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Old 03-20-2016, 11:29 AM   #1
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Le Creuset - Really?

I have to ask - to those of you who tout the wonders of Le Creuset cookware - How do you justify the expense? I got an email this morning from Amazon for several Le Creuset pots "on sale" for around $300.

I don't mean to insult anyone, but that is just nuts for a cooking pot. I can get this lovely Lodge Dutch oven for about $65. I can buy 3 and still save over the French pot.

What can possibly make Le Creuset $240 better?
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Old 03-20-2016, 12:05 PM   #2
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One of the reasons I like our Le Creuset pieces, dutch ovens in particular, is that the lids seem to fit almost surgically tight. With other makers of these ovens, I often have to place a layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil between the pot and the lid to make sure there is a good closure.

Another advantage of the enamel-coated Le Creuset is that I can cook anything in it. High acid foods or foods that would damage the seasoning on traditional cast iron vessels. I treasure my cast iron and have close to 50 different pieces, some nearly 100-years-old.

As for the price of Le Creuset, yes, it can be costly. However, all the pieces I've purchased I've either found on eBay or scored a good deal from vendors on the Internet. I have never paid full price for any piece. My best purchase on eBay was a 7-inch skillet for 99 cents, free shipping. What a deal!
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Old 03-20-2016, 12:10 PM   #3
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Absolutely love my Le Creusets. Rarely a day goes by where I don't use at least one of them for something. I've had all but one of mine for over 35 years, and the other one (an Indian Kadai style pan) I bought in London on sale for $80 in 2002. They are truly well made, and even the old ones still look like brand new.

Most of the others I received as gifts. That's how I justify the expense.

As far as the quality of knock-off pans go, the only other enamel glazed pan I've used is a Rachael Ray stew pot I bought a few years ago for $40 (as I recall). Within a year, it had chips in the enamel and the lid would leave rust spots on the stove whenever I took it off the pot and set it to the side. Looked very similar to Le Creuset, but didn't stand up. I gave it to my kid to use in her college rental house. It was a waste of money, in my opinion.I can't speak to the quality of the Lodge product, though.
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Old 03-20-2016, 12:16 PM   #4
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Rick, to reverse the question, do you make all your purchases based on how low the price is?
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Old 03-20-2016, 12:26 PM   #5
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I've bought most of my Le Creuset at the outlet store in Williamsburg, VA, at a significant discount - more than half off. My 5.5-quart Dutch oven was a store display piece that had some discoloration on the bottom. I don't care about the bottom Other pieces, like the ceramic casserole and gratin dishes, I've found at TJ Maxx, also at a great discount. A few pieces were gifts. I've never paid full price for any of mine, either.
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Old 03-20-2016, 12:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPCookin View Post
I have to ask - to those of you who tout the wonders of Le Creuset cookware - How do you justify the expense? I got an email this morning from Amazon for several Le Creuset pots "on sale" for around $300.

I don't mean to insult anyone, but that is just nuts for a cooking pot. I can get this lovely Lodge Dutch oven for about $65. I can buy 3 and still save over the French pot.

What can possibly make Le Creuset $240 better?
Finally someone else shares my views on this! I couldn't agree more, Rick.
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Old 03-20-2016, 12:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie H View Post
One of the reasons I like our Le Creuset pieces, dutch ovens in particular, is that the lids seem to fit almost surgically tight. With other makers of these ovens, I often have to place a layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil between the pot and the lid to make sure there is a good closure.

Another advantage of the enamel-coated Le Creuset is that I can cook anything in it. High acid foods or foods that would damage the seasoning on traditional cast iron vessels. I treasure my cast iron and have close to 50 different pieces, some nearly 100-years-old.
I chose that Lodge DO for comparison because it is enameled too, yet I could buy three of them in different sizes or colors and still pay less than $200, which leaves a lot of money to buy foil, if needed. I guess that for me, the tight fit on the lid isn't worth that much more.

I only have a single All Clad fry pan too, and my wife even questioned paying $89 for that at the seconds sale. Most of my pans are from the heavy weight anodized aluminum nonstick Emerilware (5 pans with lids) that I bought right after our kitchen remodel at least 15 years ago for around $300. I have one small and two large (8", 12" and 14") nonstick fry pans, Bakers and Chefs' brand, none of which cost more than $35, and a stainless clad KA 10" fry pan that came as a free gift with my KA food processor. My 2 DO's, a 6 qt and a Mario Batali 9 qt oval together were less than $200.

I think that every pan I own would not add up to much more than the cost of 2 of those Le Creuset 5 quart DO's from Amazon. That's why the price on their "sale" is such a shock to me. I feel that I can prepare food to the best of my ability without paying such a premium for a name, and I have to believe that is a large part of the cost of Le Creuset.
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Old 03-20-2016, 12:37 PM   #8
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Rick, to reverse the question, do you make all your purchases based on how low the price is?
Not entirely, but it is a significant factor. I buy items which will perform their intended function well, at the best price I can justify. As a retired journeyman machinist, I understand the importance of quality tools, but I also learned that quality is often available for much less than the price of premium brand names where the name is half the cost.

I do my research and buy the best quality that is within my budget.

I will add that every pan in my kitchen serves its purpose admirably.
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Old 03-20-2016, 12:46 PM   #9
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...I can get this lovely Lodge Dutch oven for about $65. I can buy 3 and still save over the French pot.

What can possibly make Le Creuset $240 better?
This statement from the Lodge website would make me pause: "Our enameled cast iron is made to our strict specifications by our partner foundry in China." Given the poor track record for Chinese produced durable goods, a higher priced and higher quality item may be a better choice.
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Old 03-20-2016, 01:26 PM   #10
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This statement from the Lodge website would make me pause: "Our enameled cast iron is made to our strict specifications by our partner foundry in China." Given the poor track record for Chinese produced durable goods, a higher priced and higher quality item may be a better choice.
Lodge has a reputation to maintain, so I seriously doubt that they are letting something slide under the radar. Made in China doesn't automatically lead to lead poisoning. I'd wager that Lodge has done the necessary testing to ensure the safety of their product.
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