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4.8 out of 5 stars58
4.8 out of 5 stars
Colour: Volcanic|Change
Price:£176.53+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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My mum gave us one of these excellent casserole pots as a house warming present back in 1971.

Almost immediately the lid acquired an 18mm long faint-hair-line crack at one end, and soon after that the phenolic knob disintegrated. A new knob arrived under guarantee from JL, and we kept an eye on the lid.

Four decades later it sports its fifth knob, but still with the same lid, and the crack has not changed at all - still 18mm long. The colour is still vibrant, although I don't remember if it was called 'Volcanic' back then. This Le Creuset 29cm Oval Casserole is the only regularly used large item to have survived this long in our busy kitchen.

The bottom half of the cream enamel inside has stained a mellow grey/brown where (literally) thousands of stews/soups/casseroles/roasts/curries/puddings/etc/etc have been cooked. It has survived abuse from scourers, dishwashers, and over-enthusiastic grandmothers intent on giving it a 'really good clean'.

It works well on our induction hob, and never seems to burn on the base (unless we do something stupid like forget about it and let it cook dry). A soak will always clean off the most baked-on residues resulting from too many long spells in the oven.

Would I buy another? Immediately, should this one be broken (unlikely) or stolen (more likely). I also keep a spare phenolic knob - just in case the oven is inadvertently set too hot too often.
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on 29 April 2010
Oval shape is long enough for a whole chicken for the most gorgeous and economical "Pot au Feu", I have ever cooked on minimalistic heat.
Easy to use.......I don't have any problems with the weight, after all it is a cast iron baby!
Soaked it a while then it cleaned up really easy with Fairy, hot water and a spongey thingy
Not really sensible to put it in the electric d/w, as not much else goes in, killing any economy you have just saved with the 3 hour cooking!
Have ordered the steel knob so I can stick it in my aga.
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on 1 March 2010
My mum has had this french oven for ages and we have no problems with it staining at all, even with regularly reduced red wine sauces.
It serves our family of five and is on the heavy side but cast iron is heavy, so we keep it in a cupboard the same level as the main fan oven.
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on 23 January 2011
After years looking at other people's Le Creuset cookware, we finally decided to go for it. This casserole is big enough to feed six hungry people. We have an old wood burning stove which was underused, the main reason being it is difficult to maintain a constant temperature for cooking, often resulting in undercooked or burnt results. This casserole dish solved that problem, as the cast iron spreads the heat evenly and does all the work... put it in and forget about it till dinner time! Now the family call to ask if there will be a Le Creuset casserole on the table for them when they come over... A great investment!
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on 28 February 2007

My current favourite recipe in this sized 'pot' is, 'Tarragon Roasted Chicken' (2 kg, serving 6-8), from page 17, of The Cast Iron Way to Cook, by Sue Cutts, who says:

'You might never have considered the possibility of using a covered casserole as a roasting pan, but it works exceptionally well, producing a moist, succulent bird with a golden, crisp skin. While the chicken is resting before being carved, the bottom of the casserole can be used on the hob to make a delicious tarragon-flavoured cream sauce...'

Easy to use and clean by hand, although some soaking and a rub with a plastic brush may be required to shift the more stubborn baked-on food remains.
Dishwasher safe, space permitting.
Sturdily boxed, comes complete with CAST IRON use/care instruction booklet.
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on 18 December 2011
received this as a gift off my wishlist and have to say that it is the best item in my kitchen right now: meats have never tasted better and it also looks absolutely gorgeous!
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on 8 June 2009
I covet this pot. It is big enough for a medium chicken to be cooked whole. It is great for making lasagne and spaghetti sauces and as with allLe Creuset cookware, allows an even cook at a lower temperature. Be kind and heat it up slowly and it'll always give perfect results.
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on 11 January 2012
I bought this for my husband as he has always wanted a cast iron casserole. I looked at cheaper alternatives but following a lot of research decided to go for Le Creuset. We have been delighted with the purchase - the black looks smart - great for serving on the table. The oval shape is very practical - 29cm perfect for all we have needed it for. Knowing people who have owned Le Creuset cookware for in excess of 20 years I am confident that it will last us many years! I would certainly highly recommend this product.
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on 8 February 2010
Firstly a quick answer to a question posed in a previous review's comments - yes you can use Le Creuset casseroles on a gas hob. We often saute off ingredients to start with on the hob before moving it into the oven, or just leave it simmering for the entire cooking process on the hob itself.

I can go on and on about the solid, high quality construction of Le Creuset as well as its desirability as a "lifestyle" brand. It ticks all the boxes: performing to a professional standard; likely to last several lifetimes; and also looks good in your kitchen.

However, this particular casserole should probably be avoided (which is why I've marked it down), unless you're going to do nothing else but look at it or put it on display to impress your friends. Even the darker coloured Le Creuset items get discoloured and flecked through use, especially on gas hobs and you need to do a lot of scrubbing to keep them looking good. This colour is an absolute nightmare to keep clean - unless you don't use it at all, in which case, what's the point? You'd be better off buying a much cheaper Le C look-a-like.

I'd really recommend searching for other colours!

All that said, the casserole will perform well. It's dense and weighty, so be prepared for some heavy lifting and make sure you're aware of the weight. Some people just don't get on with Le C due to the difficulty in lifting it in and out of ovens, or from storage shelves.

In use the casserole shows why so many people love Le C. The heavy, ridged lid fits snugly and securely on top, retaining moisture well while cooking and making it especially adept for slow cook recipes. The cast iron retains heat extremely well, allowing you to cook at lower temperatures and keep food warm for a long time after turning the oven off.

At 29cm it's a very good size for recipes that involve larger joints of meat, such as pot roasts, or if you're producing dishes to feed an army. However that size does mean you won't get anything else on an oven shelf next to it in a standard size oven. It also means that you do need to cook in quantity. If you're just cooking for one or two, consider a smaller option. It's height, with the lid on, also means you'll find yourself limited in the number of other shelves you can have in use in the oven at the same time.

The metal handles do require careful handling however and with the metal retaining heat so well, you'll want to warn others not to touch the dish for sometime after it comes out (as well as making sure you use trivets etc to protect your kitchen worktops...not only from heat but from the odd reaction the cast iron can have on solid wood surfaces).

Again, I'd recommend looking for another colour as this has to be one of the worst to keep clean - but if you really have to have the almond, this will pass all other tests with flying colours.
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on 24 December 2012
I will be using this again today to make a family stew. Expensive but worth every penny. Cooks well and washed easily. Even burned on gravy wipes off after a bit of a soak.
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