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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Gorgeous Cookware Highs and Lows

Now that the weather is cooling off a bit, many of us who love to cook can finally turn our thoughts to spending time in the kitchen, slowly braising or concocting soups and stews. And colorful enamel cast iron cookware is not only ideal as a heat conductor on the stove and in the oven, but with its clad of many colors, it also adds a drop dead gorgeous element to your kitchen decor. But there’s often a heavy price to pay for enamel-clad cast iron cookware. Or is there?

Le Creuset is often hailed as the favorite in the category. This French cookware is so revered for its stellar cooking qualities and good looks that owners consider the pieces heirlooms. And you can expect to pay more than $500 for a Le Creuset goose pot, the largest cooking vessel the company makes.

Le Creuset Goose Pot in Flame.

Le Creuset Goose Pot in Flame.

But, really, most of us don’t need a 15-and-1/2-quart pot.

Here’s a handsome 5.5-quart Le Creuset Dutch Oven that sells in most local kitchenware stores for around $275.

lecreuset 5.5

If that’s still too rich for your wallet, and you really want to include some enameled cast iron cookware to your kitchen, don’t despair. I have quite a few pieces that I’ve picked up at various HomeGoods stores.

cuisinart 006

They’re by Cuisinart, and they cook beautifully — at a fraction of the price. My pretty black, 5-quart Dutch oven cost only $59.99. In fact, I have three Cuisinart pots in varying sizes that cost me less than a large Le Creuset. I’m not disparaging Le Creuset; I adore the brand. But, my budget has other ideas.

Note that if you want to snag a Cusinart Dutch oven from HomeGoods, do it quickly. They start to show up on the shelves around this time of year, and they get snapped up quickly.

Do you have a favorite enameled cast iron pan you can’t live without? Send your photographs to socialmedia@ajc.com or post them on Instagram with the hashtag #AJCdiy.

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