While a high-quality French Oven (also known as a Dutch Oven, depending upon the manufacturer) could qualify as an "extra credit" item due to its hefty price tag, once you invest, you'll quickly begin to understand why we've labeled it an "essential."
From soups to stews to sauces, chili to mac and cheese, roasts to ratatouille, there's virtually nothing you can't cook inside of this sucker—and it will all emerge tasting like it was slaved-over for hours by your grandmother.
While Le Creuset makes a slightly smaller French Oven—a five quart model— we strongly suggest bumping up to the 6 3/4 size, which is large enough to fit the ingredients required for most recipes.
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