This 2-1/2-quart cast-iron saucepan from Le Creuset heats slowly and evenly, making it an ideal pan for long-simmering sauces and soups. Cast iron, unlike stainless steel and aluminum, is prized for its heat retention--it holds its (preferably low) temperature for long stretches, bringing out the full potential of the foods inside. It's also great for browning, caramelizing, braising, marinating, and even refrigerating (the pan is safe for both the fridge and freezer). Le Creuset cookware offers an extra benefit by coating its cast iron with porcelain enamel, which requires no seasoning and resists staining from acidic foods such as marinara sauce. The enamel also gives the saucepan an attractive and colorful finish that complements almost any kitchen décor.