Essentials in the Kitchen

    Le Creuset is known for many things, their skillets, silicone utensils, and enamel on steel, and nonstick pans. But their dutch ovens are world renown. Not only are they pretty (have you seen the ombre look of the ovens?), but they can withstand the test of time and whatever home or professional cooks throw at them. There are two pieces that I find are a must in my kitchen- the dutch oven and the braiser.  

               The dutch oven is enamel coated cast iron. They come in a variety of different sizes and colors. When you are choosing a dutch oven you need to keep in mind how many people you are cooking for or if you are batch cooking for yourself. That will determine what size you need to get. If you are starting out then the classic  4.5 quart dutch oven would be a perfect fit. In this particular one you can cook for 3-4 people and you can also bake bread in it as well. I have a 4.5 quart in Caribbean and I love it. But if you like to batch cook your meals for the week, then you may want to consider a the 7.25 quart dutch oven. I use this one to deep fry chicken and also make a weeks worth of egg roll in a bowl. Honestly, I love both. The cast iron evenly heats the pan. They are sturdy and I love the fact that I can start something on the stove top, then pop the entire thing into the oven. I use both of my dutch ovens frequently. 

              The other Le Creuset must, would be a braiser. The braiser, just like their dutch ovens are enamel coated cast iron.  It comes in three different sizes- 2.5, 3.5, and a 5 quart. It’s like a big skillet. Personally, we have a 3.5 quart and we literally use it for everything. We cook eggs and saute veggies. It’s one of the greatest buys we’ve ever gotten. In most cases a 3.5 quart would be a great start, but if you batch cook a lot, consider buying the 5 quart. My biggest regret is not buying the 5 quart, only because we’ve run out of room when cooking in it. But just like the dutch ovens, you can start something on the stove and then pop it in the oven. Its a great buy. 

If you are on the fence about what to buy the dutch oven or the braiser. I would ask myself, what do you want to cook? The dutch oven would be for soups, stews, breads, and also sautéing veggies. The braiser, would be for braising or roasting meats. You could also use it to make cinnamon rolls and eggs.

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