We've been making a lot of thicker soups / stews recently, like Minestrone, Ribollita; stove-to-oven stuff like Osso buco alla Milanese as well. So I've bought a 26 cm / 5.2 l Staub ECI dutch oven, and by and large I like the results. I also like the looks. It's a quantum leap over the flimsy bargain-bin disc-based SS pots that we have. But
1. It's too small, should've gotten the 28 or even the 32.
2. Quality control is awful (or Amazon is selling seconds). I had to send back two because of pinhead holes in the glaze, even the one I kept has an inclusion. The rim of the lid has a small chip, that might have been me, though I don't see how, as it's been babied.
3. Stuff does tend to burn on the bottom if I'm not extra-careful.
4. It's not remotely even on the bottom. That doesn't matter for sautéing onions, but browning meat, hm.
So, I still want a bigger dutch oven, say 8+ qt, that can do sautéing/browning, then do it's thing for hours on the (gas) stove, in the oven, or both, keeping the temperature even (so not too responsive) and moisture in; but the thought of buying another ECI DO one or two sizes up doesn't appeal.
In theory, I'd say conductive side walls and a heavy lid, either thick straight gauge or fully clad. But fully clad SS, never mind thick and/or in larger sizes, is almost unheard of here in Europe. All I could find is the Demeyere Industry stock pot (more expensive than ECI, going into copper territory); and Spring Brigade. Neither is particularly thick or has a heavy, tight-fitting lid. I can't find any heavy aluminum cookware, not even at restaurant supply stores, much less lined. Copper seems almost counter-productive, unless very thick.
Many veteran 'hounds seem to be ECI sceptics -- but what *is* the ideal vessel to get for the above applications?
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