Cocotte? What’s cocotte? Have you ever heard about it? Probably. In French cocotte means pot or saucepan. It’s an enamel coated cast iron pan extremely resistant to high and low temperatures. In addition, it’s compatible with all types of heat sources such as gas, electric and induction cookers. And you can also use it in the oven or place them in the fridge to preserve your meals. Cocotte pans are very versatile you can use to cook a large variety of recipes. Although at first buying a cocotte requires a quite high investment, it will last a lifetime if you take care of it. Moreover, it’s likely that even your children and grandchildren can inherit it.
Why is food cooked with cocotte pans so delicious? Main advantages of enamel cast iron cocotte pans.
Although we hardly know them, cocotte pans have been an indispensable tool in every kitchen in France, Belgium and Luxembourg since many years ago. They are considered as pieces of great value and are transmitted from generation to generation. They are the premium casseroles, the ones many people use to cook the most valued meals.
On one hand, iron is the material that better retains and transmits heat. That’s why cocotte pans are ideal to Slow Cooking. Food is slowly and homogeneously cooked in its own juices and acquires unique flavour. You also can keep meals warm until serving, place your cocotte pan in the fridge to serve cold dishes or even in the freezer to preserve food.
Secondly, this unique flavour comes from the properties of cocotte pans inner coating. Its special composition makes these casseroles perfect for all kind of cooking techniques: braising or stewing at low temperature, browning at high temperatures, caramelizing, roasting, searing and even baking. But what makes them unique is that the more you use them, the best flavours and results you get: cooking oil penetrates enamel coating pores creating a natural dark brown non-stick layer that improves cooking efficiency, prevents food to stick and reduces oil required.
The third element that contributes to achieve this unique flavour are semis-spheres inside the lid. They collect steam released while cooking to continuously and evenly drop condensed water back to food. Thanks to this self-humidification system, food is always kept hydrated, and meals are as tasty as those cooked by our lovely grandmothers.
These are the properties that make cocotte meals so tasty. Besides these, pots also have other features and advantages:
– They are suitable for induction and all kind of cooktops. They are also oven safe. But don’t even think about using them in the microwave.
– Cooking vessel is thick, solid and resistant. But be careful! You don’t want it to fall down your feed.
– Its inner enamel coating is durable, resistant and very difficult to scratch.
– Cocotte pans have quite good release properties. Anyway, don’t try to cook an omelette with it. It would stick for sure!
– They are very easy to use, care and clean, both by hand or in the dishwasher.
So, is it better to cook with cast iron cookware than with cast aluminium and stainless-steel cookware? As always, all options have some advantages and disadvantages. Go to our little master in cookware materials to learn more about this.
Which recipes can I cook with cocotte pans?
There are many recipes you can prepare with your cocotte, both sweet and salty. The most recommended ones are those that require a long cooking time because cocotte pans distribute heat fabulously. Therefore, food is evenly cooked, legumes don’t break, and stews are awesome. Moreover, sauces thicken very well when you them reduce slowly. Another advantage of cooking with cocotte pans is it’s not necessary to add too many liquids. Food is slowly cooked in its own juices and flavour keeps intensifying during all the cooking process. Of course, if you are always in a hurry, forget them. Cocottes are made for traditional slow cooking.
But don’t worry, its elegant and timeless design will not make your table look old-fashioned; on the contrary. Thanks to its classic design, you can serve any meal directly to the table and impress all your guests.
At Castey we have the perfect Cocotte Pans Collection to practice all recipes you’ve always wanted to cook.
How to use cocotte pans correctly?
It’s not too complicated, just follow these simple instructions.
– Always add a little bit of oil, butter or water before heating it. Don’t allow these casseroles to cook or boil dry.
– Don’t cook at high temperatures. Low to medium heat is enough to ensure even cooking. If you do so, food won’t get burned or undercooked. And you’ll save a lot of energy!
– To cook at high temperatures, heat up the product at low temperature during few minutes and raise it gradually to avoid thermal shock.
– And you should also let it cool before before placing it into the fridge or freezer.
– Although enamel coating is very resistant, you should better flee from spoons or metal spatulas. Bet on wood or silicone. This way you will be able to lengthen its properties and keep it as new for a long time.
– Try to keep the lid always tightly closed. This way the hemispheres inside can do their job well and moisten food continuously. It’s a good way to make your recipes healthier, since you won’t have to add extra oil during the whole cooking process.
– Oh, and always try to hold the piece properly. Protect your hands with mittens or silicone protectors.
Nowadays cocottes have become very popular. Though it’s true they fell into disuse for a while due to fast lifestyles and the desire for all the new, great restaurants and modern active and healthy lifestyles have brought them back into fashion. Sometimes the newest is not necessarily the better, especially when we talk about food and health. What are you waiting to be in?
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