Time intensifies all things. That simple truth led to the creation of our enamelled cast iron Doufeu more than 75 years ago and inspired a more thoughtful, flavourful approach to cooking.
Designed specifically for slow cooking, the lid holds ice to create condensation on spikes underneath the lid, continuously and evenly basting food and intensifying the flavours. If we have learned anything after nearly a century, it’s that time is the most thoughtful ingredient of all.
Ideal for casseroles, stews, roasting and perfect for preparing soups and rice dishes, even for baking cakes. The cast iron doufeu is the essential kitchen classic from Le Creuset, suitable for all heat sources. Doufeu Facts
Originally introduced in 1934 by Le Creuset, the doufeu is a cooking vessel featuring a recessed lid designed to hold ice. The Doufeu revolutionised slow cooking by the use of simmering. By placing ice cubes or cold water on top of the lid during cooking, the heat rises from inside the casserole to hit the cold surface, which produces steam and condensation. Droplets of water then fall back into the dish to retain moisture, vitamins and nutrients within your cooking. Alternatively, it can also be used as a normal casserole in the oven.
As moisture begins to evaporate inside the cooking vessel during the slow cooking process, the cool ice-filled lid causes this moisture to condense. Specially designed dimples on the flat interior of the lid direct the moisture back down onto the food in liquid form. This self-basting effect minimizes the need to add additional water and ensures that food remains moist, nutrients are not lost, and flavours intensify.
Cast iron is renowned for its cooking qualities. It absorbs heat efficiently and distributes that heat evenly throughout the piece. Like all Le Creuset products the Doufeu can be used on all heat sources and is energy efficient, requiring only the lowest of heats to maintain the correct cooking temperature.
The name of the Doufeu is taken from two French words “doux” and “feu” meaning gentle fire or gentle heat. Long before modern ovens were invented the original Doufeu would have been embedded in the deep coals of an open fire and the recessed lid filled with embers as well. The food inside was therefore surrounded by heat. This method was not controlled and often considerable evaporation took place, therefore requiring more liquid to be added to the food at the outset of cooking.
Today’s Doufeu is refined to use the heat from the hob for cooking, and the embers in the lid are replaced by ice. This refinement of use means that being cast iron the Doufeu requires only the lowest of heats from below and the minimum of liquid to moisten the food before cooking begins.
Once the contents are hot the steam produced rises until it meets the cooled recessed lid. Here the steam is cooled and converted back to liquid. The projections on the underside of the lid guide the liquid directly on the food so that it is bathed in a mist of tiny droplets. This continual circulating system means that there is no evaporation or loss of liquid during cooking, foods remain moist and flavours develop to an intense degree.
To start the circulating system of moisture just a small amount of liquid is added at the beginning, this can be wine, stock, or simply water. This small amount increases during cooking. Once you become an accomplished Doufeu cook you may find that some recipes require no starting liquid at all.
The Doufeu method of cooking is suited to all meats and poultry and particularly to those meats where the moist gentle heat will completely soften otherwise tough fibres. However, it can also be used for tender poultry, vegetable dishes, fish or fruits where only short cooking times are required.
The Doufeu is intended for use on the hob and this is where it will be most effective, but it can also be used in the oven. Here, of course, the water lid needs replenishing far more often with warm water to maintain the water system inside. It should be checked every 30 – 45 minutes and refilled with warm water, not ice.
Alternatively the Doufeu can double as a conventional casserole dish in the oven, giving wide appeal to those cooks who enjoy a variety of cooking methods. Cast Iron Facts
Fired at temperatures of 840 degrees Celsius, the smooth enamel finish of Le Creuset cast iron is durable and hygienic. This means that everything you stew, braise or simmer in a Le Creuset piece will taste just as good as you intended. It also means your dishes will keep looking good from the hob to the oven, from the oven to the table (and from the table to the dishwasher).
Hand made in France since 1925, each piece is made from a unique mould into which molten iron is poured, this creates a unique piece, which is, then hand finished and subjected to strict quality checks. Le Creuset offers a lifetime guarantee on all cast iron (except non-stick items which carry a 10-year guarantee). You will feel the difference as our cast iron is 9 percent lighter than the leading competitor and with a perfectly flat base it is great for all hobs including glass and ceramic. It also distributes heat more evenly ensuring there are no ‘hot spots’. Hygienic
The enamel cooking surface is completely hygienic and impervious to flavours and odours. It is perfect to hold foods that are marinating or for storing foods (raw or cooked) in the refrigerator or freezer. The interior is a smooth gloss finish in a sand colour. The interior will clean easily by hand or by dishwasher. Adaptability
Ceramic, halogen or induction hobs, gas, electric, solid fuel or Aga/Rayburn Le Creuset cast iron will work excellently on all. Whether you are sauteing, grilling, baking, roasting or stewing there is a pot, pan or dish to suit your needs. Most pieces can go on the oven, in the oven or under the grill and importantly if you change your cooking hob you do not need to change your pans. Le Creuset cookware is available in a wide range of colours that will suit both your kitchen and dining table. How to use: Before first use:
remove all labels. Wash the pan in hot soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly. Pans with enamelled cooking surfaces are now ready for use and require no further preparation. Low heats
must be maintained once the water lid is added and cooking begins. There should only be a faint sizzle from the pot and as liquid is produced this should be barely moving. Only sufficient liquid to moisten the ingredients is required at the start of cooking. High heats
may be used for pre-browning of ingredients, but continued use of high heats will result in evaporation of the liquid as it is produced and may cause food to catch on the base. High heats should never be used to pre-heat a pan before lowering the heat for cooking. Cast iron retains heat so well that if a pan is overheated in this way it will contribute to poor cooking results, sticking and discolouration of cooking surfaces. Pre-browning,
particularly meats and poultry is advantageous. It seals in the flavour, gives added colour and releases some of the exterior fat, which can be discarded before cooking begins. This should be done without the lid in place.
As soon as cooking begins the lid should be filled with cold water or ice cubes, 375 ml, or approximately 24 ice cubes, will last for approximately 4 hours over a low heat. Replenish the lid with warm water if it should become dry.
The less expensive cuts of meat benefit greatly from this moist method of cooking. Also meats that are poorly marbled with fat (and therefore often dry) such as pork, veal or poultry remain moist and tender. Fish and vegetables also develop their own individual flavours to the full.
During cooking the foods will be continuously bathed in a mist of tiny water droplets coming down from the underside of the water lid.
Match the pan base to the heat zone to maximize efficiency and prevent overheating of pan sides or damage to handles. Long handles should be positioned safely so that they do not overhang the front of your stovetop, or over other heat zones. Do not heat an empty pan or allow a pan to boil dry. Either may cause permanent damage to the enamel and pan.
For stirring comfort and surface protection use Le Creuset heat resistant silicone utensils, heat resistant plastic or wooden tools. Occasional use of metal utensils may leave silver trail marks over the surface. Do not knock metal utensil on the rims of cookware, this will eventually damage the enamel. Note: Do not cut foods directly on any enamel or non-stick surface.
Place hot pans on Le Creuset silicone mats, wooden boards, or trivets. Never place a hot pan directly on an unprotected surface. We recommend using Le Creuset oven mitts for lifting hot pans at all times. Care and Use: Oven Temperatures:
for black phenolic lid knobs and handles use a maximum temperature of 190 degrees Celsius, 375 degrees Fahrenheit or Gas 5 (Europe gas setting 6). Integral cast iron handles or stainless steel knobs can be used at any oven temperature. Note: Wooden handles must not be placed in the oven. Range Stoves with Cast Iron Oven Linings:
Do not place any cookware on the floor of these ovens. Cook only on the racks provided. Integral cast iron handles or stainless steel knobs will become hot during stovetop as well as oven use. Use a dry, thick cloth, or Le Creuset oven mitts, for handling these at all times.
Electric hand held beaters or mixers should not be used in any cookware. Permanent damage to all surfaces will be caused. Cleaning
After use always cool a pan for a few minutes before washing in hot soapy water. Rinse and dry thoroughly. Do not fill a hot pan with cold water or plunge into cold water as thermal shock damage to the enamel may occur.
If there are food residues fill the pan with warm water and leave to soak for 15 – 20 minutes, then wash in the usual way. Nylon or soft abrasive pads or brushes can be used to remove stubborn residues. Do not use metallic pads, or harsh abrasive cleaning agents, as these will damage the enamel and polished trims.
Light stains or metal trail marks (caused by metal tools) can be removed with Le Creuset Cookware cleaner. An occasional conditioning clean with this product will also retain the new appearance and polish of your pans.
All pans with integral cast iron, phenolic handles, or stainless steel lid knobs, can be washed in the dishwasher. When using the dishwasher always allow the cycle to complete before opening the door. This will ensure the pans are dried thoroughly. Note: Wooden handle pans are not dishwasher safe. Le Creuset Guarantee
Le Creuset is proud of the workmanship in its products and guarantees its enamelled cast iron cookware, from the date of purchase, for the lifetime of the original owner, whether a self purchase or received as a gift. The lifetime guarantee covers faulty workmanship and materials when the product is used in normal domestic household conditions, and in accordance with the care and use instructions provided. It does not cover normal wear and tear or misuse of the product. See Care & Use booklet for full details of guarantee.
To claim under this guarantee firmly attach to the cookware your printed name, address and nature of the complaint, together with the name of the retailer, if known.
This Lifetime Guarantee does not affect your statutory rights.
If you require any further information from Le Creuset please visit www.lecreuset.co.uk, call our friendly and experienced team of Consumer Advisors on our Freephone UK Helpline on 0800 37 37 92 9am-5pm (GMT) Monday - Friday (excluding bank holidays), or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org