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My Love Affair with Le Creuset Signature Round Dutch Oven

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Le Creuset: Always Colorful. Always Fabulous.

My introduction to Le Creuset cookware was at the home of a friend who loved to entertain. He had a complete set of flame-colored cookware from the 1980s, in which he served everything from kitchadi to pasta e fagioli.

The orange and white colors of his enameled cookware remain for me the signature color combination of a party atmosphere.

Eventually (many years later) I got my own Le Creuset French oven, or, as many people call it, a Dutch oven. This signature piece of the Le Creuset collection reminds me of my great-grandmother’s cast iron Dutch oven.

It was passed along to my mother and which she used to cook her signature chili and pot roasts. I call the Le Creuset piece a Dutch oven, because my great grandmother’s family was Dutch.

Ready for its review? Let’s start!

Why Le Creuset Dutch Oven is a Winner

It’s Heavy! But That’s What Makes a Le Creuset Great!

Cast iron is heavy. The Le Creuset Signature French Oven is the lightest of all available cast iron cookware, but you still have to pick it up with two hands.

With the lid, which fits securely, it’s even heavier. In many cookware reviews discussing Le Creuset, weight is the number one issue that’s discussed lots of the time. Funny enough, many who raised the issue at the beginning would eventually admit that the heft is manageable. And added that if not for the weight, the immensely satisfying experience would not have been the same.

The lovely Le Creuset signature enameled cast iron pot in Cassis purpleLe Creuset signature enameled cast iron french oven in Caribbean blue

High Heat Resistance

The Le Creuset French oven holds 5 1/2 quarts. That’s enough for a family of hungry boys who have been smelling the pot roast cooking all afternoon. That’s enough for a night of partying, with guests digging deeper and deeper into the well of cheesy casserole goodness.

The updated version of the Le Creuset French oven has larger, ergonomic handles, so you can really get a grip. The knob on the lid withstands temperatures up to 500 degrees.

Heating the French oven before cooking is not a good idea. Turning the heat down after adding the food doesn’t work the same way with cast iron. Cast iron retains heat so efficiently that the food will burn before the pot has a chance to cool.

Le Creuset signature 5 quart enameled cast iron oven in soleil optionLe Creuset signature 5 quart enameled cast iron french oven

A Great Serving Dish Set

Because of its superior heat retention, Le Creuset cookware is great for buffets. Cast iron stays cold for a long time as well.

My entertaining old friend used his Le Creuset French oven in the summer to serve everything from rum punch to gazpacho. The enamel coating makes the pot safe for acidic foods.

The latest version of the Le Creuset French oven is even more resistant to stains. The company actually flaunts this quality by making the interior a light color. The stainless interior is very attractive for serving.

Care when Handling

Le Creuset cookware does require special handling. You don’t want to let gas flames creep up the sides of the pot. The French oven has excellent heat distribution, but it still works best on a range burner suited to its size.

Avoid scouring the enamel. That’s easy to do, because simply soaking the pot makes stuck-on food easy to remove.

My entertaining friend loved to regale us with tales of the tortures his guests had inflicted on his Le Creuset cookware. His pots had survived even the worst accidents and, though scarred, still worked well.

One advice that many ‘regretful’ Le Creuset owners like to give is to dedicate extra care to this classic enameled cookware. That is if you don’t want to break your heart and make sure that a beauty remains a beauty.

Inside peek of Le Creuset signature dutch ovenGorgeous Le Creuset signature dutch oven in flame color

My Personal Take

I’m very happy to have my own Le Creuset French oven. It’s the company’s signature piece, the classic of their collection.

I feel I can cook just about anything in it, even popcorn. (but not the fastest & wise way to boil water though)

Because the French oven retains heat so well, you have to remember not to set it down on a heat-sensitive surface long after you’ve finished cooking with it.

Its sheer beauty. Its excellence at keeping a dish hot or cold. Its uniform heat distribution. Its ability to work on any heat source.

These are reasons why Le Creuset has made a name for itself. This is how the company has managed to build a cult-like following among millions of gastronomy enthusiasts and cooking moms worldwide.

Do you love Le Creuset but find their pots and pans prices to be outside your budget range? Fret not. You’re not the only one. But if you do, you may want to check our pick for the best cast-iron cookware set.

Image credit litlnemo

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