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Old 08-16-2016, 04:43 PM   #1
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Enameled cast iron dutch oven - Any suggestions?

Hello all,

I am new to the forums and figured this category would probably be the most appropriate place to post. Currently shopping around for a quality dutch oven. I've had some chip away on me in the past. Wondering if anyone would suggestions based on prior experience? I've mostly been looking at Lodge, although I know that Le Creuset are the top of the line, I don't really have that kind of budget. Ideally looking to spend 50-100$.

Any help is much appreciated!

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Old 08-16-2016, 05:05 PM   #2
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I have Le Creuset, but you are right that they are expensive. I do believe you get what you pay for, though. I have three LC in different sizes, and not one is chipped, despite the fact that a couple are around 35 years old.

On the other hand, I was given a Rachael Ray dutch oven one time as a gift. It chipped after two uses and ended up being a hand-me-down to my daughter.

Haven't tried Lodge, so I can't comment on those.
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Old 08-16-2016, 05:10 PM   #3
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Welcome Michael. This subject has always been heated here, with every opinion possible. Some will say that only Le Creuset is worth owning, others are just as happy with less expensive options. The bottom line is, one won't cook any better than the cook who's cooking.
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Old 08-16-2016, 05:22 PM   #4
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Thank you for the quick response and the warm welcome. It is funny how Le Creuset always seems to be at the top of the list.

I was just reading an article on these types of dutch ovens and there it is at the top of the list.

The top five Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Ovens you need to consider!

Lots of debating to do but I think I might just pull the trigger and treat myself :)
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Old 08-16-2016, 05:32 PM   #5
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I have both LeCrueset and Staub. The Staub is also very good and much less expensive. Both are made in France.

I recommend avoiding those made in China.
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Old 08-16-2016, 05:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelp45 View Post
Thank you for the quick response and the warm welcome. It is funny how Le Creuset always seems to be at the top of the list.

I was just reading an article on these types of dutch ovens and there it is at the top of the list.

The top five Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Ovens you need to consider!

Lots of debating to do but I think I might just pull the trigger and treat myself :)
Since they are guaranteed for a lifetime, and if you are a young person who can afford it, buy it. I've had my "no name" enameled cast iron pot for many years and I expect it will far outlive me at this rate.
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Old 08-16-2016, 05:37 PM   #7
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Welcome to DC, michael. If you are going to spend Le Creuset money, also consider Staub, which is in the same price range. I've had a Le C for decades and always enjoy using it. Except for a gentle aging to the cream color interior that comes with use, it still looks new. I've had a Lodge Dutch oven about three or four years. It looks way older than that because of chipping along the edge, but it still cooks fine. I acquired a Staub DO at Christmas...and wish I had more. They all cook just fine, but the Staub feels the most "quality" to me.
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Old 08-16-2016, 05:44 PM   #8
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Great feedback all, thank you. I was also reading about the Staub as I noticed there was an ongoing thread about them on this forum. Very informative, will have a look!
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Old 08-16-2016, 06:04 PM   #9
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I have had my LeCreuset since 1981. About two years ago, I had my one of my DOs replaced. The shipping was expensive, but getting it replaced was nice. The only ones that have chipped are the ones that have the white enamel wrapped up over the top. How you store them makes a difference. Had I known then what I know now...I would have stored mine differently. I have about 25-30 pieces of LeCreuset, my original set, extras I've picked up along the way, and my brother's set. Besides the DOs, my griddle pan gets a lot of use. If you are young and want pans that will last a lifetime, I'd get LeCreuset. I love, love, love mine. I have cooked using Staub, as well, but I like how the lids fit my LeCreuset better. But I am admittedly biased.
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Old 08-16-2016, 06:23 PM   #10
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Welcome to DC!

I love lodge, and am saving up for a lodge oven, non-enameled to use both at home and at camp. I have two lodge pans and love them, my 12" lodge is the one cooking tool I'd take to a desert island.

However I have a paula deen enameled 5 quart cast iron oven that is also a workhorse in my kitchen. My wife and I have very different schedules, so large cassaroles, lasagna, twice baked pasta, and stews are central to our diet, the Deen gets used more than everything except the lodge pan, though the pressure cooker has been catching up recently.

It is #3 reviewed here, which is also a good solid review:

5 Great Dutch Ovens: And 10 Recipes to Put Them to Work — Dutch Ovens 2011 | The Kitchn

So, about my Deen oven, the pros are:

Cheap, I got mine for $20 on sale (it did have a small nick in the enamel from shopwear, which I didn't care too much about.). I have seen perfect new ones as low as $25. As I got it for so cheap, I really don't worry about it that much. I'll take it to potlucks etc...

Decent performance. Cooks even and well, cleans up easy, haven't had any problems with durability, and it gets beaten around a lot. It once spent a good week kicking around in the back of my SUV with a bunch of camping gear because I was too lazy to unload everything, no chips etc...

Pretty blue color, makes and OK serving dish, as it matches my 'fancy' china. (a mismatched set of handthrown plates from various potter friends that all tend to wards blue or green. )

Cons:

I don't think it is as good or high quality as a La Cruset or some of the others, I have to regularly tighten the phillips screw that holds on the handle for the top for instance, I carry a swiss army knife in my pocket pretty much all the time (unless I"m on or getting on a plane), so it really isn't a hassle for me, give it a twist when I need it, but might annoy some.

Paula Deen is kind of a bad person, and to get the deals I've seen that take it below $30 means shopping at a Target, K-mart, or Wallmart, which I try to avoid because I'm an unrealistic idealist hippie that wastes my money tilting at windmills.

It is enameled. I know you specified you wanted yours enameled, but for me this is a drawback, as I can't use it in a campfire, or on charcoal. Sole reason I am saving up for a lodge.

Hope this helps...
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