Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Dutch Ovens


JennyUptown
 Share

Recommended Posts

Yet another EG $ suck. I've never hankered for a LC before, but I'm drooling now. Think I'll stop at Marshall's on Thursday after yoga. They often have them at good discounts. Usually something wrong, like a little ding on the knob, or the cover and dish color's are of different dye lots.

My mil has bought 3 there. If you find them without knobs, just call Le Creuset and they'll send you replacements at no charge.

"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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did anyone see the show on FTV last night about a Dutch oven cooking contest?

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have both two LC pots and a cast iron dutch-oven-like deep pot (not quite a dutch oven since you can't put coals on it) as well as several cast iron pans. I prefer the cast iron one for most tasks. First of all, with good seasoning, it's as nonstick as anything else. I can fry eggs in it, cook fish in it, whatever, and don't have a problem with sticking. Secondly, the LC's have an annoying habit of developing a "glaze" when you cook a dish that just gets progressively darker and darker. It's not a real glaze, since you can't deglaze it with liquid. You just have to scrape it off when you are finished cooking, which is hard! I've asked about this, and was told that I'm either using too high of a heat, or not using enough oil.

BTW, the San Francisco Chronicle has an article on cast iron cooking today.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the link, Avumede. And welcome to egullet.

After reading this thread, I'd finally worked up the nerve to buy the 7 qt LC oven that we've been talking about for months. Drove 45 minutes to the closest outlet mall...and the LC outlet had closed. :sad: Maybe I'll order from the site linked to above.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome, Azumede.

I think you must be cooking at too high a temperature but I am not sure. I do a lot of braises that develop a dark crust at the top of the liquid. A quick soak and it comes right off. I have never had to scrub hard. In fact, you need to be careful not to use agressively abrasive cleaning methods to avoid scratching the glaze. A damaged surface might lead to sticking. I don't know. Even my oldest piece, about 15 years and I use it at least once a month, is still slick.

On other baked on gunk problems, like roasting pans, the new Dawn Power Dissolver is magic. (Those folks are going to owe me a commission. :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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

why get LeCrueset *heck if i could afford it i'd buy it too*

why not just get Lodge instead?

a heck of a lot cheaper i think.

Do not expect INTJs to actually care about how you view them. They already know that they are arrogant bastards with a morbid sense of humor. Telling them the obvious accomplishes nothing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

why get LeCrueset *heck if i could afford it i'd buy it too*

why not just get Lodge instead?

a heck of a lot cheaper i think.

Those of us who are Lodge enthusiasts seem to be outnumbered here. We may

not prevail, but we will most certainly persevere. :wink:

HC

edit: Hey, that kinda rhymes.

Edited by HungryChris (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

if i could afford Le Creuset, believe me, I would.

Unfortunately, I dont have that much money and Lodge usually costs about 1/8th what the equivalent Le Creuset piece would cost here.

But the Lodge is no compromise by any means. Lodge cast iron skillets are ugly and cook so very well. I would be lost without mine.

I use it to fry, to bake, and even roast in the oven.

The Cast Iron provides very constant heating.

I even use it to bring the oven up to heat quickly.

I toss the lodge over the gas burner and then put the hot skillet in my oven to help it heat up faster. hahahah

Do not expect INTJs to actually care about how you view them. They already know that they are arrogant bastards with a morbid sense of humor. Telling them the obvious accomplishes nothing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those of us who are Lodge enthusiasts seem to be outnumbered here. We may

not prevail, but we will most certainly persevere.  :wink:

Lodge is great and many an eGulleteer will be happy to defend the brand. However, the reason it's being "discouraged" in this discussion is because it doesn't have the enamel lining of an LC product. To reiterate what others have posted about this, recipes with high acid content will fare better in an LC than in a Lodge. High acid dishes cooked in a cast iron Lodge run the risk of imparting a metallic taste into your food. That's the nature of the beast.

Don't worry, Lodge has a place in our kitchens. :wink:

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the link, Avumede. And welcome to egullet.

After reading this thread, I'd finally worked up the nerve to buy the 7 qt LC oven that we've been talking about for months. Drove 45 minutes to the closest outlet mall...and the LC outlet had closed. :sad: Maybe I'll order from the site linked to above.

I just got a new Williams Sonoma catalogue. They have a new line of braising/stewing type pots that look like knockoffs of my old Magnalite pots. Don't know anything about them - but if someone is interested in a new pot - he/she might take a look at them. Robyn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mother gave me her perfectly seasoned cast iron dutch oven back in the 70's ( I loved it and used it often). When I ran off to an ashram (during mid life crisis in the 80's) she demanded that I give it back. I have just returned from New York with that same dutch oven I've been obsessing over for 20 years. I am going to take it out of the car this morning and make a coq au vin in it this afternoon. Cast Iron rules!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
Regarding the question of the black matte finish on some Le Creuset pieces, it is indeed a "ground coat" as Dave mentioned. Older LC pans had bottoms that were coated in it as well, before they switched to the full hard enamel coating. (Staub, incidentally, uses the same sort of coat in its pans.)

It won't rust, so from that standpoint it doesn't need to be seasoned. But it is relatvely porous, so it will benefit from seasoning to develop non-stick properties. It's very durable -- I know because when I got my skillet with that coating years ago, I used to scrub it with steel wool (didn't know any better) and it still doesn't rust.

But fifi's grill pan seems to be one of the sort with what I can only describe as a finished black enamel coat. It's not non-stick, it's not the usual hard enamel, but it's different from the ground coat. That might chip with high heat. That's what the cute little "skinny" grill pans are coated with.

I just ordered LC's double burner reversible grill and griddle, which, oddly, doesn't show up on either the LC site or Sur La Table's (as far as I know, we haven't discontinued it, so I'm not sure what the story is). It's coated entirely with the ground coat and can be heated up just like plain cast iron (I've used the one in the store's kitchen for years, and it's great). If you're thinking about a Le Crueset stovetop grill, that's the one you want.

funny coincidence: i've got some old unglazed second hand cast iron (danish) copco, and i've been wondering what made them look as if they had, after all, chips. then, a few days ago, i read in a book about how enamelled pans are made, and it explains that at least two layers are added to the raw iron: one of a different sort of iron (for reasons that have to do with the enamel not sticking well to the basic material) and then one or several layers of enamel.

the additional layer of iron does rust - though not as fast, it seems, as the normal raw cast iron. and the reason i find it on the black copco pans may be that they also made enameled pans in several colors, so they may have used a standard form plus a layer of iron to keep up the weight of the unglazed pans. and that may be the case with the le creuset grill pan, too.

i hope this made some sense... :hmmm:

christianh@geol.ku.dk. just in case.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First, sorry to bump he thread, but I just registered.

First I love my mom's large oval LC, and I'd get one in a hot second if I could afford it, however there are some pretty decent knockoffs I've seen available at marshalls/Tjmaxx for about half the cost of LC.

However, value for money, I have a Wagner like this I inherited from my grandmother, makes a great pot roast, the deep skillet makes an excellent wok substitute. Maybe it's just me, but I've never braised anything acidic??

https://secure.lodgemfg.com/storefront/prod...?idProduct=2778

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a variation on the LC vs Lodge Dutch oven debate: about 20 years ago I got one of these Wagner cast iron 'chicken fryers' (as they were called then - now they're just called 'deep skillet with lid'):

http://www.wagnerware.com/ProductDetail.as...rod=126&PSub=22

It works great as a Dutch oven for up to about 4 people (in other words, it fits about 4 veal shanks), plus of course it's fine for saute (the high sides help reduce splatter) or deep fry, it goes in the oven, and it's so well seasoned now that I can, and regularly do, make sauces in it - even acidic ones like tomato. The heavy ovenproof glass lid means you don't have to take the lid off to peek. If I had to have just one kitchen pot, this would be it. It cost less than $20 when I bought it, and it's $30 now. I figure it's good for another 60 years or so. How many things can you buy for $30 that will last your lifetime - heck, that actually get better as you use them?

Seasoning is not a big problem, just follow the directions, which are cast into the base of the pot in case you ever need to do it again. Once it's seasoned, just quickly rinse it out before it cools (no soap - I use a plastic brush if I have to remove anything that won't rinse off) , put it back on the stove to dry, and you're good for next time.

I'm assuming we're all talking about stovetop Dutch ovens here. For on-the-fire use - which is what Dutch ovens originally were all about - it has to be all cast iron, with the heavy lid that you can pile coals on.

- Hong Kong Dave

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have both two LC pots and a cast iron dutch-oven-like deep pot (not quite a dutch oven since you can't put coals on it) as well as several cast iron pans. I prefer the cast iron one for most tasks. First of all, with good seasoning, it's as nonstick as anything else. I can fry eggs in it, cook fish in it, whatever, and don't have a problem with sticking. Secondly, the LC's have an annoying habit of developing a "glaze" when you cook a dish that just gets progressively darker and darker. It's not a real glaze, since you can't deglaze it with liquid. You just have to scrape it off when you are finished cooking, which is hard! I've asked about this, and was told that I'm either using too high of a heat, or not using enough oil.

BTW, the San Francisco Chronicle has an article on cast iron cooking today.

The same thing happens to me as well. I know I'm not cooking at too high a heat (it happens on the lowest setting on my stove), but I don't use a lot of oil in my cooking. I'm guessing that this is my problem. Thanks for mentioning that---I sorta guessed that might be it. I'll don't think I'm making anything else in it this week, but will see what happens when I make my tomato sauce in it next week using more oil.

And thanks to fifi for the tip on the Dawn Power Dissolve. I don't have any serious problems getting the gunk off the bottom of the LC, but it sounds great for my broiler pan (I use it for bacon and it gets nasty).

Gourmet Anarchy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 years later...

I'm looking to buy a non-enameled Dutch oven for recipes where a sear, fond or caramelization is necessary before the braise. I have two Le Creusets which are fantastic for everything but the processes listed above - currently I do the sear and the fond in a large All-Clad saute pan and decant the contents after deglazing into one of the Le Creusets for the long, slow portion (especially if it's going in the oven, or if the contents of the stew or chili are particularly large. I'd much rather do the job all in the same pan.

The logical choice would be an All-Clad, but they seem to start at about $250 which is more than I want to spend.

I've considered cast-iron, but that rules out most dishes with tomatoes.

Is there a reasonable substitute for an oven-safe All-Clad Dutch oven or large deep pot out there for the purpose of long, slow & low braises? Or am I cheaping out on a critical piece of kitchen ware?

All recommendations greatly appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not clear to me why you're having trouble with the Le Creuset.

- Perhaps the enameled surface doesn't promote quite as crisp a sear as stainless (though the evidence for this is anecdotal), but I have no problem developing a fond in LC.

- There are issues with Dutch ovens when it comes to the initial sear, especially if you've got multiple items (chicken thighs or short ribs, for example) that need turning. The high sides of the pot make using tongs awkward -- but that's not isolated to enameled cast iron; you'll run into it with any high-sided vessel.

- If you feel that the Le Creuset doesn't get hot enough for a good sear, then you'll not find raw cast iron much better, because I suspect the problem isn't that LC won't do it, it's that you're just not waiting long enough. It takes iron a long longer to heat up than clad aluminum.

In the end, if you want a single pot to handle the process end to end, you've already got it. But I confess that I often do exactly what you're doing now: sear in a sauté or a skillet, deglaze and transfer. Yes, it's an extra pan to wash, but once the braise is simmering, there's time to do that.

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

Eat more chicken skin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The new Lodge Logic cast iron works fine with cooking acid foods, you just can't leave it in the pot for long-term "storage."

I have a very large "camping" Dutch oven I use outside in the barbecue to roast tomatoes and there has been no problem all all, the "seasoning" it comes with is still fully intact and the price is certainly right.

This is the one I have. I need help to lift it when it is full!

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...