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Best Large Dutch Oven Recommendations?

 
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proniche



Joined: 15 Mar 2016
Posts: 3
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:56 am    Post subject: Best Large Dutch Oven Recommendations? Reply with quote

Hello, my name is Diane, I manage a canteen that's connected to a small factory and the majority of my trade is servicing the workers in the factory with food, especially during their lunch breaks. I'm constantly trying to think of ways to make better use of stock and to keep outlay down as much as possible. I tend to keep it simple with just a few specials each day and do things in batches rather than have a big menu with lots of variables. This works well with the kind of custom we get. Instead of just doing simple recipes, I'd quite like to experiment a bit and try to cook up something a bit more tasty for the workforce. I think purchasing a dutch oven or two might help me to do that as from what I gather, they are very versatile and great for making tasty dishes. Can anyone suggest a good brand to get? Thank you, Di.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1129
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would suggest plain old fashion cast iron.

Lodge is the last USA maker - a 7 qt model is $90-100.

on a smaller budget, you could check out the second hand shops for used ones - which are often quite inexpensive. you'll want to clean it ultra-well, then season it as you go along.

what is your cooking top? flat smooth tops - ceramic & induction are sensitive to warped / bowed bottoms. ceramic / glass can be scratched by careless handling of cast iron. gas&electric burners are much more forgiving of a $10 thrift shop Dutch Oven with a slightly warped bottom....

aluminum ones - look for thick aluminum - cast, not stamped or spun.

the "pretty enamel" ones are just cast iron with a coating - which can chip, etc. - appearance and chips are only an issue if Martha Stewart works at the factory . . . performance trumps pretty.

I don't recommend a new purchase of any cookware with a celebrity name attached - unless is is at a 80% off clearance sale - you'll pay a lot of money for the name with no real benefit.
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proniche



Joined: 15 Mar 2016
Posts: 3
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use electric ovens and gas tops. Have always preferred that combination as with electric stoves, you have less control over the temperature. I had to stipulate that back when I took the job. I don't mind a decent gas oven though.

I had it in my head initially that I'd probably be looking for a large cast iron pot. My mother always used to cook with a big iron pot at our grandmothers when we were kids. I have fond memories but the food wasn't the most adventurous and my mother won't mind me saying that. It was food on the table and that was important above all.

I had looked around the few local second-hand shops we have in the area but couldn't find anything particularly, perhaps I would if I went further afield. That's why I was wondering if there was somewhere online that did discounted cookware due to pre-use or blemishes.

I've been recommended some brands by friends but they've all been the enamel/ceramic ones and are quite pricey when bought new, like you said. I suppose if that's all people have known and they are happy with the end result, then they are going to back that brand. I'll have to see which ones they'd suggested again and you can tell me your thoughts :-) If I could get one of them discounted for whatever reason, there may be some sense in the purchase.
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Guest






PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two of my friends own Le Creuset Dutch ovens and they can't speak highly enough of them. The one of them has a whole set of Le Creuset cookware worth about $1,000 dollars!!! I told her that was crazy money to spend but she says they will all last a lifetime, they are really sturdy and super easy to clean.

My other friend just has the Dutch oven from Le Creuset but she also has a Lodge Dutch oven too. She says they are both great pots. The Lodge was bought from new a lot more recently, so has had less use, and the Le Creuset was bought quite a few years ago now, at a second-hand store. The lodge retails a lot cheaper, but she probably paid the same due to the circumstances. She says either buy a Lodge brand new, or a used Le Creuset second-hand if you can get a good deal. She's grown fond of her Le Creuset and thinks its maybe a tad better but that may just be sentiment.
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proniche



Joined: 15 Mar 2016
Posts: 3
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
Two of my friends own Le Creuset Dutch ovens and they can't speak highly enough of them. The one of them has a whole set of Le Creuset cookware worth about $1,000 dollars!!! I told her that was crazy money to spend but she says they will all last a lifetime, they are really sturdy and super easy to clean.

My other friend just has the Dutch oven from Le Creuset but she also has a Lodge Dutch oven too. She says they are both great pots. The Lodge was bought from new a lot more recently, so has had less use, and the Le Creuset was bought quite a few years ago now, at a second-hand store. The lodge retails a lot cheaper, but she probably paid the same due to the circumstances. She says either buy a Lodge brand new, or a used Le Creuset second-hand if you can get a good deal. She's grown fond of her Le Creuset and thinks its maybe a tad better but that may just be sentiment.


The quoted post by Guest was actually my post but I forgot to login accidentally. I've found some used Le Creuset Dutch ovens second-hand at a used site online and am getting some good prices. My friend has pulled my arm I think and I want to see what a Le Creuset dutch oven performs like for myself. For the price I'm going to be paying for a used one in good shape, I may as well give it a go. I'm thinking that I'll probably need two though due to the batch cooking i'll be doing so I might get another cheaper brand too. Will be a good grounds for carrying out some comparisons.
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Guest






PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ended up getting a large and deep Le Creuset but also bought a slightly smaller, shallower Lodge. This gives me a bit of versatility depending on what I want to cook and also allows me to cook more at once if need be.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1129
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

should work just fine. hopefully you were able to pick up the LeCreuset used cheaper than new cast iron. in a commercial setting, much less about looks and much more about costs....
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