LE CREUSET SKILLET REVIEW-WHY EXPENSIVE?
Posted On May 10, 2020
My Le Creuset skillet review is for the home cook that may be spending a great deal more time in the kitchen, perhaps returning to good old-fashioned family meals traditions and restoring the kitchen to a welcoming gathering place for family and friends, as it has been throughout the ages
I am a chef with forty years experience in some of the world top restaurants and hotels and former chef to Sir Elton John.
I do cook and entertain at home and I love it!
In my home kitchen I get to cook the old-fashioned way. This is great fun and also very therapeutic.
My friends and family participate, we sip on the odd glass of Chardonnay. Everyone chips in with “advice to the chef”
Kids rush into the kitchen with “can we lick the bowl, were hungry, when will the food be ready uncle Pat?” accompanied by ecstatic dogs barking.
It often turns into sheer mayhem
With the stress and pressure of daily life, we have perhaps not spent enough time on this sort of activities.
Hopefully the latest crisis will re-enforce the value of family and close friends. The home will truly become a home again
I would usually start asking some questions to start to feel out what kind of cookware would fit your lifestyle. Here are a couple of questions you need to ask yourself before you make a purchase.
Begin by thinking about your likes, dislikes, and what kind of lifestyle you lead and may lead in the not so distant future. Cheap cookware won’t last.
Whether it’s nonstick or thin aluminum they both have flaws that make them questionable when deciding to purchase. Why not spend a bit more and buy pans that have the potential to last a lifetime? Even if you are a not so enthusiastic cook, decent cookware will make the “chore” that much easier, less frustrating, as well as add to the probabilities of a successful dish.
Much of the decision in cost will come from the answers to questions like these:
-Do you just love spending time in the kitchen preparing gastronomic wonders for family and friends?
-Are you a single person living alone or is your home bursting at the seams with people? No need for a huge set if it is just you.
-Do you want to cut down on the fat that yoo put in your food? If so you need to consider nonstick.
– Do you have room to store a set of 12 pieces or more? To properly store a set you need to prepare to store lids away from pans so they don’t scratch.
After you have these questions answered you are ready to start on the prowl for the kind that best fits your needs. Below I have a few details about types you may encounter.
Be careful to remember that sales people are there to make a sale and not always there to help make the right choice for you. Just because it is expensive does not mean that it is the right one for you.
Every cook has a passion for the pots and pans they use to whip up gourmet or comfort food creations. But pots and pans are made from several materials, not all of them adequate to cook foods evenly or efficiently. What are the differences?
To start, the thickness and the type of metal the vessel is made makes a difference in how evenly the heat is distributed to the cooking food. The finish on the metal’s surface also affects how efficiently the cookware performs.
STAINLESS STEEL COOKWARE PROS AND CONS
To be a good heat conductor, stainless steel needs to have a thick copper or aluminum bottom or be fully clad (aluminum and/or copper smashed between two sheets of stainless steel. High acid foods cooked in stainless steel may cause the steel to leach out unappetizing metals, such as chlorine, iron and nickel.
Most stainless steel pans can be used in oven
Don’t even think about “tinny” pots and pans without a heavy base, as this is a disaster
This type cookware needs a small amount of butter or oils to keep food from sticking; For example you are going to sear a chicken breast and you place some oil or butter in the pan to heat.You will find that even with the best stainless steel pans when you add, in this case, the chicken, it will immediately stick and have to be levered off. Once loose the first time, the food does not tend to stick anymore, but this is a hassle!
Apart from pots to boil something up, like a stock, I barely need any other s/s equipment
Much of the cookware sold in the United States is aluminum. This metal is also a great heat conductor. There is a minor risk of the metal leaching into foods if you constantly deep scrape or gouge the sides or bottoms of the pans.
Thin gauge aluminum pans will warp if subjected to rapid temperatures changes, such as going from a hot stove to a cold water bath. However, thick gauge aluminum examples have excellent heat distribution and will not warp easily.
Lesser quality aluminum products will stain. Hard water and potato starches are major culprits.
I would not touch them personally
Made from aluminum, this cookware is good for the low-fat chef because you don’t have to add fat to keep things from sticking. This means that your fat intake will be lower because you are not adding more due to sticking. There is nothing to compare for making crepes, pancakes and scrambled eggs
Word of warning: This cookware must be treated with kid gloves. Only wood or nylon implements must be used to stir or lift foods. Once scratched, goodbye!
Never store stacked one on the other for the same reason
Do not ever use spray oils on the nonstick surface, it will break down the nonstick coating and it will cause food to start sticking.
A nonstick pan can be used in ovens but not in broilers due to the heat. Cleaning is easy with soap and water or use a Dobie pad. This type is usually not dishwasher safe.
I just wipe mine out with a paper towel
These cooking vessels are among the most expensive and are definitely good for most applications. They transfer the heat very well from you stove to your food though they are not suitable for induction ranges.
Many professional chefs swear by copper. It’s a marvelous heat conductor. However, copper pans should have a liner of tin or stainless steel to prevent the metal from leaching into foods. For this reason you are no better off regarding food sticking
Foods with high acid content will release copper ions, so that metal liner needs to be replaced occasionally. Also, the copper must be kept clean. Black soot or carbon deposits will affect the distribution of heat.
Avoid cheap copper coated cookware. If it’s inexpensive, the copper that is covering the bottom of that stainless steel pan is nothing more than a thin flash; not enough to distribute heat efficiently or evenly. “Real” copper cookware distributes heat uniformly on the sides of the pans as well as on the bottom.
Thicker is definitely better (as is the case with all cookware). However, today’s models are far less heavy than the old ones in Escoffiers day.
Final word: Snob appeal
And boy oh boy do you have to polish!
The pans that you see in the photo below of my Cyprus restaurant kitchen were mainly for show. And a good one at that!
This cookware is gets better with age, meaning the more seasoned the better. Cast Iron is good on the stove or in the oven. It can take a beating that none of the others can take,
Cast iron conducts heat fairly well. And though certain acidic foods may cause the iron to leach, it is not enough to be nutritional, let alone harmful.
Because the surface metal of cast iron cookware is porous, the surface needs to be “seasoned. Rub the cooking surface with Canola oil and heat it in an over at 300°F for about an hour. The oil will seal the pores and add a minimal nonstick surface. It also resists water and the formation of rust.
These skillets are definitely not dishwasher safe. Normally, I just wipe out used oil and gunk with a paper towel while the frying pan is still warm.
If that doesn’t work for you, your cast iron should be washed with just water so that soap won’t break down the seasoning that has been created and then dried immediately (I usually just use low heat on the stove).
Should your frying pan show signs of rust, it can easily be removed by rubbing the area with a sand and vegetable oil mix. Wash thoroughly before using it again.
“Somewhat unusual for a style that has been around for more than 100 years, cast iron cookware has seen a resurgence of epic proportions in the last 10 years”.
“The Cookware Manufacturer’s Association reports more than a 225 percent increase in sales over the decade. More than 10 percent of cookware sales are now cast iron items– a significant increase from just 10 years before.”
So what is bringing international chefs and home cooking enthusiasts back to cookware that is nearly the same today as it was when it was originally invented?
Why buy cast iron skillet?
In short: staying power!
Pots, pans, waffle irons, muffin tins, loaf pans and more are just as good now as the day they were made 100 years ago. There is scarcely a product of any kind that has been manufactured by humans and can boast that kind of reputation.
They handle high or low heat with ease that makes them ideal for a variety of tasks including searing, sauteing, frying, grilling, braising, broiling, and slow cooking. And they are even suitable for use over a campfire.
They can also be used on all cook tops, including induction and glass – although care needs to be taken with glass or ceramic hobs, due to their weight.
BEST ENAMELED DUTCH OVENS
The ability of the cookware to hold heat means that less energy is required for long, slow cooking methods. The ovenproof lid helps retain moisture and prevents drying during long cooking times. This makes Dutch ovens perfect for slow roasting meats or vegetables
In France, everyone has cast iron pieces that have been in their families for years “It’s your grandmother’s favorite, and then, it gets passed down for generations.”
But despite the fact that Le Creuset has accrued a cult-like following over the decades, you may still ask, “Why is it the best?”
Considering the majority of their products fall on the pricier side (their famous round Dutch oven starts at $130), young cooks or shoppers on a tight budget may feel tempted to question, “Is it worth it? How long will my cookware actually last? Where should I start?”
While today, the brand is celebrated world over, Le Creuset was born in response to a culinary revolution led by renowned chef Auguste Escoffier that hit the country during the 1920s. Casting expert Armand Desaegher and Octave Aubecq, a Belgian enameling specialist, teamed up in 1925 to produce what would be Le Creuset’s first enameled cocotte—set in the brand’s now iconic fiery orange colored glaze
Today, 91 years later, the company boasts an array of enameled cast iron cookware, stoneware, stainless steel, and silicone collections that come in a rainbow of colors and finishes—from millennial pink to ultra violet. In addition to their beloved cookware essentials (like the Dutch ovens, braisers, and saucepans), Le Creuset also sells just about everything else you’d need to fill an empty kitchen, including tabletop goods, bake ware, cutlery, and other prep tools
What are the advantages to cooking with Le Creuset?
Unlike most brand name pots and pans that can scratch or deteriorate over time, Le Creuset products are generally more forgiving. Thanks to their enamel glaze exterior, their strong vessels retain and distribute heat extremely well—and are pretty much guaranteed to last a lifetime.
“The heavy bottom of a Le Creuset disperses heat very well, and the durability factor is a plus. Not to mention, it looks great on the stove top,
And while their beautiful and vibrant hues, of course, serve as a major bonus (especially if your kitchen is craving a little color), the pieces are truly functional, and can accommodate just about any feast.
You get a nice even heat that is perfect for searing meat and developing golden brown caramelization, which you need for flavor, I don’t want a lot of pots and pans taking up space, so I like to be able to use them for everything—from boiling water to braising stews.
While deal-hunters may not be thrilled about the pretty cookware’s steep price tags, Le Creuset proves to be a wise choice for aspiring chefs interested in building a solid cookware collection that will stand the test of time. For some, having an everyday pan that’s simply indestructible and totally reliable is a major plus. But for others, the tradition of collecting and the time spent cooking with loved ones is reason alone to put their wallet out on a limb.
There’s no denying it. Le Creuset cookware looks great in any kitchen!
If you are a foodie or an avid cook, you can easily understand why people are drawn to Le Creuset. If you’re a home cook, cookware such as the Le Creuset French oven is the pride of the kitchen.
10 great Recipes for Le Creuset Dutch oven here
Find a good selection of beautiful Creuset here