Not a LC, for budget reasons, but a plain cast iron one (Villeroy & Boch, I think it was Ä30-40). I'm happy with the cheaper Dutch oven, but there are a few downsides. It's heavier than the LC (and that one wasn't exactly light-weight). It's black on the inside. I like the light enamel coating on the inside that the LC has, it's easier to see the food. The enamel on LC products seems to be of a better than average quality too: I have never seen chipped LC. I have other enamel coated pots and they chip easily. LC products carry a lifelong warranty in case they do chip.

The only LC I have right now is the kettle. I'm really happy with it. I was tired of electric kettles breaking all the time and also tired of stainless steel kettles that get dirty easily. My LC kettle was about Ä50, looks extremely pretty in the kitchen and is very easy to clean. I'm fairly sure I will still use it 10 or 20 years from now.

shelbyautumn

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #66 on: April 03, 2018, 01:58:42 PM »
I was also given a Dutch Oven for my wedding. My Uncle found it at Tuesday Morning - so if you're set on it, look at discount stores. I like having it, but I wouldn't spend the money to replace it if something happened to it.

nereo

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #67 on: April 03, 2018, 03:11:15 PM »
how on earth did this thread get resurrected @Basenji three years later?

pbkmaine

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #68 on: April 03, 2018, 03:58:20 PM »
No, not even close to worth it.  The "performance" of the cookware isn't any better than what you'll get out of $20 goodwill cast iron.  It's all brand marketing.

If you're the type of person who thinks Gucci or D&G is worth it, you'll probably like Le Creuset cookware.  There's nothing wrong with it, other than the price.

I’m with sol. I have my mother’s RevereWare. I’m pretty sure she bought it in the 1940s. It looks great and cooks great. You can get RevereWare in thrift stores for $1 or $2 per pan.

dragoncar

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #69 on: April 03, 2018, 06:18:51 PM »
It was chipped when my mother was looking at it

wow, that's pretty crappy workmanship

Quote
and dropped it on the floor.

...oh

dragoncar

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #70 on: April 03, 2018, 06:19:43 PM »
MPP:

I really want to jump on this deal but I ALREADY HAVE ENOUGH PANS: https://www.costco.com/Tramontina-8-piece-Stainless-Steel-Tri-ply-Clad-Cookware-Set.product.100377996.html

Basenji

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #71 on: April 03, 2018, 08:21:06 PM »
how on earth did this thread get resurrected @Basenji three years later?

Oh my God, what have I done? So sorry. I don't know what happened!

nereo

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #72 on: April 04, 2018, 05:51:45 AM »
how on earth did this thread get resurrected @Basenji three years later?

Oh my God, what have I done? So sorry. I don't know what happened!

I'm not saying you did anything bad... it just fascinates me how obscure threads occasionally get resurrected years later with no clear reason why.

I thought your comments were spot-on, FWIW. What you 'need' depends on what you want to do in the kitchen, but you can certainly get equivilent performance at a fraction of the cost of retail-new Le Creuset (fair disclosure; we have several pieces and love them; one was a swap-meet find, two others were gifts).

Basenji

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #73 on: April 04, 2018, 07:34:54 AM »
how on earth did this thread get resurrected @Basenji three years later?

Oh my God, what have I done? So sorry. I don't know what happened!

I'm not saying you did anything bad... it just fascinates me how obscure threads occasionally get resurrected years later with no clear reason why.

I thought your comments were spot-on, FWIW. What you 'need' depends on what you want to do in the kitchen, but you can certainly get equivilent performance at a fraction of the cost of retail-new Le Creuset (fair disclosure; we have several pieces and love them; one was a swap-meet find, two others were gifts).

Thanks. I'm just gobsmacked that somehow I wandered into an old thread and just started typing away without looking at the date. Oh well. Heck, there are tons of old threads I think would be useful to resurrect. The same questions come up over and over...

Penelope Vandergast

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #74 on: April 04, 2018, 08:55:58 AM »
I found a Le Creuset dutch oven in the TJ Maxx clearance section in 1997. Used it weekly or more until 2018 when it just got too scratched. Loved it. I look for them all the time at yard sales, clearance areas in dept stores, etc. Staub is also excellent but wow, super expensive. I got a couple Staub pans that I use almost daily from Sierra Trading Post on sale with a coupon on top of it once which gave me alike 70% discount...alas STP soon excluded Staub from all promos after that!! (everything on the site sold out in a couple of days)

the_fixer

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #75 on: April 04, 2018, 09:07:47 AM »
My wife has 6 or 7 pieces that her mother gave her as gifts over the years.

Are they worth the additional cost over other cast iron cookware I would say no you are paying for status and brand name and you can get other products that will do the job at a fraction of the cost.

Do they work well = Yes
Are they pretty = Yes
Are the worth the premium = nope

We use ours fairly regularly due to having an induction cooktop and they work well but often I wish we had lighter cookware that stuff is heavy

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Holyoak

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #76 on: April 04, 2018, 09:33:27 AM »
I received a first quality, (non blem, non defect marked) 5 qt dutch oven, and the lid was severely warped, with a huge gap between the pot.  Returned it, and the one I got was better, but still not what I would consider proper, especially considering the price. 

This one had to have the lid knob replaced (free and fast), and it was never used in an oven.  I loved using it nearly daily for everything, but the enamel on the bottom crazed, and became porous.  It was never used with steel utensils, put in a DW, or cleaned with anything other than dish soap by hand with a sponge.  The absolute best value I have ever seen is with the Crofton brand sold at ALDI.  They are SUPER nice, the QC seems very good, even proper lid fit.  They run about $30 when available, have a stainless steel knob, nubs under the lid, nice colors to choose from, look great and cook as well as any other enamel coated cast iron pot.








dragoncar

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #77 on: April 04, 2018, 02:46:02 PM »
I found a Le Creuset dutch oven in the TJ Maxx clearance section in 1997. Used it weekly or more until 2018 when it just got too scratched. Loved it. I look for them all the time at yard sales, clearance areas in dept stores, etc. Staub is also excellent but wow, super expensive. I got a couple Staub pans that I use almost daily from Sierra Trading Post on sale with a coupon on top of it once which gave me alike 70% discount...alas STP soon excluded Staub from all promos after that!! (everything on the site sold out in a couple of days)
If you shop at tj max fill this out right quick: http://www.tjxsettlement.com/

lunahsol

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #78 on: April 04, 2018, 06:27:22 PM »
Many people have answered and you have probably come to your conclusion, but I will just say . . .

I love my LC pieces.  I have a brazier and an oval dutch oven.  I use the brazier at least 4 times a week - and by use, I mean abuse.  I swear, everything that comes out of that pan tastes better than it would have otherwise.  If choosing just one piece, I would get the brazier.  I got it on sale at Home Goods - it has been worth every single penny.

I do not use the dutch oven as much, but it is still a fabulous, beautiful piece that will outlive me, for sure.   

Just Joe

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #79 on: April 05, 2018, 10:42:08 AM »
FWIW - Lodge cast iron is made in Tennessee. Just in case you feel motivated to buy something domestic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lodge_(company)

http://www.lodgemfg.com/story/lodges-2nd-foundry-now-up-running
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 10:47:15 AM by Just Joe »

obstinate

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #80 on: April 05, 2018, 10:45:40 AM »
I normally think that there is not so much value in the "luxury" brand. However, America's Test Kitchen and others have actually verified that there are material benefits to the Le Creuset stuff. https://www.americastestkitchen.com/articles/503-dutch-oven-shopping-guide

Awesomeness

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #81 on: April 05, 2018, 11:38:25 AM »
The Costco stuff is made in France. Hmmm

Iíve had this one for serveral years. Itís held up perfectly good, no chips and itís still easy to clean. I like it just fine. Think I paid about 50$ and it was even on sale. You canít go wrong in trying it because of their awesome return policy. However Iíve only seen it for sale in the fall, usually red and blue colors.   

You can find the fancy pants stuff at tjmaxx stores.  They do have really nice cookware.

kite

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #82 on: April 06, 2018, 06:46:01 PM »
My LC Dutch oven is my most prized kitchen tool.  Mine is 30 years old.  Still going strong. 
It doesn't look new. It looks like Julia Child bequeathed it to me.  I got it at an outlet. Sauce, soups, bread, carmelized onions, rice, hardcooked eggs get made in that thing every single week. I'd be watching the thrift stores and yardsales if I somehow lost the one I've got.

OtherJen

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #83 on: April 07, 2018, 08:49:02 PM »
The Costco stuff is made in France. Hmmm

Iíve had this one for serveral years. Itís held up perfectly good, no chips and itís still easy to clean. I like it just fine. Think I paid about 50$ and it was even on sale. You canít go wrong in trying it because of their awesome return policy. However Iíve only seen it for sale in the fall, usually red and blue colors.   

You can find the fancy pants stuff at tjmaxx stores.  They do have really nice cookware.

We have a Costco enameled cast iron Dutch oven. I think itís about 10 years old by now. Itís held up very well and is still one of our favorite pieces of cookware.

living small

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #84 on: April 08, 2018, 09:02:26 AM »
I once found and entire, 1970's flame orange set of le Creuset cookware in goodwill for $25. That was in 2005 and it was in great shape even used.

While my ex husband got that in the divorce, I have since purchased other Le creuset dutch ovens and I feel that they are worth it. They do last a lifetime and you can even send them to the company to get them re-enameled ( not exactly cheap, but resourceful).

I am a hardcore budgeter, thrift shopper, and saver, and there a few things that I will spend good money on. High quality stuff that lasts.

 Because I cook at home a lot and want to cook inexpensive food in a high quality way, I would happily spend money on these pots and pans for their quality ( heavy duty, excellent heat distribution) and on Wustof knives. Good knives make a huge difference in enjoying vs not enjoying food prep IMHO. I think I have had my knives for almost 20 years ( I got those in the divorce, lol) and my current Le Creuset ware for over 10.

Babalu

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #85 on: April 08, 2018, 04:39:51 PM »
Definitely check TJ Maxx. I got my braiser for Christmas, and I know he paid a fraction of the normal price. You may have to compromise and get a color that doesn't coordinate with your kitchen.