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I am seriously thinking about asking for a French oven ( or is it a Dutch oven or a pot with a lid? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> ) for Christmas.<br><br>
What I can't figure out is should I get a 3 1/2 qt. or a 5 1/2 qt. piece.<br><br>
Right now there is dh, ds#2 and myself at home. Ds#1 comes home occassionally. Ds#2 is 15 and will be leaving for college, then coming home on breaks...so I am thinking the smaller piece might be more practical?<br><br>
We have a big crockpot...I am thinking a standard big crockpot is 5 1/2 qts.?<br><br>
As you can tell, I am not somebody who hangs out in the kitchen much. Only when I have to...I was thinking maybe a soup pot I loved would inspire me to make some lovely minestrone, lentils, chicken soup, etc. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"><br><br>
The crockpot is fine, but everything tends to have that "crockpot" taste.<br><br>
Help!<br><br>
Would 3 1/2 qt. be too small? Would 5 1/2 qt. be too big?<br><br>
Would a chicken fit into the 3 1/2 qt. pot?<br><br>
I hate to spend that much money and make a mistake on the size I get...<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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I've got a big cast iron dutch oven, one of the Staub ones, which is similar to Le Crueset. I went with a big one because I like to do soups, stews, casseroles and roast in it. My family is just the 4 of us, which includes a preschooler and a toddler. When I do a soup or a stew in it, we usually have enough left over for a lunch the next day.<br><br>
Also, I find that with a bigger pot, I can do a whole chicken in it with enough space to add carrots, potatoes, etc.<br><br>
The down side of it is that a cast iron pot that big, it does get heavy. My solution is to leave the cover off until I put the pot in the oven, then put the lid on.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>tinybutterfly</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14730139"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Would 3 1/2 qt. be too small? Would 5 1/2 qt. be too big?<br><br>
Would a chicken fit into the 3 1/2 qt. pot?</div>
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For just one piece, I'd echo Julia Child--the oval ones are more versatile than the round. A 3.5-quart one will hold a chicken and do great for something like poulet au pot, but I'd be inclined to start with the 5.0-quart oval for general duty.
 

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I would go with larger to start because too much room is better than not enough. I second the idea of oval. I find that a better shape for most meats and poultries but is also good for gratins etc.<br><br>
Be careful with Le Crueset though. You start with one and then next thing you know you own virtually every size and the ramekins and the special ones like the heart and pumpkin and the pepper and the lasagna pan and the......<br><br>
errrr mummm at least that is what I have *heard*.....
 

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My Le Crouset is by far the most versatile and useful cooking implement I own, so worth the price. I have a 3 1/2 quart which is great for my small family (husband baby and I), and can fit a chicken with some (but not many) vegetables. However, if I were you I would go for the larger 5 1/2 quart size because it would be even more versatile, and you don't have to fill it up all the way. Ideally I would love to have both sizes but that just isn't in the budget right now!
 

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I love my 6qt! Not my biggest but does the trick for our family of 4.
 

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I don't have the official version, but I do have a reasonable small cast iron Dutch oven from IKEA that has been wonderful. I think we paid about $30 for it years ago. Costco had 5 1/2 quart one ( I believe that was the size) recently. I bought that one. It was $50. I do love Le Cruset, but in my experience, the less expensive ones have worked well. Everything else I own is All-Clad and I am usually careful in selecting cookware. I thinky reasoning for not going high end on the cast iron is that I just don't use them often enough to justify the cost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all so much! If I do get one, I think I'll go ahead and get the bigger size.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>HollyBearsMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14730461"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
Be careful with Le Crueset though. You start with one and then next thing you know you own virtually every size and the ramekins and the special ones like the heart and pumpkin and the pepper and the lasagna pan and the......<br><br>
errrr mummm at least that is what I have *heard*.....</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/ROTFLMAO.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rotflmao">
 
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