I recently purchased a Le Creuset stoneware casserole dish with a lid, so I thought I would share my experience with it! Le Creuset is a reputable cookware brand that has been around since 1925 and is trusted by both home cooks and chefs alike. Because it's such a famous brand, there are knockoff versions of it on websites for cheaper, so if you want to buy one of its products, make sure you're getting the real deal from one of its authorized retailers.
(Please note, we are not affiliated with Le Creuset in any way. This is just one person's review based on personal experience. Links are provided so you can see what product we are talking about, but we do not get a commission if you buy. Let us know your experience with Le Creuset down in the comments).
Although the brand has braisers, skillets, dutch ovens, and more, I went with the casserole dish because I found that I could make a variety of foods in it. The stoneware dish is primarily used in the oven and can withstand boiler temperatures as long as you don't put it on the top rack. You can also run the pan through the dishwasher, which is always a plus! And if you’re wondering, no, it isn't meant to be used on the stovetop.
In this article, I will share 12 valuable lessons I learned from my experience of buying and using a Le Creuset casserole dish, including insights into its quality, durability, and cooking. Whether you're considering investing in this iconic kitchenware brand or simply curious about its performance, read on to discover why a Le Creuset casserole dish is something to consider (especially if you often make foods such as casseroles, breakfast bakes, or even baked goods).
What Does It Mean If a Dish Is Enameled?
In simple terms, this cookware is seriously tough! It's got a porcelain enamel-glaze finish that resists scratches, chips, and stains, so keeping it clean is a breeze. I mentioned how you can run it through the dishwasher, but honestly, it's so easy to clean by hand that I usually don't have to. Plus, the casserole won't absorb any weird flavors or smells because of the coating, which is definitely nice if you use it for both baked goods and savory dinners.
1. It looks great on the table
I think my favorite thing about this dish is how you can take it from the oven to the table. It has such an elegant look that every time I have guests over, they compliment and ask about it! It's also great for potlucks since I can simply keep it in the dish I cooked it in, making it easily transportable. And I can cover it with the lid until I am ready to serve it.
2. The looped handles are convenient
Some casserole dishes have short handles, which can be tricky to work with, especially when you’re wearing oven mitts. I love that this product has larger looped handles, making me feel safer when transferring it out of the oven! The last thing you want to do is burn yourself or drop a hot casserole dish, so this feature is definitely important.
3. It comes in multiple colors
I like how you can choose from over 15 colors. I personally love my white dish because it’s classic and matches everything. But if your kitchen has a theme or you like all of your cookware to be a certain color, there's likely an option that will work for you. I will say that many options are neutrals and not overly bright or flashy. And they don’t really have pastel colors for the exact dish that I purchased.
4. It isn’t enameled on the bottom, which can be good or bad
Okay, so the benefit to the unfinished bottom definitely outweighs the negative. Since the bottom is rougher and doesn't have the glaze, that means there’s a less likely chance that you drop it!
When I lift it from the bottom, it’s much easier to hold and doesn’t slip out of my hands. But the downside is that you have to be careful about setting it directly on certain surfaces. It can scratch your table or counter if you don’t place it on a potholder or mat.
5. The dish is microwave-safe, but not the lid
I definitely like how the dish is microwavable, although I’m not exactly sure what food you would need to heat in a container that big! I've never needed to pop it in the microwave because I like to reheat my leftovers in the oven anyway.
That being said, you can only put the casserole dish itself in the microwave and not the lid. This isn’t too big of a deal, though, since you can just put some plastic wrap over it if needed.
6. It’s very well-made
You can tell that this casserole dish is well-made just by lifting it! Unlike other dishes that feel fragile or breakable, this one feels sturdy and durable. However, it can get a bit heavy, especially when filled with hearty dishes, so that's something to keep in mind when filling it to the brim.
If you happen to have a double oven, it's better to use the lower one. Trying to lift dishes from the top oven can be tricky and can result in a mess or even an accident. So, I suggest you stay safe and stick to the lower oven!
7. It’s worth the price
I won’t lie; I wasn’t sure if this casserole dish would live up to its price. But, when I think of its quality and longevity, I'm happy with the purchase. To me, if something can last me a decade or longer and not have instant wear and tear, it’s priceless. Before buying, I already knew that Le Creuset had an excellent reputation, so that was also a factor.
8. It’s perfect for deep-dish meals and desserts
This cookware won me over because of how tall the sides are! I no longer have to worry about food spilling over the sides. It’s perfect for making things like baked ziti, cinnamon rolls, dessert bakes, or chicken and bacon alfredo lasagna. The last thing I want is to make an underwhelming lasagna. I love to pile on the layers, and this dish lets me do that!
9. Using the lid can make the cooking process longer
Since it’s such a heavy product, when you put the lid on, I find that it extends the cooking time a bit (more than it would if you just put aluminum foil). So, if you plan on making food in this dish for a party, I suggest planning ahead and starting the food a little earlier. To me, this isn't the biggest deal because I think that with the lid, it cooks much more evenly than if I used another pan or covered the food with foil. I guess it all balances out!
10. The lid is too tall for the refrigerator sometimes
I like the concept of the lid since ideally, you can cover leftovers with it easily. However, when it comes to reality, it doesn’t always fit in my fridge with the lid on. If your refrigerator has extra room or taller shelves, you might not run into this issue.
But I often find myself covering my food with plastic instead. On the other hand, the tall lid is beneficial for baking or cooking because if the food inside is tall, the lid doesn’t get in the way of it.
11. It’s best for small gatherings
The sizing of my specific dish is 15" x 9" x 5 ½". It can hold up to 16 cups of food! So, it is bigger than a standard 9” x 13” dish. When following recipes that call for a 9” x 13” pan, I've learned to be cautious about the quantity of ingredients. If I don't adjust the amount, the resulting casserole turns out flatter than expected and doesn't look as appealing.
So, I always make sure to slightly increase the quantity of ingredients to get the desired outcome. This cookware is definitely more than big enough to feed an average family, making it good for small gatherings. However, it can be too small for bigger parties, so you would need to have more than one dish and double the recipe.
12. It has a great warranty
Williams-Sonoma mentions in the product description that Le Creuset extended its stoneware warranty by ten years. It used to be 5! One of my family members had theirs break in the oven and was able to get a replacement without fuss. If you use the cookware as suggested and handle it safely, the warranty covers any issues caused by faultiness. Just that alone made me feel better about spending that kind of money on it!
Ultimately, I am really pleased with the quality, design, and convenience of this casserole dish. Although there are a few minor downsides, the benefits far outweigh them, and I believe it is a fair price considering its durability. I have used it frequently, and it still looks brand new. However, if you are on a tight budget, you may be able to find a similar casserole dish for a lower price!