This morning, for some reason, while working in the garden, I kept thinking about Dutch Oven cooking. I have a cast iron Dutch Oven but lately everything I’ve cooked in it has a metallic taste. I’ve re-seasoned it twice. My guess is that while Chad was home and cooking, he used soap in it or scrubbed it or more likely . . left it sitting in sink of dirty dishwater overnight. I think I’m going to take it to my dad and let him fix it. He can always make cast iron work!
I love slow cooking in the oven and try as I might, I cannot love the crockpot. The stove here is propane and our propane bill is so low and our house is so small and so easy to cool, that I don’t mind using the oven for several hours. In fact, we were looking back at electric bills and this same time last year, we paid over $300 in MO and here, our bill was less than $100. Along with propane, we’re paying a total of maybe $130 per month here (combined electricity and propane) and that includes cooling the sewing room. Not bad, huh? Thank goodness we’re not paying for water!
With the seasoning issues and not being able to use tomatoes in the cast iron pot, I decided to order one of the pretty, colored, enamel coated Dutch Ovens. I researched and read blogs and read reviews and called three companies – LeCreuset, Cuisinart and Lodge. Why am I struggling so much with this decision?
The Le Creuset pots are just outrageously expensive in my book. Maybe they’re the best but how much better can they be? I can buy Lodge for less than $60 and the same size Le Creuset is over $300. I know how things go in my kitchen and there’s a better than average chance that a pot or the lid will get dropped . . on tile floor.
For me, it doesn’t matter so much about the cost. I’m willing to pay $300 for a pot if it’s 5 times better than a $60 pot but if not . . I’m not doing it. About 20 or 25 years ago I decided I had to have the Calphalon professional pots that the local kitchen store was pushing. The pots and pans were sold individually and were terribly expensive. Over a period of a few years, I got just about every piece they sold. Then when living in Kentucky and we ended up with a house in town and a house in the country, I wanted an inexpensive set of pots for the house in town. I figured I’d use them rarely and get rid of them when we moved.
We bought this set of Farberware . . I think we paid about $80 for the entire set . . way, way less than I paid for one of the Calphalon pots. That was in 2006 and those are the only pots I currently have in my kitchen. I still have the Calphalon but they’re packed, in boxes, somewhere . . probably never to be used again.
I have used cheap pots and I don’t like them but these Farberware pots are heavy, and they heat evenly. I love them! What I’m saying is – if inexpensive does the job, I’m happy with inexpensive.
So, I pretty much ruled out the Le Creuset simply because of the cost. I have a few of their pieces and they’re great but they’re not any greater than any other similar pieces I have.
That left Lodge and Cuisinart . . both of which are made in China. I decided I wouldn’t get those because of that but after talking to the Lodge folks, who assure me that there are numerous tests done on the pots to be sure they’re safe and the quality meets their standards, I went ahead and ordered the 3 quart and 6 quart Dutch Ovens.
I love the blue and I’m thinking when I get other pieces, I might get red and then I’ll have some patriotic pots!