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Large Flame Top Roaster, Azul
Manufacturer: Emile Henry
List price: $120
Warranty: 3 years
Dimensions: 17-1/4" x 11-1/4" x 3-1/2"
Weight: 11 lbs
Composition: Burgundy clay
Other versions: Black, Red
Made In: France
Type: Ceramic Roaster
Color: Dark blue, black, red
Apparent goal: kids gift/registry home kitchens restaurants everywhere
Intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
Diet/nutrition: does not apply scary empty promises helpful essential
Green?: not especially neutral mixed blessing earth friendly green!
Innovative: step back standing still progress trendy genius
Problem solving: no better baby steps solid steps giant steps a revelation
Competition: outclassed follower in the pack strong challenger likely champ
Ease of use: impossible frustrating OK simple child's play
Intuitive: Ph.D. required barely logical effortless brilliant
Instructions: missing incomprehensible adequate unnecessary excellent
Quality: cheesy questionable good years of service impressive
Parts to lose: inevitable some/many one-piece self-storing not a problem
Power source: none hands batteries outlet cooker
Clean-up: nightmare wipe clean soap & water scouring pad dishwasher
Does it work?: not at all adequately well very well perfectly
Availability: airfare required online kitchen store department store supermarket
Easy to open?: impossible maddening tolerable good opens itself
Green?: fills a landfill huge waste passable minimal waste impressive
Time saving: time wasting not really modest substantial huge
Labor saving: less efficient marginal a bit noticeable remarkable
Money saving: money wasted none $ $$ $$$
Beats the old way: worse no change better infinitely entirely new
Where will it live?: garage/attic drawer cabinet countertop elsewhere
Fulfills ambitions: falls short almost there satisfies exceeds home run
How often used: once/twice ≥daily ≥weekly ≥monthly ≥yearly/holidays
Worth the space?: no does not apply w/unlimited space w/limited space absolutely
Need it?: a luxury discretionary basic equipment for serious cooks get it
Value: ouch! a little pricey worth splurging on the money a deal
Overall rating: skip it fair good very good excellent

Comments: After years – many years – of babying ceramic cookware, along comes Emile Henry of France and encourages us, no, dares us, to put its ceramic roaster right on the stove. With the burner on. High. And leave it there.

It won't break, they say. And indeed, we found their claim to be true, although it took us a while before we were really comfortable using it directly on an open flame. Old habits are hard to break.

The company says that the roaster's direct heat tolerance is so high that, unlike most metal, glass, or ceramic cookware, it can sit on a very hot open flame, empty, for an extended period of time and it won't crack, discolor, or break. It provides gentle, even heat distribution, and stays hot longer than a metal pan will.

You can sear meat, roast it in the oven, and then deglaze the "pan" right on the stovetop again. Of course the company wants you to roast meats and vegetables, but it also wants you to bake brownies and make cakes. It wants you to use the roaster right on the grill, to take advantage of all the new recipes that call for a hot plate or other solid container on the grill. The trick will be working it into your regular cooking schedule, and not saving it for the few times a year you prepare roasts.

The roaster is heavy. Filled with our lasagna it topped the scale at 25 pounds, so be sure you maintain a good grip. (The company notes that it is still 30% lighter than cast iron, so that's something….) It is also really beautiful in the new dark blue version we tested, but surely equally lovely in red or black.

Not everything Emile Henry makes can go on the stovetop; it has to be from the Flame line of products. The other products are useful and lovely, too, but be clear on what you're purchasing. If you're in doubt, you should look for the FLAME logo molded into the bottom.


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