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Old 10-26-2010, 11:09 PM   #1
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French Oven?

Hi All,

I'm seriously considering getting a Le Creuset French Oven (which by my reading is a Dutch oven, by a French producer). Being reasonably expensive, I'm slightly apprehensive.

I currently own an Emile Henry tagine, and a Sunbeam electric frypan. Both are quite large and can be used for slow cooking. By considering a French oven, am I duplicating?

Ive read a lot of reviews on the Le Creuset range, and there's usually nothing short of glowing reports. Obviously people like them. I just wonder if its appropriate, given what I already have?

Thanks...

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Old 10-27-2010, 03:41 AM   #2
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My family have this Le Creuset French Oven, among other Le Creuset pots and pans, but it will last you many years as has ours, which was handed down to us. The 'French Oven's expense is because of the high quality manufacture. A quick glance in Amazon shows how popular they are, many stars, enthusiastic comments.

Are you duplicating with the tagine? Different type of cooking, as the tagine is mostly for couscous and aromatics because of its funnel-type design. It all depends if you'd prefer to put the French Oven in the oven rather than leave it on top of the stove. We have a Lacanche range, so ours mostly stays put.

But there are bargains, so shop around. Just to caution you, but this French Oven is heavy. Add contents and lift from stovetop to oven, and you'll have muscles for sure.

Or, unless you prefer worktop cooking, save your money and buy this:

Prestige A La Carte Electric Non-stick Multicooker, 28 cm: Amazon.co.uk: Kitchen & Home

I have one and they are very good.



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Originally Posted by TheAlfheim View Post
Hi All,

I'm seriously considering getting a Le Creuset French Oven (which by my reading is a Dutch oven, by a French producer). Being reasonably expensive, I'm slightly apprehensive.

I currently own an Emile Henry tagine, and a Sunbeam electric frypan. Both are quite large and can be used for slow cooking. By considering a French oven, am I duplicating?

Ive read a lot of reviews on the Le Creuset range, and there's usually nothing short of glowing reports. Obviously people like them. I just wonder if its appropriate, given what I already have?

Thanks...
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Old 10-27-2010, 10:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAlfheim View Post
Hi All,

I'm seriously considering getting a Le Creuset French Oven (which by my reading is a Dutch oven, by a French producer). Being reasonably expensive, I'm slightly apprehensive.

I currently own an Emile Henry tagine, and a Sunbeam electric frypan. Both are quite large and can be used for slow cooking. By considering a French oven, am I duplicating?

Ive read a lot of reviews on the Le Creuset range, and there's usually nothing short of glowing reports. Obviously people like them. I just wonder if its appropriate, given what I already have?

Thanks...

I have three of them and use them constantly. They do not duplicate a tagine or electric frypan in any way. You can use them for soups, stews, sauces, roasts, and even bread. You can deep fry in them. They can be used on stovetop or oven.

They are versatile and will last a lifetime. I very highly recommend one.

Look around for sales, though. They are always on sale somewhere. There are also LeCreuset outlet stores that sell cosmetic seconds and discontinued colors for trmendous discounts.
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:43 AM   #4
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An electric fry pan is somewhat shallow and a tangine is not used for things like soups and stews. No, you would not be duplicating by getting one. I have a 7.25 quart LC French oven and it is constantly in use. If I had to get rid of cooking vessel in my kitchen and keep just one then my LC is what I would keep.
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Old 10-27-2010, 12:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
I'm seriously considering getting a Le Creuset French Oven (which by my reading is a Dutch oven, by a French producer). Being reasonably expensive, I'm slightly apprehensive.
Is there a reason you want a Le Creuset French Oven specifically? I have been using a similar pot for years and I know very well that I paid a fraction of the cost they want. In my opinion, many people seem to get so hyped up over the name "Le Creuset" they loose any good sense of value. I think most serious cooks would love to have a "French Oven" like this, but I'm sure my Beef Bourgogne is not diminished because it's not prepared in the most expensive French oven on the market.
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Old 10-27-2010, 12:42 PM   #6
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I gotta agree with Poppi and Kayelle.

It depends on what you plan on using it for and yes there are cheaper solutions that will get the same result.

Your Beef Bourgogne will not tatse any different in a similar vessel.
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:17 PM   #7
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The difference between LC and some of the less expensive alternatives exist though.

One thing to take into consideration is craftsmanship. These are enameled cast iron we are talking about. The pot is only as good as the enameling. LC does a very good job in that area. My LC has not been babied and the enameling is still as good as it was the day I bought it. There are no chips anywhere. In some cheaper alternatives, the enameling would have chipped off already after it saw some of the spoon slaps this pot has seem.

Another thing to take into consideration is the amount of cast iron that is used (how thick the pot is). Lesser brands sometimes use less metal which means less density which means less heat retention. The reason CI is so good is because of its heat retaining properties. Not all CI pots are created equal.

I am by no means saying that you can not get a less expensive pot that is not as good or better than LC. I am saying that not all CI is equal though. Yes LC is very expensive. With that cost comes a great looking pot that is been proven to handle very well. You can absolutely get a CI pot for a fraction of the price and just as good if you know what you are looking at, but if you don't know then LC has proven itself many times over and is a safe bet if you have the $.
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Old 10-28-2010, 10:25 AM   #8
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The difference between LC and some of the less expensive alternatives exist though.

One thing to take into consideration is craftsmanship. These are enameled cast iron we are talking about. The pot is only as good as the enameling. LC does a very good job in that area. My LC has not been babied and the enameling is still as good as it was the day I bought it. There are no chips anywhere. In some cheaper alternatives, the enameling would have chipped off already after it saw some of the spoon slaps this pot has seem.

Another thing to take into consideration is the amount of cast iron that is used (how thick the pot is). Lesser brands sometimes use less metal which means less density which means less heat retention. The reason CI is so good is because of its heat retaining properties. Not all CI pots are created equal.

I am by no means saying that you can not get a less expensive pot that is not as good or better than LC. I am saying that not all CI is equal though. Yes LC is very expensive. With that cost comes a great looking pot that is been proven to handle very well. You can absolutely get a CI pot for a fraction of the price and just as good if you know what you are looking at, but if you don't know then LC has proven itself many times over and is a safe bet if you have the $.

I agree. Plus LC guarantees for life.

One should never, ever pay full price for one, though. If you shop around you can buy LC for a fairly reasonable price -- sometimes for less than its counterpart products.
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Old 10-28-2010, 10:50 AM   #9
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I have some of the Danish Copco CI pots. They are beautiful (I think they are much prettier than the French ones.) Mine are yellow. I also have a "wok" in brown. The insides are white.



Mine are over 30 years old, but they aren't in as good of shape as I would like. Never let anyone wash them unsupervised until you know they will treat them well. Steel wool is not good for the finish. Neither is one of the curly metal scrubbers.

Also on the list of things that isn't good for them: having your house burn down, especially from a fire that starts in the kitchen You would think they could handle heat, since they can go in the oven. But, this fire was hot enough that my neighbours across the street were afraid there windows would crack!
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:50 PM   #10
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How about Lodge? They're so much cheaper. Like their other Lodge CI I believe they're cast here in the U.S. but sent to China for enameling. They don't contain lead either.
Most likely not as well crafted as the LC but the price differences are significant.
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Old 10-30-2010, 01:02 PM   #11
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....forgot to add to above post.... Having said that, I have 2 different sized/style LC enameled cast iron stove top griddles which I love very much.
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Old 10-30-2010, 03:45 PM   #12
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I'm a cookware junkie. Get yourself a Le Creuset. You won't be sorry. If you prefer Straub, that's fine. Either is top line.
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Old 10-31-2010, 04:15 AM   #13
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Hi All,

Thanks for all the replies! There's a bit of good info for me to think over.

One thing I need to be clear on is: The value proposition to me is not in the cost - for me function and storage are my primary considerations.
As to why LC? If I find its something that can help expand my cooking horizons, and I can afford to go for it, I figure I'm better off buying higher end products that will perform well now, and last.

Currently, my tagine is serving as a good vessel for making stews. Both western and traditional. In fact, Ive used it lately more for western style stews than anything else.

The electric frypan is also quite large, and Ive made several stews in it (prior to the tagine acquisition). It also does roasts.

I have a tall stainless pot that I cook my pasta in, but it also serves me well to make stocks and soups.


So this brings me back to my question of duplication. Ive never used a French oven before, and I dont know anyone else who has. So if I'm doing stews, stocks, etc as it is today, is it wise to go and get a French oven? This is where I look to the people who use these things to offer their thoughts. Unfortunately, all of my reading to date seems to be about either; (a) the value/quality of LC sometimes with respect to other brands, or (b) the recipes which can be cooked in one of these vessels.

If anyone can offer any insight into French ovens, especially with respect to the gear I currently own, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks!
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Old 10-31-2010, 04:50 AM   #14
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Dutch oven is a wonderful casserole. It is great for cooking rice. It is great for dishes that are started on the stove top and then go into the oven. It lovely for making a tomato sauce that wants to be simmered a long time.

I would still want a Dutch oven, if it were me that had the tagine and electric skillet. I like the fact that a stew, or my rice, or my reheated soup can be brought to the table in the Dutch oven and stay warm for a reasonable amount of time at the table. Though an electric skillet can be used for many of the same things, I don't think it is actual duplication. An electric skillet won't be as deep and that can be very useful.
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:47 AM   #15
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Thinking laterally for a minute, do consider buying one of these.

Amazon.com: Universal Housewares Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Camping Dutch Oven: Kitchen & Dining

Pre-seasoned, it would also sit quite happily in your oven and its lid can be turned upside-down and set on its legs. The top could also, I reckon, be used as amakeshift skillet. It's keenly priced, too, and over time its cast iron will take on a beautiful patina all of its own.
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:02 AM   #16
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Thank you all for your responses to this thread. I'll be at a decision point in the next month or so. If anyone else has any virtues of French Ovens to put forward, I would appreciate it....

Thanks!
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