I was initially thrilled to get a Le Creuset oval gratin pan for Xmas, but became concerned that it's stoneware rather than cast iron. I know this is going to be a pan that will see a lot of heavy use, and it would be great if I could use it on the stovetop as well. The color wasn't what we wanted anyway, so I returned it to Williams-Sonoma and now have a gift card for $40 or so. The most economical option is to just get the stoneware in a different color, but I think I'd like to apply the store credit to one of the more versatile enameled cast iron pans.
My question is, if I'm going to slap down some extra cash, which pan should I be investing my money in? The most obvious choice is the au gratin baker, but part of me wonders if we'd be better served by another pan, like the wide round or oval dutch oven.
My husband and I are both vegetarian, so no meat cooking, but we roast a lot of veggies, and the pan should ideally be good to send under the broiler (hence the initial request of a gratin pan). We have some great All-Clad pans for the stovetop, but this would really be our first high-quality oven-friendly pan, so I want to make the right choice. It's unlikely that we'll be getting a second Le Creuset anytime soon.