Author Topic: Le Creuset cookware, worth it? (Read 28746 times)

greenmimama

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Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« on: June 25, 2014, 09:37:29 PM »
I have been drooling over the Le Creuset pans and bakeware, I was wondering any of you have it and if it's worth the money, is this kind of a buy it for life type of deal.

I don't really need it, but I could replace a couple of pans in my rotation, I think one os aluminum, not encased and I have read bad stuff about that.

I am also looking for some really good knives for the kitchen, I just want the 3 sizes we would use the most, I don't want a clunky butcher block and other sizes we won't use.

Thanks

Cressida

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2014, 09:45:37 PM »
I had a cheaper enameled cast iron Dutch oven and it chipped and became useless over a couple of years. Then I got a Le Creuset and it's going strong 5 years later - totally functional and looks great to boot. But yeah, they are seriously pricey.

The non-enameled cast iron, like Lodge, is far cheaper but slightly harder to maintain. I don't have first-hand experience with those.

sol

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2014, 09:46:37 PM »
No, not even close to worth it. The "performance" of the cookware isn't any better than what you'll get out of $20 goodwill cast iron. It's all brand marketing.

If you're the type of person who thinks Gucci or D&G is worth it, you'll probably like Le Creuset cookware. There's nothing wrong with it, other than the price.

greenmimama

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2014, 09:49:03 PM »
No, not even close to worth it. The "performance" of the cookware isn't any better than what you'll get out of $20 goodwill cast iron. It's all brand marketing.

If you're the type of person who thinks Gucci or D&G is worth it, you'll probably like Le Creuset cookware. There's nothing wrong with it, other than the price.

Gucci and D&G? You're funny, nope not that kind at all, but I am looking for a lifetime type of pans for my kitchen, I am not looking for a frying pan, I already have a few antique cast iron that are great, more a sauce pan and some bakeware.

innkeeper77

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2014, 09:50:18 PM »
Well, Le Crueset makes fantastic enameled cast iron cookware, and it is made in France. You can often find used examples far cheaper than new. That said, we were given a new Le Creset Dutch oven for our wedding, and it is fantastic! The budget option is Lodge. Lodge enameled cast iron isn't quite as pretty, and it is made in China. In use however, Lodge works just as well, for 1/6th or so of the price. Americas Test Kitchen also seemed to like the Tratmontia Dutch ovens, which come enameled and the same style. However, Le Crueset and to a lesser extent Lodge should have the lowest chance of chipping (unless you abuse them)

I like the enamel because, though you should be areful or avoid metal utensils so as to not scratch it, it is heavy, cooks very stable, and it is easy to clean compared to regular cast iron.

Knives: Victorionox makes good budget knives. We have a few of them, and I really like them- especially the chefs knife. Their paring knife that I have been meaning to buy is well reviewed by Americas Test Kitchen and is only $5! I just need to wait until I need something else, so shipping from Amazon is free..

Clarion

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2014, 10:44:53 PM »
I have two Le Creuset cast iron pots ( a large one and a smaller one) both were gifts to me 7 years ago. I love them. I use them on the stove and also in the oven. I cook roasts in the larger one in the oven and use the smaller one for all sorts of things like casseroles.

hermoninny

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2014, 10:56:39 PM »
I have a Dutch oven my mom gave me for Christmas a few years ago, a large frying pan, and a sauce pot with a lid that doubles as a pan. The Dutch oven is awesome, but I could take or leave any of the others. I actually use my small all-clad nonstick frying pan (another Christmas present) for almost everything, and my go-to pots are still my $25 set I bought at target 10 years ago when I moved out on my own.


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SingleMomDebt

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2014, 10:58:22 PM »
When it comes to their dutch oven, Yes. It will last you a lifetime.

Red Beard

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2014, 11:01:59 PM »
After years of warped pans and cookware that didn't cook evenly, we took the Le Creuset plunge about 3 years ago and at this point we do not regret it one bit. Curiously, 3 years ago is also the last time I added a couple flannel shirts to the rotation, so I don't exactly think of myself as the Gucci type :)

A couple tips we learned as we looked:

1. TJ Maxx and Marshall's will occasionally have certain colors in stock at steep discounts
2. Sur la Table and Williams Sonoma often have deep discounts on new, "store specific" pieces that are up to 50% less than similar pieces of slightly different size

With some diligent hunting we have been able to build a kitchen that should last 20-30 years without breaking the bank

horsepoor

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2014, 11:05:47 PM »
My enameled Lodge Dutch oven is about 5 years old and looks like it will last a long time.

Having had a chance to compare side by side, I actually liked the looks of Staub enameled ovens over Le Creuset. They come with the self-basting lids, and the fit and finish seemed nicer, with a tigheter fit to the lid and more beautiful enamel finish. Price is about the same, so if I ever decide to splash out for something like that, it will probably be the Staub oval 5.5 quart.

On knives, I do love my Wusthofs. I also have a smaller Henckel's chef's knife, and a couple Globals, but the 8" Wusthof chef's knife gets the most frequent use, and seems like it will last forever. Wonderful balance and feel in my hand, just a really nice knife. I got it in a set with a paring knife and utility knife, which are nice, but not necessarily nice enough to justify the price premium. I'd suggest paying the money for an excellent chef's knife, and then going cheaper on any auxiliary knives you might want. One exception is the Global vegetable knife if you chop many hard vegetables such as acorn squash. It's squared off instead of pointy at the end, and shaped to cleave recalcitrant vegetables effectively and safely. It should double as a light duty meat cleaver, too, ifyou're so inclined.

eyesonthehorizon

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2014, 11:14:52 PM »
Sol above totally nailed it:
... There's nothing wrong with it, other than the price.

It's mostly good, sturdy, well-made stuff, but a majority of it is NOT made in France any longer. It's produced mostly in Thailand and China, and I've heard some reports of compromises in the recent materials. There are definitely cheaper brands out there of comparable quality. You're paying for a name and elegant design - if the latter, however, truly gives you pleasure...

I recommend checking out some restaurant supply stores to see if anything inexpensive but quality is satisfying. If nothing else it will teach you WHY you want the fancy version.

With knives my experience indicates there is VASTLY more range in actual quality out there, and while you don't have to choose from the top three brands, you definitely want to go high end from the get go. Buy once, never have to relearn how to handle.

Full disclosure: I bought one of their cobalt blue mortar and pestle sets a few years ago on a clearance sale. Mostly because it was so gorgeous I couldn't get it out of my head, and went back for the VERY LAST ONE in the color that next week. It's a decorative piece when I'm not using it and I still get wibbly looking at it - when I have a strong desire for the things I already own, I know I picked the right thing.

MicroRN

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2014, 12:03:07 AM »
I love it and have a nice collection, but I've never paid for it myself - my mom buys it for me. It's good quality. I have one Le Creuset skillet that's over 40 years old, still used almost daily. My mom still has the rest of that set. I also have a dutch oven, a bouillabaisse pot, a braiser, and a saucier, and they all get used constantly. I wouldn't have bought myself that many, but they all get used multiple times a week. Nothing bakes Lahey's 5 minute bread like the bouillabaisse pot.

I've heard good reviews of the Lodge enameled, so that could be a good reasonably priced option, or check for people selling it used. If you're willing to put some effort into seasoning and learning how to use it, basic cast iron is cheap cheap cheap - especially used - and will last forever.
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Thedudeabides

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2014, 01:46:17 AM »
I cook a lot and as a result receive a lot of cooking-related gifts. I have Le Creuset, Lodge, Staub and Martha Stewart gear. So far, I like all three. Price-wise Lodge is the best. However if you watch for sales, you may be able to find deals. I once found a Staub fry pan for half price. You could always get non-enameled as well. Much cheaper in price but the trade off is more maintenance.

For knives I would also echo the Victorinox recommendations. I have many of their knives and prefer them over my German knives because I find them easier to sharpen. My recommendation would be to buy Victorinox knives and a Japanese water stone to keep them sharp. Victorinox is exceptional value.

Torran

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2014, 03:39:00 AM »
Hi there,

I'm usually against being swayed by brands, but I have Le Creuset pans from the 1970s and they're still perfect. Not a chip. The set looks pretty old (a glorious 1970s bright-orange colour) but in better condition than cheap pan I bought 2 years ago.
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Torran

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2014, 03:59:55 AM »
Uuh.. wasn't meaning to just wax lyrical about my kitchen ware there! I think it's a frugal choice since you won't have to buy more pans for (hopefully) decades :)
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edders101

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2014, 04:04:18 AM »
Good morning from London.

I inherited a Le Creuset pot from my grandmother after she passed away some years ago. As she lived through the war, the associated austerity and impact that had on that generation "make do and mend" etc, I would have thought that the thing must have been going since at least the 60's / 70's. After all those of her cooking, of being used as a water bowl for the dogs and surviving my cooking too it's still going strong!

If there are equivalents out there that are cheaper then great, but I rate the longevity of the pans and never intend to throw them away.

theSchmett

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2014, 04:58:06 AM »
We've had 2 frying pans and a dutch oven for awhile. The two pans had issues with coatings. It was a heavy cast iron type with a black coating, I suppose non stick, with a lifetime warranty. They replaced it with an aluminum frying pan with a different coating which failed in a different way.

That last pan is being reviewed for replacement at the moment but I don't forsee a problem. I do like a company that stands by its products.

The dutch oven looks and works great, apart from some staining on the light colored enamel inside, which I guess is normal?

Rural

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2014, 06:26:27 AM »
I'm a big fan of plain cast iron myself; on the enameled stuff, if anything fails, it's the enamel. It's not hard to season a new pan, and it's not at all hard to clean (hot water, quick scrape with a metal spatula, and then either wipe it down or stick it back in the warm oven to dry). My Dutch oven is a Griswold, but I also bought a 12" Lodge fry pan about a year ago (have been using my grandmother's 10") and the new Lodge is still by good. I can take all three pans from stovetop to oven to woodstove, seamlessly.


Also, my brand new fry pan cost me $20. Can't swear to its longevity, but the 10" is between 50 and 80 years old and in perfect shape.

deedeezee

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2014, 06:35:37 AM »
I love mine, but there is no way I would pay full price. At a discount, I think it is worthwhile to have in the kitchen (my dutch oven is 12 years old and still looks fantastic). Customer service is great - they sent me a replacement knob when I had an issue with mine last year. I also have a large-ish frying pan, which is fine, but I much prefer my small Lodge cast iron.

greenmimama

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2014, 07:16:40 AM »
I will just keep my eyes open for an awesome sale, OR check out some of the other brands listed. Thank you for all of your replies.

EK

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2014, 08:50:00 AM »
Le crueset Dutch oven is probably worth it, if you can get it on sale. Home goods has knock offs always (not worth it), but occasionally they have the real le creuset there for really cheap.

For knives, if you're looking for a buy it for life item, I have and love a few wusthof classic knives (gifts) that I've had for about 8 years now and seem like they would last another 80. Thry just feel really nice- a pleasure to use. One really nice chefs knife is probably enough, and then just fill in with cheaper ones. For the nice chefs knife, I'd say the splurge for a forged blade instead of a stamped blade is worth it.

iris lily

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2014, 09:02:18 AM »
It's yuppie marketing, don't succumb.

Grandma's good old iron cookware will last forever. Don't let them scare you about having to "maintain" it. I don't have a layer of grease on mine, you know, the "seasoning" thing, and it's fine. I wash them in water like regular pans.

rujancified

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2014, 09:30:40 AM »
I'm not a chef by trade, but I'm the foremost baker, casserole maker, and meat stewer in my house. I swear by my LC casserole dish and dutch oven - even burned on food cleans off easily and it looks perfect after years of regular usage. We also have lodge stuff as well, which is great for loads of things (fajitas, bacon).

As many folks said - you can almost always find LC at TJ Maxx/Homegoods on sale. If you're flexible on color and willing to buy quickly, you can score a deal.

TexasBrit

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2014, 09:32:42 AM »
I echo the comments that it is absolutely worth it provided you can buy it at discount. It may be me but I tend to cook more now I have my Le Creuset pot so that's saving me money right there!

I got mine at Marshall's, they had discontinued the color but hey, who cares?

galaxie

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #24 on: June 26, 2014, 09:34:33 AM »
I wouldn't bother with it for the saucepan. Get stainless steel for that - my mom found me a great kitchenaid stainless set of pans (with some kind of heat-distributing bottom core thingy) on a super discount that is still going strong after like 15 years.

For baking dishes (cake pan, loaf pan, etc.), Le Creuset is a fine choice if that's what you want. You could also do just fine with glass baking dishes.

Everyone on this thread seems to agree with me: the thing Le Creuset does best is Dutch ovens.

greenmimama

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #25 on: June 26, 2014, 09:48:20 AM »
I called my local outlet and they have a red, 7 and 1/4in dutch oven for $168

So it's good to know some prices for when I look at TJ Maxx and such

nereo

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #26 on: June 26, 2014, 09:49:32 AM »
I have been drooling over the Le Creuset pans and bakeware, I was wondering any of you have it and if it's worth the money, is this kind of a buy it for life type of deal.

I don't really need it, but I could replace a couple of pans in my rotation, I think one os aluminum, not encased and I have read bad stuff about that.

I am also looking for some really good knives for the kitchen, I just want the 3 sizes we would use the most, I don't want a clunky butcher block and other sizes we won't use.

Thanks
I have picked up le creuset pieces over the years at yard sales and two times as gifts from generous family members. They are amazing, and even after a decade+ of heavy use/abuse they are still amazing.
BUT, you can find stuff which will work about as well for much cheaper, if you are looking to buy new.
Here's a deal that's going on today for Cuisinart's version:
http://home.woot.com/offers/cuisinart-cast-iron-casseroles-6?ref=cnt_dly_wobtn

Also check out Lodge's edition of enamel-coated cast iron. Typically 1/2 to 1/3 the price.
http://lodgemfg.com/

Finally, if you season and treat and cast-iron correctly, you can just as good results (if not better) with non-enameled cast iron. In most cases you can find regular cast-iron skillets for $20-25 and larger dutch-oven pieces for $40

Cheers

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AssetGrinder

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #27 on: June 26, 2014, 11:59:36 AM »
We own a couple pieces at muy home. They are top quality and mine still look new after 5 years. That said they are too expensive. However you can often find deals at discount stores like Winners/Homesense in Canada that regularly offer 25-40% on select items. Also look out for department store sales at around 25%
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zataks

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #28 on: June 26, 2014, 12:06:17 PM »
If you can get them at reasonable prices (used/sales/inherited/etc) definitely worth it. Otherwise, Costco used to carry what looked to be Le Creuset made Kirkland brand cookware.
I bought a braiser at Sur la Table for way cheaper than the Creuset and it has been fantastic.

Looks like Costco still carries that stuff (http://costco.com/Kirkland-Signature%E2%84%A2-6.5-Qt.-Enameled-Cast-Iron-Round-French-Oven.product.100090986.html)

socaso

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #29 on: June 26, 2014, 12:23:55 PM »
We have a cast iron skillet and cast iron grill pan from Le Creuset and although they are wonderful and I use them all the time the quality is not above and beyond the Lodge brand, which is very good, American made, and cheaper. The Le Creuset is lovely and was a wedding gift but the pretty colors get grease spattered in the end.

lizzzi

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #30 on: June 26, 2014, 12:41:43 PM »
I have a black Le Creuset dutch oven that I got at a discount 17 or 18 years ago. I use it constantly. It is in perfect shape--never has chipped or anything like that. The light colored inside has discolored somewhat over the years, but as someone posted above, it isn't really an issue. For the frying pan I use incessantly, and have had for at least 20 years, it is just a Lodge cast iron 10" skillet. I keep it cleaned and seasoned with a little oil swiped around with a paper towel, and that's it. My other pots and frying pans are odds and ends I've picked up here and there over the years. Nothing was expensive or what would be considered good quality---some old Paul Revere stainless steel with copper bottoms some inexpensive Farberware stainless, and even an 8" omelet pan from Club Aluminum circa 1975. Oldies but goodiesto address the Le Creuset issueI like the Dutch oven very much, but have never seen a reason to buy any more LC.

Emg03063

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #31 on: June 26, 2014, 02:08:14 PM »
If you can't find it at your local secondhand shop or Craigslist, have a look at eBay:

http://ebay.com/itm/161344760988

Current bid is $40 + $15 shipping.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #32 on: June 26, 2014, 05:09:02 PM »
I have a different French brand, somewhere in between the price of Le Creuset and Tramontina. It's a good Dutch oven but I almost never use it, so YMMV.

That said, it's a good size for a preserving pan, so if I get into canning as much as I plan, I'll be using it a ton now.
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gimp

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #33 on: June 26, 2014, 06:01:02 PM »
Definitely not. Their shit is insanely overpriced. Okay, cool, your cast iron is enameled - one, you need enameled for almost nothing (tomatoes my ass, they won't touch the deep seasoning on my cast irons); two, if you really want it, you can still get enameled at half the price... or, based on some of their stuff, at 10% of the price.

An all-clad pan is $150 or whatever, and it deserves being $150 because of how good it is. Is it worth it? Maybe, maybe not, but at least it's actually better than a $15 pan. But a $300 le creuset cast iron dutch oven is no better than a $30 cast iron dutch oven from Lodge or a $45 enameled one.

surfhb

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #34 on: June 26, 2014, 06:17:10 PM »
This site is great because it makes us aware not to buy things we don't need. But when it comes to things we use everyday: pots, knives, phone chargers, towels, toilet paper, ect I think it's wise to spend the extra money for quality.

Yes they are worth it if you plan on using it on a regular basis. You'll will it to your children.

Buy used if you can. :)
« Last Edit: June 26, 2014, 07:16:15 PM by surfhb »

dragoncar

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #35 on: June 26, 2014, 06:23:02 PM »
As the proud new owner of a pretty small LC dutch oven, I'm commenting to watch the progress of this thread. It was a non-returnable, and non-requested gift, but I really like it so far. I may soon be in the market for a larger one, and of course I'm interested in cheaper options.

vagon

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #36 on: June 26, 2014, 06:39:41 PM »
No-one seems to have approached your knives issue. My opinion is get one 7-9" chefs knife from a reputable brand (suggest Global) and use it to death.

Thats right only one knife, not three. No other knife is necessary unless you plan on filleting fishes or making fancypants decorative presentations. Also buy a knife block to sharpen it instead of sharpening steel or a gadget which might damage the lastability if used wrong.

In terms of La Creuset, +1 to this:
Buy used if you can. :)

Otherwise +1 to this:
you can still get enameled at half the price... or, based on some of their stuff, at 10% of the price.

RapmasterD

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #37 on: June 26, 2014, 06:56:26 PM »
It's amazingly worth it if you buy ONE item. Think of the ONE item you need, that will be most versatile for you. We bought a Dutch oven 10 years ago that looks brand new. I have full faith it will outlast my wife and me. Nothing else in my kitchen comes close to that, save for my Lodge cast iron skillet, which is of course paradoxically inexpensive. Well, there is my cheesy Revereware...BTW, my parents had ONE Le Creuset item before the term 'yuppie' was coined.
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Thegoblinchief

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #38 on: June 26, 2014, 07:52:52 PM »
I missed the knife question. I basically only use two knives: a standard (9"?) chef's knife and a 4" paring knife. Both are Chicago cutlery, so not exactly high end, but have used them nearly every day for close to a decade and they still look and feel brand-new.

My parents gave me a fancypants electric sharpener and it keeps those knives in good shape.

Some knives are utter crap, but with an even halfway decent knife, you need to know how to sharpen it. Never, ever put it in the dishwasher. If you cut something very acidic, rinse or wash it right away. Otherwise it'll need sharpening sooner.

Learning knife techniques can help you get even more enjoyment out of it - that's something I still need to do.
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lizzzi

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #39 on: June 26, 2014, 08:23:56 PM »
I forgot to answer the knife question. I pretty much just use an 8 or 9 inch Wusthof chef's knife, which I do not keep sharp enoughbut that is my fault, not the knife's. And I usually just grab an old steak knife for anything you'd use a paring knife for.

crusher

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #40 on: June 27, 2014, 04:56:48 AM »
I think a Le Creuset dutch oven and a quality chef's knife are excellent, long-term additions to your kitchen. I requested them as gifts, but you could watch for sales and coupons. Le Creuset also has outlet stores.

Wustof has several models, so I suggest checking them out in person before buying. I got the lower-end steak knives years ago and have regretted the loss in durability. A knife guard is a cheap way to protect one or two blades (and may come with a chef's knife).

While those items were splurges, I got a regular ol' cast-iron skillet and griddle at estate sales for a steal.

chasesfish

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #41 on: June 27, 2014, 05:12:27 AM »
Have you looked at Costco? I finally replaced my hodgepodge of cookware and have liked their house brand set. ~ $149 on a sale for 13 pieces
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samusugiru

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #42 on: June 27, 2014, 06:49:42 AM »
I don't know if its worth it. I have a small LC Dutch oven and a Staub skillet. I've never really had problems with any of my cookware apart from some aluminium ikea pans where the screws came loose constantly. I just bought a large enamelled iron pan from Aldi for $25. I haven't used it yet but it looks similar to LC. I also bought one of their stoneware baking pans one Christmas Eve when everything was closed except for one store and I needed something to cook the goose. It will definitely last the years, my last one was ikea which crackled and shattered eventually. I lived in Europe when I bought them though and they were much cheaper there. Generally it seems stuff there lasts, I've never had the problems American have with replacing things. We still have the same sheets and towels from growing up in Australia. I just expect things to last. So I guess buy these things when you holiday in Europe or Australia. Better yet buy them second hand, you can find le creuset for a few euros in the second hand stores and they will be made in France not a sweatshop. As long as its ok packing something so heavy.

happyfeet

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #43 on: June 27, 2014, 07:10:10 AM »
I wanted to start this thread and here it is! Had been debating the LC - I cook everyday and have been through several pan sets. Went to pick my son up from his Senior Year College Graduation(YEA) and there was an LC outlet store.

I grilled the sales lady and she was awesome. The best seller is the dutch over and next is the braiser. I got the braiser and it sits on my stove all the time. It is amazing and I love cooking in it. Use it at least three times a week. Cleans like a dream. They come with a lifetime warranty. It was made in France and I paid $150 for it which is less than retail. Now I have a piece of cook ware that will last until I am done cooking. :) Or it gets to heavy for me to lift. I plan on getting the dutch oven next.

I also have the Victornox knives. I have the Sandukco(sp?) one and it is the best chopping dicing slicing thing ever and also a set of three small knives from them that cost $15. And I got a sharpener from Amazon also.

Wow great pans and knives make cooking so enjoyable.

I am not a luxury buyer(furniture from Craigs list and clothes from the Salvo) AT ALL but the LC pan is the bomb.

Grant Q

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #44 on: June 27, 2014, 07:33:08 AM »
As long as you buy only what you need, I think it's wise to buy quality kitchen items that will last your whole life instead of cheap ones that need to be replaced every few years. We bought a high-end WMF set when my wife and I were first married 10 years ago and don't regret it at all...all the pieces are still as good as new. On the other hand, I bought a Food Network skillet from Kohl's 3 years ago and it's now completely warped and the handle is loose.

Trudie

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #45 on: June 27, 2014, 09:45:41 AM »
I own two pieces of Le Crueset -- a dutch oven and a "saucerie" pan and I swear by the stuff. I have had it about five years. It's guaranteed for life.

I also have a knock off cast-iron enamel roaster, and it doesn't even compare. The knock off chips and rusts.

Someday I am going to sell off the rest of my cookware and just keep the Le Crueset in my "minimalist kitchen." I have already started phasing out other pieces.

Some tips on buying it:
Le Crueset has a few factory stores where they sell seconds (usually the color is a bit off). These are already a good deal, but they have factory sales a couple of times a year. I was able to find out when the factory sale was and get my local retailer to match it -- saving me tons of time and energy in the process.

TJMaxx/Homegoods sometimes has odds and ends pieces of Le Crueset in their cookware section.

Costco sells a different brand/unbranded version of enameled cookware that looks suspiciously like private-labeled Le Crueset to me -- only much cheaper. I would give it a try. Costco guarantees their stuff for life, so you really have nothing to lose by trying it out.

I do not use "Le Crueset" to be fancy or make a show of things... in fact, I generally swear off excessive kitchen gadgets and name brands. But, for me it's a great VALUE. It's a lifetime piece. You will not have to throw it away and if something ever goes wrong they will take care of you.

Jack

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #46 on: June 27, 2014, 10:37:11 AM »
Here are my principles for buying cookware etc.:

1. Do not ever buy a set of knives or pots. They always come with things you don't need. Because of that, they either cost more than buying equivalent quality by-the-piece, or are lower-quality than spending the same money on items by-the-piece.

(Dishes, glasses and silverware are okay to buy in sets, of course.)

2. Alton Brown and America's Test Kitchen give good advice. Follow their recommendations. America's Test Kitchen does comparison tests of every kind of kitchen tool you can think of, and Alton Brown's "Gear For Your Kitchen" book gives great advice about which kinds of tools are actually necessary and which are superfluous.

3. Buying the most expensive thing is sometimes worth it, but it sometimes isn't. The key is to know which situation is which.
  • For a skillet or saute pan that you're using to make something like steak au poivre (and therefore need to be able to both sear and have really good heat control to make the pan sauce), an expensive tri-ply stainless steel pan like All-Clad is worth it.
  • For pots used to do things like boil water, the cheapest one you can find is the best.
  • For a skillet that you're going to use to sear a steak without making a pan sauce, a cheap non-enameled cast-iron pan like Lodge is just fine
  • Anything that's "non-stick" has a coating that will wear off after a few years. These pans should be considered "disposable," so buy the cheapest damn ones you can find.
  • According to the Internet and the experts, cheap enameled cast iron chips while Le Creuset and Staub cast iron doesn't. (That said, this is the one case where my cheapness got the better of me: I bought some no-name enameled dutch oven -- from the grocery store, of all places! -- for $30, and the jury is still out about whether it will last.)
  • For knives, forged is better than stamped, but high-quality knives stamped from wedge-shaped steel plates, like Victorinox, are almost as good as forged while being much cheaper.

zataks

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #47 on: June 27, 2014, 01:45:14 PM »
The enamel coated everyone is talking about is the outside, correct? Meaning the inside is still black iron? We're not talking about the LeCreuset ceramic stuff? I got 2 load pans and a pie dish from Williams Sonoma that is LC (gifted to me, I actually scolded the gifter for spending so much money on frivolties I don't need--my $10 pyrex pie pan works like a champ!). The ceramic stuff is nice but no way I would pay for it unless maybe at a garage sale for very cheap.

happyfeet

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #48 on: June 27, 2014, 01:48:52 PM »
The Costco stuff is made in France. Hmmm

zataks

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Re: Le Creuset cookware, worth it?
« Reply #49 on: June 27, 2014, 01:56:20 PM »
The Costco stuff is made in France. Hmmm

My thoughts/suspicions, exactly. If they have both brands, compare weight too. I've been pretty pleased with Kirkland stuff throughout my purchasing history at Costco. The return policy (although I don't think I've ever used it) is apparently phenomenal too, just in case.