Your Le Creuset Is Actually Two Pans In One

Cooking in the cold means one thing: It's officially Dutch oven weather. And there is no Dutch oven as iconic — as instantly recognizable, or beloved — as Le Creuset's. These cast iron enamel pans annually appear in every one of your favorite food influencers' videos, serving as colorful vessels for everything from rosemary chicken and potato stew to upscale tuna casserole.

Most people use their Le Creuset Dutch oven for soups, stews, and hearty casseroles. However, there are dozens of ways to utilize yours. You could steam vegetables, convert it into an indoor smoker, or even use it as an ice bucket. But you've probably been missing out on one of the most versatile features of a Le Creuset pot: the lid. Yes, it's true: You can actually remove the knob on your Le Creuset lid and transform it into the perfect pan for baking pies and countless other pastries.

How to turn your Le Creuset lid into a pan

Like the rest of the casserole dish, a Le Creuset lid is made from cast iron enamel, which conducts heat well, is extremely durable, and is also super easy to clean. This means you can use it on its own as a baking pan, as the slight curve and rim of the lid will keep your food from leaking out. It is excellent for use as a pie dish when lightly greased, because the enamel conducts heat so efficiently that you don't need to worry about blind baking your crust. You can simply put the crust and topping in all at once, whether it's for a pie, quiche, or tart.

To use the lid in this way, you will need to unscrew the knob on top, which serves as a handle. Luckily, this task can be accomplished with a screwdriver, as the knobs are designed to be easily removed. (Pro tip: Le Creuset sells various knob designs, allowing you to switch out your lid knobs to experiment with new aesthetics as you wish.) Even if you aren't using your lid as a second pan, you might want to remove your knobs anyway at high temperatures, as the classic knobs are only oven safe up to 390 degrees Fahrenheit, while the brand's signature phenolic knobs are oven safe up to 480 degrees Fahrenheit.

Other ways to use your Le Creuset lid

If you're particularly inventive, you can use your Le Creuset casserole dish and lid to make two different dishes simultaneously. For example, try making a chicken pot pie where you stew the filling in the bottom of the casserole dish and place your lid upside down on top to bake the crust while the filling cooks. This method, showcased on Le Creuset's TikTok, went viral as an ingenious trick to prevent a soggy pot pie crust.

Even if you don't want to bake a crust, you can still use your lid by roasting a chicken in one dish and vegetables in another. This is a great trick for saving space in your oven by stacking the pans together; as a bonus, it also eliminates the hassle of preparing dishes with different baking times. When you're finished cooking, you can serve the food on the lid, balanced over your pot as a built-in tray.