I admire those who enjoy cooking, who like to work in the kitchen. Cooking is not really my ‘thing’. But I like cookware. The shiny, polished stainless steel pots, gloss black frypans, glistening copper saucepans, and the colourful cast-iron casseroles. I think they look great in any kitchen, even if you do not cook.Here are cookware I think look so gorgeous that food cooked with them will probably taste good too.
Disclosure: these are not paid or sponsored product reviews.
Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron Oval / Round Casserole
You have probably heard of them. Le Creuset is a French cookware manufacturer established in 1925 in the town of Fresnoy-le-Grand in Northern France. Guided by its two Belgian founders, Armand Desaegher and Octave Aubecq, as the story goes, Le Creuset began producing porcelain enamelled cast iron pots such as the Cocotte or French oven, from its foundry in Fresnoy-le-Grand, France. To satisfy our ever expanding needs and wants, the company expanded its range of cookware while maintaining its hand-crafted techniques of forging and casting. One of the company’s trademark is the vibrantly coloured pots, pans, and casseroles that can be a feast to your eyes.
I particularly like these cast-iron casseroles in cerise, a cherry-red colour from the French word for cherry, and Le Creuset’s signature volcanic orange colour. Other than the stainless-steel knob, which can be had in gold, copper, and black plastic, the pot just give that retro fifty-years-ago kind of feel. If I’m not mistaken, these are also called French oven or Dutch oven?
Many kitchens today are equipped with induction stove tops. According to Le Creuset, their cast iron cookware, including these shallow casseroles or braisers, are suitable for use on an induction hob, and should provide even heating when cooking even on low heat.
These almond and satin black coloured cast iron shallow casserole looks just cute compared with its more bulky siblings above. Its raised cover / lid with tapered edge and the large handles make it look like a round face when look from the top.
Le Creuset Cast Iron Skillet
What are the pros and cons of using cast iron cookware compared with stainless steel or aluminium pots and pans? According to Le Creuset, cast iron is provides long-term durability and is known for even heating. Cast iron cookware is suited for braising, baking, roasting and soups.
Chef Tony Matassa further noted that cast iron cookware is often lower cost compared with its aluminium or stainless steel compatriots. Cast iron cookware needs to be seasoned, where its surface is treated with a coating of polymerised fat and oil, making it naturally non-stick and allowing you to use less fat when cooking, won’t that be healthier? Another advantage would be, according to the chef, that the iron tends to flake off during cooking and if consumed would be source of dietary iron. I’m not so sure I like eating iron residue from a frypan, how about you?
What about the disadvantages of cast iron cookware? Well, it’s the seasoning procedure again, according to Chef Tony Matassa, because an unseasoned cast iron pot, pan, or Dutch oven can rust easily after repeated use, which is why the chef thinks that seasoning your cast iron cookware is worth the effort, including the above-mentioned fact that it allows you to use less oil. Another drawback is the weight of cast iron cookware, they are heavy, which could be a chore for some.
And, cast iron pots are not that suitable for cooking foods with acidic content like tomatoes, which will turn your food into a darker colour, due to the science of the acid extracting the iron from your cast iron pot. Yep, more iron to supplement your body in that casserole dish you just cooked. Your guests might be pleased to know that too. But the chef advised not to leave acidic foods in cast iron cookware for too long.
Look at these three colours above, won’t they coloured up any kitchen? I particularly like these casserole pots in oval, they just looks steamlined if that’s the right word for it. I personally think Le Creuset’s signature, and perhaps the feature that makes their cast iron cookware designs attractive is those three thick swirl marks on the lid, the pattern that exudes the retro kitchen feel.
Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron 3-piece Saucepan
If you read the FAQs on Le Creuset’s website you will find the third question reading “I am new to Le Creuset. What is the best piece to purchase to start my collection?” Although the answer does not actually advise you how to start collecting their cookware like collecting stamps or coins or gold bars whatever people collect these days, I think Le Creuset fully anticipates women, even men, to admire these yummy fruity delicious colours of their cast iron cookware so much so they want to collect each and every one of them, so long you have enough space in your kitchen to show them off.
Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron Oval Gratin Dish and Cast Iron Tatin Dish
Look at the elegant designs and the vibrant colours that grace these gorgeous cast iron gratin and tatin dish. Gratin is of French origin but is now a culinary technique used to prepare all kinds of mouth-watering vegetable and pasta bakes such as cauliflower, spinach, butternut squash or macaroni cheese and a variety of sweet quiches, pies, tarts or crumbles, or potatoes gratiné, and sole au gratin raw fish gratin.
Wow, this is new to me. The cast iron tatin dish below is the cookware you use to make tarte tatin, a tart dessert ‘accidentally’ created in Lamotte-Beuvron, France in the 1880s. The pastry, named after the place where it was created the Hotel Tatin, is usually made from caramelised apple, as well as pears, peaches, pineapple, and even vegetables. If and when I visited France, the tarte tatin is definitely high on my ‘to eat’ list.
Le Creuset Cast Iron Round Trivet Rosemary, Cast Iron Gourmand Fondue in Volcanic, Classic Cast Iron Tagine in Cassis
Here are a few more of Le Creuset’s creations which I like, such as this cast iron trivet for elevating hot cookware and protecting your tabletop, with its intricate pattern in enamel and a nice colour too.
Tagine, or tajine, is a dish from the Maghreb region of North Africa consisting of Morocco, Algeria, Syria, Libya, and Tunisia. The earthenware for cooking the dish is of the same name. But Le Creuset’s tagine has a cast iron dish with a stoneware lid, designed for slow cooking meat and vegetables in little liquid. I think the deep purple cassis colour match well with the black cast iron dish.
If I can only afford to buy one of Le Creuset’s cast iron cookware to deco my kitchen, I will probably buy one that is absolutely unique, like this beautifully finished heart-shape cast iron casserole pot in cerise. It may not be the most practical design, but the heart-shape and the bright red colour and those swirling lines and those fish flipper handles win the day!
Other than the cast iron pots and pans above, I like this chef’s pan for its gleaming, mirror-polished finish stainless steel design. And with that iconic three-line swirl marks on the lid, plus the bolts or screws on the front handle give this stainless steel pan that old style cookware look that I find attractive. I wonder how is it possible to keep the pan this shiny if I ever use it to cook?
This casserole pot in palm green below is a stoneware. It is small at 9x5cm (3.5×1.9 inch). Le Creuset recommends it for cooking and serving individual side dishes, and for dips, condiments, and nibbles. Because the enamel is coated on clay it gives that distinctive ‘uneven’ hue across the pot. A nice little piece to have on the table.
Now, Martha Stewart teaches us how to season a cast iron skillet.