I want to thank everyone for the helpful advice given to me last week regarding new cookware for my glasstop stove! I'm still deliberating.
I'm now considering whether or not I should also make room in the budget for a dutch oven. This would primarily be used as a soup/stew pot, replacing an 8 quart non-stick stockpot. I've never braised anything, I don't deep fry, I don't serve from the pot at the table, I rarely go from stove top to oven, and if I want to cook something "low & slow," I usually use the crockpot.
My friends all have Lodge dutch ovens and love them but I'm unsure about ECI. I definitely can't afford LC or Staub but the reviews for the cheaper DOs on Amazon concern me. While most people seem happy with Lodge, there are TONS of photos showing terribly chipped interior and exterior enamel after minimal usage. I know Lodge has a lifetime guarantee but who wants to ship back a heavy cast iron pot every time there's a problem?
Should I consider a clad stainless dutch oven or just get another stock pot? Is there any advantage to something that's specifically a dutch oven shape vs. a smaller stock pot? More versatile? Are they just typically shorter so that you can fit into the oven if wanted? We're a family of 3 so I'm not making an army-load of soup at a time, I'm looking for 6-8 quarts. I guess I could use it for pasta too?
I used to think I wanted ECI because PRETTY but is there any other advantage that I'm not considering?