Originally Posted by oliver27
Thank you so much for the comprehensive response. And yes indeed this is exactly the dish I have :)
Thanks so much for your reply, very well thought out! So, just to ensure I am understanding you correctly, you are suggesting that cooking on the hob to achieve a simmer in the aforementioned LC dish would be more energy efficient than using the oven (in most cases) in terms of making stews/casseroles?
Also, it is worth a mention that my electric ceramic hobs seem to work by blasting heat then turning off, not lowering the heat but on a constant basis like say a gas range would. E.g. with my hob:
Max heat - ring always on
Mid heat - ring comes on half the time
Low heat - ring comes on some of the time
But always the ring would heat up the same amount. So just black and white, no grey. Just 1/0!! Hope this makes sense!!
That is typical for most electric ranges. They control output by how often the they are under power, rather than by changing the actual level of heat produced when under power (this is one reason why we replaced the electric range with gas as soon as we moved into this house this fall).
I don't have Le Creuset (too pricey for my budget), but I do have 2 enameled cast iron Dutch oven style pots (one 6 quart and one 9 quart) that I use extensively. I use them on the stovetop and in the oven. Usually in the oven for most meats, and stovetop for most casseroles and stews (chili with beans is one of my most often done stew type one pot meals). I've done wonderful braised beef short ribs both ways, so as long as you can control the heat, either way should work.
It is easier to burn stuff on the bottom of the pot on the stovetop (or I guess hob to you - we don't have those in the US
), because the heat is being applied at just a single point as opposed the general ambient temperature of an oven bringing heat from all directions. It is also common to start a dish on the stove top (like searing meats or caramelizing veggies), then transfer the whole pot to the oven to do the cooking.