So I've been cooking just fine for many years without an enameled cast iron dutch oven. Or so I thought. But after reading this board for a while, I'm starting to think that not having one is like going out with no clothes on or, serving dinner without wine. Supposedly the enameled cast iron dutch oven (or french oven? that's the difference?) is perfect for stews, and braising, soups, and even the occasional ham and cheese on rye.
Is it? Do I really need one? What can I do in the enamleled cast iron that I can't do in my 12 quart anodized aluminum stock pot?
And does the brand matter? I went shopping this weekend saw that the Le Chateau brand was a lot more expensive than a no-brand name that was just marked "Made in France."
My friends and relatives all seem to have one of these, though they are split among enameled and non-enameled. Frankly, I'm not thrilled about the non-enameled because it took me a while to get my CI skillet seasoned just right and I had the advantage of being able to cook a lot of bacon and other good-for-seasoning stuff in it.
So tell me, will my life be improved forever in ways I never imagined with an enameled cast iorn dutch oven?