‘Your parcel is in your bin’, said the card on the doormat. How do they manage to knock on the door so quietly? I wondered as I lifted up the lid of the big green bin out front.

Sure enough there was a large box at the bottom, so far down that I couldn’t reach it, so I had to tip the bin over and crawl inside. Which must have given the neighbours a laugh.

A very heavy box, so I could guess what it was, our new cast iron casserole from KitchenAid. And this was the smallest one!

One of the things about KitchenAid kit is that it always feels incredibly robust and well made. I know people who are still regularly using their KitchenAid stand mixers even after they’ve already done forty years service in their parents’ and grandparents’ kitchens.

Cast iron enamelled pans of course always bring to mind the C word. Le Creuset who back in 1925 solved the problem of cast iron pans needing regular oiling, to avoid rusting, by enamelling the interior and exterior.

KitchenAid’s entry into Le C territory is impressive. Whilst people still tend to only buy Le C in the iconic orange, KitchenAid have produced their pans in a range of fetching modern colours  – Empire Red, Onyx, Black and Almond Cream. This means whether you have a minimalist metro kitchen, or a cosy country one, there’s a colour to suit.

Ours is Onyx, and black, very, black. ‘How much more black could it be? Answer none, none more black’ (Nigel Tufnell). It is gorgeous, the depth of enamel finish is remarkable. Absolute quality

The lid is a tighter fit than a Le C,  which I like straightaway. It fits in the lip, as well as over it, this really helps with heating up and saving energy. KitchenAid thoughtfully provide three rubber clips to put over the bowl edge to isolate the lid from the bowl when in storage to prevent the lid chafing the enamel.

As a kitchen tool, it’s a great all rounder. It’s happy to be sat on electric, induction or gas, but it’s best not to let the gas flames lick up the sides as that can discolour enamel. Saute, simmer, sear, slow cook, boil. You name it

And of course you can bake it up to a whopping 260°C. The substantial and cleverly formed ergonomic handles give a great, secure, grip for easily lifting the pans out of the oven, even when they’re red hot and heavy with food. The lid has a big shiny metal knob, so it’s also oven safe, but be careful handling it when hot.

And of course these are pans you can proudly take through to the table,  because they look so very good.

The enamel inside is as thickly layered as the outside, but in cream colour. It is very tough, but best to never use metal utensils to stir, only silicon, wood or plastic to make sure the surface never degrades.

Sauteeing in the pan is excellent, the vitreous enamel (glass particles fused to a layer) is non-porous so the iron never gets exposed and it also conducts heat very well so there are no hot spots.

That even heat distribution also means simmering is also smooth and reliable. Physics tells us that cast iron has a very high volumetric heat capacity, so once hot it stays hot long after it comes off the hob.

We found any food traces after cooking were easily removed, the stubborn bits needing only a soak in water for a short while to soften them. The enamel does its job perfectly and it cleans up beautifully like new.

These KitchenAid pans aren’t cheap, but they will undoubtedly last well into the next century, saving you and your family hundreds of pounds over time.

Best to have them delivered though, you don’t want to be carrying one of these back from the shops. Just don’t let the postman put them in your wheelie bin!

Covered Round Casserole 22cm – 3.3L RRP £160

Covered Round Casserole 26cm – 5.2L RRP £200

Covered Oval Casserole 30cm – 5.6L RRP £220

Available in the KitchenAid iconic Empire Red, Onyx Black and Almond Cream. The Covered Round Casserole 22cm and 26cm are also available exclusively in Pistachio and Dried Rose.

Available from hartsofstur.com