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This Le Creuset stoneware dish isnít one of our most used items in the kitchen, but itís really handy to have around. Itís versatile, durable, and it looks nice.
Le Creuset is an extremely well known brand of premium kitchen equipment. Theyíre well known for their wide range of products, available in lots of different eye catching, but not overly bright colours. They are probably best known for their hefty cast iron casserole dishes, which sell for up to £180! This is outrageous, in my opinion, but I know plenty of people who swear by them so maybe one day when I win the lottery, Iíll give it a try! Another well known range they have is their stoneware, and we have their 24cm oval dish, at a much more reasonable £14. You can also get a 27cm version for £25. There is quite a big difference in the sizes, but Iím not sure itís worth the extra £9 Ė I would definitely stick with the smaller one if I was buying it again, unless I had a specific need for the larger one.
As I said, Le Creuset do a range of colours and you can get this in their trademark Volcanic Ė a burnt orange colour Ė as well as Graded Blue, Cerise, Almond, Teal and Satin Black. The colours are all quite rich and warm Ė they donít have many pale or pastelly type colours. I like that a few different colours are available, because it means you can pick items that complement your kitchen and each other Ė we have quite a few items in the Graded Blue, so they all look nice together. However you should be aware that not all of the items in Le Creusetís range are available in all of the colours, so you might not be able to collect a lot of items in the same colour.
The dish is quite a long oval, and is almost twice as long as it is wide. Itís a lot heavier than it looks, which I think is reassuring. The two handles at the side are a bit different to those on the picture Ė they curve out from the top and theyíre sort of fluted, so you can grip on to them really easily and move it about when you need to. The inside is cream coloured, while the outside is the Graded Blue Le Creuset design Ė it is a deep blue at the bottom of the dish and gets paler towards the top. The stone is exposed on the very bottom of the outside of the dish, so you can feel the natural finish, but the outside walls and the inside are glazed. The glaze is important because it gives a hygienic surface which can be cleaned really easily. I never need to scrub it too much because the slick finish doesnít absorb anything. The material doesnít absorb anything or get stained, so ours still looks really good.
The good thing about stoneware is itís really durable. You can use it in the oven, in the microwave, under the grill and over the fridge. Unlike the cast iron dishes, you canít put them on the hob, though, which is a shame. Weíve used this dish in lots of different ways over the last year or so, and itís barely showing any sign of wear. However, I would definitely be careful about dropping this because I think an impact on a hard floor could be disastrous. Weíve ordered similar stoneware products online before, and when theyíve arrived theyíve been completely shattered. They werenít packaged well and obviously I donít know what happened to them in transit but it does make me nervous about dropping this dish.
The depth of the dish is about four or five cm, so itís fairly shallow. Weíve used it for quite a few different things. The nicest thing weíve made in it is a pear and chocolate crumble, which was gorgeous and cooked really nicely. Potato dauphinoise cooks really well in the dish, and Iíve done pasta bakes for two, as well. Itís great for those because I can bake the pasta dish, then add cheese to the top and grill it to brown the top. If youíre just making a small side dish in there then you could make enough for four easily, but if youíre making a main then youíd probably only make enough for two or three, at a push. You can also use it as a serving dish Ė we had a tapas night recently and we used this for serving a chorizo dish in. It looks nice on the table, so itís perfect to go straight from the oven to the table.
Although this is pricey for its size (which is why Iíve deducted a star), it does come with a five year guarantee, so itís obviously going to last a long time. I actually think this will last a lot longer than that because it doesnít get incredibly heavy use. To a certain extent you are paying for the Le Creuset name and the design, but if you work out how much the dish costs per use, I still think itís a bargain. Yes, you could probably pick something similar up for a fiver in Wilkinsonís, but could you be confident that it would still be going strong and looking great five years later?
Iíd recommend this as a great way to get a nice Le Creuset piece for your kitchen without the massive price tag.