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.