Le Creuset is well known for its flamboyantly colored enamel cookware that comes in equally useful pots and pans. Some colors are no longer in production, while people are completely obsessed with their other shades. Le Creuset broadened past cookware, but its bestsellers are still cookware such as their Dutch oven and additional color ranges. The best sellers of the Le Creuset brand are Dutch ovens and the sauteuse.
So can a Le Creuset go in the oven? Of course, that’s one of their main selling points!
Numerous bestsellers from Le Creuset have a cast iron building. Cast iron finds favor for its even heat distribution and retention. It is fit for daily use and transitions well from the stovetop to the tabletop. Le Creuset is quite versatile in its offering, with the most famous pieces being Dutch ovens, skillets, frying pans, braisers, grill pans and griddles, stockpots, and saucepans.
Their bestseller, the Dutch oven, is used to prepare a diverse number of meals that include pulled pork, mashed potatoes, short ribs, soups and stews, sauces, fried chicken, no-knead bread, roast turkey, and roar chicken.
Capabilities of Le Creuset Cookware in the Oven: Material, Enamel Coating, Tight-Fitting Lid, and Heat Distribution
According to the Le Creuset website, most of their famous cookware comprises enameled cast iron with other offerings made of stoneware, stainless steel, and nonstick silicone, among others.
- Enameled cast iron. Enameled cast iron is dependable for use with any heat source like grills or ovens. Its heat retention ability makes it especially suitable for oven use. The knobs on the black phenolic lids resist heating up to 250 degrees Celsius. The knobs on the classic range handle up to 190 degrees Celsius, while offerings with integrated cast iron handles or steel knobs handle all oven temperatures.
- Le Creuset enamelware is meant solely for preparation and serving purposes. The enamelware is not suitable for all heat sources such as grills, open flames, stovetops, or outdoor applications. Enamelware containers may absorb heat when hot liquids or food is placed inside, thus protection for your hands becomes necessary.
- Le Creuset tight-fitting lid. The first thing people wonder about Le Creuset lids is if they are oven safe. If you do not bake very often, it might catch you unaware that the standard lids cannot handle all oven temperatures. The black knobs constitute a plastic resin that degrades in heat past 190 degrees Celsius. This lid is only appropriate for low-heat slow cooking. Different colors of Le Creuset lids have varying temperature ratings. Below are the different colors with their corresponding temperature ratings in degrees Celsius and Fahrenheit.
- Classic phenolic knob. Up to 190° Celsius/390° F
- Signature phenolic knob. Up to 250° Celsius/ 480° F
- Copper knob. Up to 260° Celsius/500° F
- Gold knob. Up to 260° Celsius/500° F
- Stainless steel knob. Up to 260° Celsius/500° F
- Heat distribution. The enameled cast iron range distributes heat well but has limitations when it comes to temperature. While standard cast iron is an open-fire veteran, the enameled brother cannot manage most open or outdoor fires. Application of extreme heat, especially when empty, can cause the enamel to crack, and the cookware loses its utility.
Note that Le Creuset also sells knobs separately to improve the utility of its products or for replacement purposes.
In general, Le Creuset products, especially the bakeware range, possess superior heat distribution. This comes in handy notably when slow-baking; the heat divulges and encompasses the container and contents to produce superior baked goods. The cookware and bakeware made from cast iron are particularly excellent for cooking due to the metal’s thermal properties. These properties allow it to fairly distribute and maintain elevated temperatures for extended periods. The result is cookware that produces high-quality and evenly cooked dishes.
This ability to heat up quickly and distribute the temperature is known as thermal conductivity. Metals with high thermal conductivity increase temperature over large areas in short time periods. One unit used to measure this property is known as a BTU or British thermal unit. The conductivity of cast iron falls between 27 to 46 BTU per hour-feet-degrees Fahrenheit. To put that into context, one BTU is equal to the amount of heat needed to raise one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. So, cast iron distributes 27 to 46 BTU across one foot in one hour.
Different Types of Dishes That Can Be Cooked With Le Creuset Cookware in the Oven: Soups, Stews, Casseroles, and More
- Strawberry white chocolate blondies. The creaminess of the white chocolate balances well with the tangy sugariness of the strawberries from this Blonde recipe. As the blondies get backed in the Le Creuset brownie pan, each piece has a crisp outer layer, with crunchy edges, and a soft inside.
- Sheet pan pizza. Pizza night is always a fun and interactive night. Cooked in a nonstick metal bakeware sheet pan, any pizza baked on this piece of immaculate Le Creuset product holds flavor like no other and comes out evenly cooked with a perfect crust.
- Morning bun monkey bread. Le Creuset’s long-time friend developed this recipe for her cookbook. It has its origins in the Tartine Bakery morning buns. It combines the sweetness of sugar, zest from oranges, and punch from cinnamon. Doing this needs the oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, so use the signature phenolic knob or anything other with a temperature rating above that.
- Bacon, gruyere and shallot biscuits. Bacon incorporated with buttermilk biscuits comes out tall and fluffy when baked in a Le Creuset enameled cast iron baker. Appropriate as both the holiday appetizer and a treat on the breakfast table, the incorporation of minced bacon, buttery dough, caramelized shallots, and nutty gruyere leaves anyone fiending for more. The oven temperature for this is 425 degrees Fahrenheit, so remember to use the appropriate kitchenware.
- Lobster pot pie. Perfect for family dinners, fresh lobster flesh comes together with staple pot pie ingredients for a heartwarming meal. For a shortcut, you may use store-bought puff pastry, then bake and serve in colorful enameled cast iron. For that lovely golden crust, brush with egg wash before baking to the perfect balance between gold and brown. When baked in the round white oven, heat retention is high enabling immediate serving for an immersive experience.
- Spiced creamy apple pie. Often viewed as pie a la mode backward, this recipe comes from another Le Creuset partner, Erin Jeanne McDowell. What makes this piece special is the layer of cream cheese that fills the bottom of the pie with a special apple pie filling poured on the top. It is definitely a mouth-watering dish even with a top crust absent.
From the flamboyant colors, quality and appropriateness of the construction materials, and versatility of the products, it is no wonder why Le Creuset dominates their field. So much thought goes into the materials that make the products, from the enameled cast iron to the stoneware and lids with different temperature ratings, the products dominate oven-prepared dishes.
The versatility of the oven dishes Le Creuset wares can create is unmatched. Some signature dishes include baked teriyaki pork and veggies, shortcut oven-baked chicken chimichangas, pizza noodle bake, cornbread taco bake, and roasted chicken with brown gravy and bacon stripes.