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We have two Cookingtime Chasseur Cast Iron Round Gratin Dishes in our house. We bought them both from Amazon for £17.97 each and they are really very useful and very durable and stylish. You can buy them in a variety of different sizes and colour - ours are both deep red on the outside and cream interior and both are the same size - 15cm x 19cm x 5cm. They have two little handles on the sides for lifting and sliding in and out of the oven.
They come with a ten year guarantee and are suitable for use either in the oven, under a grill or even on the hob itself, so they are extremely versatile as a kitchen dish.
They are made from French cast iron and are coated with a double coating of emanel in the interior and you can safely use metal tools with them in the knowledge that they weill not harm the dishes at all. They are easy to keep clean and also dishwasher safe.
They are incredibly heavy dishes (even before they have any food in them) but we find this good because they certainly feel very sturdy and safe and also they are impressivley durable as we have actually dropped ours on a couple of occasions but they have not smashed or even cracked. We use them to make homemade pies, inlcuding cottage pie and gratin dishes and macaroni cheese. We also use them to make large apple and fruit crumbles and baked pasta dishes. They look good when friends come round to dinner, as the dish is stylish enough to be placed in the centre of the table and be used to serve food directly from.
All in all, a great product and very much recommended. ..
I'm a huge fan of heavy cast iron cookware . My favourite brand has to be Le Creuset, but it can be incredibly expensive (though it does come with an owners lifetime guarantee). There are plenty of cheaper cast iron ranges available, and one dish I currently use quite a lot is this Cooking Time cast iron round gratin dish.
There are various sizes and colours available, I opted for a rather stylish cream colouring, which is cream outside and white inside. I chose the 15cm diameter,which also has a respectable depth of 5 centimetres. The dish costs under £18 on amazon at the moment, though it has a recommended retail price of £34.
Being cast iron, the dish has a satisfyingly heavy feel in the hand . It's heavy enough empty ( a little under a kilo), but when it's full of food it becomes even heavier. I personally like the heaviness, I find it reassuring on solid, but for people who have trouble lifting heavy weights, or getting a good grip through oven gloves, this dish is not ideal. The interior is double coated in enamel, making it very hard to damage or scratch, but very easy to clean after a brief soaking.
This dish can be used in many ways . It's main use, in my household , is for fish pies or shepherds pies in the oven, or for dished such as macaroni cheese that require browning under the grill. However, it can also be used directly on the hob as a pan for frying in, and I often pre-cook my ingredients in this dish on the hob before transferring it to the oven, which saves me having to wash up another pan. Or you could simply use this as an attractive dish for serving in - I always carry it from the oven directly to the table, although as this gets incredibly hot, and takes a very long time to cool down entirely ( a good half hour at least), you will need to place this on a heatproof mat.
This is suitable for all hobs - gas, electric, ceramic or induction, so it is a very versatile piece of cookware. Naturally, being cast iron it is not suitable for the microwave, but it can be washed in the dishwasher if you have one. You can use any kind of tools when cooking, even metal tools will not damage the ceramic lining, unless you are particularly heavy handed.
My one criticism with this particular design is that the handles are rather small, which can make carrying this dish wearing oven gloves a little difficult. They poke out around 2cm either end, but Ideally I think they should have been a little bigger.
These dishes come with a 10 year guarantee, and I see no reason why they shouldn't outlast that . In fact, I see no reason why a dish like this cannot last a lifetime - I've dropped mine on the floor a good few times, with no damage to the dish at all but sadly plenty to my kitchen tiles!
A great buy for those who like the solid, heavy feel of Le Creuset cookware, but don't have the budget.