Most helpful positive review
27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Attractive and useful casserole dish
on June 8, 2005
Cast iron usually isn't my first choice of cookware for several reasons: it isn't non-stick; it's heavy (I have tendonitis in my hands); and it can't go in the dishwasher. Thankfully, Lodge's new enamel-coated line takes care of most of these issues!
I recently got my hands on one of their two-quart enamel-coated casserole dishes for review, in apple green. I love the wide, shallow design. After all, many casseroles wind up with browned, crusty toppings--which are the best part!--and this allows more of the casserole to come out that way. I also find this a little easier to lift, particularly because of the wide handles, although you definitely need both hands and I still let my husband move it in and out of the oven for the most part.
Two quarts is barely enough for most casseroles, I find; I usually prefer dishes that are two and a half quarts just because they allow a little more room for error and help to avoid spill-overs. However, I think most reasonably-sized casseroles will fit in this.
The quality of the enamel coating is part of what I love most about Lodge's enamel-coated line. In the past I've used Le Creuset enamel-coated cast iron (bought quite a while ago, so if they've improved their coating in recent years I can't address that) and it was definitely inferior. It wasn't as slick, so it didn't clean as easily nor release food as easily. It also didn't stand up all that well to metal utensils. In contrast, it's hard to imagine this coating wearing down any time soon. We made cornbread in it and it slid out of the pan without any help at all.
I love the way this pan heats evenly, holds heat and keeps a casserole warm until you come back for seconds, releases food with ease, and cleans like a charm despite the fact that you should wash it by hand. It's elegant, the wide and shallow design is perfect for giving you more of the browned topping that's so delicious on most casseroles, and it makes the niftiest oval loaf of cornbread. What more could you want?
Well okay, I wish it could go in the dishwasher on general principle, I wish they could come up with a way to make cast iron lighter for those of us with hand problems, and I wish it held just a little bit more. But in good conscience I can only take about half a point off for those, so consider my rating to be 4.5.