Is it just me? (Le Creuset v. Calphalon: performance question)


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Is it just me? (Le Creuset v. Calphalon: performance question)

Jay F | | May 15, 2011 09:06 AM

As most of you are well aware, I love Le Creuset. Nowadays I love the colors, true, but I have always loved the way it cooks, or the way I cook when I use it. But you kind of wonder sometimes, hey, it's just a pot to cook in. It can't really make food taste better, can it?

I'm asking because recently, I made a couple of pots of chili (simple, w/ground turkey) at a friend's house, a friend who has all Calphalon. We made one batch (less hot) in a 5-qt. dutch oven and another (the hot batch) in a 7-qt. stockpot. The chilis we ended up with were good, but for some reason, I'm convinced I like mine better when I make it in one of my Le Creuset French ovens.

This has nothing to do, incidentally, with my not liking the dark Calphalon cooking surface.

I felt I made both batches the same way I always make them at home, but they weren't as good as the chili I make at home using this recipe.

I sweat onions in olive oil, add cumin, ground dried ancho, cayenne, stirring them in the onions and olive oil to get rid of the dry taste, and then add the meat and break it into chunks. When the meat is cooked through, I add canned tomatoes. I cook that for about an hour, then add drained canned kidney beans, chopped green pepper, and seeded fresh red chili, and cook another 20-30 minutes. This isn't the only kind of chili I make, just the easiest.

I can't think of why it should be any better when I make it at home, other than that I use Le Creuset. But it is better. Or at least it's been much better lately than the two batches I made in Calphalon at a friend's house.

Can this be true? Does anyone believe they cook better in __________ (your favorite cookware)?