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Old 04-15-2009, 10:45 AM   #1
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Unhappy Le Confused about Le Creuset...need assurance please

After lusting after Le Creuset for years, I finally treated myself to a 9 1/2 qt. oval dutch oven and was so excited to make my first meal last night, a simple beef stew. Long story short, it didn't go well.

I dutifully read all the LC instructions advising the use of only LOW to MEDIUM heat. But searing the meat on medium was probematic. Seemed to take much longer than it should have and there were some sticking issues. Is it ok to turn the heat up to MEDIUM-HIGH or HIGH, as most recipes advise anyway for searing? I don't want to ruin my expensive new pot.

I know that people all over the world rave about their LC and that its been around forever. I'm a relatively experienced home cook, and I'm feeling kinda down right now. Any tips from the experts about use of LC would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 04-15-2009, 10:51 AM   #2
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Yes crank the heat up. It will not hurt the pan. I think they say that because you generally need less heat than you would with another pan because the CI is so good at holding heat. Feel free to use high heat with your LC. I do it all the time and my LC French oven is still exactly like it was when it was new.
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:59 AM   #3
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^Thank you so much for your reply. My instincts told me to crank up the heat too. I was just hesitant to do so until I heard the advice of some LC veterans. I feel better already!

Nice forum you've got going here, btw.
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Old 04-15-2009, 11:01 AM   #4
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Aside from striking your LC had with something that could chip the coating you would be hard pressed to do any damage to the thing. Enjoy your LC, you are going to love it!
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Old 04-15-2009, 11:55 AM   #5
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I agree. You can turn the heat up. Keep in mind that they take a lot longer to heat up than a SS pan so you have to wait for it. Also, don't crowd the pan when searing meats. Sear in batches.

They are very rugged. I dropped my 7.25-quart on my stove top and chipped the stove top. The pot was fine.
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Keep in mind that they take a lot longer to heat up than a SS pan so you have to wait for it.
Thanks Andy. Like wait 2 mins, 5 mins, 10 mins?
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:04 PM   #7
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What I do is put it on the burner at medium high. After several minutes, your time will vary based on burner power and setting, I flick a few drops of water from the kitchen faucet into the pan. When the immediately sizzle and disappear, the pan is ready.
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:08 PM   #8
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^Thanks for the tip.
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:47 PM   #9
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Also, meat will generally release from the pan once it's properly browned. If it's sticking and doesn't release with a gentle tug, let it cook a bit more. It should release with a good shake of the pan, and browner beef will make for a better stew.
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