Le Creuset is worth every penny and then some!

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Joined Oct 6, 2010
Not sure if there are many home cooks just learning to cook as I am, but if there are....you need to buy a Le Creuset dutch oven (edited to add: or at least some cast iron oven)  of some sort!

After having cooked with the Le Creuset 6 3/4 quart dutch oven my husband brought back from his work trip to Switzerland, I vowed never to cook with cheap cookware ever again.

I used to use the cheap non-stick type of cookware.  I couldn't brown meat properly on it, and things just didn't turn out very well in it.

When I cooked with Le Creuset the first time, I dubbed it my "magic pot" because everything turned out so beautifully in it.

Le Creuset is expensive and heavy to lift, but believe me, it's a must-have if you are a home cook and want great results.
 
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6,367
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Joined Feb 1, 2007
Nothing against Le Creuset---it's great stuff, albiet expensive. But the magic you're discovering comes from the fact it's made out of cast iron.

Enamaled cast iron does have some benefits. For some people it's easier to clean, for instance. And you can cook acidic products in it in ways that don't work with raw cast iron. But the fundemental benefits and advantages are coming from the cast iron, not from the coating.

One thing to beware of is confusing cost with materials. There are some very expensive cookware pieces made of other materials: stainless steel, for example, and copperware. You're problems with the non-stick stuff weren't because it's cheap, per se, but because at base it's thin aluminum with a non-stick coating. Most of the cheap non-stick, I believe, is still Teflon based. But there are newer coatings as well. The base question, though, isn't the coating but the metal it's bonded to.

Keep in mind this is coming from somebody who doesn't use non-stick pans at all. But fair is fair.
 
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Joined Oct 6, 2010
Thank you for your reply!  I think I'm in love with cast iron, then, LOL!  I wish I would have learned this stuff years ago.  I do remember taking home economics when I was 13, and I learned to make a white sauce for instance and learned about comparing prices at the grocery store, but I don't remember ever being taught about different cookware and why different materials produced different results.  And I think it's something important to learn in cooking!    
 
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Joined Feb 1, 2007
If you do a search you'll find lots of discussions we've had about cookware. That would be a good place to start.

One suggestion I will make: No matter what the cookware you are using, lower the heat. I'd say 90% of the time, when there's a problem, it's because the flame was too high.

There are exceptions, to be sure. For instance, when searing a steak you want the pan scorching hot. But, in general, medium is about as hot as you need to go.
 
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Joined Oct 6, 2010
Thank you so much for your reply!  I make sure I don't use more than medium-high heat ever with the LC and usually only medium to low.  I don't want to risk damaging the LC in any way, it is very precious to me and I know how expensive it is!  When I want to sear a steak I use my old Griswold frying pan that I found several years ago at a flea market.  It was a bit rusty and beat up but I took it home and gave it some TLC and got it nice and seasoned up and it sure works great.  It seems to be basically non-stick, with a good seasoning on it. 

I've been starting to explore the forums and I am just blown away by how much good information is here!  I love this forum!     
 
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Joined Aug 26, 2010
When you buy LC, buy it at the outlet, in the back of the store, where the "imperfect" ones are.  You can get great bargains when they have a tiny chip or a glasing imperfection. 
 
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Joined Feb 1, 2007
And keep in mind that LC is very particular about its products. I've examined many of those "seconds" and in only one case was able to find an imperfection. So, whatever LC's standards are, they are exponentially higher than mine.

More often than not, what you find are not imperfect items but, rather, pieces that are being discontinued for one reason or another. Maybe they're changing the color, or the design of that pot, or making room for a new shipment, or whatever. None of which should bother you in the least.

The problem of cost remains. Even the LC seconds are expensive; much higher that the next most expensive brand. The trade-off is durability. We were given a set of LC cookware when we got married more than 40 years ago, and are still using it. The other brands haven't been around long enough to know if they'll last of not. For instance, I have an 8-quart oval piece from Calphalon that's about a year old. Will my grandkids be using it? Only time will tell.
 
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Joined Feb 1, 2007
Well, having kids that have kids would also be a requirement


Yeah, yeah, yeah. Rub it in.

My eldest says, quote: It's not on my agenda!  No kidding; those were his exact words.

And the younger one? Well, who knows with those two. You don't want to ask.
 
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Joined Apr 6, 2010
i haven't tried LC dutch ovens, but i do have a staub dutch oven, which works amazingly well. i guess there's a reason to pay the premium and buy quality in certain things. though sur la table has just come out with their own line of cast-iron cookware that looks very interesting. it's made in china, not france, but the quality and heft seems amazingly good. and the price is half that of the LC stuff. worth checking out.
 
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Joined Jan 5, 2007
As I think I've said on various threads regarding Le Creuset.  I have LOTS of the stuff!  A large collection of saucepans, casserole dishes, heart shaped dishes, lasagne, grill pans, omelette and frying pans.  Many of which I've owned for over 30 years.  I think it is probably the BEST way to casserole stuff!
 
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Joined Apr 16, 2006
Regardless of brands, you have put your finger on something that I wish I'd taken seriously years before I did: that line in so many recipes - "in a heavy-bottomed skillet..."
 

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