Strong exterior enamel which resists chips and cracks
Sand-colored interior enamel makes it easy to see when searing food
Oversized handles provide strong grip and balance
Use up to 500F
Built-in lid stabilizers mean no sliding of the lid
The lightest cast iron makes moving easy with less burden
Product Dimensions 10 x 10.8 x 4 inches
Item Weight 11.2 pounds
Shipping Weight 13.65 pounds
Item model number LS2501
Cooking performance
As you would expect, the cooking performance was exceptionally good. It was to be expected given the price but it was reassuring to know that it delivered on its promises.

The searing process was very good but stopped short of being exceptional. When compared to the Staub 5.5 quart Dutch oven, it was not as fast nor consistent. The Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5½-Quart Dutch oven seared the first side of the beef fantastically. The other sides took a little longer than expected and did not brown as well as the first side. Having said that, it was still good.

When the Dutch oven was moved to the oven, it performed fantastically well. Again, to be expected. The beef was tender and moist and the sauce was a perfect consistency. Dutch oven lids are tight fitting to keep the moisture within the vessel but they do need to let some moisture out to thicken the sauce and allow the flavors depth. The Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5½-Quart Dutch oven does this perfectly.

It’s a shame that the Staub was better at browning but do that let that detract you. As an overall experience, it was exceptionally good.

Build quality
When it comes to build quality, Le Creuset base their whole identity on the quality of their production…and they are right to do so. They are flawless, almost like a work of art.

Given the price, this is to be expected but is nice to see that they deliver every product in perfect condition. It is this attention to detail that marks them out.

Focusing closely on the Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5½-Quart French oven, the exterior paint was glossy and flat. You can clearly see the difference in quality with the naked eye when you put them side to side with cheaper offerings.

The enamel inside the Dutch oven was smooth…very smooth. You can again see the production quality. It is sand colored inside which can be prone to staining but you can clean them to new. It is also shown that Le Creuset are less likely to scratch and chip the enameling.

Overall, the build quality on the Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5½-Quart is fantastic.

Design & aesthetics
The original enamel Dutch oven was designed and built by Le Creuset. They set the standard in 1925, today they are still setting the design standard.

The body of the Dutch oven is perfect, a great shape where food will not get caught in the crease. The base surface area is large and mixing food is easy. The sand colored enamel is also very helpful in judging when food is perfectly seared.

The rim of the pan has a black colored enamel surface that is there for protection against rust and makes it more robust against chips and cracks.

The lid is what you would describe as perfect. Tight enough for the Dutch oven to function well but not too tight so that it doesn’t release any moisture. It’s a fine balance and Le Creuset do this better than anybody.

The handles are a perfect size and it is convenient to handle with oven mitts. The finger holes are a large size too so a good grip is possible. This leads me to the weight, the Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5½-Quart is the lightest when compared with Dutch ovens of a similar size. This is through design not a lack of quality.

The knob on the lid is oven safe to 500F which means you can go high on certain recipes like the no knead bread.

Overall, the design and look of the Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5½-Quart is the standard for Dutch oven manufacturers. It is no wonder that so many try to replicate it…in most cases with little success.

This is a subjective area as people’s idea of what constitutes value is very different. On a personal level, I think they are great value since I care and protect mine meaning I own them for many years. They are valuable to me and the price I paid is now insignificant given the use they get. Furthermore, they depreciate very little on the second-hand market and if you own them long enough, they can become collector’s items.

Therefore, to me, they are great value. If you are considering buying a Dutch oven, it is aspects like this you need to consider. The price is always a factor in buying decisions but ultimately you have to ask yourself what value they are providing.

All things considered, I think they still remain good value…but ultimately the question always comes down to what you are prepared to pay.

In some ways, this was an easy review to complete. Before I started it, I knew the level of performance it was capable of. I did however just base this review on how it performed on that day…and it did not disappoint.

The Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5½-Quart is an amazing Dutch oven and it would benefit any kitchen and cook. The performance was wonderful…easy to use and with consistent cooking performance.

It also looks so beautiful, almost like a piece of art in your kitchen. I know and have seen people instantly drawn to them when they enter my kitchen. For some reason, they have that desirability effect on people…that is the power of Le Creuset.

So, to conclude this review, buy the Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5½-Quart Dutch oven. You won’t be disappointed.

For more information, visit us at http://www.dutchovenscookware.com

The original article can be found at http://www.dutchovenscookware.com/le-creuset-signature-dutch-oven-review/

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