What It Is: Old is new again.  Developed in 1934, Doufeu is a 4-1/2-quart enameled cast- iron casserole made in France. The makers Le Creuset reintroduced it this year. The pot is used for slow cooking or braising foods on all types of heat sources. Doufeu means gentle fire.

Why We Like It: Braising is a good method for cooking tougher cuts of meat, fish, or poultry. Cooking in cast iron is gentle because it absorbs and spreads heat evenly. The Doufeu by Le Creuset is an especially tough cookie (or should we say, cooker). The enamel cast-iron cookware can be used on all heat sources: gas, electric, ceramic, halogen, induction, oven, and even the outdoor grill. Unique to the Doufeu is a recessed lid that you fill with either ice cubes or cold water, which causes moisture to condense on the inside of the lid and drip back consistently over the food. This self-basting reaction stays in affect even after the ice melts. The pan is nonstick and easy to clean. The handles on both the pot and lid are durable and ergonomic, making it comfortable to hold.

Details: Made of  high-quality enameled cast iron, available in 4-1/2-quart round in five colors: cherry, Marseille(blue), flame (original orange color), soleil (yellow), and truffle (brown). Comes with a lifetime warranty. It is  dishwasher safe. Best used with silicone or wooden tools and over low to medium heat. Retails for $270. Available at, or

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