No matter which season you’re in, nothing beats a succulent, slow-cooked cut of meat. And for a meal like this, look no further than the famed Le Creuset Doufeu.
The Le Creuset Doufeu, French for “gentle heat,” is one of the brand’s famous oval-shaped cooking pots. Its concave lid is designed to be filled with ice, which promotes condensation. The dimples underneath the pot lid are designed to distribute moisture throughout the food.
As cast iron cooking pots go, if you are looking for an excellent investment, this is the quality cookware to buy. Let’s explore this iconic pot and how to use it.
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All About the Le Creuset Doufeu
The enameled cast iron Doufeu was first introduced in 1934 by Le Creuset’s primary competitor, Les Hauts Fourneaux of Coutances. Le Creuset bought their competitor in 1957. And thus we have the Le Creuset Doufeu.
The company claims that the unique condensation-creating design takes a dish to the next level. The word “doufeu” means “gentle heat” or “gentle fire.” Essentially a Dutch oven, the Doufeu is best suited for cooking at low to medium heat.
The small dimples on the inside of the lid cause steam to condense and “cry” down into the food. This effect is created by placing ice cubes in the lid cavity. The ice will melt, but the lid’s design allows the food to continue self-basting, provided that the water within the lid remains below boiling point. This means that you don’t need to add extra liquid, and your food stays moist, locking in flavor and nutrients.
Cast iron cookware is renowned for distributing heat evenly and, with its tight-fitting lid, locks in moisture for the ultimate in flavorful succulent meals. The cast iron also allows for even browning and keeps your meal warm for longer outside the oven.
It can be used in the oven, or on the hob or induction cooker, and even under the grill. As with all Le Creuset cookware, it comes in different sizes to suit your personal needs.
Related read Induction Compatible Cookware
|Le Creuset Doufeu Breakdown|
|Brand & Manufacturing Recognition||Le Creust, Made in Frenoy-le-Grand, Northern France since 1925|
|Materials||Cast-iron core with layers of virtuous cast iron enamel|
|Shapes||Round and oval both have a heavy lid is fantastic for slow-cooking food.|
|Sizes & Capacity||Various sizes and capacities are available including the popular family size 7 1/4-quart oval Doufeu|
|Weight||Like all cast iron, the pots are heavy to lift but lighter than some brands|
|Heat Sources||It can be used on all heat sources, including induction (no campfires)|
|Heat Reaction & Retention||The enamel finish assists the cast iron core to distribute heat evenly and stay hot for long periods of time|
|Performance||The convex lid shape of the Doufeu can be filled with ice cubes to create condensation inside the pot, its works in a similar way to the traditional Dutch oven or French oven|
|Cleaning||Easy to clean and maintain, use soap and water take care storing to protect the enamel (even though it is dishwasher safe)|
|Storage||Treat your Le Creuset enamel-like glass and store it without stacking other cookware on top of it|
|Durability||Le Creuset’s pieces are considered heirlooms and with care will be handed down through generations|
|Prices||Expensive but the workmanship, quality materials, and brand awareness reflect this|
Le Creuset Doufeu Design, Performance & Cleaning
Let’s explore the Doufeu design in a bit more detail.
The pot has a smooth, flat base which allows heat to be quickly diffused. This pot is designed for use on any heat source. The enamel coating doesn’t stain or absorb moisture, flavor, or odor and is easy to clean.
Pot & Lid Handles
Smaller than many other Dutch oven brands, you can only put three fingers through the handles of the Doufeu. The lid, as well as the base of the pot, have handles. The handles on the lid mean that you can transfer the all-important icecubes quickly.
Probably the most distinct part of the Le Creuset Doufeu is the lid. As we have already explained, the depressed shape allows ice and water to be stored, which adjusts the temperature of the lid. The little bumps or dimples inside the lid are designed to allow condensation to drip back down onto your meal.
Related read Why do cast iron lids have spikes, bumps, or dimples
Doufeu Sizes, Shapes, and Colors
- Sizes: start from Size 24 with a capacity of 4 1/2 quarts various sizes available in different countries
- Shapes: Round and Oval
- Colors: inside enamel is the signature Le Creuset cream and external colors include flame, grey, cerise, yellow, and black. Color availability also varies from country to country
I prepared my Dutch oven braised beef in the Doufeu to compare outcomes.
As with all cast iron cookware, I heated the pot on the glass top stove over medium heat, add oil before browning the meat, add other dry ingredients and vegetables. Stirred through the heat for a couple of minutes to collect the lovely caramelization on the base of the pot. Added liquid stirred and place the lid on top.
This recipe simmered in the oven until cooked. I am a cast iron connoisseur and the outcome was delicious.
Cleaning, Maintenance & Storage
Cleaning is easy with the good quality enamel coating on Le Creuset pieces.
- Do not put it in the dishwasher as it takes the shine away from the surface over time
- Let the pot cool down, wash in soapy warm water with a nylon scourer
- Stubborn stains – soak the pot in soapy water
- Need more – gently simmer with soapy water then clean as normal or use Le Creuset’s cleaner and conditioner
- Careful storage is required with enameled cast iron – it should be treated like glass no pots and pans stored on top
Related read How to Clean and Care for Le Creuset
The Doufeu vs The Original Dutch Oven (French Oven)
The original Dutch oven is a three-legged cast-iron pot with a concave lid and a heavy handle. The legs keep the pot from direct heat, and the lid is designed to hold coals, so the food cooks from above.
Le Creuset created a new version of the Dutch oven by removing the three legs and changing the lid from concave to convex. Instead of the single bail handle of the original Dutch oven, the Doufeu has two opposing handles.
How Do You Cook in the Le Creuset Doufeu?
Essentially, you can use the Doufeu just as you would any other Dutch oven. You can prepare almost anything in it. Roast, fondue, baking, soups, or stews – they’re all good in the Doufeu. If you want your food to stay flavorful and moist, this is the best option for you.
The long slow cooking time allows the flavors to develop. Tough meats become fall off the bone tender. Beef chuck, pork shoulder, and anything with a lot of fat and cartilage, such as short ribs, spare ribs, lamb shanks, and oxtails, are all excellent options in the Doufeu.
In terms of vegetables, root veggies are the way to go – carrots, parsnips, and turnips. Tougher leafy greens, such as collards and kale, also work well. Strong onion and garlic flavors have time to mellow, bringing out their sweetness.
You can brown your meat straight in the pot – get the pot hot on the stovetop to color the meat. Then add your liquids and other ingredients, then turn the heat down and cook over at a low temperature for a few hours. The pot can move from the stove to the oven. In fact, the oven is preferable to the stove to keep the meal cooking slowly and evenly.
Pros and Cons of the Le Creuset Doufeu
|Various size pots are made for the slow-cooking method of food preparation||Le Creuset is expensive|
|Cast iron and enamel combination distributes helps heat evenly||Cast iron pots are heavy|
|Unique lid shape enhances condensation for better basting|
|It can be used on all heat sources|
Frequently Asked Questions
Common questions about Le Creuset Doufeu.
How do I clean the Le Creuset Doufeu?
This vessel’s enamel coating typically makes it easy to clean. Wait until the cookware is cool enough to handle, and then use dishwashing soap, warm water, and a soft sponge to clean the pot for light cleaning.
For tough dirt, use Le Creuset’s enameled cast iron cookware cleaner. Apply the cleaner to a wet sponge and rub gently to remove sticky food. The Le Creuset Doufeu is also dishwasher safe.
Related read Is cast iron cookware dishwasher safe
Can I Put The Doufeu In The Fridge?
Absolutely – enameled cast iron cookware can be put in the refrigerator, but remember not to move a hot pot straight from the oven or stove into the fridge. The sudden, drastic change in temperature from hot to cold can cause thermal shock and damage your expensive Doufeo.
How to Pronounce Le Creuset Correctly
Just break it down “luh-CROO-zay”.
Want to hear it? Let the famous French chef Ludo Lefebvre teach you how luh-CROO-zay
Wrapping it up Le Creuset Doufeu
Le Creuset has been a leading manufacturer of enameled cast iron cookware for almost 100 years. They continue to innovate and create the best kitchen products on the market today, making it easier than ever before to bring your favorite dishes from the stovetop or oven straight into your home.
The Le Creuset Doufeu is designed with convenience in mind – simply prepare food as you normally would in any dutch oven recipe, then transfer it directly from your stovetop burner to this all-in-one pot that can be used on any heat source. With so many great features like its lifetime warranty and ability to keep nutrients locked inside while still being easy to clean, what are you waiting for? Buy Yours Today!
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