My Le Creuset Crusade

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 Dutch Oven

Resisting a $300 piece of cookware has been tough, especially when it comes in a bright lime/kiwi/lemongrass green that matches my favorite apron. I really don’t know that our mothers had this problem when most of us were children. A $300 pot? A $120 knife?

Granted, most of these things you only buy once and they’ll last through your children graduating high school, but still – a $180 stir-fry pan?

Le Creuset is everywhere on the Food Network these days and, next to the KitchenAid mixer, it’s the top “want” for the cooking forum I frequent. I admit that it has been on my want list for a while – I’ve even gotten so close as to walk into Sur La Table just to look at the rainbow of large dutch ovens knowing that, with my husband there for support, I’ll get to proudly leave empty-handed.

Oh, if it was only a $300 pot that would last my lifetime! The problem is what I call the “bathroom faucet” affect: You update the faucet in your guest bathroom with a pretty new faucet. You smile for about 30 seconds until you realize how much the wooden towel rack clashes with the new purchase. So you replace the towel rack but you cannot replace the towel rack without getting a matching TP dispenser. The next thing you know, you’re eye-balling the bathroom counter top and thinking to yourself, “How much would it cost to rip this out and install a pedestal sink if I did the work myself?”

I guess the reason I’ve personally crusaded with Le Creuset is because I know my want list will grow if that kiwi-colored dutch oven comes home to live with us. I mean, I have to buy the big one but it’s going to be too big for some jobs so I’ll need a smaller one. And don’t get me started on matching roasters!

Cook’s Illustrated ended my crusade once and for all yesterday. The January issue contains a review of dutch ovens, Le Creuset included. It was no surprise that Le Creuset performed very well. What was surprising was that a $40 dutch oven from Target performed just as well as the Le Creuset pot. No, that’s not a typo but I’ll repeat it again for you: a $40 dutch oven from Target performed just as well as the Le Creuset pot. The dutch oven from Target was rated a Best Buy from Cook’s Illustrated.

Talk about poor timing, though – Target has discontinued that pot and finding it is almost impossible. I couldn’t find the red 5-quart Chefmate Round Enameled Cast Iron Casserole online at Target or Amazon. I couldn’t find it at the two stores closest to my house and office. I checked Amazon before I left work… nothing. I searched again last night and there it was on Target’s website! I ordered it in a flash and now eagerly await its arrival next week.

3 comments… add one
  • I absolutely love my Le Creuset – and you’re right, once you buy one, you want to buy a bunch more. I think I’m up to 10 pieces now, if you include the pans and pots and dutch ovens and casserole dishes, etc. Luckily I buy most of my stuff on clearance or deep discount.

    Any clue on the size of the Target dutch oven? And did you notice it’s even cheaper now, on sale 20% off at $31.99?

  • I’m trying hard not to be jealous 🙂

    When I actually pulled the trigger on the order, it was discounted to 31.99 – bonus! It came in yesterday – I’m excited. The dutch oven is 5.5 quarts, a total steal at $31.99!

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