Don’t Hate Me Because I Love My Le Creuset!

U.P. CampusI will warn you that these suckers are heavy—they are made of enameled cast iron—so the shoulders and the traps get a real workout having to lift them, to and fro; and it is a real chore when it comes time to clean them too. Washing these behemoths in the first place is bad enough, but in a cramped little sink is a total bummer!

We have a large collection, from small to really big, with the biggest pot, a 15-quart “Goose Pot” or “French Oven,” weighing in at 25.5 pounds. The lid alone weighs 7-pounds. Phew!

Recently, I braised pot roast in the oven—three hefty pieces of melt-in-your-mouth 7-bone chuck—and before potatoes and vegetables, 14-pounds of meat was added to my 25.5 pound pot, making a total weight of almost 40 pounds. And because my hubby, my Lancelot Knight, was working and not nearby to help me, as I bent with a grunt to put my “goose pot” with meat into the oven (carefully squatting and leveling my back, to be sure), I offered a quick but heartfelt prayer, “Dear God, please, don’t let me throw my back out!”

But I would not give up my collection, or ever quit cooking with them, for anything or anyone. Instead, I make sure to lift weights on a regular basis to keep my back and arms and shoulders in strong shape.

These awesome pots wash very easily—rarely requiring a soak—and a short soak is only needed, for example, because I’ve braised meat for an extended amount of time, and harsh soaps and anything that is an abrasive cleaner is not recommended. The bottom line is that they are the best cookware to have when cooking slowly and long because not only are they heavy but are impervious to any acids you put in your sauces. The flavors that meld from the slow, long process are amazing; there is a depth of flavors that develop with a notable characteristic in the foods, unlike what you’ve ever tasted before. And the pot roasts and stews and oven barbecues you’ll cook will tenderize to absolute perfection.