At the turn of the twentieth century, a new global perspective on cuisine began to dawn. Dining, once a private activity, went public, and suddenly people experienced the delight of sharing a delicious meal in the company of friends. And in the midst of all the culinary innovation and change, Le Creuset introduced the first vibrant, Flame-colored enameled cast iron cocotte in 1925. This ground-breaking cocotte took a kitchen staple – cast iron cookware – and refined it, making it more functional and more beautiful. Since that time, modern cuisine has continued to evolve and so has Le Creuset; growing to offer products across a range of materials and categories that guarantees every cook will have the right tool for the right job.
Enameled Cast Iron Skillets: Indispensable in the kitchens of home cooks and professional chefs alike. Le Creuset produced the first enameled cast iron cookware nearly a century ago, and the original foundry still perates today, where 15 skilled artisans hand-inspect each piece.
The interior surface of a Le Creuset skillet is finished with a matte black enamel that eliminates the need for the traditional seasoning and maintenance of raw cast iron. Specially formulated for high-surface temperature cooking, the enamel develops a natural patina over time that is ideal for searing, sauteing and frying.
Available in sizes ranging from 6.3″ up to 11.75″ and in 15 unique colors.
Enameled Cast Iron Braisers: Uniquely designed for maximum performance, transforming tough cuts of meat and hearty vegetables into tender, flavorful dishes. Food is first seared over high heat, then finished slowly in a flavorful liquid.
The wide base of the braiser allows ingredients to be placed in a single layer for proper searing; once liquid is added, the domed lid continuously circulates steam to lock in moisture and flavor. The glass-like interior finish promotes caramelization, resists staining and prevents sticking to make cleanup easy.
Available in 1.5 quart, 3.5 quart and 5 quart sizes, and 17 different colors.
Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Ovens: Long recognized for its strength and durability, cast iron is the prime material for slow-cooking, braising and roasting, thanks to its ability to maintain even and consistent heat. The enameled Dutch oven needs no seasoning, and it’s suitable for both stove top and oven use.
Available in both round and oval shapes of various sizes, these Dutch ovens also come in a wide variety of colors. The oval shape is particularly suited to longer cuts of meat or poultry.
Seasonally themed Dutch oven designs are also released throughout the year. Some of these designs even become so popular Le Creuset chooses to keep producing them year-round.
Accessories: Round out your Le Creuset collection with specially designed handle sleeves, trivets, and more. They even offer a wide variety of replacement knobs for their braisers and Dutch ovens if you find your’s is starting to look a little shabby.
Use and Care: Enameled cast iron is a remarkable and robust material that performs well with modern requirements for food preparation and cooking. On the table, a hot covered dish will keep food hot for second servings. Cast iron can also be used to keep foods cold. A chilled dish becomes an ideal cold food server on a hot summer day. It can also be placed in the freezer for food storage or advanced food preparation.
Cooking Tips: Cast iron performs well for either slow cooking or high-temperature searing, and can be used reliably on any heat source, including induction, and with any oven or grill. It has the ability to retain heat efficiently, which allows for use of lower heat settings in stove top and oven cooking. Medium or low heat will provide the best results for cooking, including frying and searing. Allow the pan to heat gradually and thoroughly for even and efficient cooking results. Once the pan is hot, almost all cooking can be continued on lower settings. High heat temperatures should only be used for boiling water for vegetables or pasta, or for reducing the consistency of stocks or sauces. High heats should never be used to preheat a pan before lowering the heat for cooking. Cast iron retains heat so efficiently that overheating will cause food to burn or stick.
Due to the enamel lining silicone, heat-resistant plastic, and wooden tools are preferred. Metal tools, spoons or balloon whisks may be used, but require special care; they should not be scraped over the enamel surface. Do not knock these on the rim of the pan either. Hand-held electric or battery-operated beaters should not be used. Their blades will damage the enamel. Knives or utensils with sharp edges should not be used to cut foods inside a pan. Handles and knobs will become hot during stove top and oven use. Always use a dry thick cloth or oven mitts when lifting and never set a hot pan on an unprotected surface.
Cleaning Tips: Always cool a hot pan for a few minutes before washing. Do not plunge a hot pan into cold water. While Le Creuset’s enamel is designed to be the most durable on the market, thermal shock may still occur, resulting in cracking or loss of enamel. If there are food residues, fill the pan with warm water and let soak for 15 to 20 minutes before washing. A brush can be useful for removing small food deposits, or for cleaning between the ribs on grills. Do not use scourers or abrasive cleaners on the cooking surface. Nylon or soft abrasive pads or brushes can be used to remove stubborn residues. To avoid damaging the enamel, do not use metallic pads or harsh abrasive cleaning agents. Never store pans while they are still damp. Store pans in a dry cupboard or airy space away from steam. Maintain the tightness of all handles and knobs by checking and re-tightening them regularly. Le Creuset enameled cast iron is extremely durable but it may be damaged if accidentally dropped or knocked against a hard surface.
Click here to learn more about caring for your enameled cast iron cookware.
Le Creuset products can be found in the Housewares department at both Owenhouse locations.