Cuisinart Oval Casserole is the oval version of their dutch oven. While they are both dutch oven, they are suited for different task. The round dutch oven is great for general stews, while the ovals are better for shanks. The question is, how good is this Cuisinart Oval Casserole? Should you even shell out extra money if you already have a round dutch oven. This review will go through the various aspect of their oval casserole. We will discuss the design, features and performance of this cookware.
Cuisinart Oval Casserole 7qt Review Quick Summary
|Categories||Cuisinart 7 qt Oval Casserole Cast Iron|
|Colors||Range of Colors|
|Country of Manufacturer||China|
|Thoughts||A specialty dutch oven that is breaking for braising shanks. However, if you do not plan on doing that, the round version is much more versatile. There is some issues with the enamel durability.|
|Reviewed Cookware||Cuisinart 7 qt Oval Dutch Oven|
Cuisinart is a home appliance company who was founded by Carl Sontheimer. He was a engineer that made the company famous with his food processor. Since then, the name cuisinart has been associated with food processor. During 1989 the company faced some financial trouble and filed for bankruptcy. Luckily, conair bought the company and since then they flourished. Today cuisinart has become so big that they make everything from gadgets to cookware.
Cuisinart Oval Casserole 7qt Design
This section will discuss various aspect of Cuisinart Oval Casserole design. Since they are not specialized like Le Creuset, it will be interesting to see how they differ. We will go through aspect such as handle, shape and construction.
The handle on Cuisinart Oval Casserole is actually very similar to how Le Creuset is. It is very simple, round and comfortable. It wouldn’t surprised me if they just copied it since it works. The handle has ample room for my finger and its good overall.
The oval shape is really what makes this cookware special. However, there are a few issues with this design. Namely the burner shape. In the standard american household, the stove top range is round. As such, you can expect some heating issue with this pot. Namely, the further you go from the ring, the bigger the difference in heat. This issue is made worse due to the cast iron construction. Despite what the marketing team will tell you, cast iron are horrible conductor of heat.
Getting better Heat Conduction
There are some ways to get over the heating issues. The easiest way is to just heat it slowly. Using lower heat will expand across the casserole slowly ensuring better heat distribution. This is one of the reason why manufacturer recommends always starting on low to medium heat. Another reason is that it prevents thermal shock. This prolongs the life of it.
Another way to get a good even heat is to heat it in the oven for 20-30 minute. This heating technique was recommended by America Test Kitchen, but really who is going to wait 30 minute just to cook. This is simply not practical, I would rather just buy a casserole that uses a better metal. Just fyi, all the oval cast iron dutch oven will exhibit this issue regardless of the brand. Staub and Le Creuset will not perform any better than Cuisinart.
Why Oval Over Round
French cooks uses a oval dutch oven for two main reason, Space and Fitment. With a narrow dutch oven, you can fit more in the oven. The second reason is for long food like shanks. The femur are usually too long for the round dutch oven. However, the oblong shape fits the shank just perfectly. A whole chicken also happens to fit as well. Aside from those reason, I do not see any other reason to go oval over round.
Enamel Durability, chipping and Safety
This is the biggest problem with Cuisinart Oval Casserole. They simply lack the enamel durability that you get from Le Creuset and Staub. If you look at amazon reviews, there is numerous people complaining about the chipping enamel. The good thing is that you can still cook in it. What is beneath the enamel is bare cast iron. Which is perfectly safe to cook in.
Cuisinart Oval Casserole Colors
There is a surprising range of colors. One of the reason why Le Creuset is so successful is the colors. They have a hue that matches the interior of any home. Those collector will literally buy another one when a new color comes out. Its like a fashion thing for them. While Cuisinart Oval Casserole colors are not as varied as Le Creuset or Staub, it should suit the average home needs.
The interior is cream. Overtime, this will darken and get marred with use. You can try to bring back its luster with bleach, just dont expect it to stay new. One good thing about this interior is that you can monitor the fond. Pots with black interior can be difficult to cook in. Inexperienced cook will often burn that fond, rendering the dish useless.
Enamel on the Rim
One final thing about the enamel coating. The rim is bare cast iron. If you are not careful, that portion can rust. Luckily, you can use a Rust Eraser to wipe it off. There are some debates online about whether its coated, its not. They do this to prevent the lid from fusing with the pot. At higher temperature, the enamel gets tacky and it can fuse.
Cuisinart Oval Casserole 7qt Thoughts
Cuisinart 7qt Oval Casserole is a specialty cookware. If you need the extra space or braise a lot of shanks, this is the pot for you. The general construction of this dutch oven is good. However, the enamel chipping is the biggest issue. Performance wise, it should be the same across all manufacturer. Le Creuset or Staub will not perform any better. It really comes down to appearance. If you do not plan on braising shanks I recommend you just get the Round Version instead. It is more versatile.
I hope you found this Cuisinart Oval Casserole 7qt Review to be informative, If you would like to see more, please visit our Pots and Pans Review page.