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I am a big Le Creuset fan, as you will probably see from some of my past reviews almost all the cookware i own is Le Creuset...i've been steadily replacing other cookware over the years.
The biggest disadvantage of these pans is the price. I have a 3 pan set consisting of 16, 18 & 20cm. It cost £165 from John Lewis which i admit is expensive but that really is the only downside to these pans and in my opinion they're worth the money.
Le Creuset is a well known cookware brand with a reputation for excellent quality - these pans are another excellent quality product. They're made from stainless steel with Le Creuset's '3-ply' technology which basically means they're made of 3 different layers to aid cooking.
The stainless steel look is crisp and classy, although if you want to keep them looking like this you'll need to make sure you wipe of those water marks when drying it. Being stainless steel these pans are relatively heavy, with the largest pan obviously being the heaviest - especially when full of something like potatoes! This is helped by the two handles on the pan. The main handle is well made, feels secure even when the pan is full, and is well shaped with the bottom of the handle rounded so it is comfortable to hold. There is another handle on the other side of the pan to help with lifting it when full. Despite being stainless steel neither of these handles get hot.
The instruction manual says that you dont need to use the highest heat setting with these pans. I can confirm that this is true for the most part, i rarely use the higher heat settings and these pans cook brilliantly.
The inside is stainless steel (not non-stick), whilst i initially thought this would make them harder to clean without a non stick surface i have been really pleased with how its very rare for anything to actually stick to the bottom of the pan and how easy they are to clean.
They are dishwasher safe and can also be used on pretty much any type of heating surface/element, you can even put them in the oven.
Each pan also comes with a lid, similar to the pans, the handles on the lids dont get hot either.
Finally, these pans are 'pans for life' as they have a lifetime guarantee. So whilst the initial price is high, i wont be needing to replace these for many years to come. I have used the guarantee on the non-stick pans i have and can confirm that it does work, on these other pans i got a straight swap for a brand new one.
Expensive, yes. But brilliant, best pan's i've ever used in a home kitchen. I'll keep buying the Le Creuset.
The le cresuet brand is obviously a household name, and one that has been successful, with its main selling point being the quality of its product and the fact that if you buy something that says le cresuet on it it should last a life time (many of their products actually come with a lifetime guarantee). This is impressive stuff, and I have to say that this is a very good saucepan. For the last year we have lived in a flat with a man whose entire kitchen is made up of le creuset items, so he has the entire set of three saucepans, all of which do the job of boiling, frying, making sauces and all manner of saucepan related jobs excellently. This 18cm version is the middle of the three and is a good size for everyday use, if you were only going to buy one of the three then this would be the one to get. If you're boiling rice or potatoes or vegetables for four people then this saucepan is ideal. It gives a good steady heat, and would never buckle or bend because it is so thick and sturdy. It is made of stainless steel and does all the things it is supposed to do like have even heat distribution, and the handle doesn't get too hot, and the lid is close fitting, BUT it is £65!! Yes, it is a good saucepan, yes it may last you a lifetime, but personally I think that you can buy an equally good saucepan for less than £65, so although I have enjoyed using it immensely, I am not planning on buying one myself. If anything, the large 20cm saucepan for around £80 might be a slightly better investment. This one is a really good size, I have even made jam in it, but again I think le creuset are being a little bit cheeky to charge so much, and I won't be rushing out to get one, this year anyway!
Ever since my Aunt gave me a set of Le Crueset pans when I was still a teenager I have been a fan of the solid reliability of Le Crueset. However, the classic cast iron saucepans, although excellent for making sauces, are rather heavy so when I got married I thought I'd take the opportunity to request a set of their new 3-ply stainless steel pans to give my biceps a break.
The 3-ply pans are made of an aluminum core sandwiched between two thin sheets of stainless steel. The whole pan is made of these 3 layers, meaning heat is evenly distributed. The lids sit snuggly on top to ensure maximal heat efficiency. They are suitable for use on all types of hobs and can also be used in the oven up to 200C, and are dishwasher proof.
The main advantage I've found with these pans is that you can cook food on lower heats - for example, to boil pasta before I had to use setting 5 on my hob, now setting 3 is fine. I believe this is due to the excellent heat conducting properties of the 3 ply system. As well as this being good for the environment, it is also good for my energy bill!
The other advantage is that they have the same solid quality of classic le crueset pans but are far far lighter, which is good for those who are older, or just generally a little weak in the upper body such as myself.
However I do feel there are 2 disadvantages. The first is that the rivets keeping the handle in place protrude on the side of the pan so the inside is not entirely smooth, which I personally prefer as I find it easier to keep clean. The second is that I find it harder to make good sauces in these pans compared to the classic le cruesets, although I can't really explain why this is - I'm guessing its probably to do with the way the heat is held in the pan.
Overall I feel the le crueset 3 ply pans are good investments and excellent for basic boiling, but I still prefer the classic cast iron saucepans for making sauces and other 'proper' cooking tasks.
18cm / Kitchenware & cookery products / 3-ply stainless steel for even heat distribution, continuous pouring rim, helper handles and close fitting lid / Lifetime guarantee.