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Worst colour possible for Le Creuset
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.