I'm shopping around for a Staub DO for one of my wife's 40th birthday presents. She's a very knowledgable cook and we already own a no-name 7 qt. round enameled dutch oven as well as seasoned Lodge DO and Camp Oven. I know she's wanted a LC or a Staub for a long time, but she's been hinting pretty strongly about it recently.
We've primarily used the DO for ragu, chicken and dumplings, gumbo, coq au vin, short ribs (the usual) and stuck with our Crock Pot for slow cooking longer cuts of meat.
So, I know this is a primarily a personal decision and none of you know my wife, but here's what I'm thinking as far as size shapes:
- Just get a 7 qt. round and let her deep-six the cheapie (perfectly functional, a little banged up) - it's probably the most functional size and will be used the most.
- Get a 7 qt. or 8.5 qt. oval (not sure which) - she can still use the 7 qt. round, and this will allow us to cook the larger meat cuts. I'm not sure how academic the whole uneven heating on gas stove thing is. Braising meat has been a secondary use to date, but size may have been a factor.
- The curve ball: I noticed there's a steamer insert for the 5.5 qt. round. Less functional than the 7? Yes. But when the neighbor drops off a bushel of blue crabs (I think they'll fit) off during the summer, good times will be had. Anyone use a DO in this capacity?