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Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron Small Rectangular Roaster

101 Ratings: 2.8
The small Le Creuset rectangular roaster

Product Description   Truly an All-in-One Dish that you can bake, slice, serve and store in. Use this 8 x 12-in. dish for casseroles, lasagna, side dishes and desserts. The rich red color is enough to brighten any table and stir the appetite. … see full wiki

Tags: Cooking, Baking, Cast Iron, Cookwear, Le Creuset, Enameled Cast Iron, see all
1 review about Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron Small Rectangular...

Use for casseroles, side dishes, or roasting: A Le Creuset Small Rectangular Roaster review

  • Jan 24, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+4
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 [[ASIN:B00005QFMS 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

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August 13, 2009
Great review! I have known of Le Creuset for years, and we even have an outlet store very close to us, yet I never really thought this type of cookware was right for me. I was under the impression that it was froofy stuff for the home cook. I am a home cook myself, but with delusions of grandeur at times. Heh. I will have to check this cookware out! Thank you.
 
April 21, 2009
I have the red heart-shaped pot which is good for macaroni and cheese :). I also have a big stockpot by Le Creuset which is pretty much a regular stockpot with red enamel on it. I heard the Le Creuset outlet has good prices but limited color selection. I've been eyeing the grill pan so I might take a trip out there soon!
 
April 21, 2009
I love Le Creuset pans, and my favorite store, Marshalls, usually has them - hence making them so much more affordable for the non-professional chef [like me]! Where did you get yours?
 
April 02, 2009
Awesome review on an awesome product- I discovered these pans and pots about 5 years ago and along with their cool colors- I LOVE how easy they are to clean!
 
January 26, 2009
Great review! We have and use this pan a lot. My wife makes gratins and mac and cheese with it. They do seem expensive, but we have been really happy with ours. I did not know how extensive the production process was and was interested to read about it. Thanks for posting.
 
January 26, 2009
Thanks! I'm thinking of getting an oval pan.
 
January 24, 2009
I believe the shape of the pan has little to do with the outcome compared to the pan's purpose. The main differences would be in preference and appearance. For example, I like preparing mac-and-cheese in my oval au gratin as I think it presents better when served in the pan. If plating the food, consider if you want a pie shape vs. a square or rectangular serving? Pineapple upside down is traditionally prepared in rectangular pans so that each serving can have a whole pineapple slice. Using a circular pan would give a different presentation. Although using a circular pan wouldn't make it wrong. Preparing the same dishes in alternate pans doesn't change the quality of the food though.
March 31, 2009
Love hearing your insights....in the mind of a chef :). I would never have thought about the different dishes in the different shaped pans. Thanks!
 
January 24, 2009
Oh, snap! A Le Creuset review has been written! Yesss, i absolutely agree that Le Creuset pots are 100% worth it. The only thing I wonder is: Does the shape (rectangular, circular, etc) of the pot affect the cooking? What dishes should be made in what shapes? I've been wondering this for ages... Insight, please! : )
 
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