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.
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!
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.
You can use this on the stove top and in the oven... it's excellent for roasts, and then put it right on the stove to make gravy. And, you never have to worry about scrubbing this dish, as you can just fill it with water and put it on the stove, once the water comes to a boil, cooking residue just pours off.
Cook in it. Serve in it. Then put it in the dishwasher! Brilliant! Le Creuset enameled cast-iron pieces never fail!
We have many sized pans, casserole dishes, and Pyrex dishes, but the items by Le Creuset are of the highest quality and durable. The only knock I have against this roaster is its size (why not 9x12 or some other normal size?), but I'm so satisfied with the quality and durability that I'm wiling to overlook my issues with the size.
If you can afford these Le Creuset cast iron products, then go ahead and make the investment. They are well worth it. The even heat distribution and the fact that you can go from cooktop to oven is a huge plus. The competitors, M Stewart included, are not even a close second, there is really no comparison.
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.
I was worried about the colors staying true, but each Le Creuset I ordered matched in color without fading. Nor where there any chips or damages. Each came in it's own factory box. My kitchen looks wonderful now, thank you. Oh, and they cook Great on my Wolf gas stove, too!
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