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Today's Top Story: Food Geek Deal Makes Payday Worthwhile

February 1st, 2008 at 06:40 pm

It's payday! Finally!

I can't believe I survived the past 2 weeks on $160. Considering $100 of that went to gas money (bleh), I think I did pretty well. It feels good to have a little breathing room again.

Anyways, you're probably wondering what the food geek deal I got was.

It all begins with one of my favorite periodicals: Cook's Illustrated. For those of you who have not have the pleasure of picking up this little magazine, I like to think of it as the creme de la creme when it comes to food magazines. There are no sponsors, no advertisements, no fluff - just to-the-point useful cooking information. If you've seen the show America's Test Kitchen, that's one of their productions.

Anyways, I've been on the hunt for one of their top rated items - a Tramontina 6.5qt enameled cast iron dutch oven. They say you can pick it up for about $40 - but I can barely find it, much less for $40. Sometimes I'll see it online for like...$60. Anyways, it's not their very top rated, which is a $240 Le Creuset - which I can do without. So I've been hunting for this thing, thinking about all the delicious French onion soup and beef stew and no-knead baked bread I can make in it.



Turns out, it's Wal-Mart of all places that has this for $40. Using their new snazzy find-stores-with-this-in-stock feature online, turns out 3 of the 18 or so Wal-Marts in a 50 mile radius have this thing. So, I made a resolution of heart to get up early this Saturday morning (as it was after payday) and suck it up to drive the 18 miles to this fabled Wal-Mart, largely to reward myself for all the no-spending I've done in the past 2 weeks. All this work for a dumb pot.

Anyways, while I was running some errands during lunch today, I drove by a Wal-Mart - one of the ones the site said was "OUT OF STOCK". Figuring I had nothing to lose, I pulled in and beelined to the pots. And there it was. Glorious and ugly green, my darling pot sat so lonely on the shelf, the last one remaining amongst its diminutive 3qt siblings. Ecstatic, I grabbed it and nearly dropped it on my toe. No, not because it was heavy, though it is pretty heavy. It's because I caught a glance at the glaring red price tag under it that said - "Clearance $30.00".

I made out like a bandit. Take that, uppity Le Creuset. I don't need your stinkin pots.

If you're looking for a dutch oven, ransack your Wal-Marts and leave none of your faith in their online stock checker thing. The Tramontina one that I got is a great deal, even at $40. If you can't find that one, there's also a Lodge one that's $50 - it's also regarded highly by Cook's Illustrated. The handles are bigger (which is super useful with such heavy pot), the knob on the lid is better, but it's only 6qt instead of 6.5qt. But at least you get a choice of color, other than the 80's retro green.

9 Responses to “Today's Top Story: Food Geek Deal Makes Payday Worthwhile”

  1. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    That $30 tag represents a kitchen triumph!

  2. miclason Says:

    that is a beautiful pot! (and a great price!)

  3. My English Castle Says:

    A pot of beauty is a joy forever.
    I have an old LeCreuset that I bought at an estate sale for 50cents, but it needs re-enameling. I wonder if anyone does that?
    Its beautiful blue color makes me happy to see it--even in the dishwater.

    Let us know how this one cooks; enquiring foodgeeks need to know.

  4. george Says:

    I know, I'm excited to use it. What to make first....

  5. fairy74 Says:

    Good going, that's a great bargain find!

  6. DeniseNTexas Says:

    What a great looking pot! And by the way, Cook's Illustrated is one of two subscriptions I have. The other is National Geographic. My CI is about to expire, though. Great magazine!!

  7. george Says:

    I'm about to fire up CI's No Knead Bread 2.0 in my new dutch oven. =D

  8. Mike Showalter Says:

    Loved your account of buying this product. The Tramontina Dutch Oven is another example of how influential Cook's Illustrated can be. We couldn't find one and ended up buying the Lodge for a little more money.

  9. reflectionite Says:

    i bought a Le Chassuer enamelled Dutch Oven from peters of kensignton.com on sale. i don't know if they ship to america but the postage was cheap for such a heavy thing ($10) and i have bought several other items from them as well, also my dad bought me a global knife 6 piece set from there as well for me. they have great prices.
    (i'm only mentioning this because we have no walmarts here!!!)

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