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Dutch Ovens


JennyUptown
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Just one month ago, I would have been like "huh? whazzat?" but now I am shopping for a Dutch oven. It seems like 50% of the recipes that appeal to me in this cold weather call for one.

I've visited one store (Linens & Things where I get a great discount), but was in a hurry and could only find the object of my desire in huge sets containing stuff I don't need.

Most of my other cookware is inexpensive...stainless...Farberware. It's served me well thus far.

It's important to me that I can stick my new prize in the dishwasher so [if I have learned anything here] I *think* I need to stick with stainless, however I know you will correct me if I'm wrong :biggrin:

Steer me! Coach me! What should I buy and where?

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For a dutch oven, I agree, a cast iron like le cruset would be great. I have an all clad stainless steel dutch oven, but I only use it on the stovetop, for stews, chilli, and spagetti sauce mostly.All clad dutch oven

For pot roasts, and other meats, I use this le cruset

Edited by Marlene (log)

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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About two years ago I got a nonstick Caphalon knock off for about $50. This is the most beautiful pot/pan that I own. I use it for everything. Soups, stews, braising, pasta for one, boiling eggs and as a wok. Cleaning is a snap.

Will it last forever? No, but I know that and use the hell out of it. I do not worry if I burn it or scratch it. For now I am just mastering my craft and my pots are paying the price.

Besides, someday someone may buy one for you :wink:

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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About two years ago I got a nonstick Caphalon knock off for about $50. This is the most beautiful pot/pan that I own. I use it for everything. Soups, stews, braising, pasta for one, boiling eggs and as a wok. Cleaning is a snap.

Will it last forever? No, but I know that and use the hell out of it. I do not worry if I burn it or scratch it. For now I am just mastering my craft and my pots are paying the price.

Besides, someday someone may buy one for you :wink:

You are hilarious. What is even funnier is that you said that w/o hearing the story of the cake stand.

Non-stick worries me though. I think I'm jinxed in that regard as I have ruined non-stick pans as quickly as two or three cooking attempts in!

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Does enameled cast iron go in the dishwasher?

Absolutely never.

Fortunately, it's very easy to clean by hand.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Does enameled cast iron go in the dishwasher?

Absolutely never.

Fortunately, it's very easy to clean by hand.

Um, I've been putting my le cruset cast iron dutch oven in the dishwasher for 20 years now, and it doesn't seem to be a problem :blink:

Edit to add:

From Le Creuset:

Le Creuset Cookware

Pans are handcrafted in France of cast iron, which absorbs heat slowly and spreads it steadily.

The cast iron is coated with porcelain enamel, which requires no seasoning and cleans easily.

Dishwasher safe.

Edited by Marlene (log)

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I put my Le Creuset in the dishwasher if I have room. Otherwise, I wash it by hand, no big deal. For dutch ovens, Le Creuset and their ilk have no equal IMHO. But they persist in calling them French ovens. :biggrin:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Does enameled cast iron go in the dishwasher?

Absolutely never.

Fortunately, it's very easy to clean by hand.

Um, I've been putting my le cruset cast iron dutch oven in the dishwasher for 20 years now, and it doesn't seem to be a problem :blink:

Edit to add:

From Le Creuset:

Le Creuset Cookware

Pans are handcrafted in France of cast iron, which absorbs heat slowly and spreads it steadily.

The cast iron is coated with porcelain enamel, which requires no seasoning and cleans easily.

Dishwasher safe.

Hmmm, the insert that came with mine said no dishwasher. Veddy, veddy interesting. :hmmm:

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Jenny--

Since you live in the DC area, there's a Le Creuset outlet at the Leesburg outlets. The stuff is still pretty pricey, though, even with a discount of 25% or so. I'm still trying to get myself to bite the bullet and invest in a 7 quart dutch oven.

Chris Sadler

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If Le Creuset or Staub is not in the budget, I'd have no misgivings about recommending Sitram Profiserie:

7-1/2 quart Rondeau

With a

matching lid, you can be ready to go for about $100.

My first choice, like most everyone else on this thread, is enameled cast-iron. But the fact is, I often braise in saute pans, and they're stainless steel with disk bottoms, just like the Sitram Rondeau.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Does enameled cast iron go in the dishwasher?

Absolutely never.

Fortunately, it's very easy to clean by hand.

Um, I've been putting my le cruset cast iron dutch oven in the dishwasher for 20 years now, and it doesn't seem to be a problem :blink:

Edit to add:

From Le Creuset:

Le Creuset Cookware

Pans are handcrafted in France of cast iron, which absorbs heat slowly and spreads it steadily.

The cast iron is coated with porcelain enamel, which requires no seasoning and cleans easily.

Dishwasher safe.

Hmmm, the insert that came with mine said no dishwasher. Veddy, veddy interesting. :hmmm:

If your Le Creuset is older, the instruction booklet that came with it likely did say "no dishwasher." The bottoms of the older pans were not coated with enamel and could rust. Now, however, they're coated all around and are, technically, dishwasher safe.

Our Le Creuset sales rep has reservations about putting them in the dishwasher, however. He says the problem is not what can happen to the pots, but what can happen to the dishwasher. Apparently the heat and weight of the pots can actually warp the dishwasher racks.

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Jenny--

Since you live in the DC area, there's a Le Creuset outlet at the Leesburg outlets. The stuff is still pretty pricey, though, even with a discount of 25% or so. I'm still trying to get myself to bite the bullet and invest in a 7 quart dutch oven.

I got a 7 qt for under $120 at our local factory store. They run $190 at Sur La Table and Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Definitely worth seeking out.

They also usually have a section of blemished cookware, too, which is even cheaper. You can usually search through and find some that are barely discernible from the unblemished stuff. Just check for popped bubbles inside that leave a hole to the cast iron. You don't want those. They carry the same warranty as the normal stuff, though.

They also usually have a deal with an additional markdown on a color of the month.

PS I don't put mine in the dishwasher partially because the rim is bare cast iron, not enameled. Also, another, cheaper option, is a pre-seasoned cast iron dutch oven from Lodge. Quality dutch oven, but without the enamel more of a pain. But it's the classic.

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Yup, Lodge cast iron. No need to put it in the dishwasher. Just swish it out with hot water, dry it & maybe a light swipe with an oiled paper towel before storage. Mine has lasted at least 40 years and is still like new. And you can't beat the price. LeCruset may look nice but Lodge is a much greater bargain. OK, I'm biased. So sue me! :biggrin:

--------------

Bob Bowen

aka Huevos del Toro

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About two years ago I got a nonstick Caphalon knock off for about $50.  This is the most beautiful pot/pan that I own.  I use it for everything.  Soups, stews, braising, pasta for one, boiling eggs and as a wok.  Cleaning is a snap. 

Will it last forever?  No, but I know that and use the hell out of it.  I do not worry if I burn it or scratch it.  For now I am just mastering my craft and my pots are paying the price.

Besides, someday someone may buy one for you :wink:

You are hilarious. What is even funnier is that you said that w/o hearing the story of the cake stand.

Non-stick worries me though. I think I'm jinxed in that regard as I have ruined non-stick pans as quickly as two or three cooking attempts in!

JU,

Do tell us the story of the cake stand. I wonder if hillvalley's comment rang the same *bells* for you as it did for me. :wink:

After all, it is how most of us first furnish our kitchens with respectable cookware.

For Dutch ovens, I would pretty much second (third, fourth?) the recommendation for the enameled cast iron. I myself don't put it in the dishwasher because of space, but the enamel is non-stick enough that it is not too hard to clean at all.

One problem with a cast iron (un-enameled) pot is the occasional reaction with highly acidic foods (was mentioned by slkinsey in a previous thread that I am too lazy to look up)

It's worth the investment, especially from the outlet. I had forgotten about the outlet in Leesburg, may have to make an expedition.

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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Jenny--

Since you live in the DC area, there's a Le Creuset outlet at the Leesburg outlets.  The stuff is still pretty pricey, though, even with a discount of 25% or so.  I'm still trying to get myself to bite the bullet and invest in a 7 quart dutch oven.

Buy a Le Creuset, round or oval.

Go to the outlet store and take a look to see what appeals. Every month they have one color on sale (they have a calendar and can tell you what color will be on sale when). The real bargains are towards the back of the store; they have seconds and discontinued colors. At least in California, they have really chatty help-they will hang out with you and answer questions whether you want them to or not. They've always given me good advice.

PS I've been putting mine in the dishwasher for 20 years too-even ones without an enameled bottom.

Edited by marie-louise (log)
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Here's the next question: oval or round?

I prefer round, because it seems that the heat gets distributed more evenly (if you are using it on the stove, which seems to be my main way of cooking with it)

JennyUptown, I am not sure if you have Marshall's or TJ Maxx near you, but they often have Le Creuset overstock at great prices. I got a 7 qt. round oven for $90 a few months ago. You just have to keep looking.

Good luck! I absolutely LOVE mine. Beef burgundy, Coq au vin, osso bucco - welcome to the world of stews!

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Jenny--

Since you live in the DC area, there's a Le Creuset outlet at the Leesburg outlets.  The stuff is still pretty pricey, though, even with a discount of 25% or so.  I'm still trying to get myself to bite the bullet and invest in a 7 quart dutch oven.

Check the outlet for special sales. I was in the Orlando outlet store around Christmas. 20% off the already reduced price for 1st quality - 40% for 2nd. Also, if you have a TJ Maxx in your area, check with them. My wife is always comming home with something she finds there - recent example was a 4 or 5 qt round LC DO for $25.

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Yup, Lodge cast iron.

Seasoned raw cast iron is not, IMO, good for braising and low/slow cooking unless you like the taste of iron. Careful seasoning can mitigate the reactivity problem somewhat, but cannot eliminate it entirely. If you cook something for several hours -- especially something containing wine, tomato or other acids -- that metal taste will get in there.

--

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Funny, Saturday I was at one of those stores that seems to sell steeply marked down stuff that nobody wanted, and I saw an odd brand of white enamel cast iron dutch oven listing at $99.99, marked down to $49.99. My financial situation is gradually reversing, but I wasn't sure if I should shell out yet. The next day, a brisket begging to be cooked, I went back and bought it. It rang up at $12.49, and the description on the receipt is correct. I measured it, and it's the size equivalent of the 6-3/4 qt Le Creuset that sells at Amazon for $184.99, and at Caplan Duval for $168.43.

I'd been wanting an oval oven for a long time, as I seem to slow roast things that aren't round.

I think I'll get my money's worth out of it.

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I love my Le Creuset. It cleans easily, and is virtually non-stick.

As for putting it in the dishwasher, I wouldn't think that would be a problem except for the weight of it. It's so sturdy, I think you could put it in your washing machine if you wanted :laugh:

It comes with a 99 year warranty-- I plan on putting it in my will!

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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I would not worry about small pin-hole bubbles in the interior of LC cookware. I had a question about that several months ago when I got a 9 1/2 qt oval, and Fifi mentioned she has used one with a pin-hole or two for many years and it has not been a problem.

While I like Lodge and have several Lodge Dutch ovens and four or five of their skillets, you are better off with a LC if you plan on slow cooking using any acidic foods at all.

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