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le creuset cookware review

le creuset cookware review

Le Creuset cookware is pricey, but its cast iron and stoneware pieces can last for years

Though startups like?Made In?are making headway against traditional kitchen brands, there are some decades-old names that home cooks may never let go of. Topping registry and gift lists everywhere, these legacy brands have been wished for, raved about, and passed down from generation to generation. For good reason — their products help to make your grandmother’s famous chocolate chip cookies as well as your newfangled (her words, not yours) quinoa cacao bites. French cookware company?Le Creuset?is one such name, representing the height of craftsmanship and style, and accordingly, price. Its enamel cast iron Dutch ovens are widely considered the best in the industry, which is why many people are willing to commit to the $200+ investment and few ever regret it. You can’t miss them in a kitchen. They’re the smooth and glossy, weighty and substantial, brightly colored centerpiece of a shelf, stove, or countertop, and after cooking with them, you’re unlikely to ever forget them. Basically,?Le Creuset?is the rare brand that’s really as good as everyone says it is. The experience is kind of like going to your first SoulCycle class — you enter a cynic, but you emerge (hopefully less sweaty) a zealous convert. 

A brief history of Le Creuset — then and now

Le Creuset was created in 1925 by two Belgian industrialists, one who specialized in casting and the other in enameling. After meeting at the Brussels Fair, they created a foundry in Fresnoy-le-Grand, an area in northern France located along a major trade route. The cast iron cocotte, also known as a French oven or an enameled Dutch oven, was their first product. Its Flame color, a Le Creuset signature, is said to have been modeled after the vibrant orange hue of molten cast iron inside a crucible (“le creuset” in French). The cocotte was a groundbreaking product at the time because it made the kitchen staple of cast iron cookware both more functional and beautiful. It was something that home cooks could rely on every time to perform at high levels, but also an aesthetically pleasing piece that looked good on stovetops and dining tables alike. Based on Le Creuset’s enduring success, it looks like our tastes haven’t changed much.

How to shop Le Creuset cookware reviews and what to buy

Enameled cast ironwas and will remain Le Creuset’s specialty. Its slow heat distribution and strong heat retention make it great for medium and low-heat cooking, from slow-cooking meats to roasting vegetables to baking rich desserts. The smooth interior encourages beautiful, delicious caramelization, plus it prevents sticking and is easy to clean. This material is safe to use on all heat sources, including electric, gas, induction, outdoor grill, and oven. Whether you’re a first-time Le Creuset buyer or expanding a decades-old collection, this versatile, high-performing cookware is the main one to shop. All cast iron pieces are made in the original French foundry and each is hand-inspected by 15 people. They come with a limited lifetime warranty. Stonewareis best for baking tasks. It heats uniformly to create that coveted golden-brown crust while making sure that everything inside is cooked evenly, and it releases food easily. All stoneware pieces come with a limited 10-year warranty. Nonstickis a newer venture for Le Creuset and a nicer-quality upgrade from the nonstick stuff you’ve used before. Compared to cast iron, these aluminum-core products heat up quickly. All nonstick pieces come with a limited lifetime warranty. 

Where to shop Le Creuset (hexclad cookware review

Le Creuset’s full lineup of products is available?on its website, where you can get free shipping on all orders, find recipes and events, and?start a gift registry?(through MyRegistry.com). It’s easiest to shop all of Le Creuset’s gorgeous colors and special limited-stock or limited-edition collections on the company’s website. However, you can also find sales and exclusive colors at specialty retailers like?Williams-Sonoma,?Sur La Table (the newest “Artichoke” shade looks as delicious as the real thing), and?Crate & Barrel, and department stores like?Nordstrom?and?Macy’s. It’s available at?Amazon?as well. It might be more convenient to buy Le Creuset at those places if you shop there frequently.

Putting Le Creuset cookware to the test (GreenPan Cookware

Three of us tested the cookware types I mentioned above — enameled cast iron, stoneware, and nonstick — and put the nearly 100-year-old company to the work. While this was my first experience cooking with Le Creuset, some of my colleagues have been using their pieces for years and can attest to the durability and wear of their cookware. Below, learn more about what it’s like to cook with Le Creuset, from the classic Dutch Oven to the lesser-known Grill Pan.

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