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Is the Le Creuset Dutch Oven worth it?


Katy
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I have one I LOVE it. Never used another brand, I've only used unenameled dutch oven before. Mine has not chipped I've had it for a year. I'm not rough with it because I don't think you would be rough with a $400 pot. I do use it though. The best selling point for me is aside from the heft it's surprisingly easy to clean. Any stain I've been able to removed by gently rubbing it out using Le Creuset cleaner or just making a tomato sauce.

From what I've seen Staub is pretty similar that's a choice between dark enamel on the inside or light plus the way the lid works - price is very similar. I've heard good things about Lodge which is a lower price point. The super cheap I think do chip, I've seen chipped ones of those in the store. Just for functionality I think Lodge is a good economical bet. The Le Creuset has beautiful colors though.

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I have one LC (a discontinued risotto pot - huge and wide) and two Staub (a 7qt & 4 qt). They are most definitely worth every penny. I will have them forever, and maybe pass them on to children someday. I bought my mom a 4qt for Christmas a few years ago (they go on sale every holiday season for $99).

I had a Lodge and the enameled coating came off the inside. It didn't last 18 months.

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My plan was to just get the Lodge Dutch oven, then whenever it let its inferiority be known by chipping or whatever, replace it with Le Creuset.  I'm about 8 years into this pot and I think it's indestructible.  I don't know when I'll upgrade, but it won't be before this one fails.

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America’s Test Kitchen’s did a Dutch oven review. You can find it on YT.

I have a LeCruset Round that I use all the time and love it. It has not chipped and so far, no baked on discoloration. 

I have an off brand oval one that I haven’t tried out yet, so can’t compare it. 

I think ATK said one of the brands they tested was just as good as LeCruset but chipped fast; I think it was Cuisinart, not sure. It got bumped when it was still hot and chipped, I think. They said it didn’t impare the cooking quality but it was a disappointment. 

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I used Lodge for many years till I splurged and bought one Le Creuset. The three lodge dutch ovens are still usable but do not look nice- chipped and stained. The LC is only a few years old but looks beautiful. More important to me is that I like cooking with LC more. It has a flat and wide bottom where as the lodge is curved. It feels lighter for the same size. I believe it heats up faster and more evenly due to the bottom shape. There is a huge price difference between the two but if I can afford it, I will always go with LC. The Lodge only comes out for baking sourdough now. 

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What do you all use Dutch ovens for?  I have a Lodge iron one, and the only thing I do with it is make (the best ever) sourdough bread.  It’s ideal for that.  The upper temperature for sourdough is at the edge of delamination territory for the coated ones.

I also have an All Clad braised that is the same shape, and I mostly only use it to cook artichokes.  

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Definitely. I have had two sizes for almost 25 years and use them all the time. I don't try to take particularly good care of them, but they're both in excellent condition still. They should last a lifetime, so well worth it in my opinion. 

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1 hour ago, ealp2009 said:

I would not buy  Le Creuset because of the super high lead content and other dangerous metals in their products.   

Tamara Rubin has lead poisoned children and has spent the last 13 years of her life devoted to consumer safety and making people aware of the dangers of lead.   

https://tamararubin.com/category/le-creuset/

 

Interesting. I went searching for more information and found this, which says they are the safest when it comes to cadmium and lead. Will have to do further investigation.  https://www.planetorganics.com/le-creuset-cast-iron-skillets/

 

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31 minutes ago, whitestavern said:

Interesting. I went searching for more information and found this, which says they are the safest when it comes to cadmium and lead. Will have to do further investigation.  https://www.planetorganics.com/le-creuset-cast-iron-skillets/

I think Le Creuset's official stance is that their interior meets California Prop 65. Exterior yellow, red and oranges are less safe (Cadmium). Safe Cookware Guide That Makes Sense | I Read Labels For You has a good break down of what the testing means in addition to Le Creuset's claims on the controversy. Essentially that Prop 65 test for leaching from the interior enamel "it can have no more than 0.1 mg/liter of lead and no more than 0.049 mg/liter of cadmium leached into 4% acetic acid." Tamara Rubin tested for existence of lead and cadmium on both interior and exterior.  

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1 hour ago, Carol in Cal. said:

What do you all use Dutch ovens for?

My enamel one for stew, pot roast, tomato sauce, meat browning and looking at (yes I bought the LC for looks it lives on my stovetop). The enamel Dutch oven ended up making the Lodge plain cast iron obsolete for me (I used it for browning and soups that did not contain tomato or acidic stuff).  Could I live without an enamel Dutch oven with my stainless steel stuff, yes; I just find cleaning the enamel Dutch oven easier. 

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My LC Dutch Oven is probably almost 25 years old, has gotten a lot of use; no chips at all. The inside is somewhat stained now, but that doesn't affect it. I would expect it to outlive me; I hope one of my kids will want it. 

I use it for soups, stews, beans, pot roast, pulled pork if we are not smoking it... it's super for baked rice dishes. I love to sautee in it, then when it's time for long slow cooking, to put it in the oven. Frees up a burner, and no worries about the bottom scorching. 

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20 minutes ago, Mrskitty76 said:

You might want to try looking at a local thrift store.  These are pretty common there and that way you could get a couple and not worry about if they break! 🙂

That’s a good idea in some areas but not here.  The thrift stores are combed daily by resellers. I once took the kids to goodwill first thing in the morning and found a line outside of people waiting to run in.  I was just looking for a rain jacket and some polo shirts and by the time I located them every shirt that wasn’t pilled or stained was in someone’s cart. Even the kids books were only falling-apart paperbacks. By the time we were done looking for books there were more than 20 people with full carts in line.  I looked for pans because the line snaked through the kitchen area and the only thing they had were nonstick fry pans with the lining flaking off and a pure aluminum 1960’s pot. It looked like most of it should go directly in the trash. 

We had a bit more luck in a different goodwill but it’s nothing like the ones in other areas we lived.  Since we move every few years I’ve noticed wide discrepancies in thrift stores depending on the area. 

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