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The best cookware I have ever cooked with.
When I got married a few years ago I put some of these cooking products on my wedding lsit as I knew I could never afford them myself or warrant their expensive prices but they have been the best products I have ever cooked with and possibly worth their price. According to their website, "Le Creuset has been making premium quality cast iron since 1925 at their foundry in northern France. Each piece is hand crafted and made from the finest materials to give you long lasting durability. Cast iron is an excellent heat retainer which means if keeps food warm at the table for longer and requires only low to medium heat sources. Every piece is made from an individual sand mould which makes each piece unique. They are suitable for all cooker and hob types including induction."
The cookware is all very heavy and extremely hard wearing. It actually comes with a lifetime guarantee so they must be certain that their products are of a very high standard. I have to say some of the pieces I have look brand new and are used extensively so I have been very happy with them.
I definitely agree that they retain their heat very well. I have the casserole dish and I can make a meal, take it out of the oven and just keep the lid on and the dish will still be warm half and hour to forty five minutes later, perfect if you are not quite ready to serve when the dinner is ready.
We had our Le Creuset items from John Lewis and they have about 17 different pieces availalbe. Unfortunately I do not have all of them, I would love to but alas no so I cannot comment in each and every piece. There are quite a few different size casserole dishes which is nice as you can then buy one to suit the needs of you family. I have the 20cm round casserole dish which is perfect for a family of 4.
There are also some great deep dishes which are perfect for roast potatoes and lasagnes, etc, those kind of dishes. I have one of these too and find it so handy. There are handles ont he side which make it easy to get in and out of the oven although like I've said above as they retain heat always remember to wear oven gloves, even when you are dishing up and getting ready to wash it up.
What I love about the Le Creuset range is that it is very easy to clean. It may look like you have destroyed the dish with baked on food but it really does come off nice and easily and looks just like new. It does not have a non-stick surface but a durable finish which is said to resist chipping, scratching and staining. The dishes do not absorb odours or flavours unlike some other pans do and I have never had any problem with grease patches or the like like you get with some pyrex dishes.
The other great thing is that all this cookware comes in really attractive colours so you can mix and match them to tailor the colours in your kitchen. I have the teal colour which is a light sea blue, beautiful but they have reds, neutrals, blacks etc that all look really nice.
Like I've mentioned above they are not cheap, with frying pans at over £80 and casserole dishes going up to £155 it does make them the most expensive on the market but in my opinion the best.
The first thing that almost anyone notices about Le Creuset cookware is its undeniable aesthetic appeal. Their pots and pans are beautiful, shiny looking things, in bright colours (red, blue, orange, almond and teal as well as black and white). They are traditional enough to be at home in a farmhouse kitchen, but also modern enough to look good great in a contemporary location.
The material that they use at the Le Creuset factory is cast iron, which is poured into moulds and then sanded down by hand. However, rather than cooking in cast iron directly (sometimes the case with other cookware), the pots and pans are then enamelled to give them a hard, shiny finish. Handles are made either of cast iron (which tends to get hot), or of hard, durable plastic (which is better, because it stays cool).
The advantage of using this method of construction is that you get a pan with a basically smooth surface which distributes the heat very evenly over the surface. They are heavy, so they don't move around on the stove top and won't warp, and they are also economical to use, as cast iron retains heat well. Also, enamel doesn't pick up bacteria or smells from food, which means that the pots are hygienic and odour-free.
However, cast iron and enamel are not without their disadvantages. The pans are heavy to lift - problematically so for anyone with weak wrists or arthritis. While the enamel surface is much less sticky than plain cast iron, it's not as good as a non-stick coating and the conductive capacity of the pans means that food will get burnt on if you're not careful. Still more inconveniently, you can't put these in the dishwasher because the coating has to be treated gently, and washed in nothing stronger than warm, soapy water. You're not supposed scrub them either, which leaves you in something of a bind if you have burnt-on residue. Though a special cleaner is available from stores like John Lewis, it is an additional expense. You can loosen really stubborn substances by boiling up some water in the pan, but this is an extra hassle, especially when compared to stainless steel cookware that can just go straight into the dishwasher.
The pots are a good shape and size to use, but they are not perfect in design-terms. The milk pan has a spout that is all but useless - trying to pour from it results in a horrendous mess down the side, to the point that it's actually easier just to decant liquid contents from the flat, opposite side of the pan! This really is poor design, and could even be dangerous in the hands of someone younger or elderly.
The most telling disadvantage, though, is the expense of these pans. Prices range from around forty pounds for a milk pan, to a hundred pounds for a casserole dish. Quite frankly, in practical terms, they're just not worth that kind of money: you can buy far better pans (such as those used by commercial chefs) for that price. Really, they are more of a status symbol than a piece of kitchenware that will transform your cooking.
I have been using these pans for over 20 years.I recently had a problem with the non stick flaking off.I contacted customer services by letter. There response was to telephone me and tell me it was my fault for having the light too high!It also cost £9.95 to send it too them for them to inspect.I did eventually get the postage back from them.I was disgusted at the attitude of the customer service good job she does not work for Virgin like myself!In future I will buy from Marks & Spencers, at least you know you have a superb customer service there.Regards J Young
For many years I had been using Pyrex Vision saucepans, you know, the light brown glass ones. They were great to use and easy to clean. You can sense a 'but' coming here can't you? Well here it is, but, they stopped making them, at least I couldn't find any to buy anywhere. This meant that when I broke a saucepan here and a lid there I needed to think about replacing the lot. I had always liked the look of the Le Creuset range of saucepans but had always thought that they were far too expensive, however I was feeling a bit flush at the time (the feeling has passed now sadly!) so I decided it was time to treat myself. I bought the standard set of three saucepans, 1.1, 1.5 and 1.9 litres in capacity, which currently retail at £109.99 in Argos, although I think I paid about £95 for mine a couple of years ago if I remember rightly. I purchased the green saucepans, being the best colour to match my kitchen, but they are also available in blue, orange, red, grey and white. They are made from cast iron with a vitreous enamel coating and have pouring lips and matching lids. All the items in the range come with a manufacturers lifetime guarantee. Since the saucepans are made from cast iron you only need to use a low or medium heat to cook the food. The downside to this is cast iron is very heavy to lift and, when the saucepan is full of boiling water and vegetables you really do need to be very careful. The vitreous enamel coating makes the saucepans easy to clean, but you must not use an abrasive cleaner or cleaning implement or you'll scratch the surface. I find that a soak in hot soapy water and a wipe with the dishcloth usually suffices. On the rare occasions that my pans have become stained from something that I have cooked I just boil some water and soap powder in the pan and then rinse well (obviously!). That always does the trick. Le Creuset also make a comprehensive range of
cookware to match the saucepans, such as casserole dishes, sauté pans, frying pans, milk pans, soufflé dishes, open cooking dishes and even kettles. I have since purchased the milk saucepan, which cost about £20 and have received the open oval cooking dish, which was a gift so I don't know the price of that one! The milk saucepan is coated with a non-stick coating making it very easy to clean. I also looked at the Le Creuset saucepan stand but was somewhat shocked to find that it would cost me about £50 - no chance of that then! I don't mind paying for the quality saucepans but there was no way that I would pay that much for the stand! I did however see the same sort of thing for £5 in a local discount shop, which does the job and it matches the saucepans perfectly! Le Creuset is available from most good department stores such as Debenhams, and also from Argos or specialist cook shops. I have also seen them for sale at various out of town factory outlets too, usually at a generous discount, but the range can be a bit limited. If you're interested in finding out more about Le Creuset their website address is www.lecreuset.co.uk In conclusion I would say that I have never regretted the money that I spent on my saucepans and intend to continue buying bits and pieces to match as time goes on. There is also the added advantage of the weights workout every time I use them!
I cook alot and I have used every gadget, pan type imaginable. However, Creuset cookware has always been my firm favourite. Way back when I first went to University my mother bought me a small casserole dish and its still going now, good as new, 10 years or so later. I can assure you that it has seen a great deal of use over the years. As it is made from cast iron it needs only low or medium heats to achieve the perfectly cooked dish. It does however mean that it is awfully heavy and complete with casserole inside, lifting it from the oven to the work surface becomes quite an undertaking. A posistive point is that being cast iron the dish will remain hot for a while after it is removed from the heat/oven which helps when you are preparing lots of dishes for a dinner party. The range has many variants all of which are expensive (I saw a fantastic large casserole pot the other day but it was £65!)from casserole dishes to sautee' pans and much more besides. There are a number of colours to choose from and if you are anything like me it's important that your kitchenware matches! One of Le Creusets best assets is that the vitreous enamel cooking surface is completely hygienic and impervious to flavours and odours. They can be used not only for cooking but also for marinating/storing foods (raw or cooked) in the refrigerator or freezer.(Be careful in a small fridge though that the plastic shelving can take the weight! - I write with bitter experience here) You can get hold of Le Creuset cookware at most leading department stores and also independent cookshops. If you need to obtain something from a discontinued line then there are several factory outlets across the country which sell these for 30% off normal prices. Great, if you don't mind your cookware not matching or if you are on a less than generous budget. If you want futher details on where to purchase the products then take a look at the Le Cr
euset website. I wouldn't swap my Le Creuset for anything!
As a man who loves to be in the kitchen slaving over a hot cooker, for years I had looked at and admired the beautiful cast iron pots and pans of Le Creuset. The enamalled Orange casserole pots, the hanging racks of saucpans and lids, how much did I want to own a set of these? I'd have sold my soul. Okay, maybe not my soul, but you get the idea about how much I wanted these pans. Le Creuset is made in the North of France in a factory at Fresnoy-le-Grand. Since 1925 they have been producing their pans in sand moulds. The moulds are destroyed after casting and the pots are sanded and smoothed by hand. Only after close inspection our the perfect ones enamalled. They are given two coats and are then fired at 800 degrees Celcius. That's quite hot I believe! Cast iron is one of the best things to cook with as the heat is distributed very evenly, it is also incredibly durable and long lasting. It is also extremely heavy. This is the one thing that has put me off ever owning a set of Le Creuset. They simply are not practical in a kitchen. Have you ever picked one up in a store? If you haven't, then do. They are on the weighty side. Now imagine thet pot in your hand full of food. I made a cassarole once in one of their large pots. It took two of us to lift it to the oven. The shelf in the oven bowed and looked like it might give at any moment. It didn't and the stew was delicious, but how impractical. Even the frying pans weigh a ton. Or there abouts anyway. Now, I'm not scared of spending on a saucepan, and Le Creuset aren't the most expensive around, but they're not cheap. A 29cm Casserole Pot (Cocotte) will set you back around £85-£90 for a fair sized one. Their largest is 12.3 litre and will cost you around £130. A 28cm oven dish/gratin dish around £30-£35. Saucepans come in varieties, I like the wooden handled ones, th
ese range in size from 7 litre to 2.7 litres and in price from £30 to about £55 respectively. Frying pans range in size from 22cm - 28cm and in price from £40 to £52. Milk pans around £35. You can buy sets of pans with lids. My favourite is the wooden rack which comes with five pans - 14cm, 16cm, 18cm, 20cm, 22cm - and costs around £150.00. You can also get 4 piece chrome and 5 piece chrome racks for around the same price. These are the cheapest prices I've seen, they're online at www.smallislandtrader.com. I was looking at a set of 5 on another site and they were charging £199 in the sale. What a bargain! Alternatively, you can do what my friends did and go to France. They picked their wooden rack set up for £75. Alternatively you can look around for something that is practical. I buy all mine from the professional cookware company. They are light, stylish and practical. Prices range from £40 upwards for a stainless steel pan. More expensive than Le Creuset but atleast I don't need to be Popeye to use them. If I wanted to spend £150 on something to look good in the kitchen it wouldn't be Le Creuset - you can spend the money on something much better.
Le Crueset cookware is made from cast iron which is meant to be the best way of cooking food. This is because it is very good at heat retention and so the food will cook very gently and is also economical at the same time. As they are made from cast iron it also makes them very strong and hopefully last a very long time indeed. The outside is coated enamel and comes in a variety of colours....blue, yellow, red, orange and green. The inside of the pans is also enamel and so makes the pans non stick. The handles are wooden so all in all the saucepans do look like the bees knees so how do they perform? I certainly havent got many complaints apart from a few small ones. These pans are made of cast iron so of course they are going to be heavy but to be honest I was completely taken by suprise just how heavy they are. I have trouble carrying the largest pan when it is full so now I have just given up with it. Another problem is cleaning them. You are not allowed to use anything abbrasive on them so if your cooking is anything like mine then they will get in a state and it does take alot of elbow grease to get them sparkling again. You need to take care with these pans as they do chip very easily. You cant stack them inside each other and be very careful not to bang them around too much when you are using them as you will gradually be finding bits of the enamel missing! Le Creuset make a vast variety of cookware including saucepans, frying pans, Fondue sets, kettles and casserole dishes and in a wide variety of sizes. If you are thinking about buying any of these products I would strongly recommened taking a day trip to France as you will find everything alot cheaper than over here. The average price you will pay for a three set of saucepans over here is about £100. I know this is very expensive but I do expect these to last for a great many years.
All the Le Creuset cookware is made from enamelled cast iron / Cast iron has been used for cooking utensils since the Middle Ages / The Le Creuset factory is at Fresnoy-Le-Grand, in Northern France.