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4.8 out of 5 stars
Le Creuset Classic Cast Iron Shallow Casserole, 30 cm - Volcanic
Colour: VolcanicChange
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2007
Also known as the 'Buffet Casserole', this dish is an old favourite of mine.
The shallow but wide base allows even heat distribution/retention, enabling better cooking efficiency at low or medium temperatures and aiding the conservation of energy and lower fuel bills.

Sue Cutts has a chapter dedicated to the use of the SHALLOW CASSEROLES in her book, entitled:-

The Cast Iron Way to Cook

and my current favourite is:-

'Vegetable Casserole with Crispy Topping'

from page 29 - which serves 4-6 as a main course or 6-8 as a starter/side dish.
Simply the perfect dish to brown off under a hot grill.

Suitable for any hob-top or pop it in the oven.
Elegant enough to take directly to the dinner table, especially with the well-designed low lifting handles.

Easy to use and clean by hand, although some soaking and a rub with a plastic brush may be required to remove the more stubborn baked-on food remains.
Dishwasher safe.

Sturdily boxed, complete with CAST IRON use & care leaflet.

Currently available in a rainbow of colours:-

CERISE RED
GRANITE GREY
VOLCANIC ORANGE
GRADED BLUE
BLACK
TEAL (aka CARIBBEAN)
CASSIS
MIDNIGHT BLUE

Also available in a smaller and slightly lighter 26cm/2L size.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I have both the 26cm and 30 cm shallow casserole dishes. As you would expect from Le Creuset, they are easy to use on both the hob and in the oven (or both, depending on the recipe you use them for). As you would also expect of cast iron (enamelled interior), they are also fairly weighty when full.

The 26cm casserole is just about the right size to comfortably prepare a meal for two without the contents being in danger of spilling out if stirred on the hob. The 30cm is large enough to comfortably hold a meal for four. The 26cm fits nicely inside the 30cm, sitting on the lid of the former and thus the pair do not use up an awful lot of cupboard space, which is always a boon.

Cleaning is a breeze, they come up like new in the dishwasher or when washed by hand.

Mine both had sticky labels on the base; I mention this only because I remembered to remove one but not the second - the smoke alarm and a smell of chemical burning alerted me to my omission when the dish in question was otherwise happily cooking on the hob. Oops! Anyway, even the burnt label came off cleanly, so no harm done.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2011
I bought this casserole as a present for my wife, who has wanted one since first seeing it in this colour some time ago.
What is there to say about Le Creuset cookware that hasn't been said before?
It is superb, albeit quite heavy, but you can't seriously expect cast iron to be light.
Since getting it my wife has used it frequently, and because it looks so good she takes it straight from the oven to the table, drawing a few admiring comments from our friends and relatives.
If you like it and don't mind paying a premium for top quality cookware, treat yourself and buy one. You won't be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2007
The 30 cm 'SHALLOW CASSEROLE' (aka The 'BUFFET CASSEROLE'), from Le Creuset.

MATERIAL : CAST IRON
COLOUR : CERISE (CREAM interior)
Approximate capacity: 3.2L

An old favourite of mine the shallow wide base allows maximum contact between food and heat and the even heat retention enables cooking efficiency at low or medium temperatures, helping to conserve energy and keep fuel bills lower....particularly important in the current climate!

If you are looking for inspiration, Sue Cutts has a chapter dedicated to the use of the 'SHALLOW CASSEROLES' in her book, entitled: The Cast Iron Way to Cook, and my current favourite is her 'Vegetable Casserole with Crispy Topping', from page 29 - which serves 4-6 as a main course or 6-8 as a starter/side dish.
Simply the perfect dish to brown off under a hot grill.

Suitable for any hob-top or pop it in the oven.
Elegant enough to take directly to the dinner table, especially with the well-designed low lifting handles.

Easy to use and clean by hand, although some soaking and a rub with a plastic brush may be required to remove the more stubborn baked-on remains.
Dishwasher safe, space permitting!

Sturdily boxed, complete with use and care leaflet.

Currently also available in two smaller sizes:

26 cm/2L  &22 cm/1.4L
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 October 2007
◄ Apologies. Amazon has amalgamated products and this review now appears as a duplicate. ►

COLOUR : TEAL (aka CARIBBEAN) with CREAM interior and BLACK phenolic knob
MATERIAL : CAST IRON
SIZE : 30 cm
Approximate maximum capacity: 3.2L

Also known as the 'Buffet Casserole', this dish is an old favourite of mine. The shallow but wide base allows even heat distribution/retention, enabling better cooking efficiency at low or medium temperatures and aiding the conservation of energy and lower fuel bills.

Sue Cutts has a chapter dedicated to the use of the SHALLOW CASSEROLES in her book The Cast Iron Way to Cook, and my current favourite recipe is 'Vegetable Casserole with Crispy Topping', from page 29, which serves 4-6 as a main course, or 6-8 as a starter/side dish.
Simply the perfect dish to brown off under a hot grill.

Suitable for any hob-top or the oven.
Elegant enough to take directly to the dinner table, especially with the well-designed low lifting handles.

Easy to use and clean by hand, although some soaking and a rub with a plastic brush may be required to remove the more stubborn baked-on food remains.
Dishwasher safe (dishwasher size permitting).

Sturdily boxed this comes complete with multi-lingual use & care instruction booklet.

Available in a variety of other colours, and in a smaller and slightly less heavy 26cm/2L size
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 March 2012
A pity you can't rate with 7 stars!!
Once I watched Rick Stein using this casserole in one of his shows, I wanted one for my kitchen. But, this 30cm shallow casserole is only available in the UK. I had contact with Le Creuset in France for information, and they said the only way to purchase one is to get one from the UK. His bigger brother, the 40cm or 5 quart braiser as it is called there, is only available in the US! So, I ordered one from Amazon UK and in three days my package arrived in good order and the casserole is in use for three or four days a week since. This casserole is definately my favorite one, it distributes the heat equally and holds the heat very long, so you don't have to use the highest position of your burner. The size is convenient for 4-5 persons and you can stir your dish easily without spilling.
For every cook afficionado a must-have!! When the 5 quart version is available for the EU market, I definately will buy one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 June 2007
COLOUR : SATIN BLACK, with black interior, & the NEW 18/10 Stainless Steel KNOB.
SIZE : 30 cm
ROUND
Approximate maximum capacity : 3.2L

The shallow but wide base on this 'pot' allows even heat distribution/retention, enabling better cooking efficiency at low or medium temperatures and aiding the conservation of energy and lower fuel bills.

Suitable for oven/any hob-top (knob is oven safe to 230°C (at the time of writing)).
Elegant enough to take directly to the dinner table, especially with the well-designed low lifting handles.

Sturdily boxed, this comes complete with multi-lingual use & care instruction booklet for 'SATIN BLACK'.

Also available in a smaller 26 cm/2L size

ooOoo

Manufacturer Details:

'SATIN BLACK:

~ Do not attempt to remove the patina (the brownish black film) which is produced on a satin black surface. This enhances the cooking performance and food release from the surface.

~ Always cool the hot pan for a few minutes before washing.

~ When possible rinse the pan in hot water and wipe over the surface with a damp cloth. This may be possible if the pan is used for regular cooking of foods where the food residues are minimal. For more thorough washing use hot soapy water, then rinse and dry thoroughly, this will not affect the patina.

~ To remove stubborn or sticky residues fill the warm pan with warm water and leave to soak for 10-15 minutes. Wash, rinse and dry in the usual way.

~ A washing up brush can be useful to remove small food deposits, or for cleaning between the ribs on grills. Do not use any scourers or abrasive cleaners on the cooking surface.

~ Exterior marks, such as burnt on fat deposits, can be lightly scoured using a nylon pad, or can be cleaned off with regular use of the Le Creuset Pots and Pans cleaner, do not use on matt black exteriors.

~ All metal handled pans can be washed in the dishwasher but this greatly reduces the build up of the patina.....'
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 22 April 2011
This pan has taken its place as my favourite piece of cooking equipment. It looks good, cooks well and is SO versatile. It will go in the oven or stay on the hob but has an advantage over traditional casseroles in that it's shallow so you don't have to have a lot of liquid to cover anything you're cooking. It can also be used as a frying pan, roasting pan, bain-marie...... The lid ensures that fish and meat stay moist. A whole family meal can be cooked in one go and nothing burns - even on the high heat of my AGA because the heat is spread so evenly. It can go straight from the oven to the table - no need for a separate serving dish - just brilliant! I have a large family and entertain quite often but for a smaller family the smaller size would be ideal. It goes in the dishwasher and comes out looking like new.....The only downside - as with all Le Creuset cast iron pans - is that it's heavy and might not be suitable for anyone that has difficulty lifting.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 18 January 2011
I love this shallow casserole, it's brilliant to cook with and I always feel like I am creating a little masterpiece. Beautiful Le Cruset quality. If you are cooking for more than 2 people buy the 30 cm casserole, as opposed to the smaller one. Great for casseroles, hob to oven etc, you won't be disappointed.
I've been using this casserole dish now for over a year. It's great for stews, spaghetti Bolognaise etc but also general cooking ie, fried potatoes, chorizo, soup. You do need to start it off with some oil so I use a spray of real olive oil or a piece of bacon. I find that both on the oven and hob I use less heat ie medium heat cooks beautifully and in the oven 180° is good or 120° for 4 hrs for a casserole. The lid is very heavy which I think helps the cooking process. My children have commented on how meat cooked in this le creuset casserole dish is very tender, this is probably down to the cast iron and the seal as the lid is so heavy and on a practical point, it is very heavy so if you cannot lift a heavy saucepan this wouldn't be for you. I would also reccommend always using heat proof oven gloves when lifting However I can't imagine you'd get the same flavour from an aluminium pot so I'd always go for the le creuset. The casserole is very easy to wash/clean with warm water. And I put some olive oil around the rim after I've cleaned it to keep it looking good and stain free.
So after a year, probably used 104 times, still very pleased.
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