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Old 07-26-2018, 06:48 PM   #1
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ATK's Dutch Oven Review

Le Creuset fans will enjoy this, but I can't get myself to part with the cash to buy one. When they say it will last a lifetime, well, that's a lot shorter than it used to be.


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Old 07-26-2018, 07:50 PM   #2
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I saved up for my set of three Le Creuset saucepans for a year and we've been together for 40 years. I single-handedly lugged them home from Paris on the train and ferry, along with a large suitcase and handbag, and I've never regretted buying them for a minute.

I use them almost every day and nothing sticks even though they don't have the nasty coating that some pans have. Even burnt scrambled egg comes off easily without steel wool or other abrasives. I can even cook acid fruit such as rhubarb in them without getting the taint you sometimes get with other types of metal pans. They have moulded handles so can go in the oven as well as on the hob and into the dish washer.

You can buy much cheaper enamelled cast iron pans but in my experience that quality isn't there. I've tried them as have friends but they only last for a very short time.

I'm 70 next February but if my Le C's where stolen tomorrow I'd find the money to replace them even if the insurance wouldn't cover it and if the house was on fire they'd be the thing I'd grab as I escaped.

My mother, who married during WW2 & set up her permanent home in 1946 when Dad was de-mobbed, had to put up with cheap, thin aluminium pans due to post-war shortages and I promised myself I wouldn't have to put up with that sort of rubbish when I grew up.
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Old 07-26-2018, 08:54 PM   #3
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One of those or Stub I would be extremely happy to own. Just one of those moments when you buy once and cry once, and it will out live the owner. I kinda want one thatís enameled on the inside for long slow tomato type sauces.

Donít be afraid to look for vintage cast iron of the same thing. Little known secret that can be found for a song when you looks in your own Neighborhood is called Descoware, a favorite of Julia Child. A little internet search and you may be surprised who bought them out once upon a time.

Iím still on the learning curve on Dutch oven cooking, but I found a vintage raw black cast DO by BSR from mid 1940ís a little while back. no fancy trademark showing for a collector but excellent quality. I do soups to homemade bread in it, Iíve enjoyed learning something new.
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Old 07-26-2018, 09:31 PM   #4
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Hey tenspeed, I live ten miles from a Le Creuset outlet. That's where I got all of mine. They have factory "seconds" that look just like the stuff you find retail, at huge discounts -- sometimes over half off.

They do the same ting online, sort of.

If you let me know what you want to buy, I'll keep one eye open for it at my local outlet.

It is hit or miss. You never know what they will have in their "seconds" inventory. But, all of my Le Creuset cast iron is factory seconds, and I can not tell you why. It all looks good to me.

CD
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Old 07-27-2018, 02:09 AM   #5
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casey, Le Creuset has an outlet store in Merrimack, NH. tenspeed could probably get to it in an hour. Or are you just looking for an excuse to hit the LC outlet store?

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One of those or Stub I would be extremely happy to own. Just one of those moments when you buy once and cry once, and it will out live the owner...
I have two Le Crueset pieces, and two Staub (plus a small Dansk pot and a Lodge enamel DO). I got my LC dutch oven in the late 1990s, loved it, used it a lot. Then, maybe four years ago, I got a Staub "Coquette", which is basically a dutch oven. Love it! Use it every chance I can think of! It has a place of honor right on the stove burner. When I decided to get a braiser, I didn't even have to shop. I just waited until "Food52" had a deal that I could put to use, and got the braiser on sale. Still pricey, but I've never regretted buying it. I think the Le Creuset feels lonely, though...
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Old 07-27-2018, 04:50 AM   #6
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About 10 years ago I found another two in the window of a charity shop for a penny short of £3 - approx. $4.50. (What? Of course I bought them!).

It's worth looking in charity shops in slightly up-market areas - It's amazing what you find.
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Old 07-27-2018, 05:46 AM   #7
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casey, Le Creuset has an outlet store in Merrimack, NH. tenspeed could probably get to it in an hour.
I've never been to that collection of outlet stores - it's just not a part of the state that I have any need to go to. There is a Le Creuset in Kittery, ME, just across the river, but I've never seen any bargains there. Maine has a sales tax, NH doesn't

My experience with outlet stores is that it's pretty difficult to find a real bargain. They are mostly single brand stores, with prices that are higher than sale prices at other retailers. A lot of the clothing companies make a separate line of clothes to be sold in outlet stores - usually lower quality to be sold at lower prices. I doubt that Le Creuset would make a separate line for their outlet stores, though.
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Old 07-27-2018, 09:55 AM   #8
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I bought my 7.25 qt LeCrueset at an outlet store for about half price. More recently I bought a 5-quart Staub for $99. Both work very well for me.
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Old 07-27-2018, 10:19 AM   #9
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I bought my 5.5-quart Le Creuset Dutch oven at the outlet store in Williamsburg, VA, for more than half off - it was the store model and had a few scratches on the bottom. I don't care - I never see that part except for when I'm washing it

I bought the braiser on eBay last spring, also more than half off. Brand new and in the original box. I have several more pieces I've bought at the outlets or that DH has given me as gifts. I love them, not only for how well they cook but how beautiful they are.
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Old 07-27-2018, 10:29 AM   #10
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I have my 6 quart Le Creuset, which I love. I don’t remember how I acquired it, though.

Several years ago, Mark decided to surprise me one Xmas/Hanukkah with a set of Martha Stewart Dutch ovens. A 4 qt, a 6 qt, and this ginormous oval one. I was sceptical at first, but they’ve served me very well. I think I’ve only used the big oval one once, though, for a turkey. He paid close to $300 for the three of them; I have no idea what a similar set by Le Creuset would be.
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