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Best in Show - The Le Creuset Braiser

Long one of our favorites, Le Creuset is known around the world for its Dutch ovens. Er, make that "French ovens." What is often overlooked in this category of enameled cast iron, though, is the braiser. French ovens are revered for their flexibility, going from stovetop to oven, and they do function like a little oven. Placing the lid on top allows the food to roast inside while maintaining the moisture of whatever liquid you have added to the dish.

The braiser is a little different. Instead of all that vertical space for hot air to circulate, it has a far lower profile. This makes it easier to use a spatula or spoon to stir the dish while it’s on the stovetop, but also gives it a much closer fitting lid. This design is best for braising.

The term braising means to lightly fry a food and then stew it in a closed container. In practical terms, this often means turning a tougher cut of meat into something juicy and tender, first browning at higher heat for flavor, then adding stock or wine to stew at lower heat for a few hours. The moisture evaporates up to the lid and drips back onto the food, keeping meat hydrated while it cooks and develops more flavors.

The braiser does much more than just braise, though. You can also grill sandwiches in it, steam vegetables, or lightly fry chicken and fish. The cast iron keeps an even heat while you cook, and the enameled interior makes clean up a breeze.

When it is time to add a braiser to your kitchen you have a lot of choices in all ranges of quality and price. We recommend Le Creuset because we think it’s the best, both in performance and in longevity. We are not alone. This week Cook’s Illustrated weighed in with their top recommendation for a braiser, choosing Le Creuset once again. Read the full review here.

While Le Creuset’s Signature Braiser has long been the value pick of their cast iron, priced lower than the medium and large ovens, now is a fantastic time to purchase one. As a sign of the times, Le Creuset has introduced a first ever across-the-board 20% OFF regular pricing through Mother’s Day. We think it offered great value at its regular price, but at $62 off, now is the time to snap one up. We have multiple colors in stock, offer FREE SHIPPING, and if you live in town we are currently offering free delivery as well. What’s not to love?

Available at Habitat - Le Creuset Signature 3.5 Quart Braiser

External Links:

How to Braise Meat without a Recipe - Bon Appétit

The History of Braising and an Old Fashioned Leg of Lamb Recipe - foodofhistory.com

Essential Ingredients for French Cooking Checklist - Real Simple

33 Braised Meat Recipes - Saveur

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