A French Oven You Can Live In – My Favorite Pot – AKA Dutch Oven

L2501 2612 hd

Just as my cast iron skillet is my go-to pan for all kinds of frying and sautéeing, this Le Creuset 5.5 quart French Oven is the pot I turn to first for soups, stews, braises, chili, etc. It isn’t quite big enough for boiling a full pound of pasta, but for anything else that involves sizable volumes of liquid, it is game-on.

Why is this a great pot?

  1. It is made from cast iron, which holds a lot of heat, so when you add food, the temperature doesn’t drop as much as it would in a lighter pan.
  2. It is enameled, so you can cook reactive foods like tomato sauce in it that aren’t appropriate for raw cast iron.
  3. It has a tight fitting lid that holds in moisture. It won’t rattle as it simmers and let out steam.
  4. It can go right in the oven. The handle on the lid is made from a composite that is good up to 500 degrees.
  5. It looks beautiful, and you can pick from a variety of colors to suit your style.

But… the real reason is #6: it just feels good. You know how some things have soul and some don’t? These pots have soul. I can’t really explain it any other way except that I just enjoy cooking in it, and will pretty much look for any excuse to do so.

What else can I say? These pots are a sizable investment, but I can’t imagine you regretting the purchase. They also make a fantastic wedding present. I love to give gifts that the recipient will use their whole lives and pass on to their children, and this would be one of my top choices.