Q: We're putting together a registry for our wedding, and while I would love to register for an enamel Dutch oven (like Le Creuset — I can smell the delicious stews and braised meats already!) I'm not sure I can handle a pan that heavy. In addition to being a petite gal, I have tendonitis in my wrist. I can manage okay with our 12-inch cast iron skillet, but it's still not ideal.
Do you have any suggestions for light-weight alternatives to cast iron skillets and pots?
Sent by Mariko
Editor: Mariko, congratulations on your wedding! But we feel your pain; big, heavy pots are hard for us too. It's hard, though, because the very heaviness of a pot is an essential quality in how well it cooks. You want the weight; the worst thing in the kitchen, after a dull knife, is a thin-bottomed pot. Having said that, there are alternatives. One is simply to get a smaller Dutch oven. We have the 2 3/4 quart Le Creuset pictured above, and it's really reasonable in weight. It also is large enough for most of the small household meals we make.
What about other, lighter alternatives, though? Readers? What are your thoughts?
• Find it: Le Creuset 2-3/4 Quart Round French Oven, $109.95 at Amazon
Related: What's the Deal with Dutch Ovens?