Top positive review
Big Blue: very nice, but you get what you pay for
Reviewed in the United States on March 27, 2018
This has some of the advantages of a nonstick pan combined with some of the advantages of a regular heavy cast-iron pan, with a few disadvantages.
It's not as nonstick as pans sold as nonstick, but it's not far off, and better than most cast iron that way, especially at the sides, where the seasoning tends to not build up as well for cast-iron pans. Makes cooking and cleaning easier. And no seasoning or curing!
It has the same even cooking ability of a regular cast-iron pan of the same weight. The weight determines the amount of thermal energy the pan will hold. A heavy one like this won't cool down as much when you put something on part of it, and will continue to distribute heat evenly through the cooking process.
More durable than nonstick pans.
No chemicals in the surface coating to worry about. If you accidentally overheat the pan it won't hurt your canary.
This looks better than regular cast iron, good color, though the lid color isn't an exact match for the pan color, as you can see in the Amazon photos for the blue 7.5-quart size. Looks better than the nonstick pans I've seen too, but maybe I haven't seen the best ones.
This one has the little bumps on the inside of the lid that are supposed to drip condensed steam back down more evenly for basting and, possibly, help prevent as much condensation from making it to the edge of the lid where it would come out.
Not quite as nonstick as true nonstick pans, as mentioned above.
Most current nonstick pans can be washed in the dishwasher, but not this.
The weight is an advantage for some aspects of cooking, but also a disadvantage for moving it around. It's also a disadvantage for quick heating--this takes a while to heat up compared to lighter pans.
Doesn't take abuse as well as cast iron. Metal utensils aren't recommended. If you bang this hard enough you can chip the ceramic. Regular cast iron is near indestructible for ordinary use.
What you don't pay for
A Le Creuset pan costs a lot more, but you also get more. It can go up to 500 degrees in the oven, compared to 400 for this. It can probably also got a little hotter on the stovetop, though high stovetop heat isn't recommended even for the Le Creuset. You can use metal utensils with the Le Creuset, with care, though they still recommend the same ones you'd use with this one. And, the Le Creuset comes with a lifetime warranty, compared to one year for this.
All that said, this is a very nice pan that can be used for most of what you'd use a Le Creuset for with equal success.
The measurements Amazon gives are accurate. The 7.5-quart size is just under 14-1/2" across at the handles, 12" across around the rest, and about 7-1/2 high with the lid on. The weight is a little over 16 pounds. (The barely smaller Le Creuset is about 1-3/4 pounds lighter.)
There's exposed metal on the lid and the pan where they meet. That's normal--the ceramic wouldn't hold up there. Doesn't seem to rust.
Made in China.