“ Brand: Ikea / Type: Casserole Pan „
I bought this pot (or pan as I would prefer to call it!) during one of our frequent Ikea shopping trips. I didn't intend to buy one, but when I saw it for £6.50 it solved the dilemma I'd been having of wanting a decent pan to make casseroles and similar items in, but without spending a fortune. It was about two years ago when I bought this, and although I'll be looking to replace it soon when funds allow, it has certainly served its purpose for the last couple of years.
The pan has come in very handy for those occasions I'm making casseroles, stews, tagines and paella, which require cooking on the hob to begin with, and then transferring to the oven. It has a solid base, making it suitable for cooking on the hob, and the handles on the side and on the lid are plastic. It looks reasonably smart on first purchase, although I would mention that ours is looking well used now, with some burnt marks on the inside of the pot which can't be removed as the colouring has changed.
The pan comes in three sizes, and costs £6 for a 3 litre pan, £6.50 for a 5 litre pan, and £14 for the 8.5 litre pan. For the sake of 50p extra, we opted for the 5 litre pan, as we are a household of two but occasionally we'll cook for four or batch cook and freeze portions. All the recipes I've tried in this pan, including a paella recipe which claims to serve 6, have fit in the 5 litre pan.
The pan is recommended for use on all types of hobs, and it has a thick three-layer base comprising of stainless steel with a layer of aluminium, which prevents food getting easily burnt and stuck to the pan. Notice it says it prevents food getting "easily burnt", it doesn't claim to stop it getting burnt at all. The lid is also stainless steel, and is designed to reflect heat back into the pan, allowing the contents to be brought to the boil more quickly than conventional pans.
I do find this pan really useful for cooking a variety of dishes, and we must use it around four times per week in an average week. The base is sturdy, but the rest is fairly lightweight, making it easy to get in and out of the cupboard. We actually keep ours in an overhead cupboard, because it's easy to lift. If I had a more solid pot of this size, I wouldn't risk lifting it above head height. It is also dishwasher safe but I find it takes up quite a bit of space and also it's easier to just leave it to soak after using and then give it a wash by hand, as the dishwasher can struggle sometimes with some of my burnt-on cooking.
The main downside to using this is that I often forget the plastic handles at the side aren't heatproof. This means quite frequently I'll take the pan out of the oven, give the contents a stir, and forget to use oven gloves to pick it up again. I think if the handles were metal it would be more obvious that they will be hot when you touch them! Also, one of the screws which holds the lid handle in place has come loose, so we are constantly having to re-attach the lid handle to avoid it swinging around. It's not a massive inconvenience, but I am ready to replace this with something more sturdy now.
In summary, this is a very reasonably priced pan which has lasted us a good couple of years. I would expect to pay around £30 for a decent pan of this nature, so I can't really complain about the small flaws for the price. Four stars is fair I think.
(Review may also appear on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)