A few years ago I ran across a skillet in a department store. My son loves grilled cheese sandwiches cooked on a skillet, so the skillet use at my house is definitely high. Knowing that my wife was wanting a skillet that was not going to be another disappointment(she had bought a few cheap ones that simply did not work out), I decided to buy it. It was made by a company called Le Creuset.
The first thing I noticed about the skillet was its incredible weight. Compared to most cookware found in your average store, the Le Creuset skillet was at least double to triple the weight. The skillet was made of cast iron and enameled in a tan color called “dune”. As cookware goes, I would say it is beautiful.
When I first tried it out(making a grilled cheese sandwich, of course), I found that the skillet cooked beautifully, not overcooking or undercooking the sandwich based on what sections were directly under the flames, but cooking evenly and gently.
In time, the skillet developed a desired-for patina, or layer of oil, that made the surface of the skillet nearly stick-free. This skillet has become the most-used piece of cookware in our house, cooking everything from sandwiches to omelets to smoked sausage.
On a recent trip to an outlet mall in the mid-Michigan area known as Birch Run, my wife and I visited the Le Creuset outlet store. We absolutely loved the 9-inch skillet we owned and were looking to see if we could find one a little larger for cooking things like casseroles and stir-fry.
The first thing that struck me when I entered the store was the beauty. Le Creuset cookware is colorful and pleasingly shaped. A store full of their products looks almost like some kind of kitchen art gallery. I had never seen so many of their products in one place before.
After spending a lot of time just enjoy browsing all of the various selections, we decided on an 11 ¾-inch skillet, also in dune to match our smaller skillet. We also picked up a silicone handle cover while we there, as the handles of these all-metal creations can become hot.
As expected, the newest skillet has been everything we could have wanted. Its extra size allow us to cook larger meals, and its color adds to the beauty of our kitchen. Based on the performance of its smaller sibling, I have no doubt that the larger skillet will perform well for a lifetime.
A few things worth mentioning about Le Creuset cookware is that it is expensive, but well worth the price, it needs to be cared for differently than their cheaper-priced competitors, which is not to say that they require any more rigorous maintenance than ordinary skillets, just that they their requirements are different, and lastly, they may be difficult to find. Check out their website at lecreuset.com to find out what retailers near you carry them.