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  1. divalasvegas

    Le Creuset -- is it worth it?

    Thanks @lindag, @Smithy, @Wolf, @SusieQ and @JoNorvelleWalker for your feedback. Yes @JoNorvelleWalker I think you're absolutely right. It had occurred to me that, some one hundred years ago, it would be the norm to use a wooden spoon. I was so swayed/confused by constantly seeing metal utensils used by chefs, especially whisks, which I much prefer over silicone ones; personally never found a silicone whisk worth a damn. Ahem, speaking of deals on QVC--yes, I'm one of those people--I kinda "accidentally" checked their website for Le Creuset and found this: https://www.qvc.com/Le-Creuset-275-qt-Cast-Iron-Dutch-Oven.product.K47064.html?sc=SRCH I am by no means as expert on good deals on LC as you all are. However, it seems to me that $99.00 ain't bad. The prices at other vendors online ranged from $129.00 to a whopping $249.00 at Macy's for the exact same piece. It occurred to me that this would be a great starting piece, although I really wanted to have at least a three quart to start with BUT 2.75 quarts is pretty close AND it's free shipping AND it's only six "easy" payments of $16.66 AND if I don't like it or change my mind, I have until the end of January 2019 to return it for a full refund, no questions asked AND the only color left is cerise/cherry red which I love and, and .............. Knees buckling, feeling weak, please stop me before I shop again! 😁
  2. divalasvegas

    Le Creuset -- is it worth it?

    This topic is right on time for me since I just haven't yet spent myself into the poor house on kitchen gear lately! Seriously though, I have long been tempted to purchase an LC vessel; actually three: one each of a three, four and, five quart Dutch oven, however....... Whenever I see a good "deal" on one at, for instance, QVC, during the presentation the vendor always steers potential customers away from using metal utensils and towards silicone ones and also states that LC is manufactured exactly same way it was from the beginning. I have watched chefs use metal utensils for years without scratching the interior which always leaves me wondering if there are substantial differences between the recent manufacturing/quality control of Le Creuset and what had been produced decades ago. Do any of you have both very old pieces as well as later iterations? If so, do you notice any differences in quality/durability between them, especially when using metal utensils? As several of you have stayed upthread, there are cheaper enameled cast iron pieces to be had which you believe work just as well at a cheaper cost. While I still might purchase a piece or two of LC, I am suspicious as to whether the latest products may have taken a few shortcuts in production for the sake of the almighty dollar. Thanks.
  3. Thanks @Smithy. I think that I am going to add just enough water to come up to the level of the trivet/steamer rack that came with the IP, place the sweet potatoes on that, set it for 30 minutes and see what happens. I will definitely post back on the results. Right now, the collards are on and at least they smell good!
  4. Thanks again @Shelby my IP "Yoda!." I specifically wanted to do the collards this way to cut the cooking time and the sweet potatoes since people online rave about how easy they are to peel. I usually boil them and, for some reason, the skins always seem to come off in thin strips or small pieces, a real PITA.
  5. Thanks @Smithy. Yep, I have the 6 quart. Really appreciate your help
  6. Uh oh, just one more thing; well probably more than one. I plan on using about a quart to a quart of the ham hock liquid -- ham hocks are boiling right now. Anyway, does this sound like too much liquid? I am guessing that I have about three pounds, maybe a little more of collards. They were sold by the bunch, not the pound, so I am making a rough guess. Also, I plan on cooking my sweet potatoes on high pressure for my sweet potato pies; have about four pounds of those. None of the instructions online are very specific about how much water to use, just that you need to only add enough water after placing the potatoes in the steamer insert that came with the IP and make sure the water doesn't touch the potatoes. Does that sound right? Thanks again to anyone who can provide suggestions.
  7. Good morning and thank you @Shelby. Heh heh, I am not into massaging my greens either. If any massaging is going on in this house, it's gonna be on me!
  8. As Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, I think I'll be doing my collard greens and ham hocks in the IP. I've found a couple of recipes that sound pretty good, but all seem to involve the use of chicken stock at the beginning of the process. Well there never has been and never will be a drop of chicken stock near or in my collards, so I plan to pre-cook the ham hock (or hocks)--haven't decided if I will be using one or two--and use the liquid from the hock(s) to start things off using the saute function, then pressure cook on high for about thirty minutes. Have any of you ever made collards or any kind of similar types of greens (kale, turnip greens, etc.) in the IP? If so, does thirty minutes sound like enough time? I usually end up cooking mine on the stove top for about three hours. They're perfectly tender, not mushy, at that point. I am really not into the current trend of barely cooked greens. I'll probably be doing this on Tuesday, Wednesday at the latest, along with making my turkey stock. I had considered even doing my cranberry relish in the IP but decided against it since it really doesn't take that long to make it on the stove and I tend to add the other ingredients--diced apples, orange juice, dark and golden raisins, etc.--in stages after the cranberries burst which can't be done using the pressure cooking function. Any tips or guidance will be greatly appreciated. Edited to change "tomorrow" to Tuesday since I belatedly realized it was already tomorrow when I posted! Sheez. Time flies..........
  9. Note to self: @rotuts new name is @rotuts-the-diabolical! Once again, as hard as it is to believe, I'm gonna pass.
  10. Well, well, well @Shelby all of you have confirmed my deepest suspicions: you are all evil, eeeevelll I say. I checked out that link and *yikes* it's "only" $1,042.99! What a steal. Plus, for an additional $50.00, I would also need to get this just to keep it operational: https://www.vacmasterfresh.com/one-gallon-of-chamber-vacuum-pump-oil/ Shockingly, I think I'll pass for now. However, if you could possibly add my name to the gift list of whoever gave you one of these, I would be eternally grateful!
  11. Actually, I was thinking of going cheap on a vacuum sealer by getting one of those hand vacs. About 10 years ago, I purchased a FoodSaver vacuum sealer like this one: https://www.qvc.com/FoodSaver-FM2000-Vacuum-Sealing-System.product.K378454.html?sc=SRCH It didn't cost as much as the one in the link but it was still a little pricey to me at the time. Well, it worked very well for a couple of months and then the POS just quit. I didn't even use it that often before it died. That left a really bad taste in my mouth for expensive vacuum sealers. Have you ever used just a hand vac?
  12. Hello @rotuts and thanks for your detailed response. Just a few questions/comments: Great price on those turkey breasts; won't find such a good deal here. Did I read you right that each whole breast was 12 pounds? I don't think I have ever seen any that large. BTW, that was an insane amount of meat on those trimmings. Thanks for the tip about setting the pot outside to chill the stock and de-fat the stock next morning. I think that we're both probably experiencing the same cold, snowy weather, so I can definitely do that. Do you have a plastic lid that fits the IP or just use aluminum foil? Love, love, love your method of freezing bricks of ice in the containers and then using them to quickly chill down the stock. I have many of the same types of containers. Will be using your method from now on although I just usually leave the stock in the containers. You are dangerous for my bank account since now I am thinking I need to get a vacuum sealer! Also like your method of using the first stock as a base for the new additional stock. Sometimes I do that, sometimes I don't but now that I have the IP I can do this all the time. Just to be clear, whenever I use chicken or turkey carcasses and/or any frozen trimmings of breasts or thighs, I never eat any of the meat after making stock that way; that gets tossed out. I have, however, made stove top stock by simmering whole, large chicken breasts--only one and a half to two hours max--after reading a blog where the person tested out which cut of chicken made the most "chickeney" stock and shockingly it was the chicken breasts. I know, I know this goes against everything I had been doing to make stock but the person was right. The great thing is that the meat still has great flavor and comes out very moist. Great for making chicken salad. Sorry this post is so long but just wanted to let you know I definitely appreciate all of your advice.
  13. Good morning @ElsieD. I usually freeze stock in random plastic containers. Is there an advantage of using zip-lock bags over plastic containers? Thanks. BTW, in the area where I live, the weather is doing a little bit of everything: snow, sleet, rain, freezing rain, etc. I really wish I had a big, bubbling pot of something, anything in my IP today!
  14. Okay Okanagancook that is a level of organization I need to adopt!
  15. Hi kayb. I really haven't properly outfitted my IP yet. I definitely want that steamer basket, a tempered glass lid and a 7-inch spring form pan. The whole turkey wings I get are pretty huge--probably will only need two--and I am such a turkey wing lover so I think that I might experiment with cooking them along with the usual suspects (carrots, celery, onions, bay leaves, parsley, thyme) for maybe half or a third of the 90 minutes you do. Like I said above, any stock I get will be tastier than just plain water and flour and what I don't use for gravy can be used in my turkey vegetable soup along with any turkey scraps. Thanks for the great tip about running the pot through the saute cycle; hadn't thought of that. I think it's really dangerous hanging out with you 'cause those baby food thingies are just too damned cute! My MasterCard still has skid marks from all my recent shopping.☺ As a matter of fact this just arrived two days ago: It's the latest version of the Oster Countertop Convection Oven and, oh yes, it's red!