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CtznCane

Le Creuset

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Yes, the outlet store is right off of I-80. Their regular pieces are priced about the same as you'd find at Amazon or other discount site but their "seconds" (items with tiny scratches) or discontinued colors are terrific deals.

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I bought a large LC Dutch Oven in my building's yard sale for $10. It looked like it had never been used. The only caveat is the weight. This is a very heavy pot and, since I am middle-aged, I figured I only have a few years in which I can use this. But it works fabulously for stews and braising.

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I bought a large LC Dutch Oven in my building's yard sale for $10.  It looked like it had never been used.  The only caveat is the weight.  This is a very heavy pot and, since I am middle-aged, I figured I only have a few years in which I can use this.  But it works fabulously for stews and braising.

Or think of it as good weight-bearing exercise that will keep you from bone loss and help you work off whatever it is you're cooking to eat! I hope I'm still lifting mine when I'm 80!

To answer the OP's question about what is the best size, it depends on what and for who you usually cook, but I think the round ~7 qt is the one pot I wouldn't want to be without. My mum, otoh, loves her 2.5 qt because she only is cooking for 1, and doesn't do lots of leftovers. I used to go to the Nut Tree outlet, and they have a really nice selection. I think their next big sale is in December, but almost every holiday they have a sale and mark things down a little (I didn't even know it was Columbus day until I saw the sale).

regards,

trillium

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When trying to time sales at the outlets, I have found that the closest one to me (that I know of) in San Marcos Texas, has their best sale in January. They are struggling to bring in some business after the Christmas rush and there are some real deals. We sometimes plan a roadtrip around then. I got my first haul of LC for really cheap. Then they had a deal that if you bought x pieces, you got another 50% off of another piece, and they counted lids as a piece. We ran into similar deals in other shops in the outlet mall. There were 4 of us on the trip and the car was dragging its butt back to Houston. None of this was advertised.


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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When trying to time sales at the outlets, I have found that the closest one to me (that I know of) in San Marcos Texas, has their best sale in January. They are struggling to bring in some business after the Christmas rush and there are some real deals. We sometimes plan a roadtrip around then. I got my first haul of LC for really cheap. Then they had a deal that if you bought x pieces, you got another 50% off of another piece, and they counted lids as a piece. We ran into similar deals in other shops in the outlet mall. There were 4 of us on the trip and the car was dragging its butt back to Houston. None of this was advertised.

Yep I have found the same thing, but in my case I have a Le Creuset outlet in Allen, just a couple of miles north of me. I purchased my large Dutch oven for 50% off because it was a discontinued color. :laugh: Which is funny because it was the Green that I really wanted.


Never trust a skinny chef

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i found my lc dutch oven at marshall's for $80. i use it probably 3 times per week, but that's changing now that the weather is colder and i'm making soup more frequently. i've also seen lc at t.j. maxx and tuesday morning-you just have to do a frequent shelf check to get the best bargains.


"Ham isn't heroin..." Morgan Spurlock from "Supersize Me"

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I think the one in Allen has a sale also in July, so I assume this is at all the LC outlets. Anyone find a best price sale other than January and July?

When trying to time sales at the outlets, I have found that the closest one to me (that I know of) in San Marcos Texas, has their best sale in January. They are struggling to bring in some business after the Christmas rush and there are some real deals. We sometimes plan a roadtrip around then. I got my first haul of LC for really cheap. Then they had a deal that if you bought x pieces, you got another 50% off of another piece, and they counted lids as a piece. We ran into similar deals in other shops in the outlet mall. There were 4 of us on the trip and the car was dragging its butt back to Houston. None of this was advertised.

Yep I have found the same thing, but in my case I have a Le Creuset outlet in Allen, just a couple of miles north of me. I purchased my large Dutch oven for 50% off because it was a discontinued color. :laugh: Which is funny because it was the Green that I really wanted.

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Amazon treated me right. The 2 & 3/4 quart dutch oven was $56 with no shipping or sales tax which made it over the 66% off they showed when you figure that in.

The rectangular baking dish was only :shock: 40% off so I attributed the $20 off coupon I had to it. Of course no shipping or sales tax either so, that got me past the %50 off threshold. Yes, $60 for a baking dish is a heck of a lot of money when a $6 Pyrex dish would do the job. However, on those cold nights here in the Sonoran Desert when the temperature drops below 50 degrees, the thermal mass of the dish will come in handy during a slow dinner when I'm not using the dutch oven.

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I have the large LC dutch oven and I love it! But I recently noticed that on the inside bottom there is a 'patchwork' of hairline fractures/cracks - it is difficult to describe but is similar to what happens to the glaze on older china. Does anyone have the same problem and if so, do you know what causes it? :sad:


Support your local farmer

Currently reading:

The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters

Just finished reading:

The 100-Mile Diet by Alisa Smith & J. B. MacKinnon

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I have the large LC dutch oven and I love it!  But I recently noticed that on the inside bottom there is a 'patchwork' of hairline fractures/cracks - it is difficult to describe but is similar to what happens to the glaze on older china.  Does anyone have the same problem and if so, do you know what causes it? :sad:

I have never seen that. My sister has one that is at least 25 years old and no problem. It sounds like something is wrong and it may be a candidate for replacement. I am wondering if it ever got overheated to the extreme.


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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I have the large LC dutch oven and I love it!  But I recently noticed that on the inside bottom there is a 'patchwork' of hairline fractures/cracks - it is difficult to describe but is similar to what happens to the glaze on older china.  Does anyone have the same problem and if so, do you know what causes it? :sad:

Sounds like crazing, to me. I googled, "Le Creuset crazing" and found this in an Amazon customer review for Le Creuset:

This nicely heavy pot, along with the others in the Le Creuset line, is beautiful and functional. It is also quite expensive. The enameled interior of the pot is more delicate than you might think. You must cool the pot down before plunging it in cold water (if a little something is burned onto the bottom and you want to let it soak) or washing it (when you're in a hurry.) Kitchen physics; the time it takes the cast iron to cool is unequal to the time it takes the enamel to cool, and "crazing" of the interior enamel will result. If you really have food that is at all stuck to the bottom, the washing-up process is dicey, since the enamel will scratch easily. The bottom line is that after a number of years, the costly but wonderful pot that seemed like a good investment is not something you want to cook with any longer. Other brands of European enamel-lined cast iron are subject to the same problems.

Disclaimer: I don't own any Le Creuset (yet), and am just trying to be helpful with regards to your crazing question.


"I like 'em french fried pertaters." (Billy Bob Thornton as Karl, in Sling Blade.)

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As far as I know, it's not a good idea to plunge most cookware in cold water while it's still hot. Aluminum may warp. You can destroy anything if you mistreat it.

And cleaning LC is no big deal. You can soak it overnight in soapy water (add a little baking soda if you want) if it does not simply wipe clean with dish detergent and water, which is usually all I do. Someone recently mentioned soaking with dishwasher detergent if it is really difficult to clean, but I have not tried that.

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Richard, Fifi, and Patti: Thanks for your help with my LC problem (I even learned a new word - crazing) - but now I'm :sad::sad:. I did read the care instruction when I got my LC and have let it cool before soaking and I don't think I've used anything above medium heat. I'll check into the replacement option and see what happens. Thanks again for your help!!! I do love my LC!


Support your local farmer

Currently reading:

The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters

Just finished reading:

The 100-Mile Diet by Alisa Smith & J. B. MacKinnon

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Le Creuset makes a special cleanser that brightens up the white enamel interior after it gets stained. I get it from Sur la Table.

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When trying to time sales at the outlets, I have found that the closest one to me (that I know of) in San Marcos Texas, has their best sale in January. They are struggling to bring in some business after the Christmas rush and there are some real deals. We sometimes plan a roadtrip around then. I got my first haul of LC for really cheap. Then they had a deal that if you bought x pieces, you got another 50% off of another piece, and they counted lids as a piece. We ran into similar deals in other shops in the outlet mall. There were 4 of us on the trip and the car was dragging its butt back to Houston. None of this was advertised.

I've trotted on down to San Marcos for their July and December sales, but never thought of January - wonder if there would be any little gratins wanting a new home....

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When trying to time sales at the outlets, I have found that the closest one to me (that I know of) in San Marcos Texas, has their best sale in January. They are struggling to bring in some business after the Christmas rush and there are some real deals. We sometimes plan a roadtrip around then. I got my first haul of LC for really cheap. Then they had a deal that if you bought x pieces, you got another 50% off of another piece, and they counted lids as a piece. We ran into similar deals in other shops in the outlet mall. There were 4 of us on the trip and the car was dragging its butt back to Houston. None of this was advertised.

I've trotted on down to San Marcos for their July and December sales, but never thought of January - wonder if there would be any little gratins wanting a new home....

Ummm... That is where I got mine. But I wouldn't wait until January. I was just looking for those for a friend. My individuals measure 9 1/4 inches the long way. I can't find them anywhere. I am beginning to think they may have discontinued them. :sad: That is a shame. I love them and now wish I had more than 4.


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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Fifi, it's your fault. I never even thought about having a Le Crueset before. I knew about them, but could have cared less. But, I started thinking that with only three that really eat meat ( or much of anyting for that matter; Heidi and Peter seem to be on food hiatuses), I need something smaller than my 6 quart dutch oven. I end up with either too much space for the quantity, or leftovers that would feed an army. And, something in an odd color would be good in my monochromatic kitchen. I need something with some heft. I never even thought about this before.

So, tomorrow, I will neglect my yard, the piles of laundry that need to be done, everything, and head to Marshall's and TJ Maxx. I called both places today, and both have that cute little thing you have that's about 2-1/2 quarts. Never mind that I never wanted one of these until YOU. At least I don't have to call in "sick" for the field trip I'm scheduled to go on with Heidi on Thursday.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Fifi, it's your fault.  I never even thought about having a Le Crueset before.  I knew about them, but could have cared less.  But, I started thinking that with only three that really eat meat ( or much of anyting for that matter; Heidi and Peter seem to be on food hiatuses), I need something smaller than my 6 quart dutch oven.  I end up with either too much space for the quantity, or leftovers that would feed an army.  And, something in an odd color would be good in my monochromatic kitchen.  I need something with some heft.  I never even thought about this before.

So, tomorrow, I will neglect my yard, the piles of laundry that need to be done, everything, and head to Marshall's and TJ Maxx.  I called both places today, and both have that cute little thing you have that's about 2-1/2 quarts.  Never mind that I  never wanted one of these until YOU.  At least I don't have to call in "sick" for the field trip I'm scheduled to go on with Heidi on Thursday.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!


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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I agree with Anna N...strong, but not indestructible. I wouldn't buy "seconds" with a little chip - I have a round lidded casserole which has chipped and flaked considerably after a very small chip developed somehow. My gratin dish has no flaws however. Both been used for around 25 years (what kind of family do I come from, that gave a teenager cookware?!!)

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Does anyone know what is in the LC Cleaner? IS it just the equivalent of Bar Keeper's Friend? Or is it something even less abrasive?

I don't know what's in it, but it gets LC cleaner than anything else. It's expensive, but you only need a teaspoon or two, so the bottle lasts forever. I don't use it every time, just when a piece gets a lot of "scuffs" from metal utensils, or seems a little discolored in general.

Re: the outlets-they are all over the country. Over the years, I've bought many pieces there (that Vacaville outlet makes a nice stop mid-way along a very boring stretch of freeway). Not only do they have sales, and deeply discounted discontinued items, they have an ongoing promotion called "color of the month." Each month one of the colors is an extra 10-20% off. My LC is in several colors (a wise choice, since, except for the orange color, colors don't stay around for long). I bought it all this way-one or two pieces every time I had to go to Sacramento on business-if you call the outlet, they'll tell you what color is on sale.

snowangel-next you need the size in between. Then you need both sizes of the roasting pan-nothing puts a nice crisp sear on roasted potatoes like this pan. After that, you need the flat buffet pan to make braised chicken, then your collection seems incomplete without the ovals. And so it goes... You will be collecting this stuff until your kids are in college! :laugh:

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I've trotted on down to San Marcos for their July and December sales, but never thought of January - wonder if there would be any little gratins wanting a new home....

Ummm... That is where I got mine. But I wouldn't wait until January. I was just looking for those for a friend. My individuals measure 9 1/4 inches the long way. I can't find them anywhere. I am beginning to think they may have discontinued them. :sad: That is a shame. I love them and now wish I had more than 4.

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My 7-quart is worth every penny. I look for any excuse to use it. I'd wear it as a hat if it wasn't so heavy.


Edited by Al_Dente (log)

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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Thank you, CtznCane, this quotation fits my attitude perfectly.


"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

 

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