Unlike most 8-quart soup pots, which are made of anodized aluminum, the Le Creuset 8-Qt. Stockpot is made of steel coated in brightly colored enamel. This makes the pot lighter in weight, which is a plus for many users. Owners say the finish looks great, and most find that it keeps food from sticking to the pot. However, the enamel wears off quickly, leaving the pot vulnerable to rust.
Handles a variety of tasks well. The enameled-steel construction delivers quick, even heat without hot spots. One reviewer at Cooking.com says it successfully handled a lentil soup in which "anything short of perfect heat distribution would have resulted in burning." Another review at the same site praises the pot's versatility for oven braising, as well as making soup and chili. Some owners also say that this soup pot holds its heat well, allowing users to cook a full pot of soup on low heat.
However, we did see a couple of dissenting opinions. One owner at ChefsCatalog.com complains that it's too lightweight to handle soups and stews and recommends using it only to boil water for corn or potatoes. Some owners at Amazon.com also complain about scorching. However, this pot's construction is an advantage in one respect: Because it's made of steel, it will work with an induction cooktop -- and unlike a heavier cast-iron pot, it won't damage the glass surface.
Ideal size and weight. One Amazon review says that it's "just the correct size for all types of cooking - stews, soups, spaghetti, and any other use you have for a large pot." It's large enough to hold a 6-pound chicken, according to one Cooking.com review, yet not too heavy for most users to lift when full. Most users at Cooking.com and ChefsCatalog.com also say that food does not stick to this pot's enameled surface. This nonstick performance also results in easy cleanup, according to users. However, when consulting Amazon reviews, we heard a different story. Several users complain, "everything sticks" to this pot. As one user puts it, "I've had this nightmare of a pot for three months and have spent more time scrubbing it than I ever did in ten years" with an older, cheaper pot.
Bright enameled finish. This pot is available in six cheerful colors that owners describe as "beautiful" and "rich." One owner at Cooking.com says the pot "looks good enough to put on the table," saving the cook the trouble of transferring food to a serving dish. Even owners who don't like this pot's performance admire its looks; one Amazon.com user notes wryly, "If you just want a pretty pot sitting on your shelf, it is quite economical." However, the enameled finish may not hold up well over time. Although one owner at Amazon says the pot "still looks great" after three years of use, the many complaints we read about flaking enamel (discussed below) suggest that most users won't be equally lucky.
Not very heavy. When compared to the cast-iron cookware for which this brand is best known, this soup pot isn't nearly as substantial. However, most owners consider it reasonably solid. One reviewer at ChefsCatalog.com says that compared to most "flimsy" enameled cookware, this soup pot has "great weight and solidity." However, a few dissenters say that the pot is too lightweight; one Cooking.com review complains that it "must be the thinnest stainless steel available." A much more common problem, though, is the durability of the enamel finish.
Even users who like the pot admit that the enamel chips very easily, both on the outside and on the inside of the pot. Multiple owners say that their pots became dinged up after only a few uses -- sometimes from being "banged around," but in other cases from something as simple as stirring the pot with a wooden spoon. Damage to the inside finish is a more serious problem, as it leaves the inner steel surface vulnerable to rust. Le Creuset backs the pot with a five-year warranty.
Review Credibility: Very Good The Le Creuset 8-Qt. Stockpot receives more than 80 reviews (plus several ratings without reviews) at Cooking.com. It earns an overall rating of 4.5 stars out of a possible 5, and 94 percent of users say they would recommend it. Owners like this pot's size, weight and colorful enameled exterior. They also say it distributes heat well and food does not stick to the enamel finish. However, we did see several complaints that it feels flimsy and the enamel wears off quickly.
Review: Cherry Red 8-qt. Enamel on Steel Stockpot by Le Creuset, Contributors to Cooking.com, As of March 2013
Review Credibility: Good We found over 60 reviews for the Le Creuset 8-Qt. Stockpot at this retail site, with ratings averaging 4.7 stars out of 5. The positive and negative comments we found here were similar to those at Cooking.com. While owners like the easy-to-clean enamel finish that keeps food from sticking, they also complain that it wears off easily.
Review: Le Creuset 8-Quart Stockpot, Contributors to ChefsCatalog.com, As of March 2013
Review Credibility: Good Reviews for the Le Creuset 8-Qt. Stockpot are spread across several pages at Amazon.com. While the 50 or so reviews on this page average only 3.3 stars out of 5 overall, we found better reviews on other pages that bump its overall rating up to about 3.7 stars. This is still lower than the ratings we found on other sites, however, and complaints about this pot's durability do seem to be more common here. We also saw multiple complaints that food sticks to the pot -- a problem that users at other sites didn't have.
Review: Le Creuset Enamel-on-Steel 8-Quart Covered Stockpots, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2013