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What size dutch oven should I buy? I am deciding between a 6 qt and 7.5 qt.

I usually cook for 2-3 people, but I plan to cook big pots with the dutch oven that I can get a few days of leftovers out of. I also plan to use it to bake bread and fry. Any recommendations on size?

asked by Jacob about 4 years ago

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11 answers 18204 views
Susan W
Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 4 years ago

I can't speak to the bread or frying issues, but I have a 4 qt Le Creuset and a 6 qt off brand. I cook for 1-2, but really 4 because I like several meals to freeze. I can't imagine ever wishing I had a 7.5 qt. They work best when you use appropriate amounts of food. Personally, I'd go with the 6 qt, but maybe others will have good reason for you to purchase the 7.5.

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bigpan
added about 4 years ago

One day you will glad you bought the bigger one.

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drbabs
drbabs

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added about 4 years ago

How strong is your back? (They're really heavy) I mostly only cook for two also, so the 6 quart works for me, but if you see yourself making soup or stew for a crowd, and you can lift the damn thing, go for it.

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Bevi
added about 4 years ago

I have the larger size, and I love it. I make jam without worrying about boil overs, and it's nice to make a pot roast, brisket, or 7 stuffed peppers that I can eat for a few days, and then freeze the rest. It's a great size for leftovers.

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Stephanie G
added about 4 years ago

There are only three in my family, but I love the biggest size Le Creuset French oven. I make large amounts and freeze them. I'd rather have too much space than too little. If your budget permits, you might consider the larger ovens.

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ChezHenry
added about 4 years ago

I'd go larger if you're going to bake bread in it. Also a braise is a great way to feed a crowd inexpensively, and it's a pain to break up this type of cooking into multiple pots.

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ChefJune
ChefJune

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added about 4 years ago

You didn't specify a brand of dutch oven you're considering... however, I usually recommend buying the largest you can afford money-and space-wise. I generally cook for two or three, but I'm really glad to have several large pots for when I need a lot of room or am cooking for a crowd. I think I'd start with the 7.5. If you find it's too big, you can get a smaller one later.

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ktr
ktr
added about 4 years ago

I have a 7.5qt and I just cook for 2 people (plus a 3 year old but I won't count him because he goes on frequent hunger strikes) and I use it all the time. I do tend to cook large batches of things so I can have leftovers though. I would always rather use a pot that is a little big rather than try to fit everything in a smaller pot.

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aargersi
aargersi

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added about 4 years ago

I vote larger too! I have a whole rabbit in a single layer in mine right now and that makes me happy. Also perfect for Jim Lahey's (almost) no-knead bread. And ribs, and well I use it for about everything.

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kimhw
added about 4 years ago

My mother in law spoils me. My birthday is Christmas Eve and for a few years in a row I got Dutch ovens. Then le crueset skillets. I have 4, 6 and 7.5. I find myself using the 7.5 the most. I just love the thing.

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Jacob
added about 4 years ago

Thanks for the responses everyone. This is my first time posting a question and your feedback has been really helpful. Looks like I'll probably buy the larger size.

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