Kitchn Love Letters

Le Creuset’s Dutch Oven Is the Perfect Pot for All My Fave Filipino Dishes

published Oct 28, 2022
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pancit in a Dutch oven
Credit: Abigail Demarest

As far as investment-worthy cookware goes, it doesn’t get any more iconic than the Le Creuset Dutch Oven. The beautiful colors, the distinct shape, the longevity — there’s just so much to love about it. I’m lucky enough to own a Le Creuset 5.5-quart round Dutch oven and it’s my pride and joy. It sits on my stovetop at all times, and when I’m not using it to cook or bake, it’s usually holding produce like avocados or bananas.

Writing about food is my job, but I’ve only become more confident in the kitchen in the last few years. I found myself cooking more during the pandemic, and even as restaurants have opened back up, my husband and I still opt for homemade meals most of the time. I like trying out new recipes, but for the most part I prefer the type of intuitive cooking that involves throwing all of your ingredients into a pan or baking dish. For me, cooking and baking are meditative activities where I can focus on the dish at hand and forget about the stresses of the day.

I got my Le Creuset Dutch oven in early 2020, which was, coincidentally, perfect timing because I delved into a lot of different baking and cooking projects during the pandemic. With extra time on my hands, I learned how to make some of my favorite Filipino dishes, like pancit, chicken adobo, and sinigang. The consistent heat of the enameled cast iron was ideal for pancit, a stir-fried noodle dish that required sautéing vegetables, and the excellent heat-retentive properties of the Le Creuset were ideal for simmering chicken adobo and sinigang.

Credit: Abigail Demarest

Beyond Filipino dishes, I used my Dutch oven to make Dutch baby pancakes (no pun intended!) and chicken tikka masala (which I served with homemade naan — as you can see, I did a lot of stress cooking and baking during the pandemic). I’ve been impressed with how much food I can cook in my Le Creuset Dutch Oven at once, which is one of the reasons I went with a 5.5-quart pot. I can make enough soup for the week, and for stews and pasta sauces, I’ll freeze leftovers for easy dinners down the road.

Credit: Abigail Demarest

I’ve even used my Dutch oven to bake bread from a sourdough starter that a friend was kind enough to share with me. Given the high temperature at which bread bakes, though, I had to switch out the Signature Phenolic Knob that came with my Dutch oven (which is only oven safe up to 375°F) to a copper knob (which is oven-safe up to 500°F). Meanwhile, the large side handles of the Dutch oven make it easy to grab and transport to and from the oven with a hot, freshly baked loaf of bread or a full pot of soup inside it.

The Le Creuset Dutch Oven is available in a variety of sizes from 2- to 13.75-quart capacities, and a whole rainbow of colors like the iconic Flame and Cerise to newer shades like Olive and Rhône. Our Editor-in-Chief, Faith Durand, prefers the 3.5-quart version in Licorice, while I went with the classic Cerise in the 5.5-quart size so I could make enough food for a few meals or if we have friends over for dinner. There’s no wrong combo here — just whatever fits your needs!

Credit: Abigail Demarest

While it’s technically dishwasher-safe, the company recommends hand-washing. I’ve found that a soft sponge can handle most cleaning tasks, and if there’s any stuck-on food residue, I just fill the pot with water and let it soak for a bit. For anything worse, I’ll follow these instructions for removing marks from the white enamel.

Le Creuset stands by their products with a lifetime warranty, so I know it’s worth the investment — especially given how much I’ve used it since the day I got it. It’s a beautiful piece of cookware to prepare and serve food, and I know that I’ll have it for a long time. I’ve become more confident in the kitchen these last few years, yes, but I’d be remiss to not give some credit to this Dutch oven.