Let me start off with an embarrassing admission: I am not naturally skilled when it comes to cooking or baking. I've always been a decent cook and can generally follow a recipe without completely ruining a meal, but I just don't have the instincts needed to create something truly drool-worthy. It wasn't until the height of the pandemic when we were all on lockdown that I decided to try to step up my cooking game, and since my husband is nothing if not supportive, he bought me this Le Creuset dutch oven, and it's been an absolute game-changer.

Not only do my meals turn out much better than they did before I got this powerhouse of a baking dish, but they also look like they came straight from the pages of an issue of Bon Appétit magazine! Even Kraft Mac and Cheese looks impressive when I serve it from this thing, and since I have two small children, I tend to make some kind of cheesy boxed noodle dish more often than something more complicated (which is just fine with me).

I think one of the main reasons I love this dutch oven so much is how pretty it looks on my stovetop. Yes, I leave it out all the time, mainly as decoration, to be honest. The cornflower blue color looks gorgeous with the brushed gold knob on the top, and it brings the perfect pop of color to my kitchen. So if you're looking for something to make your friends and family members impressed with your style and cooking prowess, this Le Cruset dutch oven has your name on it. And now, let's get into what makes this thing truly exceptional. It has a cast iron construction that's virtually indestructible and produces amazing heat distribution and retention, so your food cooks evenly every time. The enamel coating creates a non-stick effect that makes it easy to clean and resistant to dulling, staining, or cracking. The tight-fitting lid is expertly designed to circulate steam, so food keeps its moisture. It can be seamlessly moved from the stovetop to the oven, and the ergonomic handles give you a secure grip. It's also dishwasher-safe, so you can just throw it in the bottom rack for quick and easy cleanup - so helpful for busy households. I've had this dutch oven for two years now, and it still looks exactly the way it did when I first opened it on Mother's Day. I'm guessing it will look this way when I pass it down to my own children, and I can't wait to dream up new ways to use it.

Looking for more time-tested products we love? Check out this KitchenAid Mixer loved by our commerce editor Mary O'Brien.