cast iron pots, dutch oven, France, le Crueset, Paul Bocuse, Staub
I love to cook as much as I love to eat.
Unfortunately, I never did have many opportunity to cook since most of the time the kitchen I use are own by other people. (i.e. my mom) Mom is pretty fussy about us using her kitchen and playing with her cooking utensils. ;p
So, the only time I get to do any serious cooking is whenever she’s away and during my time studying in Melbourne. However, Melbourne days were filled with assignments and exams which also means cooking time is slashed down to simple quick dishes (a.k.a. microwave food)
As I am busy pouring over interior design for my new home, I also started dreaming about the entire different cooking utensils which I wish to own in my future kitchen. One of the item from the list is the dutch-oven / cast iron pot.
Previously, I dare not look at these pots because it is usually so expensive and not owning my own kitchen will means that my precious pot might be not used as carefully as I want. Now that I am planning for my own kitchen, how can I not look?! And so, begin the journey of my research on these amazing pots.
Being a frequent traveler to France, I am bias towards French brands for these babies. So, I cut my choice down to 2 brands (Le Crueset and Staub). After religiously pouring over the forums and interviewing friends, I come to a simple conclusion. Both are equally good with pro and cons for both brands. (I am not going to go into details about the difference between the brand as I think the internet has already have ample information on that)
However, I did notice that Le Crueset is much more raved about in the USA. Perhaps it is because most of their celebrity chef uses Le Crueset. Initially, I was planning on getting the Le Crueset as this is the only brand I can find in Malaysia. But, the price seems a little too high for me. The 27cm oval would probably cost you about RM 1,100 – 1,200 (USD 365 – USD 400).
As for Staub, I didn’t manage to find it anywhere. Sigh… So, I couldn’t compare the price. The nearest place to get Staub would be in Singapore!!! and even then, prices are about SGD 350 – 400). But, I was told by a good friend that sometimes during sales, you can get a good price of SGD 150 for the pot. Personally, I preferred Staub because Paul Bocuse endorses it !!! And several of my favorite restaurants in France uses it too.
In the end, I decided that the main factor which will dictate my decision would be the price. Now begin my journey of hunting for a good bargain. Finally, I manage to find this online site in Sydney which offers really good deal for the Staub pot. Without hesitating, I bought 2 of them!!! I got the 31cm Oval and 24cm Round for a total of AUD 247 (approx. RM 770) courier to Melbourne (since I am heading there anyway – and also because the site only deliver within Australia).
The next problem is lugging it back to Malaysia . Let me tell you, these babies are not light. The 31cm weights about 6kg and the 24cm about 3 kg. So, about 9 kg of my allowed weight was taken by these pots. My hubby just rolls his eyes when he saw how the pots took up almost 90% space in my luggage. hehehe…
I am now a proud new owner of 2 Staub pots. Love the colors too – Pesto.