My love affair with Emile Henry Flame Cookware began several years ago when Pete bought me these two tagines as a gift…
We’ve added a few more pieces since then, particularly in the past year as our old bones and sore arms have necessitated a move away from cast iron.
The Flame range ticks every box for us. Here’s what we particularly love:
- It can be used on a gas, electric or halogen hob, as well as in the oven and microwave. (Note: we’ve never had a problem with the pots on our gas burners, but my mum had one crack after a couple of years – she has an electric hotplate). Cooking in clay over direct heat is something I derive enormous pleasure from.
- It washes up brilliantly in the dishwasher – an important consideration for us, as it was becoming logistically difficult to manoeuvre heavy cast iron pots and pans in the sink. The range isn’t non-stick, but any residual burnt bits have always cleaned away easily with minimal scrubbing.
- The lead-free Burgundian clay gives the cookware a high thermal mass, resulting in even cooking and improved heat retention. My curries will often continue boiling for several minutes after the heat is turned off, and still be hot enough to eat more than half an hour later. Additionally, its extreme thermal shock resistance means the cookware can go from the freezer to the oven without cracking.
- The stew pots are 30% lighter than comparable cast iron. And as our pots are stored on a high shelf above my head, I’m now at far less risk of a concussion.
- Finally, the entire range is absolutely gorgeous! It transitions easily from the stove to the table, and is attractive enough for even the fanciest dinner party.
I have a round 24cm general purpose stew pot in fig…
…as well as a 31cm oval pot, also in fig, especially for curries and poaching large cuts of meat…
…and a 30cm black brasier, which I use for Indian keema and shallow-frying.
These pieces are very expensive, but we view them as an investment. They’re of superb quality, highly functional, and in use almost every day.
Additionally, all of them have been purchased at massively reduced prices – if you’re in Australia, check out the Peters of Kensington website, which offers a wide range of Emile Henry, discounted by as much as 75%. Remember that only the Flame range can be used on the stove-top.
Edit 06/14: When I first wrote this post, the Flame range was widely available in Australia, but it’s become much harder to find in recent times. Everten Online still sell some pieces, as do Peters of Kensington, but both have a greatly reduced range (mostly tagines).
One thing to note – the cookware needs to be seasoned before use. There are detailed instructions with the pots, but it’s an easy process – pour an inch or so of milk into the bottom of the pot or pan and simmer it for five minutes, then turn it off immediately and allow it to cool, before washing. Alternatively, simmer a litre of water with half a cup of rice for five minutes instead of the milk (I’ve actually found the rice works better, as I tend to scorch the milk).
This isn’t a paid or sponsored piece – if you read our blog regularly, you’ll know that I never do those. I’m simply quite infatuated with this 160 year old company and her products.
Here is a clip of Jacques Henry, the fifth family member to run Emile Henry, describing how the Flame Cookware is made. I was impressed to see them using the clay roaster on a barbeque!