on September 5, 2007
Like others, I bought this pan after the New York Times review came out on alternatives to teflon (the review said that this pan was terrific). My husband and I eat omelets for dinner several nights a week and our teflon pans were starting to lose their nonstick properties. This pan can work well for cooking eggs. The trick, as others have noted, is to preheat the pan on low to medium heat and then to give it a light coat of oil before adding anything to it. The day I received the pan I made a 5-egg omelet and it came out well -- I was easily able to flip the whole thing without it breaking. I've also made over-easy eggs and they have come out well too. I like this pan better than my old teflon ones because it's less delicate, it's dishwasher-safe, and I don't need to worry about the coating losing its effectiveness. Plus, it produces food with a nice surface, which teflon has a hard time doing. It is not quite as nonstick as a teflon pan, but it gets the job done (and is much more nonstick than stainless). I'm pleased with the purchase.
on September 11, 2009
I have ordered the 10-1/4" skillet, but because of the reviews about sticking/seasoning, etc. I was concerned. So I emailed LeCreuset Customer Relations with my questions and here is what they said (they were very prompt and helpful):
"You are welcome. The change was made [to the satin finish] to allow consumers to use higher heat with the skillets. Seasoning is not necessary since the pan self-seasons as the oil is build up on the surface. Some consumers just choose to do so as a means to help build up the surface. You do not have to use a lot of oil, just coat as you normally would. The more you use the pan and oil it eventually the oil will develop a surface on the finish which then makes the pan act like a naturally nonstick pan. To season, you lightly coat the interior of the pan with vegetable oil and bake in the oven at 200 degrees on a baking sheet for about 5-10 minutes. Afterwards, allow the pan to cool then wipe off excess oil. Your pan can be stored in this manner until ready for your next use."
So the first thing I'm going to do when I receive my skillet is season it (a couple times) before I even use it! Hope this helps!
on March 29, 2012
I've been replacing some of my purple Paula Deen porcelian non-stick pots and pans with LeCreuset pieces in cassis. Why? For me, the Deen pieces (not even a year old) haven't been holding up as the non-stick surface seems to scratch when I just look at it funny never mind when I'm stirring with a wooden spoon.
Yes, LeCreuset vessels are heavy and expensive but I've been lucky to find the pieces I want not only on sale but also with free shipping. So far, I've been very happy with the four LeCreuset pieces I own and really like the option of their going from stove top to oven. (Just watch your oven temperature if you haven't switched to SS knobs.)
I replaced one Paula Deen skillet only to be disappointed in the second as well and then had another one of those "just one more LeCreuset" moments. The LeCreuset cast iron skillet arrived earlier this month and has proved to be a learning experience after reading other reviews.
To season or not to season? My care and instruction booklet clearly states that seasoning is not necessary, so I didn't season. My first omelette attempt started with some butter, I heated the skillet for less than 10 minutes, used room temperature eggs, and ended with a sticky mess. Not enough butter? Was the skillet not hot enough? Was it a combination? I don't know. I can say that after soaking the skillet, clean up wasn't an issue.
I found more to read at other sites and decided to season my skillet because 1) it didn't seem like I would do it any harm and 2) while most say cast iron skillets season themselves naturally over time, I don't use a skillet on a regular basis. My second egg attempt, over easy, started with a spritz of cooking spray (olive oil for me), I heated the skillet for 15 minutes at 3 on my gas stove, used room temperature eggs, and ended perfectly even though I used a wood spatula to flip the eggs. After the skillet cooled, I let some water sit, and cleaned up without a problem. When the skillet was dry, I added a drop of olive oil, and used a clean paper towel to coat the bottom.
Why 4 stars vs 5? While this skillet passed the over easy test, give me a week or so to try another omelette, and I'll update.
*Added a 5th star today.
Sprayed the bottom of the skillet with some nonstick stuff, set my gas stove to 4, let the skillet heat up for 10 minutes, tossed in eggs, some spices, kept an eye on the pan as one edge cooked quicker than the other, used a wooden spatula to fold my omelette, and slipped it onto my plate.
No more teflon for me.
on November 9, 2012
I have bought many Le Creuset products over the years and was always impressed with their product until I had a bona fide problem and tried to have it resolved by their customer service in Canada.
I bought a cast iron pan ($ 145) as a house warming gift for my Mother. She heated the pan once and as it cooled the handle cracked off the body of the pan. I brought the pan to the retailer who insisted that I have the sale representative from Creuset examine the pan. That took over a month and the sales rep determined that it was not a defect but rather that the pan had been hit. Photos were taken and both the sales rep and customer service people here in Canada insisted that I was wrong and that the pan had been hit. As a customer, it is extremely frustrating and insulting to be told that you are not telling the truth about how the pan broke. My Mother (70+ years old) insists that the pan was never hit even lightly and that the breakage occurred after the pan was heated (normally).
Stay away from Le Creuset products because their lifetime warranty is a SHAM.
on October 6, 2011
I have seen several reviews here expressing disappointment with le Creuset's less-than-fully nonstick enamel surface. After having had le Creuset skillets for several months, I now suspect the problem is that people are expecting the enamel surface to compare to Teflon. Teflon truly is non-stick, but it has come under fire in recent years for releasing toxic elements when overheated (and ALL skillets will get overheated from time to time, that's what they're for). Same issue with many of the newer "non Teflon" alternate non-stick surfaces.
The fair comparison here is to cast-iron. You can make cast-iron pans just about non-stick, if you properly season the pan right when you get it, pour in a little oil each time before heating the pan, and re-oil and wipe the pan after use while it is still warm. Same thing with Le Creuset enamel - within a few weeks of proper use, and oiling, you can get a surface that is very similar in non-stickiness to a cast-iron pan.
Of course, if you want to fry an egg with a brand-new pan and no oil, you are going to be disappointed. And if you want to do "no oil" cooking at high temperatures, this will not be the pan for you. But for those who appreciate cast iron cookware, know how to season and take care of pans, this is just about the best non-iron pan you are likely to come across.
on January 20, 2004
I cook exclusively with Le Creuset, and I love this skillet as I do all my other pieces. They cook food beautifully and are easy to clean. The only time I had something to really stick, I was able to get it out by putting a little detergent and water in the pan and heating it up a bit. The stuck-on bits floated right up to the top.
on September 29, 2013
I've had this skillet for about a year now. At first it performed about as well as a cured cast iron skillet -perhaps even not quite as well. Certainly it did not have the non stick properties of a teflon or a ceramic coated skillet. I did not cure the pan as I have my cast iron cookware, but I did systematically use it exclusively for fatty foods at first -such as bacon- and avoided washing it whenever possible, simply wiping it clean with a paper towel. After several months of this careful procedure the pan now outperforms even a brand new teflon pan or my excellent thermolon skillets. I no longer use anything but a paper towel to clean it, and so far have not needed to clean it with warm soapy water, which I would do in case some food were to stick to it. Considering the pan has unsurpassed heat retention and that it provides superb even heating, I cannot recommend it more. Worth every penny.
on September 2, 2006
The skillet not only looks beautiful, but performs beautiful. I love the nonstick interior and clean up is a breeze. The even heat distribution makes my food turn out really well. I bought this for omelets and they turn out perfect. This skillet is well worth the money and I really love getting it out to use.
on July 19, 2013
I was looking for a healthier way of cooking, I decided on cast iron and the LeCreuset skillet looked great. I was concerned, and leery of buying it, after reading the negative reviews of food sticking, and especially eggs being hard to wash out. I read the positive reviews of food not sticking due to "seasoning" the skillet before use. So, I hoped the negative reviews were due to the persons "not seasoning" the skillet, or not doing it right. I bought the skillet, and "seasoned" it with several layers of oil to seal the skillet. So far I have used it many times to cook eggs, and sear Ahi, with No Sticking, No problems, and I just rinse it out with warm water afterwards, and put a thin coat of oil afterwards. It works beautifully. I am very happy with this product and I highly recommend it. Too bad the one person who wrote a bad review, who had such a bad experience got frustrated and threw this great skillet out. My guess is the person didn't "Season the skillet."
on December 4, 2012
I've had this skillet for about a month now and I don't know how I ever lived without it. It's nearly perfect in every way and creates beautiful, easy meals. On weekday evenings I love to cook seasoned boneless/skinless chicken breasts in this skillet. Once the chicken is cooked, I let it rest under some foil and in the meantime I deglaze the skillet with broth or wine and lemon juice and create a quick pan sauce - sometimes I also add al dente pasta and fresh spinach to the sauce, and then serve. From start to finish, dinner is on the table in 30 minutes or less. This skillet also makes beautiful steaks, hamburgers, pork chops - you name it! Furthermore it has become a weekend workhorse in our kitchen - pancakes and eggs are absolutely effortless (with a proper amount of butter and pre-heating on MEDIUM-LOW heat, especially for eggs).
While I cannot comment on how this skillet compares to non-stick/teflon pans (I've never used a teflon pan), this enameled cast iron is by far the easiest material I've ever cooked with (clean up is also a breeze - 30 seconds in the sink with hot water and soap, and it wipes clean). I do use a moderate amount of butter and/or olive oil and preheat the pan for 3-4 minutes on medium-low heat before I add any food to the pan. I have had no problem whatsoever with sticking, and better yet, food always has a nice texture and the pan is left with lovely crispy bits (perfect for making flavorful sauces) after meats are cooked - I don't think teflon can accomplish this, which for me is almost as much of a deal-breaker as teflon's toxicity.
I also want to say that I far prefer enameled cast iron to raw cast iron. For a short period of time I tried out a Lodge cast iron skillet, but between the seasoning process (which I had to do constantly, because I guess I over cleaned it) and the oiling after "cleaning" and drying, it was really more trouble than it was worth. This Le Creuset skillet is just so much easier for me, plus the enameled cast iron will not react with acidic ingredients (and I can use as much soap as I want!). I'm eager to get more Le Creuset pieces - well worth the money.