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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A big fan..., September 13, 2002
By A Customer
First off, Le Creuset products in general are great! We must have about 10 - 15 pieces and the cast iron stuff cooks and cleans up great! The stock pot that we have is the only piece that isn't quite up to snuff and the grille pan is a bit hard to clean, but general I would highly recommend their products. Plus they look great too...
This pan, the rectangular baker is wonderful. Meats and Fish cook great! We use ours a lot for baking fish - Salmon,etc... Its uses are numerous! It works out great because it can get so hot and it can cooks so evenly. This stuff is expensive but worth it. We like the original "flame" pattern, I have a friend that has a twenty year old set that is still going strong!
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Use for casseroles, side dishes, or roasting: A Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron Rectangular Baker review, August 20, 2006
As a classically trained chef, I have an extensive collection of kitchen items not always found in a typical home. I tend to think of kitchen products from a professional point of view, although I enjoy many items made for home use. Le Creuset is uncommon in professionally kitchens; however they manufacture quality and effective products.

Le Creuset's porcelain enameled cast iron cooking vessels are cast from molten iron formed in single use sand moulds. Covering cast iron with porcelain enamel not only looks good, but has multiple benefits. The enamel, being a solid coating, is one of the most hygienic surfaces to cook on, does not stain, absorb odors, retain flavors, and is easy to clean eliminating the need for seasoning and preventing rust issues. Limit cooking tools to plastic or wood to prevent damaging the enamel.

Cast iron is a highly efficient material which absorbs and distributes heat efficiently. For this reason, it is recommended to use on low to medium heat. There are a few exceptions like boiling water where cooking on high heat is appropriate and okay. Otherwise, cooking with high heat may cause food to stick, discolor the enamel coating, or unevenly cook the food. Cast iron also retains heat, keeping food warm while serving.

This pan holds 2 1/2 quarts of food, measures 7 3/4 x 11 1/4 x 2 inches internally, and weighs 6 pounds 10 ounces. 2 1/2 quarts will typically feed 4 - 6 people when it comes to casseroles, consider the larger roaster to feed more. Except for roasts, the roasting pan tends to do best if at least 3/4 full. Any less and you may overwhelm your food with the pan's evenly dispersed heat.

Two features people tend to complain about are the cost and weight. The cost seems steep compared to common pans made from other materials. Compare to quality cookware, and the cost may seem more reasonable. When comparing to the old cast iron pans past generations have used for cornbread and camping, Le Creuset seems expensive. However the manufacturing process requires making a mould for each and every pan produced. They then go through the enameling process before shipping these heavy pans. If you take what goes into making and distributing these high quality cast iron products, the cost tends to make sense. Then consider this pan will easily last a lifetime when taken care of. Additionally cast iron is a heavy material. The enamel doesn't add much to the weight, when comparing to a similar cast iron product, the weight is going to be comparable.

I find the many benefits of Le Creuset make this pan a worthy purchase. This pan adds a desirable crispy texture to dishes like mac-n-cheese. Add a roasting rack and this pan is perfect for roasting chickens. The enamel is attractive, while the cast iron keeps the food warm for serving. Cleaning and caring for this dishwasher safe pan is easy. When properly taken care of, this pan will last a lifetime.

Knowing the benefits and the pleasure I get from using Le Creuset, I don't hesitate to recommend this pan. If you choose to purchase this pan, and use it for its strengths you won't be disappointed.

PROS:
Efficient heat absorption and distribution
Hygienic enamel cooking surface
Does not stain, absorb odors, or retain flavors
Easy to clean when not abused or misused
Can be transferred from stove top to the oven to the table
Dishwasher safe
Can easily last a lifetime

CONS:
Its heavy, as cast iron tends to be, weighing 6 pounds 10 ounces
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great roaster that will last for generations, January 18, 2010
Although I am not a professional chef I do take my cooking seriously. Over the years I have invested in quality German and Japanese knives, French copper pans and, of course, Le Creuset cookware. Although these enameled cast iron pans are not as versatile as some of my copperware they are none the less indispensable.

Since cast iron is not as conductive as copper or aluminum it heats up and cools down much more slowly. This characteristic makes it unsuitable for sautéing or for when you need a pan that is highly responsive. However it's even heating and retention of heat makes it perfect for casseroles, roasts, mac-n-cheese, potato dishes, etc. I have been in love with Le Creuset's French ovens for years and use them for chili, stews and other dishes that benefit from long, slow cooking.

I had this item on my Amazon Wish List for quite a while. I could have bought it for myself but it's one of those things that you appreciate more when it is a gift. In France Le Creuset collections are often bequeathed to thankful children from parents that have cooked with them for decades. My oldest son bought this for me from Amazon as a Christmas present. I promised him that he could have it when I was done with it (hopefully a long time from now).

A couple of things to be aware of: at 8" x 11.75" this is smaller than the standard 9"x13" Pyrex dishes that are often used for the recipes that this pan is better suited for. Perhaps it is because Europeans generally serve smaller portion than we do in the US. Another thing to mention is that cast iron tends to be the heaviest cookware available. This roaster can top 13 - 15 lbs. or more when filled with dense food such as potatoes au gratin or a good sized cut of meat.

Yes, this is a relatively expensive product but bear in mind that you never regret having the best (at least not once you have finished paying for it). This roaster is actually a pleasure to clean (and I don't say that lightly). I will have it for the rest of my life and then it will be passed on to my children along with some very warm memories of meals past.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great roaster that can be passed down through the generations, January 18, 2010
Although I am not a professional chef I do take my cooking seriously. Over the years I have invested in quality German and Japanese knives, French copper pans and, of course, Le Creuset cookware. Although these enameled cast iron pans are not as versatile as some of my copperware they are none the less indispensable.

Since cast iron is not as conductive as copper or aluminum it heats up and cools down much more slowly. This characteristic makes it unsuitable for sautéing or for when you need a pan that is highly responsive. However it's even heating and retention of heat makes it perfect for casseroles, roasts, mac-n-cheese, potato dishes, etc. I have been in love with Le Creuset's French ovens for years and use them for chili, stews and other dishes that benefit from long, slow cooking.

I had this item on my Amazon Wish List for quite a while. I could have bought it for myself but it's one of those things that you appreciate more when it is a gift. In France Le Creuset collections are often bequeathed to thankful children from parents that have cooked with them for decades. My oldest son bought this for me from Amazon as a Christmas present. I promised him that he could have it when I was done with it (hopefully a long time from now).

A couple of things to be aware of: at 8" x 11.75" this is smaller than the standard 9"x13" Pyrex dishes that are often used for the recipes that this pan is better suited for. Perhaps it is because Europeans generally serve smaller portion than we do in the US. Another thing to mention is that cast iron tends to be the heaviest cookware available. This roaster can top 13 - 15 lbs. or more when filled with dense food such as potatoes au gratin or a good sized cut of meat.

Yes, this is a relatively expensive product but bear in mind that you never regret having the best (at least not once you have finished paying for it). This roaster is actually a pleasure to clean (and I don't say that lightly). I will have it for the rest of my life and then it will be passed on to my children along with some very warm memories of meals past.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your typical casserole dish..., September 2, 2009
It's big, it's heavy, and you'll do more with it than you did before with any other "casserole" pan. Le Creuset is the creme de-la creme of cookware - but if you aren't a fan of cast iron, you may want to look at their stoneware instead.

The enamel on this baker is thick and hard and while easy to clean, is very resistant to damage and stains. The cast iron means that heat is evenly dispersed. This baker goes from "prep" in the refrigerator (or freezer) straight into the oven and right back out again. The only thing I wish it had is a lid of some sort so that it can be used more effectively as a "take along" pan because it holds heat so well.

I use this baker to make casseroles, broil meat, bake cakes, cook poultry, etc... It can even be used on the stove top if you're in a pinch due to an already full oven or if your stove top cookware is already in use. It's one of the most versatile pieces in my kitchen and was well worth the investment as it will last a lifetime.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Use for casseroles, side dishes, or roasting: A Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron Small Rectangular Roaster review, January 24, 2009
As a classically trained chef, I have an extensive collection of kitchen items not always found in a typical home. I tend to think of kitchen products from a professional point of view, although I enjoy many items made for home use. Le Creuset is uncommon in professionally kitchens; however they manufacture quality and effective products.

Le Creuset's porcelain enameled cast iron cooking vessels are cast from molten iron formed in single use sand moulds. Covering cast iron with porcelain enamel not only looks good, but has multiple benefits. The enamel, being a solid coating, is one of the most hygienic surfaces to cook on, does not stain, absorb odors, retain flavors, and is easy to clean eliminating the need for seasoning and preventing rust issues. Limit cooking tools to plastic or wood to prevent damaging the enamel.

Cast iron is a highly efficient material which absorbs and distributes heat efficiently. For this reason, it is recommended to use on low to medium heat. There are a few exceptions like boiling water where cooking on high heat is appropriate and okay. Otherwise, cooking with high heat may cause food to stick, discolor the enamel coating, or unevenly cook the food. Cast iron also retains heat, keeping food warm while serving.

This pan holds 2 1/2 quarts of food, measures 7 3/4 x 11 1/4 x 2 inches internally, and weighs 6 pounds 10 ounces. 2 1/2 quarts will typically feed 4 - 6 people when it comes to casseroles, consider the larger roaster to feed more. Except for roasts, the roasting pan tends to do best if at least 3/4 full. Any less and you may overwhelm your food with the pan's evenly dispersed heat.

Two features people tend to complain about are the cost and weight. The cost seems steep compared to common pans made from other materials. Compare to quality cookware, and the cost may seem more reasonable. When comparing to the old cast iron pans past generations have used for cornbread and camping, Le Creuset seems expensive. However the manufacturing process requires making a mould for each and every pan produced. They then go through the enameling process before shipping these heavy pans. If you take what goes into making and distributing these high quality cast iron products, the cost tends to make sense. Then consider this pan will easily last a lifetime when taken care of. Additionally cast iron is a heavy material. The enamel doesn't add much to the weight, when comparing to a similar cast iron product, the weight is going to be comparable.

I find the many benefits of Le Creuset make this pan a worthy purchase. This pan adds a desirable crispy texture to dishes like mac-n-cheese. Add a roasting rack and this pan is perfect for roasting chickens. The enamel is attractive, while the cast iron keeps the food warm for serving. Cleaning and caring for this dishwasher safe pan is easy. When properly taken care of, this pan will last a lifetime.

Knowing the benefits and the pleasure I get from using Le Creuset, I don't hesitate to recommend this pan. If you choose to purchase this pan, and use it for its strengths you won't be disappointed.

PROS:
Efficient heat absorption and distribution
Hygienic enamel cooking surface
Does not stain, absorb odors, or retain flavors
Easy to clean when not abused or misused
Can be transferred from stove top to the oven to the table
Dishwasher safe
Can easily last a lifetime

CONS:
Its heavy, as cast iron tends to be, weighing 6 pounds 10 ounces
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Usual Perfection from Le Creuset, August 18, 2013
By 
JNO "JNO" (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Yes, it weighs a ton. So what! It's worth the extra effort carrying it around. Heats up evenly with no hotspots anywhere. I've used it to: bakes cakes, bake bread, bake dinner rolls, bake pecan sticky buns, roast chicken, roast meat, roast vegetables, bakes casseroles and lasagna. Results have been uniformly excellent. It washes clean afterwards with very little effort. Great pan!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Number one in cookware, January 17, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Having been cooking for the last 60 years I have purchased and used every type of pot or pan imaginable. Starting with, cheep light weight, aluminum to the most expensive French hammered copper pots and pans. In the end cast iron is number one and Le Creuset is the best of the lot.

Frank J. Pignataro
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just about perfect, April 19, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The size and heat retention of this pan is great. It can go directly to the table and keep food hot for a long time.
I use it for baking in a convection oven (mainly lasagna, and roasting vegetable/meat).

The only unexpected feature might be the weight of the pan - it is heavy for its size. I am not complaining but if you were looking for something light and easy to take out of an oven one handed this might not be for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Baker, January 4, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This roaster is fantastic!
I've made the best corn bread, baked chicken and macaroni and cheese using this roaster.
It's made of enamel, so the sides and bottom provide extra crispness around the edges.

I have similar ceramic roasters (Emile Henry and LeCreuset) that bake very well.
However, this enameled baker delivers that extra crunch that we love in our Southern dishes...Yum!

My family passes good cookware and cast iron skillets from one generation to the next. So, I purchase only high quality cooking products that are durable and can be passed down to my children, nieces and nephews.

It's sad to say but ....this roaster will last several generations longer than I will.
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