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Le Creuset


CtznCane
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I was in one of the outlet stores last weekend. The woman said that the 30% off $100 purchase postcards would be in the mail soon. I was also concerned about having been dropped off the mailing list, and she said that even if you don't get the postcard, as long as you're in the computer they will honor the discount. They stop sending postcards if you haven't made a purchase in 6 months.

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I was in one of the outlet stores last weekend.  The woman said that the 30% off $100 purchase postcards would be in the mail soon.  I was also concerned about having been dropped off the mailing list, and she said that even if you don't get the postcard, as long as you're in the computer they will honor the discount.  They stop sending postcards if you haven't made a purchase in 6 months.

cool. I haven't bought anything yet, so I should be on the postcard list :)

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I bought four of the little 8 ounce covered cocottes the other day (so cute!) and tried out the no-knead bread recipe in them (rosemary parmesan). Perfect! 30 minutes covered at 450 degrees, 40 minutes uncovered. Cutest little loaves of bread you ever saw! These will be real hit for Thanksgiving.

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Yet another question: do you think the following craigslist LC item is worth the money being asked for it?

Blue Le Crueset - $50

Thanks, and sorry for all the questions - I'm just excited to soon have my first LC's!

That's a good size for a French oven, and the LC looks to be in good shape. That particular blue is one of my favorites, so that's another point in its favor.

As for whether it's worth it - well, you might be able to do better if you looked around a while longer, but you might not. I think I've spent about as much on some of my smaller used pieces. I was lucky enough at the time to think that $50 for high-quality cookware is worth it.

How's that for a definitive answer? :laugh:

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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  • 10 months later...

I scored a 5 and a half quart round Le Creuset 'second' dutch oven for about $130 total at Marshall (10% for opening up an account with them and another $10 off for every $200 spent in their store). But, I was wondering if this was the best deal I could get or could I get an even better one if I drove to an Le Creuset outlet? And, when's the best time to go to an Le Creuset outlet for the biggest saving?

Its not exactly the color I wanted- its more of a light to medium blue color instead of the iconic blue color I wanted. I figured if I could buy the same Creuset pot in that iconic blue color for the same price or even less, then I'd rather buy it from their outlet channel.

And, how concerned should I be with a 'second' quality from Le Creuset. There are no chips or anything like that, but in the middle of the pot there's a slight bump which is still covered by the enamel. Will that bump became an issue down the line?

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And, what do you consider the most verstaile size for a Le Creuset. Will a 5 and a half quarts be too small? I don't have a family of 4 to cook for, but I figure that even if I don't need the bigger size everyday, it'd still be better to have the option of a bigger pot when cooking for a crowd. But, would the bigger size be an issue when not cooking for a crowd?

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I have the 5.5 quart round, and think it's the perfect size for me. It's just the 2 of us, and it's great for stews, spaghetti sauce and chili and leftovers.

To piggyback off your question, what's the next shape I should look at? I'm loving the design of the braisers, but I don't know if they are substantially different. What different meals can you cook in there from the french ovens?

I have got my eye on that gorgeous Caribbean blue.

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I love the 5.5 round. It's quite versatile. I use the braiser for braised pork chops, short ribs, braised veg and potatoes. I also use the braiser to make beef stroganoff in.

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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The 5.5 round is the busiest pot in my house. If I wanted one soup or stew pot, and wasn't cooking for more than two or three people most of the time, that's the one. Now that it's usually just me and my husband, that pot holds enough for generous leftovers. I have a sentimental fondness for that old flame color.

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A La Mode, you might want to think about trying the Le Creuset cleaner product. It's a bit like Barkeeper's Friend, some sort of citrus liquid that shouldn't be left on too long.

I use this on recommendation of someone at Broadway Panhandler -- and I love it. Gets any sort of discoloration or spots off of the pans.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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What's the difference between cooking in a Le Creuset and those clay pots I see in an Asian supermarket? Don't they both do the same thing, and at only a fraction of the cost? And, what makes Creuset so special where its so expensive compared to other cast iron on the market? The decline of the dollar versus the euro? On the first page of this thread, people were talking about finding Creuset seconds for sale at Marshall's for $100 and four years later, you can find Creuset second for $130. That's almost a 33% increase in price in just four years!

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Clay pots can't be used on the stove.

Enameled cast iron is different from plain cast iron; it has a non-reactive enamel coating on all surfaces. This makes it useful for braising. It also makes it one of the few kinds of cookware that can be used to store food, without leaching anything nasty into it. You can make a soup or stew in an enamelled pan and it go back and forth from the stove to the fridge.

They're definitely expensive. I got mine a few years ago from a Canadian seller who had them for less than half what they go for now. If I were in the market now I'd be looking on ebay. The dollar tanking probably has something to do with it. But they've always been expensive. My understanding is that they're made by a fairly primitive, labor intensive process that was developed back when labor was a lot cheaper.

The good news is that there is no need for a whole set of enamelled cast iron. It's a great material for dutch ovens and oval ovens and similar braising vessels. You don't need an enamelled iron skillet, you certainly don't need an enamelled iron stock pot, and enamelled iron saucepans are completely useless. So if you can find a piece or two on ebay in the sizes you like, you're set for life. Just don't drop them.

What's the difference between cooking in a Le Creuset and those clay pots I see in an Asian supermarket? Don't they both do the same thing, and at only a fraction of the cost? And, what makes Creuset so special where its so expensive compared to other cast iron on the market? The decline of the dollar versus the euro? On the first page of this thread, people were talking about finding Creuset seconds for sale at Marshall's for $100 and four years later, you can find Creuset second for $130. That's almost a 33% increase in price in just four years!

Notes from the underbelly

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Clay pots can't be used on the stove.

There are lots of clay pots that can be used on the stove, with direct flame. I have dozens and dozens. I'm pretty sure those Asian sand pots are fine. Almost all the Mexican pots are good and many from Europe.

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Clay pots can't be used on the stove.

There are lots of clay pots that can be used on the stove, with direct flame. I have dozens and dozens. I'm pretty sure those Asian sand pots are fine. Almost all the Mexican pots are good and many from Europe.

Emile Henry has an entire line of ceramic stovetop-safe cookware.

Having said that, paulraphael is right: you don't need every piece of LeCreuset that's made. In particular, I'd pass on the enameled cast-iron wok.

Dave Scantland
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Eat more chicken skin.

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Clay pots can't be used on the stove.

There are lots of clay pots that can be used on the stove, with direct flame. I have dozens and dozens. I'm pretty sure those Asian sand pots are fine. Almost all the Mexican pots are good and many from Europe.

Emile Henry has an entire line of ceramic stovetop-safe cookware.

Having said that, paulraphael is right: you don't need every piece of LeCreuset that's made. In particular, I'd pass on the enameled cast-iron wok.

You don't? Please don't tell my husband that!

Seriously, Dave is correct. A couple of Le Creusets will get you where you need to be. A deeper pot for roast braising, shallower one for ribs and pork chops and veg braising.

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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If I were in the market now I'd be looking on ebay.

I'd stay away from ebay as the shipping prices for these heavy pots are really expensive. Stick with Amazon. They often have amazing specials. I got a 7.5 quart round that came with a skinny grill for 125.00. It was a Friday special.

Staub often has specials too and I know a lot of ppl like that better than the LC.

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If you happen to live in Canada, Canadian Tire used to have awesome deals on Le Creuset sets. For Christmas several years ago, my mother gave me a set with a skillet, large pot with lid (I think 5.5 qt), and small pot with lid (maybe 2 3/4 qt saucepan) for something like $150 (or maybe $125). It's like this set, but I think my large pot is larger (I could be wrong).

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If you happen to live in Canada, Canadian Tire used to have awesome deals on Le Creuset sets.  For Christmas several years ago, my mother gave me a set with a skillet, large pot with lid (I think 5.5 qt), and small pot with lid (maybe 2 3/4 qt saucepan) for something like $150 (or maybe $125).  It's like this set, but I think my large pot is larger (I could be wrong).

I don't think I've ever seen Le Crueset at Canadian Tire, but I have seen it at Costco, and got exactly that same set.

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 don't think I've ever seen Le Crueset at Canadian Tire, but I have seen it at Costco, and got exactly that same set.

I think it was around 2000 or 2002. CT used to have really good specials on kitchen equipment, but they don't as much anymore. I think they carried that Le Creuset set for about a year or so, but it didn't sell very well (which explains why they were selling it so cheaply--when my mother bought it, it was 50% off).

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Enameled cast iron is different from plain cast iron; it has a non-reactive enamel coating on all surfaces. This makes it useful for braising. It also makes it one of the few kinds of cookware that can be used to store food, without leaching anything nasty into it. You can make a soup or stew in an enamelled pan and it go back and forth from the stove to the fridge.

They're definitely expensive. I got mine a few years ago from a Canadian seller who had them for less than half what they go for now. If I were in the market now I'd be looking on ebay. The dollar tanking probably has something to do with it. But they've always been expensive. My understanding is that they're made by a fairly primitive, labor intensive process that was developed back when labor was a lot cheaper.

My bad. I meant to refer to other enameled cast iron on the market, and why Le Creuset is so much more expensive than those other brands? For the same size enameled cast iron dutch oven from a company like Lodge or Tramontina, it'll cost something like $50 when Le Creuset will charge almost $300. With something like All-Clad, at least I can understand where the extra costs are coming in because its cladded all the way up the sides. But, is there something fundamental about Le Creuset that makes it better and thus more expensive? Or, is the extra cost not necessarily related to improved quality? If I bought Le Creuset, is that extra cost only go into subsidizing the out-of-control employee practices in France so some Le Creuset employee can dawdle on hours-long breaks to sip vin? ;)

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And, how concerned should I be with a 'second' quality from Le Creuset. There are no chips or anything like that, but in the middle of the pot there's a slight bump which is still covered by the enamel. Will that bump became an issue down the line?

I don't know if Le Creuset would honor its lifetime guarantee if we're talking about irregular pieces which might be an issue since that bump might get chipped off over time.

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If I bought Le Creuset, is that extra cost only go into subsidizing the out-of-control employee practices in France so some Le Creuset employee can dawdle on hours-long breaks to sip vin? ;)

wait ... are you implying that if the extra cost went into subsidizing a worker's wine siesta, it wouldn't be worth it?!?

i really don't know the answer to your question. the only enameled cast iron i'm familiar with is creuset, staub (more expensive), and desco (inherited from grandma).

Notes from the underbelly

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I still need to follow recipes at this point, and I'm worried if that will have an effect on the performance of a LC pot as the food should ideally fit 2/3 up the pot. The more I think about it, the more I think the 4.5 quart might be a better fit for my needs than the 5.5. But, will most recipes for braising assume you'll be using a larger pot like the 5.5 and thus skew the recipes if I use a smaller pot?

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