Le Crueset vs Supermarket Cast Iron Cookware

(24 Posts)
differenttoyou Sat 10-May-14 14:31:30

I don't really want to pay the Le Crueset prices as I'm not likely to use a cast iron casserole dish that often. They are too heavy for me for regular use. Is there a much difference between the more expensive brand/s compared to a cheaper one that I could buy in one of the supermarkets?

PigletJohn Sat 10-May-14 14:48:48

cast iron is old technology, and, apart from the prestige of the name, there is no reason to suppose that a le Creuset will cook any better than an Aldi.

the heavier ones are better for a gentle cook as they hold and spread the heat, but so will a stainless pan with a thick thermal pan.

the weight of cast iron is a problem.

differenttoyou Sat 10-May-14 15:03:54

I'm looking for something that I can use both on the hob and in the oven that won't burn easily. I already have a deep Meyer non-stick pan but it is the wrong shape for whole chickens otherwise I wouldn't really bother looking for another one. I also would preferably like something that I can lay pastry on the top. I've seen some stoneware pie dishes but haven't yet seen one big enough for what I need. I'll keep looking. I'm sure I'll evenutally find something that fits all of my requirements.

funnyossity Sat 10-May-14 15:21:19

Stoneware gets chipped quite easily.

My Le Creuset casserole is heavy but I use it for hob to oven stuff as you say. I also use more frequently a big flattish oval dish for roasting chicken and the weekly pasta bake- that's not too heavy! I don't know how other brands stack up.

For pies I use the white enamelled steel - relatively cheap. But you may not get a big enough one, I do use two at times. I think I'd buy what you are looking for!

I don't know how other brands stand up against Le Crueset but I am building up a healthy selection of the real stuff from TK Maxx. It's not the standard orange stuff usually it's the bright colours that clearly aren't so popular and when I say bargain I mean I've paid no more than £20 for an item and that was a lidded casserole dish big enough for a family casserole.

trashcansinatra Sat 10-May-14 15:52:29

In my experience, my le creuset have worn better, are easier to clean and chip less than the cheaper copies. You get what you pay for, and if you ding think you will use it much, go cheap; if you will use it lots, go fur quality.

trashcansinatra Sat 10-May-14 15:52:57

Ding=don't

differenttoyou Sat 10-May-14 20:11:34

Thanks all. I'll check out TK Maxx. If I find anything that fits the bill I'll let you know.

PolterGoose Sun 11-May-14 11:21:20

I've had both and now only use Le Creuset. The unbranded stuff is heavier and not as well cast, so the lids don't seal as well.

canny1234 Sun 11-May-14 11:41:53

I Agree with Polter.Our Le creuset has lasted for gears and the lids seal extremely well.The cheaper versions chip instantly and leave gaps in the seal which means the food doesn't cook as efficiently.

differenttoyou Sun 11-May-14 23:21:58

Thanks. I had a look around today in John Lewis and Fenwick. Nothing available that isn't cast iron. Looks like I'm going to have to stick with the tried and tested method of sealing everything in a frying pan first before transferring to a casserole or pie dish. Our local TK Maxx doesn't sell housewares. Will have to try a larger branch.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 12-May-14 11:33:40

Accepting the comment about 'old technology' but, having recently upgraded to induction cooking, my 25 year-old cast iron Le Creuset pots were the one thing that didn't need to be replaced. Think I'll be passing them on in my will.

PigletJohn Mon 12-May-14 11:40:32

I inherited a heap of le Creuset but DP won't use them (too heavy) and I couldn't, when I injured my arm.

If you have big strong wrists and arms you should be OK. A big iron casserole, with lid, full, is very heavy, as is a pan with one handle.

Hazchem Mon 12-May-14 11:48:34

All my cheap ones have got chipped after less then a year. I'm careful with them too. Le Creuset ones my mum has are just as good as when she got them 20 years ago.

Pantah630 Mon 12-May-14 18:02:58

My le crueset oval casserole is 21 years old and still going strong, I also have a round Copco (Danish) that was my parents wedding present, 45 years old, that I use at least once a week, mainly on the hob but it does go in the oven too. It's the ideal shape and size for byrianis, curries and chillies. Good quality kitchenware lasts generations.

differenttoyou Mon 12-May-14 20:52:44

You're all convincing me that I need the real stuff and have to develop some muscles.

TheSteveMilliband Mon 12-May-14 21:05:39

It is fabulous stuff, though I think chasseurs as good and a bit cheaper.

MooseyMoo Mon 12-May-14 21:10:14

This website has Le Creuset items reduced from 20-50%

www.ecookshop.co.uk/ecookshop/le-creuset.asp

ShoeWhore Mon 12-May-14 21:14:29

My le Creuset casserole is 15 years old and looks like brand new. My upper body strength is totally rubbish but I can manage to lift it full.

Good tip about TK Maxx - I'd like one of the shallow casseroles, will check it out.

ElleDubloo Mon 19-May-14 21:07:18

I have a full set of Denby casseroles, which I'd heartily recommend as an alternative to Le Creuset. They're not quite as expensive as Le Creuset, but more expensive than supermarket brands, and (I believe) you're paying towards quality rather than a fashionable brand. They're thick, heavy, long-lasting, cook wonderful food, and look beautiful.

NUFC69 Tue 20-May-14 21:32:16

My DSis in law gave us our first Le Crueset casserole as a wedding present (42 years in July) and it has been used every week since then. You really can't beat them for longevity.

NUFC69 Tue 20-May-14 21:33:27

My DSis in law gave us our first Le Crueset casserole as a wedding present (42 years in July) and it has been used every week since then. You really can't beat them for longevity.

BananaPie Tue 20-May-14 21:41:50

My le creuset is almost 30 years old and going strong. I've a cheaper version from house of fraser that's just over a year old and chipped already. Food sticks to it when cooking on the hob a lot more than with the le creuset too .

differenttoyou Wed 21-May-14 13:13:29

One by one you are convincing me though I will still struggle with the weight.

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