The 13-Pound Lasagna Pan: When Is a Heavy Pan Too Heavy?

I have been coveting an enameled cast iron casserole dish for quite some time, so when this Mario Batali lasagna pan went on deep discount at Crate & Barrel, I snatched it up. Well, snatched is the wrong word. I ordered it online, and when I went to pick it up at the store, I found I could barely lift it! This pan is heavy — is it too heavy?

This pan is fantastic for deep dish casseroles and for roasting meat, but I found that it took some extra effort to swing it into the oven, especially when full. My husband washed it a couple times, and began complaining of back problems (just kidding — but he did complain!). I wondered if my little cupboard would even hold the thing, and then I finally decided, on my husband's insistence, to weigh it.

I tried first one kitchen scale, then another. Nope — both said it was "OL" over limit! I had to haul out the bathroom scale to weigh this pan, and it came in at nearly 13 POUNDS! (That's nearly 6kg...) That's over twice as heavy as my heaviest cast iron skillet and much heavier than my biggest Dutch oven.

Heavy pans are fetishized in cooking, and for good reason. A heavy pan usually distributes heat better and has less "hot spots" or places to let too much heat through and burn a dish. A heavy pan is generally less prone to warping and cracking. But what if a heavy pan is great for the food, but too heavy to be maneuvered easily? Is it too heavy?

• If you're in the market for a really heavy lasagna dish, it's for sale at Macy's (although not as discounted as the one I found): Mario Batali Classic by Dansk Enameled Cast Iron Deep Lasagna Dish, $69.99 at Macy's. (Notice that they don't say there how heavy it is!)

Do you have any pans on the edge of being too heavy? What are they?

Related: Why Do My Baking Sheets Buckle in the Oven? Good Questions

(Image: Faith Durand)