Dutch Oven/Braiser

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keithmarder
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Dutch Oven/Braiser

Post by keithmarder » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:49 pm

Hi all,

Question more for the home cooks.

I have a Dutch Oven. This is one of my favorite things to cook in. I was thinking of adding a Braiser (a Staub), but think it may be too much of an overlap. Is it worth it to have both or can I just use the Dutch Oven in place of where I would use the Braiser?

Thanks

Robstreperous
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Re: Dutch Oven/Braiser

Post by Robstreperous » Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:03 pm

For what it's worth my dutch ovens are all enameled LeCreuset. I picked up my braiser - cast iron Sur La Table - on close out on a whim. The braiser has now easily taken over 50% of the use my dutch ovens used to get.

Searing in my enameled cast iron was always a bit of a challenge. Getting browned bits on the pan is great.... shredding the meat in order to get it to release from the pan.... less so.

The cast iron surface on the SLT braiser gives me better food release.

Soups, stews, anything tomato or acidic... gets the enameled treatment. Need a good sear and not using a skillet or saute for some reason? Take me to my braiser....

Carter
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Re: Dutch Oven/Braiser

Post by Carter » Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:06 pm

I have used an 8.5qt Staub oval cocotte for 10 years, I prefer it to Le Creuset because I believe it is a marginally better braiser, but definitely better at browning and searing with the dark surface, it radiates more heat. I also have a round 4qt braiser.....I use both several times weekly and do more pan cooking than braising in both. The large cocotte is great for steaks or burgers giving a good sear and the high sides keep splatter to a minimum. Cooking some shrimp in a garlic sauce tonight....the 4qt braiser will be the pan of choice.

gladius
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Re: Dutch Oven/Braiser

Post by gladius » Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:02 pm

I've got a Staub Cocotte as well: very versatile and I prefer the high sides to the braiser or cast-iron skillet, I don't require the splatter screen nor do I need to break down the taller roasts.

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jbart65
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Re: Dutch Oven/Braiser

Post by jbart65 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:39 pm

Strange, Rob. I don't recall any issues browning or getting release on my LeCreuset. Biggest issue is not letting the stuff on the bottom get too black and bitter.

I'll more pay attention next time I use it. For years I had problems with stickage until I learned to heat the pan very hot first, then add oil, then add protein. Rarely does fish even stick on my these days.

The most stickage I get is on my ... "green" nonstick pan. Go figure.

But cast iron is great. I sear almost everything on that now - steak, chicken, shrimp, scallops.
Jeffry B

keithmarder
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Re: Dutch Oven/Braiser

Post by keithmarder » Thu Mar 08, 2018 6:31 pm

Great help. Thanks

Bob Z
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Re: Dutch Oven/Braiser

Post by Bob Z » Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:57 pm

Hmm, that's an interesting looking pan. i got a Staub grill grill pan on sale two years ago and its nice but it seems the braiser might be a better way to go. gonna have to check that out!

But while on topic of dutch ovens here is a link to a roasted tri-tip that I have made many times and is worth making if you live where they offer this cut of beef.
https://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipe ... st-2770532

I use a piece of parchment paper between the lid and bottom so i dont have to clean the lid when its done. It takes 2 1/2 hours in oven and then i let it rest for 15 minutes before uncovering and viola! dam good stuff. Usually add a few carrots cut to stew sized pieces on top of the beef when cooking it.
On some bread with carrots!
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Robstreperous
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Re: Dutch Oven/Braiser

Post by Robstreperous » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:06 pm

jbart65 wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:39 pm

I'll more pay attention next time I use it. For years I had problems with stickage until I learned to heat the pan very hot first, then add oil, then add protein. Rarely does fish even stick on my these days.
The directions I got when I bought them... (purchased directly in Paris 21 maybe 22 years ago Jefry) were not to go above medium. I don't always follow that but seldom take the heat much past the point where olive oil begins to smoke. Maybe that's the issue.

To put this in perspective a sausage is no problem. Breaded foods like a cutlet --- from what I recall not a big deal. Chopped chunks for stew? I can get away with it. Steak, skinless chicken breast or fish? i try to avoid it.

I'm trying to remember but as I recall I may have also had less than stellar results carmelizing onions in my enameled..

Anyway... my cast iron brasier was a great buy and I've found an excellent complement to my dutch ovens.

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jbart65
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Re: Dutch Oven/Braiser

Post by jbart65 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:40 pm

Hah. I've been breaking that rule forever, Rob. That said, I don't normally use enameled cast iron for proteins other than searing chunks of beef, pork, lamb and sometimes chicken. Usually it's a stew I am making since I have a 6 1/2 qt pan.

My cast iron pan is 30 years old and nothing sticks to it.

My All Clad is the best for carmelizing onions.
Jeffry B

Robstreperous
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Re: Dutch Oven/Braiser

Post by Robstreperous » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:50 am

jbart65 wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:40 pm
My All Clad is the best for carmelizing onions.
Roger that. I'm sure if I looked hard enough I could find better stuff out there but so much of my cooking has migrated to my All Clads. Those factory sales have turned out to be excellent deals. I picked up a 6 qt copper core saute and a copper core everyday last year without needing to mortgage the house. I know where the blemishes are but the pans are seldom polished well enough for it to matter. :mrgreen:

Anyway, back on point with the thread... I used to use my dutch ovens so much more than I do now. Between the braiser and the All Clads I guess I'm merely using them for .... what they were intended!

Ourorboros
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Re: Dutch Oven/Braiser

Post by Ourorboros » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:40 am

I think a braiser is a good size to braise some chicken thighs - handier than a Dutch Oven.
Also, I think it is good for roasting chickens - brown the thigh sides and finish in oven without the hassle of a longer handle.
If space were a big concern, I could work around this, but both are nice to have.

salemj
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Re: Dutch Oven/Braiser

Post by salemj » Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:55 am

I've spent good time with a Staub and a Le Creseut, and I have to say that I strongly prefer the way meat cooks and the way it releases on the Staub as well. That said, my Staub stayed with the ex, and I currently have three Le Cresuet...the LC wasn't "bad," it just wasn't as "good" at that specific first-step of braises. I think the LCs are better for many other dishes, not only because the lighter color DOES make it much easier to see things and judge cooking, but also because the LCs are more "non-stick" in my opinion, too, for the vast majority of ingredients. I also find them easier to "deep clean" (as with baking soda or BKF) to bring back non-stick qualities...the quartz in the Staub can make it a little more tedious since the texture makes it hard to judge how micro abrasives/polishes are working the surface.

I rarely heat my LC on anything more than medium...but I do pre-heat it for a long time. If I need to rush, I'll crank it up higher and have never had a problem. I find that the overall cooking processes is more predictable and controlled with the longer pre-heat sometimes, though, especially because it is easier to bring the pan back "down" in temperature after the sear without scouring the next ingredient, etc.
~Joe

Comments: I'm short, a home cook, prefer lighter, thinner blades, and own mostly Konosukes but have used over a dozen brands.

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Kit Craft
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Re: Dutch Oven/Braiser

Post by Kit Craft » Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:12 pm

I am a total bargain hunter, in fact I am out flat cheap at times. I only have Tramontina stuff that I got on clearance at walmart but I love it. I have a 5.5 quart dutch oven and a 4 quart braiser and love them both. I use the dutch oven more often because I cook a lot of stews but for braising deer steak or making Coq au vin (for 2 otherwise it is the dutch oven) I like the braiser a lot. Not as deep and it is larger in diameter, which works out well for such things.

Point is, while I could easily get by with just one I love having both! Go for the gold and get the braising pot!

Sorry I can not speak between brand differences at all.

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Drewski
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Re: Dutch Oven/Braiser

Post by Drewski » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:54 am

I know there's a lot of input outside of this forum on this matter, but I feel like I have a trusting relationship here. I'm getting ready to buy an enamel coated cast iron Dutch oven and wondering what the concensus is on size, shape, and brand. I will be living in a 2 person household but regularly cook for company (4-6 total typically). I like leftovers. Will be using it to braise pork and beef cuts, as well as roast chickens. Thinking Le Creseut or Staub. Trying to decide between oval and round, as well as 5 or 7 quart. Any input would be appreciated. Cheers.

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Jeff B
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Re: Dutch Oven/Braiser

Post by Jeff B » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:39 am

I have a Lodge round 6qt and find it to be the most versatile size. 5qt can get cramped fast but 7qt is most often overkill. I eventually gave the 7qt to my son. Shape is preference as to what it might be used for most often.
If God wanted me to be a vegetarian he wouldn't have made animals taste so good.

Carter
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Re: Dutch Oven/Braiser

Post by Carter » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:24 am

I am a Staub fan and have both oval and round. I guess if I could only choose one, I would go 7qt oval.

salemj
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Re: Dutch Oven/Braiser

Post by salemj » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:15 am

Drewski wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:54 am
I know there's a lot of input outside of this forum on this matter, but I feel like I have a trusting relationship here. I'm getting ready to buy an enamel coated cast iron Dutch oven and wondering what the concensus is on size, shape, and brand. I will be living in a 2 person household but regularly cook for company (4-6 total typically). I like leftovers. Will be using it to braise pork and beef cuts, as well as roast chickens. Thinking Le Creseut or Staub. Trying to decide between oval and round, as well as 5 or 7 quart. Any input would be appreciated. Cheers.
I've been in similar # scenarios and I find a 5.5 to be best for most days. I think Jeff is right, though, in that the 5.5 can feel a little cramped with large dishes, but the 7.25 can feel too large (by an even bigger factor) for smaller ones.

I would consider the size and weight differences. I've used Staub and LC (among others). The "size" really has a lot to do with bottom diameter: it is rare that you are "filling" five quarts, and much more often that you are searing and braising, so the size of the bottom can often be more of a factor than the volume. My sense is that LC is generally wider and shorter than Staub in the 5.5 qt range, so they would be my preference for most things. I loved my Staub, but I find the LC is a little more functional for just about everything in every way even though I often preferred using the Staub in terms of its looks and feel, but in reality, it was no more durable, it was harder to clean, and it was definitely harder to judge dishes (the "cream" interior is undoubtedly a huge advantage for actually seeing what you are doing).

My current favorite is actually this LC, because it has the same bottom size as a 5.5, but for shallow braising (of meats rather than stews) it is lighter without the lid, easier to stir and flip meat due to shallower sides, and frankly holds just about the same as the 5.5 because the domed lid means you CAN fill this one close to the stop and still have plenty of air above the food for circulation (whereas in the 5.5 you have to leave that extra space, anyway). I still have a normal 5.5 that I usually use for soups or stews, but for just about everything else (including smaller batches of stews and baking bread), I generally prefer using this one more:

https://www.williamsfoodequipment.com/l ... s2556-277f
~Joe

Comments: I'm short, a home cook, prefer lighter, thinner blades, and own mostly Konosukes but have used over a dozen brands.

gastro gnome
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Re: Dutch Oven/Braiser

Post by gastro gnome » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:06 pm

I owned the 6 qt Lodge and it is a good size for most recipes. There were two things I didn't like: 1) the enamel began chipping off this dutch oven faster than the Le Creuset I owned and 2) the actual cooking surface area is small for its size which means you might have to do things in batches when browning.

I decided to replace it last month and got a Le Creuset 2nd at a local outlet. Incidentally, I think it's a good place to consider if you have one nearby. I saw no flaws in any of the merchandise there.

I have a 7 qt LC oval, but i don't use it that often because I felt like more of the pot is hanging outside of the heat source on the stove. This may be in my head and also won't really matter if you are mostly going to be putting it in an oven. Not to mention an oval is probably better shaped for cooking oblong foods (large chicken/turkey or some roasts). Anyway, I figured I wanted a 7 qt round, but wound up getting talked into a 9 qt for an extra $30 or $40. It is big, but I love the wide open cooking surface. I think 7 qt round is the most versatile size. It's not too big to be a storage exception and it is big enough that if you ever want to do a big batch of something, you are covered.

Also, after doing a lot of research, I mostly agree with Joe above. The Le Creuset does tend to be wider than the other brands in a similar size. It is also slightly lighter (I expect due to the fact the walls are a bit thinner). I also bought a Staub 4 qt for more everyday use (I decided to have a big and a small rather than a medium-sized 6 qt which worked well for some things, but not others) so I haven't really cooke with the dark interior on the Staub yet. I don't really expect it to be a huge impediment to cooking if you have a decent light source over your stove.

Bob Z
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Re: Dutch Oven/Braiser

Post by Bob Z » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:55 pm

My 2c: I had a smaller LC oval that i ended up giving away. Looked great but with natural gas the oval didn't heat evenly. But if you have electric this may not be an issue.

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Drewski
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Re: Dutch Oven/Braiser

Post by Drewski » Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:53 pm

Jeff, Carter, Joe, Gastro, and Bob: thanks for the excellent replies. Have a better idea of the direction I will go but still open for more opinions from those with experience. Cheers! (bottoms up for Saturday night)

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