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Le Creuset - will it work for gumbo?

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spmc Jun 23, 2009 03:33 PM

All I've heard about LC is how its great for stews, soups, bisques, etc.

I assumed it would be good for some cajun dishes like jambalaya and gumbo. However, I came across this on Wiki:

The company does not recommend using them for deep frying or making an oil-based roux (as for gumbo), however, because some oils can become hot enough to damage the enamel.

Is this true? No oil-based rouxs? would you have to make the roux in something else and transfer? or use flour/butter base?

  1. s
    Sherri Jun 27, 2009 06:25 PM

    If you don't already have enough testimonials, I'll add my voice to the fray. Use your LC for roux and almost anything else you are cooking.

    Like Fritter, I regularly use my doufeu (without a top knob so I don't have to worry about the excessive heat) for baking bread in a 500+ degree oven. I make roux and other high-heat preparations all the time.

    To set your mind at ease, some of my LC collection is quite old, 40+ years and going strong. I also own pieces of Descoware which is even older and I use them as well.

    Whoever put the info on Wiki ought to be minced and braised in a LC; it is just plain wrong.

    1. Fritter Jun 27, 2009 12:34 PM

      I get my LeCreuset over 500 degrees for making bread frequently. I did replace the knob with a LeCreuset SS one from Amazon. Making roux is no problemo.

      1. s
        soupkitten Jun 24, 2009 02:45 PM

        i use LC all the time to make roux for gumbos-- actually i prefer to use the LC for this, because the light enamel lets me tell the exact color of the roux better than using non-enameled cast iron etc. i have never had any problem. there are other more high heat methods than cooking roux, so i don't know what the problem would be. i agree with everybody else, i guess.

        1. C. Hamster Jun 24, 2009 01:28 PM

          If your oil became hot enough to damage the enamel it would have already ruined your roux.

          I use mine for high heat cooking all the time. Go ahead.

          1. b
            blondelle Jun 24, 2009 05:55 AM

            Can't Wiki be edited by anyone? If so, I wouldn't take that as gospel. I once spoke to LC though, and they did admit that deep frying over time would somewhat discolor the enamel. Not sure if she meant permanently though. The enamel is fired at such high temperatures, that the oil would catch fire before even approaching anything that hot.

            5 Replies
            1. re: blondelle
              s
              spmc Jun 24, 2009 05:58 AM

              Thanks for all of the replies. I didn't find anything on LC's site, and yes anyone can edit Wiki so it definitely shouldn't be taken as gospel. Glad I asked, I didn't think there was any way that could be right. My understanding was, as others have pointed out, that it can be heated to high temperatures so long you let it gradually heat up rather than turning it on high right away.

              Thanks again

              1. re: spmc
                penthouse pup Jun 24, 2009 07:43 AM

                If you're making a roux for gumbo, the temperature should never go to high (I know that a few books counsel doing so for "experienced" cooks but the results can quickly be disaster.) I have used LC for gumbos more than 30 years and have never had a problem.

                Word to the wise for Wiki-nuts: user beware.

                1. re: penthouse pup
                  g
                  grant.cook Jun 24, 2009 07:59 AM

                  I've seen french ovens used routinely for deep-frying be pretty-well known cooking publications and chefs. And aren't oil temps similar to oven temps used for things like no-knead breads?

                  But a roux isn't a high temp app.

                  I might not use a french oven to high-heat searing, just because bare cast iron works fine and I wouldn't want to deal with cleaning an enameled surface.

                  1. re: grant.cook
                    MMRuth Jun 24, 2009 08:00 AM

                    I use mine all the time for deep frying.

                2. re: spmc
                  Paulustrious Jun 25, 2009 02:38 PM

                  Sometimes Wiki should be taken as gossip.

              2. h
                hazelhurst Jun 23, 2009 07:45 PM

                They are fine for jambalaya...I've done gumbo in them but only beuase it was all someone had available...no problem, Cannot speak to long-term use, though.

                1. Azizeh Jun 23, 2009 07:34 PM

                  On Food Network, just about all of the hosts use their Le Creuset for deep frying. Since Le Creuset has a deal of some kind with Food Network (I believe they pay to have their products used) I would think they wouldn't do it if it was frowned upon.

                  I happen to have my L.C. booklet here from my most recent purchase. The only thing I can see that mentions frying is "medium and low heats will provide the best results for the majority of cooking, including frying and searing." Then it goes on to say to let the the pan heat gradually. I can't find anything saying not to fry or that some ingredients are too hot for the pan.

                  The only thing reasonably close to this I can find is "High heats should only be used for boiling water, or for reducing the consistency of stocks and stews. High heats should never be used to pre-heat a pan before lowering the heat for cooking. Cast iron retains heat so well that if a pan is overheated in this way it will contribute to poor results, sticking and discolouration of cooking surfaces. Non-stick surfaces are permanently damaged by this misuse."

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Azizeh
                    Soop Jun 24, 2009 04:30 AM

                    I always pre-heat my LC frying pan with nothing in it. I can't do it any other way for bacon/steaks etc.

                  2. r
                    RGC1982 Jun 23, 2009 07:11 PM

                    I make oil based roux in my assorted LC and Staub all the time. Never had a problem.

                    1. k
                      knet Jun 23, 2009 06:14 PM

                      Not sure what the wiki was but is this actually a quote from LC? Because these are used constantly for stews, searing meat, roasting etc - in short, people use them with oil more often than not so I can't imagine any reason that gumbo ( or the roux used) would be any different. I checked the Canadian LC website and there is no such warning posted so I think the wiki was probably misleading or misquoting in some way.

                      1. p
                        pothead Jun 23, 2009 04:19 PM

                        I make roux in enameled cast iron all the time and I've never had a problem.

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