Product Type: Le Creuset Crockery
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Castaway your casseroles and save money in the end!
Le Creuset Round Casserole
Member Name: jo@145
Le Creuset Round Casserole
Advantages: Cook at lower temperatures
Disadvantages: heavy weight and expensive initially
My family got smaller, one by one they left home, sometimes coming back and flying off again, so I really needed a smaller roasting pan for the Sunday Roast. I did try using a casserole dish I had, but it always stuck so I decided to use my Amazon vouchers earned on Dooyoo to treat myself to a Le Creuset casserole dish, whilst they were on a half price offer.
My daughter had a large range of these beautiful saucepans and casserole dishes, and although I knew they were heavy I decided I could manage to lift the small size out of the oven without too much effort.
Choosing your Le Creuset is like buying a fashion item, the colour depends on your kitchen colours, what else it has to tone with etc. There is the traditional orange colour and then le Creuset brought out many other choices, I really don't like the blue one, and I think the white is not a very sensible colour as if food burns on it will soon look scruffy, my choice was the cerise colour, although it is more a deep red. The casseroles are in many sizes from 16cm to 34cm in increments of 2cms. They are made of cast iron, and fired at temperatures of 840°C.
The super smooth enamel finish of Le Creuset cast iron is durable and hygienic. Enamelled cast iron is just as efficient for traditional slow simmering as it is for searing - the choice of use is yours. It has the ability to retain heat efficiently, and this can be used to your advantage in lowering settings for both stovetop and oven cooking. At the table, a covered dish will keep food hot for second servings.
Chilled foods can benefit too. Cast iron can be used to keep cold food cold. A short time in the refrigerator will cool a dish sufficiently to make it the ideal server for a chilled fruit salad on a hot summer's day. Le Creuset cast iron cookware can be used on all heat sources. Gas, electric solid or radiant plates, vitroceramic glass, induction, and ranges fired by gas, oil, coal or wood.
I decided to buy the 18cm round casserole, larger enough for a small roast for the two of us or even three people and a nice size for casseroles. I have cooked venison several times in my casserole and it ends up so tender, roast meats cook to perfection too. There are two handles and it is 9cm in depth. It does contain 3 pints of liquid, but that is very full and not practical as it will boil over! The only downside I feel is the weight and it weighs a hefty 2581grams, over 2.5 kilos! And that is empty. Before buying a large size I would advise people to consider how heavy it will be when full and if you can lift it easily from an oven depending on the height. I have had mine about 3 years now, the inside is perfect and a few fat splashes have burned onto the outside but not badly, so it still looks really good.
The lid has a plastic type of knob, called phenolic, and the instructions are clear that you don't use at higher than Reg 5, new knobs are available if you do melt or crack it! It will be very hot when removing from the oven so an oven cloth is needed. They supply 4 little hard plastic pieces that fit over the sides so the lid can be stored up side down and doesn't scratch the surface.
*Instructions for use*
The recommendations for care and use are stated in the booklet supplied and apply to all Le Creuset enamelled cast iron ranges, whether the inner cooking surface is black, light coloured (sand, white, almond) or non-stick.
Before using remove all labels. Wash the pan in hot soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly. Pans with enamelled cooking surfaces are now ready for use and require no further preparation. Non-stick surfaces should be wiped with cooking oil to condition them. Your dishes will keep looking good from the hob to the oven, from the oven to the table and from the table to the dishwasher, although I usually wash mine my hand. Always allow to cool before plunging into water, and if food has stuck on, leaving it to soak for a little while in warm soapy usually loosens it making it easy to clean. Never use metal cleaning pads, a soft brush or nylon pad is usually all it needs.
You can buy a special cookware cleaner to polish your Le Ceuset and make it look like new, I haven't done that so far, but may at some point!
*Cooking with Le Creuset*
Your choice of liquid, oil, fat or butter should completely cover the base before heating begins. Medium and low heat will provide the best results for the majority of cooking, including frying and searing. Allow the pan to heat gradually and thoroughly, as this will give the most even and efficient cooking results. Once the pan is hot almost all cooking can be continued on lower settings. Use higher temperatures only for boiling water for vegetables or pasta, or for reducing the consistency of stocks and sauces, but I find I always lower the temperature and it will keep boiling. High temperature should never be used to pre-heat a pan before lowering the heat for cooking because cast iron retains heat so well that if a pan is overheated in this way it will contribute to poor cooking results, sticking and discolouration of cooking pan.
We are being encouraged to protect the environment and cooking this way you can turn the heat down and so will save yourself money too!
Currently the recommended selling price is about £62.00 but Amazon have them for under £50 in some colours and differing prices depending on the supplier so it ids well worth shopping around. I was lucky and got mine for £30.
*Do I like my Le Creuset?"
Yes I do, very much. I have had 3 years use and by that I mean used at least once a week if not more often. It is still in great condition, but I do take care to follow the instructions. It was expensive even at half price, but I believe I will get value for my money. All the food I have cooked has been delicious, I did initially have a few problems when searing meat for casseroles that the flour formed a layer on the base, but when you follow the instructions properly it is fine!
You can bake puddings and even cakes in the casserole dish, providing you grease and flour it well, the cake will turn out when cooled slightly. All in all a great buy.
There is a lifetime guarantee for Le Creuset enamelled cast iron cookware, covering faulty workmanship and materials where the product has been used in normal household conditions, but not for normal wear and tear.
I even received a form and sent off for a free cookbook, which was an added bonus, as it was worth £14.99!
Summary: cast iron and enamel casserole dish
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