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Le Creuset oval vs. round dutch oven

I'm trying to decide between the 7ish quart oval or round dutch ovens in the Le Creuset line. I'd like to use it for making chicken stock, roasted whole chicken, baked bread, and soups. I'm having difficulty deciding between the two. I understand the oval is better for roasted whole chicken and the round is preferred for bread. Any advice or experience you may have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Trena is a trusted source on general cooking.

asked over 1 year ago
7 answers 2332 views
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added over 1 year ago

I have both: I received the round as a gift, and I bought the oval from a reseller at an amazing price ($140) because the lid was missing the handle...which cost me all of $15 to buy! You may want to consider shopping at a reseller (like Marshalls or Ross) which makes getting both a little more possible due to reduced prices.
You can really use either for bread--I believe Chad Robertson makes his loaves in the oval pots.
I tend to use my round one more because of the storage space in my kitchen. I tend to grab it first (because it's closer) for soups, stews, boiling pasta (yes, caught hubby doing that), cooking dry beans. But I did roast a leg of lamb in the oval pot, and a pot roast, pork loin, or chicken would do nicely in the oval.
My kids were puzzled by my purchase of the second pot...until it dawned on them. "It's our inheritance, right?" Yes, you have that right, kids!

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added over 1 year ago

I think the round is much more versatile.

Remember, if you are going to use it on the stovetop, your burners are probably round, not oval. You will get more even heat distribution on the stove with the round pot.

That said, I think the oval is prettier.

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added over 1 year ago

I have an oval since my stovetop accommodates oval burners, and can tell you it's fine for bread. I shape my bread into rounds (or use a proofing basket) and they always turn out very pretty. Sure, not perfectly round but that's how you know it's homemade.

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added over 1 year ago

I have the oval and when I use it stovetop the ends of the pan don't get very hot. Not a deal breaker, but sometimes I wish I had a round pan.

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Meg is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

Have both, oval inherited fromy mom. It's so beautiful. In my living room on a buffet also inherited from mom. Also great for braised chicken, the recipe my mom bought the pot for. Sorry about the dangling participle. It's pot roasted whole... Elizabeth David.

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QueenSashy is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

I have both and love them equally. But I also have oval burner. I found oval to be more convenient for roasts (chicken, pot roasts, Porchetta) because it accommodates the shape of meat better. I also make bread in the oval... But I like to make soups in the round one, really silly thing, but I find soups to be more aligned with a round pot... And oval is definitely prettier for serving.

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SMSF is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

I have an oval Le Creuset pot that I love. As others here have said, oval accommodates longer cuts very well (lamb shanks, roasts, etc.). Personally, I use it more for oven braising vs. stovetop, so the oval pot/round burner issue doesn't really make much difference for me other than the initial searing and bringing the braise up to boiling before putting it in the oven.

While I don't have oval burners on my gas range, I just put the pot on a diagonal on my square grates. The heat from the corners of the metal grate helps boost the temp of the pot pretty evenly, as the cast iron holds heat extremely well. I've never had any issues with uneven heating on the stovetop this way.

For what it's worth, I don't use this pot for stock because it would just be too heavy and awkward for me once filled with all that liquid + other ingredients.

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