A guest post from Faye, a foodie fan who loves beautiful Kitchen cookware…
Le Creuset cookware is one of the most trusted brands, and I believe, one of the top makers of the finest cookware all around the world. Their products are being used in a lot of top restaurants or by people who are devoted to passionate cooking. The name Le Creuset is already cemented in the culinary world and is often called the Porsche of cookware products.
So that we could really understand why these products are really that top class, we should first delve into its history.
The History of Le Creuset
In 1925 the company was founded by two Belgian industrialists; Octave Aubecq (an expert in the art of iron casting) and Armand Desaegher (an enameling expert). From then on, the two collaborated together to create the finest cookware in the world. They decided to combine their expertise and opened a foundry where they could exercise their art and passion in Fresnoy-Le-grand.
When they started their business, Aubecq and Desaegher were focused on creating charcoal stoves and cookware products. The two of them were very luck in Fresnoy-Le-grand because it was the hub for raw materials that are really necessary in creating cookware. Materials like iron, sand, and coke are really abundant in the place, which is why the two never had problems finding resources. Le Creuset was doing really well when it has started. However, when World War II broke out, their foundry was taken over by the Nazis for production of grenades and other weapons. But after the war, they have continued with their passion, not minding the lag that they have experienced and just continued on doing business.
During this period the company had started to do some innovations by creating cast iron cookware products. They made enamelled cast iron cookware that had a variety of different colors. This had been the first brand of its kind and their products have been an instant major hit to a lot of home owners that time. Their decision to somehow differentiate themselves from their competitors had been a really good business move for their company and somehow it also caused their tremendous growth in the following years that came.
Shortly after the release of the cast iron cookware in different colours, they also had released and item called Tostador. This cookware that is used for grilling was a very popular product and fast became a national hit in as early as 1957, and after this Le Creuset decided to take action and have purchased their number one competitor, Le Hauts Fourneaux of Cousances. This has made the company bigger and more domineering in the cookware market. Adding to that success, they have also included a new addition— the barbecue set and the fondue cookware in their really impressive line of products. With this consecutive success in their company, Aubecq and Desaegher have really turned into business moguls and they have also marked the name Le Creuset in the culinary world.
After the many achievements that they have, the company just proved that they are still striving for excellence when they started to embark on a vertical integration strategy. They also decided to buy the Godin Company in 1970 which, at that time, was the leader company in the furnace technology.
As years went by, the company just went bigger and bigger, and the products that they churned out also always end up getting better. The quality and the functionality of the products that they offer to people who like cooking rose dramatically.
By the period 1975 to 1985, the Le Creuset brand started to target the international market by starting to expand their horizons to Belgium, USA, Australia, and the United Kingdom and as their products have arrived to the aforementioned countries, they also had been big hits because of their top class quality and designs.
Right now the company is still growing and expanding reaching countries like Spain, Japan and others. In Spain they offer the Spanish Pueblo Range and they entered Japan with the Japanese Sukiyaki Cocotte.
After many years, and after surviving the war, this company has maintained their focus on creating really impressive culinary items and also applied a lot of innovation to those really simple cookware products. Right now the variety of products that this company offers to every family and business alike is very wide. But, if you are just newly introduced to their really amazing products you need to have the basic items first so that you could try them out in your own kitchens.
Advantages of Having Le Creuset at Your Home
The fact that you could start cooking your favorite recipes in style is just one of the advantages that you could derive from having a Le Creuset in your home. These items are really durable. You can be sure that they would not break easily even if you put them in really extreme heating temperatures. The materials that they are made of and the way that they are made just added to their quality and durability. Style is also not out of the list. The Le Creuset cookware has one of the most attractive lines of kitchen items that you could choose from. The makers made sure that you would have a variety of colors to choose from that could match the environment of your home and also the personality of who owns it. Some people do say that these items are quite expensive but considering the fact that they are made to last a lifetime and that if you take care and maintain them properly proves that buying Le Creuset is a really great investment. The versatility of these items is really impressive. You could literally take them out of the freezer and then put it straight into your ovens. This is a feat that you couldn’t do in any other cookware products especially those that are made of glass. Furthermore, the Le Creuset designs are also really attractive so actually they are not just high performing cookware products but can be also used as added accents to your dining tables on those really important events. More and more families already have these items in their home because they have realized that having Le Creuset is a really fine investment.
The prices range can be as low as US$10 for those small items and could go up to US$400 to those casseroles and sets. The price is just right though since they are made to last for generations. Every purchase of Le Creuset cookware products would also allow you to have a lifetime warranty except for those non-stick pans and the like wherein you would only be getting 10 years warranty.
Le Creuset Cast Iron Cookware
Cast iron cookware is really where it all began for Le Creuset. High quality (and very heavy) cast iron cores that run up the sides of the pans allow for the most even distribution of heat. Hard enamel glazes offer great color choices, but also protect the cast iron from chips and knocks. They also provide for an inert cooking surface that will not interact with your food.
Easy to use (providing you have strongish wrists and don’t mind avoiding metal implements), they are safe from cooker top and oven to dishwasher and refrigerator. Sand colored interiors abound, apart from skillets and grill pans which have a matt black interior.
Great for presenting food straight from the pot, their excellent heat retention also keeps extra portions warmer for longer. If you only buy one piece of Le Creuset cookware, make it a cast iron skillet and you won’t regret it I promise!
If you like the idea of cast iron, but cannot face the price-tag, Lodge cast iron cookware (particularly their Logic pre-seasoned range) is a high quality affordable alternative.
Le Creuset Stoneware
The Le Creuset stoneware range includes some of the companies most most popular items. Made from durable clay, fired to very high temperatures this is the most durable ceramic for kitchen use. The durable porcelain enamel glazed coating aids cleaning, and improves the longevity of the products (as well as making them look rather pretty too.
Suitable for use in freezer, oven, under the grill and in the microwave stoneware is dishwasher safe and resistant to chipping. The most common items include pie dishes, casseroles, loaf pans, ramekins, bowls and a huge array of serving dishes, platters, jugs, crocks and containers.
Stoneware is perfect for providing even heat distribution making it great for slow cooked casseroles and delicate desserts – just don’t be tempted to put it onto the hob.
Provided in a range of signature Le Creuset colorways, the Le Creuset Bakeware Set is a great choice for starting your new kitchen cookware collection, or as a shiny kitchen gift idea. The interiors are all a sand color that means you can monitor your foods progress easily, whilst the exteriors come in a range of vibrant colors to cheer up both your kitchen and dining table.
- Le Creuset 12 Piece Stone Ware Baking Set – If you cook in a lot of different techniques and you want the perfect cookware piece to use, then this set is the perfect buy for you. It consists of 1 oval Au Gratin, 1 baking dish, 4 covered casseroles, and 4 mini round cocottes. They are all high quality and durable. You can use this set in those really big occasions for serving and cooking your prized recipes. It also has a vintage color adding attractiveness to the food that you are serving, and also acts as an eye catching table accent.
Le Creuset Stainless Steel Ware
Since stainless steel cookware is so popular nowadays it is perhaps no surprise that Le Creuset have released a range of high quality tri-ply stainless steel pots and pans.
Unlike many cheaper steel cookware ranges, Le Creuset use an aluminum core in both the base and sides of the pots to prevent hot spots and ensure perfect heat distribution.
Perhaps a little surprisingly some of their sets include non stick fry pans (something I am least am not really a fan of). But that being said their stock-pots and saute pans are delightful, with over-sized assist handles that make for easy carrying, and magnetised bases that ensure they can be used on every cooker top including induction.
My favorite products from the range include:
- Le Creuset 3-Ply Stainless Steel Covered Sauce Pan – This amazing product is widely used not only in homes but also in a lot of restaurants. Its durability and performance is trusted not only by hobbyists but also by professionals in the cooking world. It has a stainless brushed exterior making it very easy to clean and resistant from stains and finger prints. Its precision pouring rim avoids any spills and mess in your kitchen while you are cooking. The rivets in its handles add to the sturdiness of the product so you are always assured when you are using it. Lastly, the 3-ply construction of this item makes sure that heat is distributed evenly for perfect cooking.
- Le Creuset Stainless Steel Rectangular Roaster – This product is perfect for roasting chicken or other big chunks of your favorite meat products. With its size you can cook for a whole party. This item has a lifetime warranty. Its construction makes sure that the heat is perfectly distributed all throughout the pan so that cooking would be perfect and also suitable for any heat sources. The specially designed handles make carrying this pan easier and make the item more space efficient.
- Le Creuset Tea Kettle – this item is really useful for your morning tea rituals. You can choose from the stainless steel products of those that are made from steel and enamel. You can use these products in those tea parties or just for simple afternoon conversations. The quality and heat distribution is superb, trusted to make those perfect cups of tea.
A wide range of stainless steel utensils are also produced by the French company; along with a stainless steel knob that is very popular for those wishing to turn their Dutch ovens into something that can withstand higher oven temperatures.
Other Great Items by Le Creuset
I could say that there is a perfect Le Creuset cookware for every kitchen job that you need to do, the choices are just endless. Here are just some of my particular favorites from the range.
- Stoneware Sangria Pitcher
- Cast Iron Skillet With Iron Handle
- Enamel On Steel Stock Pot
- Enameled Cast Iron Panini Press And Skillet Grill
- Caribbean Round French Oven
- Cast Iron Fennel Iron Handle Skillet
- Deluxe Round Trivet
- Enamel On Steel Whistling Kettle
- Enameled Cast Iron Square Skinny Grill Pan
- Petite Tart Dish
- Enameled Stoneware Canisters
- Silicone Balloon Whip
- Wok with Glass Lid
- Demi Teakettle
- Stoneware Cassoulet Bowl
- Stackable Ramekin
- Le Creuset kitchen aprons
There are still a lot more that you could choose from. If you want to see all of the choices you could visit their website, www. Cookware.lecreuset.com
How to Buy Le Creuset Cookware
If you want to buy these products so that you could add them to your kitchen tools and enjoy the benefits that other people are already experiencing, it would be best to visit their websites so that you could see all of the products that they do offer or you could also look for them in Amazon or other sites that sell kitchen cookware.
These items are quite expensive but they sure are worth every penny and when you buy one make sure that you buy from stores that offer guarantees.
There are often great deals, on Le Creuset products in time for the holiday season since they make such great gifts for cooks. Buying sets will often provide a better discount too.
How to Take Care of Your Le Creuset Tools
Since these items are quite expensive you need to make sure that you clean them very well so that they would attain their attractiveness even after many uses. Almost all of their items are dishwasher safe so they are virtually very easy to clean. But for those really stubborn stains, some people use Bon Ami since it promises not to leave any stains on the cookware surfaces. You should also always avoid dropping your Le Creuset items because they might break. So, when you are transporting or transferring these items, extreme care is really needed. These items are pretty sturdy but an owner should still make sure that they follow some basic precautions and also use really safe Le Creuset cleaning techniques.
Having these items in your home doesn’t just ensure you of having really high performance cookware products when you need it. But, you can also use them in accentuating every meal by using really attractive and colorful cookware. These items are perfectly constructed and designed to make sure that you are really satisfied with every product. Also, considering the quality of these products their prices are quite reasonable. So, if you are trying to create a good kitchen at home, the Le Creuset cookware is a must have. If you already have enough cookware to use, the Le Creuset items are also perfect for gifts. You could send them to your friends by set or by piece. These are guaranteed top of the line products and they promise a very satisfying cooking experience. Invest on them today.
Now, it might be very nice to have an entire kitchen kitted out with Le Creuset cookware and utensils. But it would also be a little on the expensive side, and perhaps not overly practical. Whilst many of their products are great, there are a few key pieces that really are exceptional, and it is those that we will be reviewing in more detail, including:
- Le Creuset skillets
- Le Creuset Dutch ovens (casseroles, French ovens, doufeu or Cocotte)
- Le Creuset bakeware sets
- Le Creuset grill pan
- Le Creuset pestal and mortar
And don’t forget, if you’re on a budget their cast iron cookware lasts forever so can be a great buy from garage sales and charity stores. Whilst some of their products are exceptional quality and come with a lifetime guarantee, there are also a few newer product ranges produced by the brand that are less inspiring. You can generally tell from the guarantees on offer, and the place of production just what you are paying for. Everything though does look great, and those colors are a nightmare, with so many to choose from you could be shopping for a Le Creuset themed kitchen forever!