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Are you shopping for a new Dutch oven, but can’t decide between Le Creuset and Great Jones?
On the one hand, you have Le Creuset, the well-established leader in enameled cast iron cookware.
On the other hand, you have Great Jones, the direct-to-consumer start-up offering stylish, well-performing cookware for a fraction of the cost.
Should you pick the proven brand and buy a Le Creuset Dutch oven? Or, is Great Jones a worthy alternative?
In this comparison of Great Jones vs. Le Creuset, I explain how their Dutch ovens compare in terms of design (with side-by-side pictures), performance, price, and much more.
Plus, I reveal the results of a test I conducted to determine which brand locks in moisture (and flavor) more effectively.
By the end, you’ll understand how Great Jones and Le Creuset Dutch ovens are similar, how they’re different, and the pros and cons of each.
Let’s get into it!
Use the links below to navigate the comparison:
- Introducing Le Creuset
- Introducing Great Jones
- Options: Sizes, Shapes, and Colors
- Moisture Retention Test Results
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Bottom Line: Which Dutch Oven Is Right for You?
Introducing Le Creuset
When you think of dutch ovens, you’re not alone if the first brand that comes to mind is Le Creuset.
Le Creuset (pronounced luh/crew/zay) got its start back in 1925 and has been manufacturing its gorgeous enameled cast iron cookware in Fresnoy-le-Grand, France ever since.
Over the decades, Le Creuset has become one of the most recognized cookware brands in the world.
These days, you can’t watch a cooking show on the Food Network, browse a wedding registry, or stroll the cookware aisle your local kitchen store without running into it.
But what makes Le Creuset so special?
Simply put, its unique manufacturing process results in cookware, including Dutch ovens, that’s durable, versatile, aesthetically pleasing, and guaranteed to produce excellent results in the kitchen.
Each Dutch oven takes ten hours to make, and they have such strict manufacturing standards that 30% of pieces are rejected due to minor flaws, melted back down, and recycled for other products.
First, molten iron is poured into molds to form the base of the cookware. Then the pieces are cooled and smoothed by hand and machine. Finally, each piece is sprayed with three layers of vitreous enamel, a glass enamel coating.
Throughout the process, fifteen skilled craftsmen inspect each piece, enforcing the highest standards of quality.
Le Creuset may be best-known for its Dutch ovens, but the brand has expanded into other products, including stainless steel and nonstick cookware, bakeware, glassware, and even cutlery.
Also, they offer an extensive collection of kitchen essentials from pepper mills and utensils to wine accessories and kettles.
Introducing Great Jones
Great Jones is a direct-to-consumer cookware company, launched in 2018 by two childhood friends, Sierra Tishgart and Maddy Moelis.
The company name was inspired and aptly named after Judith Jones, an American writer and editor who championed Julia Child’s cookbook.
The cookware is high-quality and functional—all while being very stylish and, some might say, Instagram-able.
Besides the beautiful look of Great Jones cookware, what makes this company unique is its direct-to-consumer business model.
Instead of selling through retailers that add hefty markups, Great Jones is sold exclusively on the company’s website, GreatJonesGoods.com.
This business model allows Great Jones to offer a significantly lower price compared to premium cookware brands while providing an equally high-quality product.
Although I’m focusing this comparison on their Dutch oven, Great Jones offers a full range of cookware, including a stainless steel stockpot, saucepan, and skillet, and two ceramic nonstick frying pans.
You can check out the full lineup on GreatJonesGoods.com.
Options: Sizes, Shapes, and Colors
One of the most significant differences between Great Jones and Le Creuset Dutch ovens is the number of sizes, shapes, and colors each brand offers.
At the moment, the Great Jones Dutch Dutch oven, also known as The Dutchess, comes in one shape and size—it’s oval with a 6.75-quart capacity.
Although you don’t have options in terms of shape and size, the Great Jones Dutch oven is available in seven colors, which rock a classy matte finish.
Great Jones keeps it fun, naming its colors after corresponding foods. It comes in Broccoli (green), Mustard (yellow), Blueberry (bright blue), Marinara (light red), Earl Grey (grey), Pepper (black), and Salt (white).
On the other hand, Le Creuset offers a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors. They have so many options; it’s easy to get a little overwhelmed.
Unlike Great Jones, who only offers an oval Dutch oven, Le Creuset offers round, oval, and round deep Dutch ovens, which have extra tall sidewalls, ideal for deep frying and boiling.
Their traditional round Dutch ovens range in capacity from 1-quart to 13.25-quarts, the oval Dutch ovens range from 1-quart to 15.5-quarts, and the round deep Dutch ovens come in one size, 5.25-quarts.
Le Creuset Dutch ovens come in several different colors ranging from their signature orange Flame to the more subdued Oyster (grey). And, they’re constantly testing and adding new ones.
Bottom line—if a 6.75-quart oval-shaped dutch oven meets your needs, Great Jones has you covered. But, if you’re looking for a round or deep round Dutch oven, or need an extra small or extra large vessel, Le Creuset provides those options.
With thick cast iron walls with a functional and attractive enamel exterior, Great Jones and Le Creuset Dutch ovens may look similar.
But, if you look closer, their design is quite different.
In this section, I’ll break down the differences and share side-by-side pictures so you can see the details yourself.
As I mentioned, the Great Jones Dutch oven only comes in an oval shape, which gives you lots of space for a roast or full chicken, but it doesn’t sit centered on a burner.
So, if you are searing or browning on the stove, you might notice that the center of the Dutch oven is hotter than the sides.
Since cast iron heats up slow and retains heat well, this isn’t a big deal. But it’s something to keep in mind when you’re deciding between oval (Great Jones or Le Creuset) and round (Le Creuset only).
The Great Jones Dutch oven is sand-cast using German machinery. It’s painted before being fired three times to achieve its unique matte finish.
By contrast, the Le Creuset Dutch oven has a smooth, somewhat shiny exterior that stands out in the kitchen.
The interior of Le Creuset Dutch ovens is sand-colored, while Geat Jones is gray.
Le Creuset’s sand-colored interior allows you to monitor browning but doesn’t mask the stains and discoloration that could build up over time.
Great Jones’ gray interior also makes it easy to monitor the progress of your cooking, but since it’s a bit darker, it hides stains better.
Le Creuset’s lid features a three-circle pattern with the brand name embossed on one side. The Great Jones lid is smooth with the company logo embossed.
Great Jones’ lid handle is a small brass-colored U-shaped loop that is easy to grip but gets very hot, even when you’re cooking on the stove—an unpleasant discovery I made the first time using it.
Le Creuset lids have either their Classic black phenolic knob that’s oven-safe up to 390°F and stays cool on the stove, or their Signature steel knob that’s oven-safe up to 500°F. They also have gold and copper-colored knobs that you can buy separately.
Both Dutch ovens have roomy side handles that provide enough space for four fingers, even while wearing an oven mitt so that you can easily transport the Dutch oven from stovetop to oven.
Moisture Retention Test Results
Okay, now for the question you’re really curious about:
Which Dutch oven performs better in the kitchen?
The short answer is that Great Jones and Le Creuset both perform incredibly well.
They’re both made with a thick cast iron base that heats up slowly but retains heat for long periods.
Both have a durable enamel coating that prevents sticking and promotes caramelization.
And, both have heavy lids that sit securely on top and lock in moisture.
I’ve cooked dozens of meals in both, and, honestly, I haven’t noticed any difference in performance.
BUT…that’s just my experience. And, considering you’ll likely cook hundreds of meals in your Dutch oven over your lifetime, even a small difference matters.
To get a more scientific understanding of performance, I conducted a test to measure which Dutch oven locks in moisture more effectively.
I focused on moisture retention because that’s the single most important performance measure of a Dutch oven. In other words, the primary purpose of a Dutch oven is to lock in moisture (and flavor) while cooking low and slow. So, the better performing Dutch oven is the one that seals in moisture the best.
Here’s how I conducted the test:
- I poured a quart (32 ounces) of room-temperature water into each Dutch oven, placed the lids on securely, and brought it to a boil.
- Once the water started boiling, I turned the temperature medium and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
- After fifteen minutes, I turned off the burners and let each Dutch oven sit with the lids on for an hour to let the water cool.
- After an hour, I measured how much water remained in each Dutch oven.
Out of the 32 ounces I put in, the Le Creuset Dutch oven retained about 28 ounces, while the Great Jones Dutch oven retained 26 ounces. Although the difference was slim, Le Creuset retained about 7.5% more moisture than Great Jones.
The results didn’t surprise me because I could see much more steam escaping the Great Jones Dutch oven throughout the test.
Does this mean that Le Creuset Dutch ovens are much better than Great Jones? No, not at all. It just means that, based on this experiment, the Le Creuset lid locks in more moisture. And, moisture retention is key for locking in flavor.
Another significant difference between Great Jones and Le Creuset is the price.
Le Creuset Dutch ovens are much more expensive than Great Jones. However, the exact difference depends on which Le Creuset Dutch oven you buy and where you buy it.
The reason Great Jones is cheaper isn’t necessarily due to quality. Several factors go into it, including:
- Le Creuset has been around for nearly 100 years and is a huge brand name, which allows them to charge a steeper price point.
- Le Creuset products are manufactured in France, while Great Jones products are made in China. (Resource: The Definitive Guide to the Best Cookware NOT Made in China)
- By selling directly on their website, Great Jones cuts out the middlemen, allowing them to offer a lower price for a similar quality product.
Frequently Asked Questions
What else is there to know about Le Creuset and Great Jones Dutch ovens?
To help you find your match, I’ll answer some frequently asked questions about these brands.
Le Creuset makes theirs in Fresnoy-le-Grand, France. Great Jones makes their Dutch ovens in China.
Yes, both are oven safe. The Great Jones “The Dutchess” and Le Creuset Dutch ovens are oven safe up to 500°F. However, the black phenolic Le Creuset knob is only oven-safe up to 390°F, so you have to use the steel knob or remove the lid if you’re cooking with high temperatures
Both brands are dishwasher safe. However, Le Creuset has some advice: constant dishwashing might dull the enamel finish, but this won’t change the performance of your Dutch oven. If using a dishwasher, always wait until the cycle is fully finished before opening the door to ensure the product is completely dry.
Thanks to the cast iron material, both brands are compatible with all cooktops, including induction.
Both Dutch ovens are heavy, weighing between 12 and 15 pounds for similar sizes. The Great Jones is ever so slightly heavier, but both have great handles for transport and pouring.
Bottom Line: Should You Buy a Great Jones or Le Creuset Dutch Oven?
Now that you have all the necessary information about Great Jones and Le Creuset, it’s time to decide which Dutch oven is better for you.
To help you make the right decision, let’s recap what these two brands of Dutch ovens have in common:
- Both brands offer a range of color options.
- Both have beautiful designs that will look great in the kitchen.
- Both offer oval-shaped Dutch ovens.
- Both are compatible with induction cooktops.
- Both have large handles for easy transport.
- Both lids are securely fitted.
- Both are oven safe up to 500°F.
- Both are easy to clean. Not sure how? Check out my step-by-step guide on cleaning enameled cookware.
- Both come with a lifetime warranty.
As for the main differences:
- Le Creuset has nearly 100 years of experience, while Great Jones launched in 2018.
- Le Creuset provides many more options in terms of shape, size, and color.
- Great Jones has a matte finish while Le Creuset has a shinier coating.
- Le Creuset locks in moisture more effectively than Great Jones.
- Le Creuset Dutch ovens are made in France.
- Great Jones Dutch ovens are made in China.
- Le Creuset is significantly more expensive than Great Jones.
- Le Creuset products can be found online (on Amazon) and in stores.
- Great Jones only sells direct to the consumer from their website.
Both are great options but, ultimately, it comes down to your budget and style preference.
Great Jones is an excellent option if you want a high-quality and stylish Dutch oven that won’t break the bank.
If you’re more comfortable buying a proven brand, you prefer a round Dutch oven, or you need a specific size, Le Creuset is a sure bet. Although it’s much more expensive, I believe Le Creuset it totally worth it.
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