We’ve got a middle-of-the range Enamelled cast iron Baccarat Le Connoisseur “French Oven” from House - 6.3L normal price is $299.99 but we got it on one of their frequent specials for about $150, had it about 3 years. We do have plans one day to upgrade to a Chasseur, but only once our current one is sufficiently damaged to relocate to the caravan!
We LOVE it and use it almost daily, more than any other pot or pan we own (including our “Instant pot” type multi cooker). The ceramic has crazed on the bottom, and there are chips on the handles. Sad to say it has been dropped a few times (its heavy!) but apart from the cosmetic damage its going strong.
We use it always for making up our pasta sauces (and the pasta until we recentlu bought a larger stainless steel pan), chilli con carne, my husband cooks magical risottos in it, we’ve done pot roasts, Corned silverside, stews and casseroles (and pie fillings), and I’ve also used it for making jam, and then washed it out and used it to water bath the jam jars. Its perfect for “one pot” meals (I have a great one pot chicken alfredo that we do a lot).
I thought the “self-basting” dimples on the inside of the lid were silly at first, but they really help make tough pot roast cuts come out very juicy - the steam collects in the lid and then evenly drips back down all over the meat.
Cleaning is simple, I rinse it out while its still warm, and then leave it to soak with a squirt of good detergent. A stiff bristled dish brush does most of the work, and at worst it is dishwasher safe. It’s not much different to cleaning my stainless steel pots.
We loved it a lot while we had a ceramic glass cooktop, but we recently upgraded to induction and it is much much better. The cast iron conducts the heat through the whole pot better than the stainless which has improved the cooking of things like pasta sauce.
But thats the real beauty of the cast iron pots over say, my traditional corningware or pyrex casserole dishes, they’re just as fantastic on the stove top as the oven, and they look pretty on the table too