COOKING tools, FOOD + DRINK | April 12, 2007

The Challengers: Le Creuset Moroccan Tagine vs. Emile Henry Flame Top Tagine

Le Creuset Moroccan Tagine

I discovered the pleasure of slow cooking recipes in the last year. Braising and other slow cooking techniques are great to host stress-free dinner parties.

Dishes that are equally delicious whether they cook longer or not are so practical for at home entertaining. Since the recipe does not require your presence at the stove, you can really enjoy a cocktail or two with your guests. Guests can be late without ruining your meal. Perfect!

I bought a large clay tagine at an annual art & craft show two Christmas ago. I bought a book or two on tagine recipes. And then it hit me, many tagine recipes called for cooking on a stovetop. But I cannot put mine on a stovetop, especially not on a gas stove. Still, I prepared wonderful recipes on the oven with my clay tagine, enough to want more.

My husband asked me a few weeks ago to cook more braises. So, I am looking to replace my clay tagine for one that can go directly on a gas flame. I do not want to be disappointed this time so I start looking for the best one.

After scouring the Net, my short list consists of Le Creuset. I was almost sold on Emile Henry because they made two sizes. I taught Le Creuset tagine (1.5 qt.) was too small to entertain larger groups. I read comments on the Web, some people complain about some spilling problems with Le Creuset. Everybody seems delighted with Emile Henry tagines. That settled my dilemma; I will go for the 2.6 qt (32 cm) Emile Henry Flame Top Tagine.

Emile Henry tagine is safe for microwave, broiler and dishwasher. Supporting up to 450 degrees, Emile Henry gives you 50 more degrees to play with than Le Creuset. On top of it, the large Emile Henry tagine costs the same as the smaller Le Creuset. I just need to go shopping now.

If you want to make you own mind, I recommend one post on Simply Recipes blog that has good comments on tagine. This is where I learn about heat diffuser. One top of it, you get a delicious recipe. Amazon.com product reviews were also helpful to me since they sell both brands.

Cooking.com sells several brands of tagine plus you get customer ratings and reviews. Emile Henry and All Clad are their best sellers. I love shopping at Cooking.com; this online store is an excellent source for cookware and nifty kitchen utensils. I did not pick All Clad because their tagine is more expansive and I find that it lacks the authentic tagine feeling.

If you have other views, do not hesitate to share with us your thoughts on tagines. What is the best one for you and why?

August 6th, 2007 Update:
You can read the results so far of my quest for the best Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon and olives recipes.

Link: Moroccan Chicken with Lemon and Olives Recipe on Simply Recipes blog
Link: Tagine department at Cooking.com

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10 Responses to “The Challengers: Le Creuset Moroccan Tagine vs. Emile Henry Flame Top Tagine”

  1. I LOVE my Le Creuset tagine! It workes wonderfully and I’ve had no spillage issues. It’s easy to handle and cleans up well. I haven’t used it for large groups but then again I don’t have enough room at my table for large groups anyway.

    I made one of the tagine recipes from the Le Creuset site and having already tried it in a dutch oven I couldn’t believe how much better it was when made in the tagine.

  2. 2 At Home with kim vallee said:

    The shape of the tagine is supposed to enhanced flavors. It is fun to hear from someone who experienced it.

    I am glad to see that you love your Le Creuset tagine, they are an excellent brand. My birthday is in a few weeks, I hope to get a tagine with a Le Creuset dutch oven.

  3. 3 lleary said:

    Just wanted to let you know that all you need is a good heat diffuser to use a clay tagine on the stovetop. I have an earthenware one which does just fine. The design of the tagine is defeated if used in the oven. The lid is supposed to act as a cooling tower, causing moisture to go back into the food. Check out egullet http://forums.egullet.org/index.php? … there is a wonderful thread on tagines and Moroccan cooking called *Moroccan Tagine Cooking* Please don’t recommend the Le Creuset the Emile Tagines…the clay ones are far superior. The unglazed versions are better than the glazed ones. Be careful about using handpainted ones, they are for serving only.
    Hope this helps!

  4. 4 At Home with kim vallee said:

    Lleary, I went to the site. I read with pleasure the entire Moroccan Tagine Cooking tread. It was very educational. I grasp why you love the building spice flavors over time that only you can get with unglazed clay tagine. If you stay within a family of recipes, this is definitely an asset.

    But my cooking style is more eclectic than that. I do not want a tagine that will interfere with the taste of my future recipes; especially when a recipe does not have any of the buildup spices in it.

    A few years ago, my husband got me a traditional Chinese clay teapot. He chose a gorgeous one that costs 80 dollars with 6 cups. So we went back to the tea house to select some tea leafs. This is when they explained to us that traditional Chinese clay teapot absorbs the tea flavor. We cannot wash the teapot with soap either as the soap will be absorbed too. Once I made a tea in my teapot, I have to reuse that same tea blend forever unless I select a stronger blend. I cannot decide what type of tea I prefer. For that reason, we used the teapot only two or three times with a mild tea. I learned my lesson.

    I like experimenting with food and drinks. So that is why tagines like Le Creuset and Emile Henry are the best options for me. My birthday was this week-end. I am now the proud owner of a black 32cm Emile Henry tagine. This is a tagine for 6 persons. I love it!

  5. 5 Salima Benani said:

    I bought le creuset tagine, then what? like any other dish….a commercialized dish that doesn’t give a sense of moroccan patrimony….poor tagine, le creuset gave you a new name, sooner or later french people will tell the whole world that tagine is a french dish…yes cuz le creuset sells it….
    You wanna experience the real thing….go moroccan tagine, you can find them online:
    http://www.justmorocco.com/cat_tagines.cfm or http://www.tagines.com or http://www.themoroccanbazaar.com/shop.php/moroccan-cooking/cooking-tagine/c_54.html

  6. 6 petra herselman said:

    I got a black Emile Henry 32 tagine for my birthday but am uncertain whether I can use it on an open flame gas hob? Is it better to use it in the oven? or can I cook quite safely without fear that the tagine would crack on a gas open flame?

    Unfortunately the little recipe book that came with the tagine is only printed in French – as I am South African – English is my second language so trying to make out instructions regarding the use of the tagine, in the French language, is not possible for me.

    I would love your information on the above subject via e-mail.

    Thank you for having a web site that is so helpful.

    Petra Herselman

  7. 7 At Home with Kim Vallee said:

    Verify if you own the Flame Top model. Since you juts got it, I suspect you do. If yes, you can use your Emily Henry tagine on a gas stove but always at low heat. You should always put food and liquid on your tagine before starting the heat.

  8. Hello,

    I love Moroccan tagine so much , Its gives you a very tasty wonderful delicious food , I enjoy cooking my tagines receipes on the Moroccan tagine , Iam a professionel tagines receipes cooking if you are interesting to my receipes contact me

  9. I’m in the market to buy a Tagine (Emile Henry).
    Should I get 3.7 QT, or 2.6 QT?
    I don’t want to get both, so if you were to pick one, would 2.6 QT work for most of the recipes out there?

  10. Kemi: Get the larger one. I got that one and you will notice, after you made a few recipes, that it is not that big. Plus, it is more practical when you have guests over. I was with a group of foodies when I read your email. They all said the same thing.