Good ingredients, good cookware, and good cooks make for good food, and Le Creuset has the right ingredients to qualify as outstanding cookware. If its in your budget, in my estimation, yes, its worth it. Its an investment in a top quality product that will last for decades and provide countless good meals and easy clean ups.
Enamelled Cast Iron
I’ve been collecting their enamelled cast iron and stoneware products for several years now, even managing to find the odd piece at a yard sale or second hand store, much treasured finds. Their enamelled cast iron is individually cast in sand molds, and hand inspected. Their even heat distribution is evident on all cook surfaces, including induction. Because of this even distribution, high heat is only required for boiling liquids, medium is fine even for searing meat, Use plastic or wooden utensils, and protect your counter with a trivet. Like all fine quality cookware, Le Creuset is easy to wash, either by hand (recommended) or dishwasher (I put mine in the dishwasher all the time). Just don’t plunge a hot dish into cool water, let it cool down a bit before washing, and don’t leave them soaking for a long period of time fully immersed in water.
- Colorful, long-lasting exterior enamel resists chipping and cracking; interior enamel is engineered to resist staining and dulling
- Sand-colored interior enamel makes it easy to monitor food as it cooks, preventing burning and sticking
- Oversized handles provide even weight distribution and a secure grip
- Ergonomic composite knobs are heat resistant to 500 F
- Built-in lid stabilizers provide a secure, no-slide fit
- The lightest weight per quart of any premium cast iron cookware available
Round French Ovens
The 3.5 quart round casserole is the Le Creuset I use the most. It holds the volume of a 9 x 13 pan, but is better than a shallow pan for stews and casseroles and things like macaroni and cheese, and I can assure you that food you cook in a Le Creuset pan will turn out a lot better tasting than that cooked in a cheap casserole dish. The even heat retention in this cookware is amazing. And they are easy to clean, which is another reason we tend to reach for that same old favoriate pan time and time again. These are actually French ovens, made in their foundry in northern France where molten iron is sand-cast from a single mold that’s destroyed after use, which is why no two pieces are exactly alike. Then they are sand-cast, polished and finished by hand, and sprayed with two coats of enamel and fired twice. The procedure produces a casserole dish that has amazing heat retention and distribution unmatched in anything else I’ve used. I’ve had mine for a few years now and it looks brand new, although I’ve used it many many times.
Other popular Le Creuset Round French Oven sizes (click link for further detail or pricing):
- Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron Round French Oven, 1-Quart, Soleil
- Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 4-1/2-Quart Round Dutch Oven Gift Set, Soleil
- Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5-1/2-Quart Round French Oven, Cherry
- Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 7-1/4-Quart Round French Oven, Cherry
- Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron 9qt Round Oven Truffle
- Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 13-1/4-Quart Round French Oven, Cherry (note – you’ll have trouble fitting this on a conventional cook top if you have the other burners used)
Oval French Ovens
The day I bought my large oval Le Creuset at a yard sale for $20, I felt like I had won the lottery. The lady knew it was a great pot, to price it that high for a yard sale, but she was alone and found she wasn’t entertaining much. While I don’t use it as often as my 3.5 quart size, I still love having it for entertaining for a larger group, which I do on a fairly regular basis. It will hold a large chicken or roast, or make a casserole big enough for a crowd. Mine has a square handle and doesn’t have the stain resistance of the new Le Creuset, but the cooking qualities are all there.
Other popular Le Creuset Oval French Oven sizes:
- Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 1-Quart Oval French Oven, Marseille
- Le Creuset Stoneware Covered Oval Casserole, 4-Quart, Soleil
- Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5-Quart Oval French Oven, Caribbean
- Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 6-3/4-Quart Oval French Oven, Flame
- Le Creuset Signature Oval French Oven, 9-1/2 qt Truffle
- Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 15-1/2-Quart Oval French Oven, Cherry
I’ve got a couple of the Le Creuset saucier pans, and their even heat distribution does something magical to sauces. They’re also nice if you’re just cooking something small that later needs to be popped into the oven.
Other popular Le Creuset Saucier Pan sizes:
- Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 2-3/4-Quart Iron Handle Precision Pour Saucepan, Marseille
- Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron Saucier Pan, 3-Quart, Soleil
Le Creuset stoneware is suitable to bake, serve and store, even for the freezer or the broiler, but not for stove top or other direct heat use. Just don’t put a frozen dish into a hot oven – put it into a cold oven, then turn on the heat and let them warm together. Similarly to their enamelled cast iron, don’t leave them immersed in water for long periods, but they are fine for hand washing or the dishwasher.
- High-quality exterior enamel protects against metal marks and other damage
- Hard-wearing, impermeable finish fired at temperatures as high as 2192 degrees F is safe for cutting on with knives
- Unmatched thermal resistance from -65 degrees F to 500 degrees F safe for the freezer, microwave, oven, broiler and dishwasher (don’t put frozen dishes into a hot oven though)
- Less than 1% porosity, blocking moisture absorption which can lead to cracking, crazing and rippling along the interior
- Unique clay mixture that creates a very dense material when fired, maintaining even temperatures and preventing scorching
- Resistant to staining and flavor/odor absorption
- A perfectly color-matched palette of bold, consistent tones for easy mixing and matching with other Le Creuset products
This is another Le Creuset dish I use over and over again. Its shallow, not like an 8X8 baking pan with high sides, but holding a similar content. The shallow sides make it well suited for roasting vegetables, or a couple of chicken cordon bleu or half chicken. Their stoneware is so much easier to clean than most I’ve tried, and when you combine that with the great heat distribution, its always the first one to grab.
Le Creuset has a wide variety of popular stoneware, including casseroles, utensil holders, even dinnerware (click here for list). I look forward to collecting a lot more of it in the years to come.