Top positive review
43 of 45 people found this helpful
Very useful - if you have space
on 18 July 2005
First things first, this thing is BIG. That's why I wanted it, but you have to be sure you have space to keep it as its presence is hard to ignore - especially in orange. Assuming you can accommodate it, everything else you know about enamelled cast iron applies to this too - it's wonderfully effective at retaining and distributing heat when you want to cook gently, less so when you want to up the temperature to sear a steak or a slab of tuna.
The shape deserves some comment too. The short handles get hot and make the pan hard to manipulate on the hob, but conversely help it to work well in the oven, where the cast iron effect really comes into its own. Meanwhile, the gently sloping sides make it very attractive but they rather reduce the flat cooking area at the bottom, making the pan less commodious than it might be. They also make stirring a risotto or a paella a little fiddly as it's too easy to help the rice over the edge of the pan. I use this pan as a complement to a deeper, steep-sided, cast-aluminium sauté pan, which also has the advantage of a long handle. Risotti and stir-fries go in the sauté pan, slow-braised pork chops, boeuf en daube and sausage casserole in the Le Creuset.
In conclusion, this is a specialist piece, not an all-rounder, but it's none the worse for that. If you can justify the space and cost, you'll enjoy using it and be pleased with the results.