Saturday, May 21, 2022

10 Things You Need to Know Before Buying the Le Creuset Cast Iron Casserole Pot

Other than being stylish and trendy, Le Creuset cookware is popular because of its safety features. A lot of cookware is the cause of cancer, particularly pots with those black non-stick coating. I thought, I already spent so much buying organic fresh produce, so why not take a step further and purchase the Le Creuset cookware. It is made of cast iron with multi-level enamel coatings that proven to be the safest option for cookware. 

Because of its expensive price, Le Creuset is often seen as a status symbol and recognized as luxury cookware. However, the price you are paying is in exchange for good-quality pots/pans. You just need one casserole and it will last you a lifetime or longer. And it is not surprising that people are putting their Le Creuset collection into their will for the next generation. 

I did a lot of research before buying my first Le Creuset casserole. For the purpose of this discussion, I'm referring to my Black Satin 26cm Round Cast Iron Casserole. I have other pan and oval casserole, but I find myself using the 26cm round casserole more often. 

Here are the things I wish I knew before buying the Le Creuset casserole:

1. Lifetime Warranty

One misconception that everyone has is - you can get your Le Creuset products repaired or free exchanged for a new one for a lifetime. This is not the case. If you read the terms and conditions for exchange or repair, they exclude almost every wear & tear situation. I feel like it's a marketing gimmick to offer the “lifetime warranty”, so don't purchase Le Creuset products just because you are attracted to the lifetime warranty. Although I was a little disappointed by this, it didn’t stop me from getting more Le Creuset products. 

2. Suitable size

The casserole has various sizes (in fact most Le Creuset products have different sizes). In order to choose which size suits your need, do refer to the Le Creuset sizing guide below. However, do consider what you want to cook. In my opinion, always go for 1 or 2 sizes up. In my case, my household only has 2 people, but the 26cm size is perfect for Chinese soup or porridge (my husband eats a lot). 

3. Suitable interior

Le Creuset has 2 types of cast iron interior - the black cast iron and signature enamel coating (cream color). In terms of cooking quality, both of the interiors don't make any difference. However, when it comes to washing and caring for the surface, they both have huge differences. The black cast can easily catch patina or even rust if you don't season the surface properly. Washing it with a dishwasher may harm the surface in long run. However, the signature enamel coating was introduced much later. It has a shiny and non-stick surface which isn't as sensitive as the iron cast. Internally, the signature enamel coating is still made of iron cast, hence there's not much difference. For a beginner, go for the signature enamel with cream interior. 

4. Seasoning the surface

As mentioned above, if you purchase the black cast iron surface, your pot needs to be seasoned. What does this mean? Cast iron is a raw material. When used directly for cooking, your food will not heat up evenly and stick to the pan. Hence, all cast iron pots/pans need to be seasoned (or in scientific terms, polymerize the oil onto the surface of the cast iron). I will show the step-by-step process on how to season the pot. It's too long to share in this post, so that's a story for another time. 

5. What can you do with the casserole

To be honest, you can do almost any type of cooking. This is also the reason why I purchase it. It does stew, deep-frying, baking (it's oven-safe), stir-fry, preserve heat, steam, and the best thing is to serve it directly (yay for not having to wash additional serving plate). The casserole is so versatile that I highly recommend it due to this reason.

6. The weight

I was looking for a guide for the weight of the casserole, unfortunately, there is no standard answer to it. All I can say is, it weighs a lot! There can be a potential for wrist pain because it isn't ergonomically thought of. If you are small in size, best to stick to the smaller size casserole. Also, take note of your stove type - will it be able to support the weight of the casserole, or if your stove is made of glass, best to avoid getting the casserole because highly likely you will break the stove by just resting the cover of the casserole. Cleaning the casserole can be a problem if your sink is not able to support the weight such as those standalone sinks. 

7. Where to purchase

There are plenty of duplicates and fake Le Creuset products. Do be careful where you purchase it from. Always purchase from the Le Creuset official store or registered dealer. I purchased mine from Queenspree and the Le Creuset official Shopee store. Purchasing a fake Le Creuset might cause more harm to your health. It is totally not worth it to save that money. If you have never have an upclose experience with Le Creuset products before, I recommend you to check it out physically in store to get the look and feel whether the weight is suitable for you. 

To save some money, I use ShopBack to cash back when I purchase from Shopee. You can get around 6% of cashback. 

8. Satin black coating will cause patina

There are two types of pot exterior surfaces. The matte black (called satin black color) will develop a patina over a few years. This is normal because the surface is not coated with shiny enamel such as the colored range. For beginner, go for the colored range, although the satin black is pretty attractive. 

9. Care tips

There's nothing much to take care of if you go for the signature enamel coating (interior) and non-satin black color (exterior). One thing I recommend is to cook on a slow fire. The heat will be distributed evenly, so you don't need strong fire. Never use steel wool to wash your cast iron. It will hurt the surface of your cast iron and cause laceration on the layers. For dishwashing liquid, I use the Sunlight Extra Nature Mineral Salt & Aloe Vera that is not that harsh. 

10. Does it work on an induction stove?

The frequently asked question I had was - will the Le Creuset casserole work on an induction stove? The answer is yes (generally). It does work on any heating elements. However, I don't recommend using it on an induction stove (especially that built-in stove) because there is a potential the casserole might break your stove. It would be too costly to replace it. However, if your induction stove is a standalone cooker, that should be okay. 

I hope these tips get you started with your shopping adventure on Le Creuset. To be honest, having a Le Creuset is like a cult. You don't stop at one pot or one pan. Eventually, your collection builds up because the quality of the cookware is unmatched and you can taste the difference in your cooking. It does cook better. 

1 comment

  1. Wonderful write-up Jerine!! I loved the care tips..I really found few people writing these..thanks so much for sharing this with me!!