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HexClad vs. Le Creuset: 7 Differences & How to Choose

Are you shopping for cookware but can’t decide between HexClad and Le Creuset?

HexClad is the leading brand of hybrid cookware, whereas Le Creuset is best known for its iconic enameled cast iron pots and pans.

So, which brand is right for your kitchen? What are the key differences?

In this comparison of HexClad vs. Le Creuset, you’ll learn how their cookware differs in design, price, construction, features, and more.

I also reveal the downsides of each brand so you get the complete picture.

Use the links below to navigate the comparison:

HexClad vs. Le Creuset: Comparison Chart

The chart below provides a quick comparison of HexClad vs. Le Creuset.

HexCladLe Creuset
Product OfferingsHybrid of 3-ply stainless steel and non-stick material3-ply stainless steel, forged hard-anodized aluminum, enameled cast iron
Cooking Surface MaterialsHybrid of stainless steel and non-stickStainless steel, triple-layer non-stick, or enamel
Cooking Surface DesignHexagonsSmooth
Handle DesignRounded, polished stainless steelFlat, brushed or polished stainless steel (varies) or enameled cast iron
Thickness3 mm3.8 mm (enameled cast iron)
Weight of 12-Inch Stainless Steel Fry Pan4 lb4.6 lb
Cooking PerformanceVersatile, but not the best option for eggs or delicate foodsEach pan type performs as well as the best brands in its class
Oven-Safe TemperatureUp to 500°FUp to 500°F
Metal Utensil-SafeYesYes (only stainless steel)
Induction CompatibleYesYes
Dishwasher SafeYesYes (but not recommended for enameled cast iron)
Company HistoryIntroduced in the U.S. in 2016Founded in 1925
Where It Is MadeChinaFrance, Portugal, China
Price$$$$ (HexClad.com and Amazon)$$$$$ (Amazon and LeCreuset.com)
Top Reason to BuyVersatility (performs well with all tasks)Superior performance, iconic design/colors
Top Reason to NOT BuyDelicate food sticks, expensiveExpensive
More DetailsHexClad ReviewLe Creuset Review

Difference 1: Product Offerings

One of the most significant differences between the two brands is the range of products each offers.

Le Creuset has the advantage here — it offers a range of products for different cooking situations. Its lineup includes stainless steel, hard-anodized aluminum, and enameled cast iron.

Le Creuset’s stainless steel cookware has 3-ply construction, with stainless steel on the interior and exterior and an aluminum core. You can purchase Le Creuset’s stainless steel cookware with or without a non-stick coating.

The hard-anodized cookware in Le Creuset’s lineup is made with forged aluminum and a triple-layer non-stick coating. The cookware is durable, boasting a sturdy construction that stands up to intense wear and tear.

But the real bread and butter of Le Creuset’s product line is its colorful enameled cast iron cookware. The brand is best known for its enameled Dutch ovens, which work well for cooking soups and pasta, braising meats, and even baking bread.

Best Cast Iron Cookware for Electric Stoves Le Creuset
Le Creuset

The enameled cast iron pieces come in a wide range of colors and styles, and some models are available with glass lids rather than cast iron.

By contrast, HexClad only offers one kind of cookware — a hybrid that combines the advantages of non-stick and stainless steel cookware.

HexClad 12 Inch Frying Pan Design
HexClad 12 Inch Frying Pan

Both brands also offer extras and accessories, like cutlery, tableware, and kitchen tools. Le Creuset also offers bakeware like pie plates, loaf pans, casseroles, and bread ovens.

Difference 2: Cooking Surface

HexClad’s cooking surface is what sets it apart from other cookware brands. The cookware’s interior is covered in laser-etched steel hexagons on top of a traditional PTFE (Teflon) non-stick coating.

HexClad cookware interior
HexClad cooking surface

This hexagon pattern runs up the pan’s sides and to the edges, ending with a solid steel band around the rim.

HexClad cookware hexagonal pattern
HexClad cookware non-stick coating and hexagonal pattern

This design makes HexClad more durable than traditional non-stick pans because the stainless steel “peaks” protect the non-stick “valleys” from wear and tear. As you can see in my HexClad video review, the steel creates a barrier so metal utensils like tongs and spatulas cannot scratch or damage the non-stick coating.

HexClad metal utensil safe
HexClad metal utensil safe

Le Creuset’s cooking surface depends on the kind of pan you are using — it offers smooth stainless steel, textured triple-layer non-stick, or enamel cooking surfaces.

Le Creuset Dutch Oven Interior
Le Creuset Dutch Oven Interior

While metal utensils can be used on stainless steel, Le Creuset does not recommend using them on its enameled or non-stick cookware since they can scratch and damage the cooking surface over time. Le Creuset recommends using silicone, wood, or heat-resistant plastic utensils instead.

Difference 3: Design

Le Creuset produces three main cookware offerings — tri-ply stainless steel, hard anodized non-stick, and enameled cast iron. Each cookware style has different features and advantages.

Enameled cast iron is Le Creuset’s most popular cookware option. Pieces in this collection feature a colored enamel exterior (currently 21 color choices) and a black or light sand-colored interior.

Le Creuset Dutch oven on electric stove
Le Creuset Dutch oven on an electric stove

The enamel skillets feature pour spouts on either side, while the Dutch ovens have matching handles and lids.

Le Creuset Dutch ovens feature either a rubber-textured black phenolic knob or a smooth stainless steel knob, also available in gold and copper finishes. The key difference lies in their oven-safe temperatures: classic black knobs withstand up to 380°F, signature black up to 480°F, and all steel knobs up to 500°F.

Le Creuset Dutch oven lid knob
Le Creuset Dutch oven lid knob

Le Creuset’s stainless steel cookware features a polished exterior and a brushed interior. However, you also have the option of a non-stick stainless steel pan.

Le Creuset Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 2 pc. Fry Pan Set, (8" Fry Pan & 10

The exterior stainless steel contains titanium to prevent scorching and corrosion. The pan’s stainless steel handle is attached to the pan’s body by two rivets.

Le Creuset non-stick cookware is made from aluminum with a black interior and exterior. Its interior is lined with a textured triple-layer non-stick coating. The handle is made of stainless steel and attached to the pan with two rivets. Cookware pieces in this set include tempered glass lids, but remember that they are only oven-safe up to  425°F.

Le Creuset Toughened Nonstick PRO Fry Pan, 12"

While Le Creuset has a wide range of different cookware styles, the design features of HexClad cookware are the same across all of its models. Each piece features its signature hexagon pattern stainless steel peaks and non-stick valleys, covering both the pan’s inside and outside.

Bottom of a HexClad pan
Bottom of a HexClad pan

The pan’s riveted stay-cool handles are thick and round but not too long, which makes them easy to grip, no matter the size of your hands. A triangle-shaped space between the rivets and the rest of the handle helps to keep heat from transferring into the handle.

HexClad cookware handle
HexClad cookware handle
HexClad cookware handle_2
HexClad handle

HexClad pans also feature flared rims that make transferring your food from the pan to your plate easy.

HexClad cookware exterior sides

Difference 4: Cooking Performance

I’ve been testing HexClad and Le Creuset for several years, and here’s what you can expect in the kitchen.

The most notable difference between these brands is that HexClad is all-purpose cookware, while each Le Creuset piece is designed for specific tasks.

I’ve used HexClad pans to cook bacon, pancakes, eggs, steak, chicken, and vegetables.

Cooking chicken thighs in a HexClad pan
Cooking chicken thighs in a HexClad pan

They perform similarly to non-stick cookware, but since the surface isn’t entirely smooth, it grips food for a better sear than traditional non-stick pans.

Salmon seared in a HexClad pan
Salmon seared in a HexClad pan
Crispy bacon cooked in a HexClad pan
Crispy bacon cooked in a HexClad pan

And while the surface isn’t as slippery as non-stick, I didn’t have issues with eggs sticking as long as I greased the pan well with oil or butter.

Browning chicken cutlets in a HexClad pan
Browning chicken cutlets in a HexClad pan

That said, traditional stainless steel cookware sears better than HexClad, and traditional non-stick releases food better. If you try to cook eggs with little or no fat in the pan, you’ll end up with a sticky mess, as you see below:

Food sticking to HexClad
Food sticking to HexClad

So with HexClad, you get the best of both worlds (stainless steel & non-stick), but you also get the worst of them.

The performance of Le Creuset depends on which type of cookware you use. For example, Le Creuset’s enameled cast iron pieces take a long time to heat up due to the thick pan walls, but once they are finally heated, they hold heat remarkably well.

Cooking soup in a Le Creuset enameled cast iron Dutch oven
Cooking soup in a Le Creuset enameled cast iron Dutch oven

The Le Creuset Dutch oven is perfect for braising large pieces of meat, cooking soups and stews, and even baking bread. HexClad pans cannot perform these tasks as well as Le Creuset. 

Sauce reducing in a Dutch oven
Sauce reducing in a Le Creuset Dutch oven

The non-stick pans in Le Creuset’s lineup can cook delicate foods like eggs or flakey fish much better than HexClad’s hybrid cookware skillets. Even without butter or oil, eggs won’t stick to the smooth non-stick surface.

Le Creuset stainless steel and enameled cast iron pans are also better for searing than HexClad. When you sear meat, you want the food to stick to the pan to maintain complete contact with the hot surface. Once the crust forms, the meat will naturally release from the pan.

Overall, HexClad is more versatile and performs well in just about every situation (apart from cooking delicate foods). It’s fast to heat up and responsive, which makes it a good option for searing and sautéing when you need precise control over the heat.

But Le Creuset pieces made for a specific job produce the best results. For example, Le Creuset’s enameled cast iron skillets are ideal for searing because of how well they retain heat, and their non-stick pans are best for eggs thanks to their completely smooth coated surface.

Difference 5: Company History

While HexClad and Le Creuset both offer quality cookware, their origins couldn’t be more different. Here’s a quick look at how each company got started.

Le Creuset has a long and storied history. The French company was founded in 1925 by Armand Desaegher, a casting expert, and Octave Aubecq, an enameling expert.

By combining their skills, they were able to perfect a glazing process used to coat the cast iron cookware. The result was a stunning enameled cast iron Dutch oven with a signature glaze. Its brilliant red-orange gradient, originally called “volcanique,” is known today as Flame. This color is still available, along with 20 other “core” color offerings. 

Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Round Dutch Oven with Lid, 5.5 Quart, Flame

Le Creuset still manufactures its cookware in its original foundry, located in Fresnoy-le-Grand, France, where it has been forging and glazing its products for nearly a century.

Known for its beautiful design and lasting quality, Le Creuset has built a loyal following with fans worldwide. A certain prestige is associated with the brand because of its long history and reputation for quality — this contributes to its high prices.

In contrast, HexClad is a new face in the cookware industry. Founded in Los Angeles by CEO Danny Winer and co-founder Cole Mecray, HexClad was developed with the goal of merging the durability of stainless steel with the convenience and ease of non-stick cookware. All HexClad cookware is designed in Los Angeles and made in China.

HexClad began selling its unique hybrid non-stick technology in 2009, but the cookware line didn’t launch in the United States until 2016. The company has recently enjoyed a surge in popularity thanks to a partnership with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey.  

Difference 6: Downsides

HexClad and Le Creuset have unique features and advantages, but both brands have downsides to consider.

HexClad Downsides

Food sticks – HexClad’s pans don’t perform as well as traditional non-stick options because food tends to get stuck on the stainless steel peaks. They’re not the best pans for cooking delicate foods like eggs or flakey fish.

The steel hexagonal peaks also make the pans more difficult to clean than traditional no-stick. To avoid food sticking, grease the pan well and cook on low to medium heat. You should cook, care for, and clean your HexClad pans as you would with stainless steel.

Handles – The rounded shape of the handles can make it difficult to tilt or pour liquid from the pan. If you’re not careful, the round handles can rotate and slip when you tilt the pan to pour juices or slide food onto a plate.

Fingerprints and smudges on HexClad handle
Fingerprints and smudges on HexClad handle

Another drawback to the handle is that the finish is polished and shiny, which looks nice but makes fingerprints and smudges more noticeable.

Price – HexClad cookware is expensive, especially compared to traditional non-stick cookware. It’s similarly priced to high-end stainless steel pans, which is difficult to justify since HexClad pans won’t last nearly as long.

Since all non-stick surfaces will wear down with time (even if they’re protected by steel peaks), you’ll need to replace HexClad within five to ten years, depending on how much you use it.

Le Creuset Downsides

Price – Le Creuset is certainly not a budget-friendly brand. In fact, it produces some of the highest-priced cookware on the market, especially the signature enameled cast iron pieces. The most affordable option is its non-stick line, but even its lowest price point is similar to HexClad.

Heavy – Le Creuset cookware is heavy, particularly its enameled cast iron. For example, the 12-inch enameled cast iron skillet weighs almost 7 pounds. In contrast, the 12-inch HexClad skillet weighs around 4 pounds.

The pans’ heft can make them more difficult to lift out of the oven or maneuver on the stovetop. Plus, the cookware will be even heavier when it’s full of food. Heavy cookware is also more difficult to store since it can’t be placed or stacked on high shelves.

If the weight of Le Creuset is an issue, check out my guide to the best lightweight cookware.

Discoloration and Scratches – Le Creuset’s cookware can become scratched and discolored over time. This is especially true of its non-stick pans and the pale interior of its enameled cookware. However, it is something that can be mitigated with a bit of maintenance and cleaning.

Scratches on enameled cast iron cookware
Scratches on Le Creuset enameled cast iron cookware

Difference 7: Price

HexClad and Le Creuset pots and pans are expensive, and it’s difficult to compare the brands as a whole because Le Creuset’s prices vary drastically by cookware type.

For example, Le Creuset’s enameled cast iron cookware is significantly more pricey than their hard-anodized aluminum non-stick line.

If you compare 12-inch skillets, here’s how the two brands rank from most to least expensive:

You can compare the prices of both brands’ full lineups at the links below:

What Others Say About HexClad and Le Creuset

HexClad and Le Creuset have stellar reputations for quality but don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what cookware experts and culinary media outlets are saying about both brands:

The New York Times’s Wirecutter raves about Le Creuset’s signature enameled Dutch oven, noting its superior durability. It points out that, although it’s not the cheapest option, Le Creuset makes lasting cookware that can be passed down through generations.

Epicurious also loved Le Creuset’s Dutch oven and praised the pan’s thoughtful design that makes it easier to use, despite its weight. For example, the thin, wide handles make the cookware easy to move, hold, and maneuver. The reviewers also highlighted the Dutch oven’s versatility—it can cook pasta and stews, braise meat, roast vegetables, and bake bread.

Le Creuset also receives praise for its stainless steel line. Food and Wine highlighted Le Creuset as the Splurge Pick in its list of Best Stainless Steel Cookware Sets. Food and Wine loved how responsive the cookware was to subtle changes in heat and pointed out thoughtful designs like a flared rim and easy-grip handles that make these lightweight pans easy to use.

HexClad received rave reviews from CNN Underscored, which dubbed HexClad’s 10-inch hybrid pan the Best Restaurant-Quality Non-stick Pan. CNN was impressed with how easily food slid off the pan and how evenly it heated. They also mentioned how quick and easy the cookware was to clean.

USA Today gave HexClad its seal of approval. In fact, HexClad’s Chef’s Package set ranked Best Overall on USA Today’s list of Best Cookware Sets. The HexClad pans stood out because of their lightweight design, excellent searing capability, and ergonomic handle. USA Today also thought the pans were easy to clean and loved the induction-compatible magnetic base.

Esquire had great things to say about both Le Creuset and HexClad. In its list of the 12 Best Cookware Brands Worth Investing In, Esquire highlights Le Creuset as the best for Dutch Ovens and HexClad as the best celebrity-endorsed cookware brand. HexClad’s partnership with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay who calls HexClad the “Rolls-Royce of pans,” helps heighten the prestige of the relatively new brand. At the same time, Le Creuset’s legendary and long-standing reputation makes them a must-have.

Bottom Line: Should You Buy HexClad or Le Creuset?

Now that you know the major differences between Le Creuset and HexClad, it’s time to decide which cookware is best for you.

Here’s a quick recap of the major takeaways:

  • Product Offerings: HexClad only offers one style of cookware, but Le Creuset has a much more extensive range of products, including stainless steel, hard-anodized, and enameled cast iron cookware. Both brands offer extras like kitchen tools and cutlery.
  • Cooking Surface: HexClad features a unique hybrid non-stick cooking surface, featuring stainless steel peaks and non-stick valleys that protect the pan from wear and tear. Le Creuset offers traditional stainless steel, metal-safe non-stick cookware, or porcelain enamel cooking surfaces.
  • Performance: If you’re juggling many cooking tasks, HexClad’s your go-to—it’s a jack of all trades, cooking nearly everything pretty well. But when it comes to specific tasks, like searing meat or cooking delicate foods like eggs, Le Creuset’s specialized pieces deliver the best results.
  • Price: Le Creuset enameled cast iron cookware carries a higher price tag than HexClad; however, its stainless steel and non-stick pans are more affordable.
  • Downsides: HexClad’s downsides include its inability to prevent sticking unless greased well, its round handle that can rotate in your hand, and its high price. Le Creuset’s downsides include its high cost, heavy weight, and potential for scratches and discoloration.
  • History: Le Creuset has built a loyal following and reputation for producing high-quality cookware since its founding in 1925. HexClad is a much newer brand, having only begun selling cookware within the past decade. But celebrity endorsements and clever marketing have led to its surge in popularity.

Bottom line — HexClad is versatile cookware that excels in various culinary tasks. But it doesn’t deliver the same level of performance as traditional stainless steel for searing or non-stick pans for delicate cooking such as fish and eggs. And remember that these pans will not last forever; you’ll need to replace them eventually.

If you have the space and budget and want the best tools for each cooking task, go with Le Creuset. It has been one of the most trusted brands in the cookware industry for nearly a century, and its thick, durable, and colorful enameled cast iron pieces can last a lifetime.

It will cost you upfront, but the investment is worth it for the quality and longevity of the cookware — especially if you buy the enameled cast iron or stainless steel pots and pans.

If you’re ready to buy, check out HexClad and Le Creuset at the links below or read my in-depth reviews of both brands to learn more (HexClad Review, Le Creuset Review).

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He began his career in marketing, managing campaigns for dozens of Fortune 500 brands. In 2018, Andrew founded Prudent Reviews and has since reviewed 600+ products. When he’s not testing the latest cookware, kitchen knives, and appliances, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew via emailLinkedIn, or the Prudent Reviews YouTube channel.

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