Late last year I happened to notice this item being sold and I got VERY excited. I am almost positive it was only introduced here around the middle of 2021. As I tend to do religiously with Le Creuset, I waited until it was on sale and I bagged it for 30% off. I’ve been in love with this pan ever since.
Firstly let me just say that I am a cast iron snob, and I have loved my cast iron grill pan for many years. BUT. It is flippin’ heavy and it’ll never be as perfectly clean and shiny as the day you bought it. Ever again. And while that’s part of its charm (google it), there is really something to be said for a clean and shiny pan, and this particular one doesn’t require much to stay in that condition.
I love the toughened non-stick range in general and with this pan, I get those lovely sear lines that every steak needs, without dreading the washing up afterwards. I don’t ever put LC pans into the dishwasher as it damages the coating. The specifications say you can, but it’s discouraged. No problem in this case; this pan comes clean with just the soft side of a sponge, some sunlight liquid and hot running water. There is never a need to scrub or use anything abrasive to clean it. Most of the time, it’s a 3 minute job. While it is deep enough for a hot soapy water soak, I’ve never found this necessary.
Although this pan does heat up reasonably evenly, the center is always the hottest so I like to place the meat in the middle and veggies or haloumi towards the edges of the pan. The handle does get hot, but nothing like a cast iron pan’s handle that most of us home cooks have absent-mindedly burned our palms around. A dish towel is perfectly sufficient if you want to give the pan a shake or lift it off the heat. It’s not a good idea to drag it around the stove and you won’t have to, because it really doesn’t weigh all that much.
The 28cm is a great size if you’re cooking for 2 to 4 people. There’s ample space for everybody’s steaks, chicken breast fillets, burger patties…and don’t forget the haloumi or a few pieces of zucchini, halved to get that lovely char-grilled effect. I find that a light olive oil spray is perfect, and if I want a bit more moisture, I’ll rub some olive oil into the food before dropping it onto the dry pan (hot or cold). Alternatively, I’ll dip a piece of paper towel into olive oil and wipe the oily paper towel over the grooves. Too much oil will cause some smoking as with any pan, so less is more here.
In summary, I love this pan because it’s much lighter than cast iron, my food glides around easily but still gets those lovely sear marks, and the cleaning up is a breeze!
If you’re new to LC’s cookware, there are some basic things to be mindful of. One, NEVER heat the pan up to the max of your stove top. If yours goes up to a 6, 4 should really be your max. In the oven it will be fine up to 260 degrees celsius, but most of us never run our ovens that warm anyway. Always let your oven or stove top heat up together with the pan - you never put a cold LC pan onto or into something hot. Similarly you never add or run cold water over a piping hot pan, something many people are tempted to do after cooking. Tssssssss is a satisfying sound, I know, but not always so good for your beloved LC pans.