Are you shopping for a Dutch oven but can’t decide between Staub and Le Creuset?
Both brands have a long track record of producing high-quality, high-performing Dutch ovens.
But what’s the difference? Which brand is better?
In this comparison of Staub vs. Le Creuset, you’ll learn how their Dutch ovens differ in cooking performance, design, size options, price, and much more.
I also reveal my test results showing whether Staub’s self-basting lid makes a difference.
By the end, you’ll have all the facts to decide which brand is best for your kitchen.
Click the links below to navigate the comparison:
- Staub vs. Le Creuset: Key Takeaways
- Comparison Chart
- Lid Knobs
- Handle Size
- Handle Finish
- Moisture Retention
- Interior Color and Texture
- Exterior Color Options
- Size Options
- Similarities Between Staub and Le Creuset Dutch Ovens
- What Others Are Saying
- FAQs About Staub and Le Creuset
- Staub and Le Creuset Alternatives
- Bottom Line: Should You Buy a Staub or Le Creuset Dutch Oven?
Staub vs. Le Creuset: Key Takeaways
Here are the key differences between Staub and Le Creuset Dutch ovens. Throughout the full comparison, I provide more context, test results, and over a dozen pictures of both brands.
- Lid Knobs: Staub lid knobs are smaller, thinner, and made of steel. Le Creuset lid knobs are larger and made of either synthetic black phenolic material or steel.
- Handle Size: Le Creuset handles have a 1.25-inch opening, and Staub handles have less than an inch of space.
- Handle Finish: The exterior of Le Creuset Dutch ovens is entirely coated with enamel. The inside of the Staub side handles is uncoated, revealing bare cast iron.
- Lid Interior: The interior of Staub lids has small bumps that collect and evenly distribute evaporated liquid across the entire pot. Le Creuset lids have a smooth interior finish and don’t collect or distribute liquid as well.
- Moisture Retention: Based on my test, Staub Dutch ovens retain 8% more moisture than Le Creuset.
- Interior Color: The interior of Staub Dutch ovens is black and stain-resistant. Le Creuset interiors are sand-colored and more likely to show discoloration and staining over time.
- Exterior Colors: Staub Dutch ovens come in nine different exterior colors. Le Creuset offers twenty different exterior colors, including bright and vibrant options and earth tones.
- Size Options: Staub offers 13 shapes and sizes, and Le Creuset offers ten sizes.
- Weight: On average, Staub Dutch ovens weigh 20% more than Le Creuset.
- Thickness: The walls of Staub Dutch ovens are thicker than Le Creuset’s.
- Price: Both brands are pricey, but Staub is generally $20-$30 less expensive, depending on size.
Should You Buy Staub or Le Creuset?
You can’t go wrong with a Staub or Le Creuset Dutch oven. But if forced to choose, I recommend Le Creuset. Although they cost more, Le Creuset Dutch ovens are easier to maneuver due to their thinner construction and larger handles. The light interiors also make it easier to monitor browning.
Staub arguably performs better given its heftier lid and walls, which enhance heat retention. But, after extensive testing of both, the performance differences are negligible, while Le Creuset’s greater ease of handling is noticeable. For most cooks, Le Creuset hits the sweet spot between high-end materials and easy, ergonomic functionality.
Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference, but Le Creuset is the winner by a slight margin for me.
Read more reviews and compare prices of both brands on Amazon:
Before I break down the key differences between Staub and Le Creuset Dutch ovens in detail, here’s a quick side-by-side comparison.
|Staub Dutch Ovens||Le Creuset Dutch Ovens|
|Price||$$$$ (view on Amazon)||$$$$$ (view on Amazon)|
|Material||Cast iron coated in enamel||Cast iron coated in enamel|
|Lid Knobs||Steel with a thin stem||Steel or synthetic with a thick stem|
|Handle Size||.8-inch opening||1.25-inch opening|
|Handle Finish||Enamel outside, bare cast iron inside||Enamel outside and inside|
|Lid Interior||Bumps to capture and distribute evaporated liquid||Smooth finish|
|Moisture Retention||Retains 8% more moisture than Le Creuset||Retains moisture well (but inferior to Staub)|
|Exterior Colors||9 options||20+ options|
|Round Sizes (quarts)||.5, .75, 1.25, 2.75, 4, 5.5, 7, 9, 13.25||2, 3.5, 4.5, 5.5, 7.25|
|Oval Sizes (quarts)||1, 4, 7, 8.5||1, 2.75, 3.5, 5, 6.75|
|Weight (5.5-Quart)||12.8 pounds||11.5 pounds|
|Thickness||4.2 mm||3.6 mm|
|Where It’s Made||Merville, France||Fresnoy-le-Grand, France|
|Warranty||Limited Lifetime||Limited Lifetime|
When you look at Staub and Le Creuset Dutch ovens side by side, the first difference you’ll notice is the handle/knob attached to the center of the lid.
Staub’s handles are made out of steel with nickel or brass exterior. They are oven safe up to 500°F and get extremely hot, whether you’re cooking on the stove or in the oven.
You can buy replacement handles in the shape of different animals like a cow, rooster, pig, and many others. It’s an excellent way to spice up the look or to use as a label if you have multiple Dutch ovens going at once.
Le Creuset Dutch ovens come with either a black phenolic knob that has a rubbery texture or a smooth stainless steel knob. In addition to the standard stainless look, the steel knobs are available with decorative metallic gold and copper finishes.
The main difference between the black and steel knobs is the oven-safe temperatures. The Classic black knob is oven-safe up to 380°F, the signature black knob is oven safe up to 480°F, and all steel knobs can handle up to 500°F. Besides that, the black knobs stay cool when cooking on the stove; the steel knobs get hot.
If you look closely at the knobs, you’ll notice that Staub’s is smaller with a thinner stem.
Le Creuset knobs are thicker and give you more to grab onto and squeeze. The larger size also gives you more control when tilting the lid to check on the food.
Dutch oven lids are heavy, so having a bigger knob makes handling Le Creuset easier and safer, especially when you’re wearing a bulky oven mitt.
Another significant difference between Staub and Le Creuset Dutch ovens is the size of the side handles. Le Creuset’s handles are much wider and roomier than Staub’s handles.
Le Creuset handles have a 1.25-inch opening for you to get a sturdy grip.
Staub handles only provide slightly less than an inch of space.
Like the knob handles, this may not seem like a significant difference, but when you go to move a piping hot Dutch oven full of food from the stove to the oven, you’ll appreciate Le Creuset’s wider handles.
As you can see below, I can easily fit the oven mitt around the Le Creuset handles.
You can fit your hands around the Staub handles, but it’s much more snug, and you’ll have even less room if you have large hands.
Every exterior inch of Le Creuset Dutch ovens is coated in enamel, including the handles.
At a glance, it appears that’s the case with Staub, too.
However, if you look closer, you’ll notice that the inside of the side handles is bare cast iron.
Home cooks Reddit claim the texture inside the Staub Dutch oven’s handles is an intentional design choice to prevent slippage. But it’s really an issue in their manufacturing process. As you can see in this video, machines spray paint onto the spinning Dutch oven. Due to the handle’s shape, the paint doesn’t fully coat its inner portion.
You can’t see this flaw at most angles, but you can feel the rough texture of the bare cast iron when you pick up a Staub Dutch oven without gloves.
Le Creuset lids are domed, and Staub lids are flat with a ridge around the edge.
With Staub, you can rest a spoon on the lid without it sliding off.
You can also put ice on Staub’s flat lid. The ice keeps the lid cool, so when hot steam rises and hits the inside of the lid, it immediately converts to liquid and drips back into the pot. This method prevents steam from escaping.
If you turn over the lid, you’ll see another pretty significant difference between Staub and Le Creuset.
Staub lids have small bumps that are used to capture evaporated liquid and drip it evenly across the center of the pot. Staub lids are slightly heavier and are believed to seal in moisture more effectively.
In contrast, the interior of Le Creuset lids do not have these bumps. Instead, the surface is smooth.
Do the bumps matter? Do they really distribute moisture more evenly across the pot?
To find out, I put these Dutch ovens to the test.
First, I poured 32 ounces of water in both a Staub and Le Creuset Dutch oven.
Then, I brought the water in each Dutch oven to a boil and let it continue boiling for 10 minutes to gather enough steam inside.
After 10 minutes, I lifted each lid without tilting it and slipped a small sheet pan with a paper towel on top right beneath the lids. I let the lid rest on the paper towel for 20 seconds.
The goal was to see how evenly the condensation dripped across the paper towel — the more uniform the distribution, the better.
In theory, the Staub lid should distribute the water more evenly than Le Creuset since that’s the purpose of the bumps.
Here’s what happened.
Not only did the Staub lid distribute the water droplets more evenly, but the lid also captured significantly more water.
You can see in the picture below that the paper towel under the Le Creuset lid was almost completely dry except for a few spots near the edge, while the paper towel under the Staub lid was much wetter, including in the middle.
I repeated this test using an electric stove to see if the results would change. As you can see below, Le Creuset collected more water during the second test than it did during the first, but Staub still collected more water and distributed it more evenly across the entire shape of the lid.
These results confirm that the design of Staub lids traps and distributes moisture better than Le Creuset.
So, yes, the bumps on the lid really do make a difference.
Now, does that mean food will taste better when cooked in a Staub? Well, that depends. If you’re cooking a meal that benefits from continuous self-basting, then yes.
But if you’re cooking soup, chili, or sauce, having the condensation drip more evenly across the pot won’t make a noticeable difference.
The heavy, tight-fitting lids on Dutch ovens lock in moisture, resulting in tender, juicy meals. It’s one of the main reasons people love Dutch ovens so much.
So, which Dutch oven retains moisture the best?
To find out, I conducted a simple test.
First, I poured precisely 64 ounces of cold water into a Staub and Le Creuset Dutch oven and secured the lids on top.
Then, I placed both Dutch ovens on the stove and turned the heat to high. After the water began to boil, I turned the heat to low and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, I let the Dutch ovens rest on the counter for another 30 minutes with the lids still on.
Finally, I poured the remaining water into a measuring cup to determine which Dutch oven retained the most.
As the water simmered, I noticed significantly more steam coming out of the Le Creuset Dutch oven. I checked to make sure the lid was on correctly, and it was.
There was only a minimal amount of steam escaping the Staub Dutch oven.
Given that observation, I expected the Staub Dutch oven to retain the most moisture — and I was right.
Of the 64 ounces of water I poured in at the start of the test, Staub retained 56 ounces, and Le Creuset retained only 52 ounces. That’s an 8% difference.
Although both Dutch ovens retained over 80% of the moisture, Staub is superior to Le Creuset in this category. I’m not surprised by the results since Staub lids are noticeably heavier and tighter-fitting than Le Creuset.
Interior Color and Texture
Another key difference between Staub and Le Creuset Dutch ovens is their interiors.
Le Creuset’s interior is smooth and sand-colored while Staub features a matte black interior that is stain resistant and won’t show discoloration over time.
There are pros and cons to each brand’s interior.
Le Creuset’s sand-colored interior allows you to clearly see and monitor the browning and doneness of your food.
Staub’s dark interior prevents food from sticking and hides stains better. However, the dark hue makes it more difficult to monitor browning and fond development.
Both interiors are susceptible to scratching and staining, but because Le Creuset’s interior has a lighter color, the damage is more noticeable.
Check out this quick video to learn more about the benefits of Staub’s unique interior.
Exterior Color Options
Both brands offer a variety of exterior colors. Staub offers nine, and Le Creuset offers twenty.
Staub’s colors are mostly earth tones, while many of Le Creuset’s are bright and distinct like their “Flame” and “Caribbean” options.
Staub color options below:
Le Creuset color options below:
The aesthetic may not be relevant to some people, but it was very important to me since I planned on using my Dutch oven as cookware plus a serving pot. With 20 different options, Le Creuset is the clear winner in this category.
Staub and Le Creuset both make round and oval-shaped Dutch oven in a wide variety of sizes. The size is measured by the number of quarts they can hold.
Staub round Dutch ovens come in the following sizes (in quarts): .5, .75, 1.25, 2.75, 4, 5.5, 7, 9, 13.25
The oval Dutch ovens come in the following sizes (in quarts): 1, 4, 7, 8.5
Le Creuset round Dutch ovens come in the following sizes (in quarts): 2, 3.5, 4.5, 5.5, 7.25
The oval Dutch ovens come in the following sizes (in quarts): 1, 2.75, 3.5, 5, 6.75
Another key difference between Staub and Le Creuset Dutch ovens is their weight.
Although the weights vary by size, Staub Dutch ovens weigh 20% more than Le Creuset on average.
For example, the Staub round 5.5-quart Dutch oven weighs 12.8 pounds, while the Le Creuset 5.5-quart Dutch oven weighs only 11.5 pounds.
Keep in mind, the weight listed online is the weight of the Dutch oven empty. When you factor in the contents inside when you’re cooking, the pots are even heavier.
Although both brands are heavy, consider Le Creuset if you’re looking for a Dutch oven that’s a bit lighter and easier to maneuver. That’s especially important if you plan to do stove-to-oven meals that require you to lift the Dutch oven when it’s full and piping hot.
The chart below shows the weight of each brand’s most popular Dutch oven sizes so you can compare them side-by-side.
|Dutch Oven||Weight||Pounds Per Quart of Capacity|
|Staub Round 2.75-Quart||8.9 lb||3.2|
|Staub Round 3.75-Quart||10.3 lb||2.7|
|Staub Round 5.5-Quart||12.8 lb||2.3|
|Staub Round 7-Quart||16.9 lb||2.4|
|Staub Round 13.25-Quart||23.7 lb||1.8|
|Le Creuset Round 3.5-Quart||8.3 lb||2.4|
|Le Creuset Round 4.5-Quart||9.9 lb||2.2|
|Le Creuset Round 5.5-Quart||11.5 lb||2.0|
|Le Creuset Round 7.25-Quart||14.1 lb||1.9|
Staub Dutch ovens have noticeably thicker walls than Le Creuset.
I used a digital micrometer to measure the upper walls of each Dutch oven. Le Creuset Dutch ovens are 3.6 mm thick, and Staub Dutch ovens are 4.2 mm thick.
The added thickness helps the Dutch oven absorb and retain heat better.
If you heat a Staub and Le Creuset Dutch oven to the same temperature and turn the heat off simultaneously, the Staub will stay warm for a longer period.
Despite the superior heat retention Staub offers, you also get a much heavier piece of cookware (as you learned in the previous section). Keep that in mind if you’re looking for a Dutch oven that’s less bulky.
Staub and Le Creuset Dutch ovens are premium cookware and are the highest performing products you can buy in this category.
The most renowned chefs in the world use them, and for a good reason, their cooking performance is unmatched.
All of those benefits come with a price. Both brands are not cheap, and a single Dutch oven can cost anywhere from $100 to over $400 depending on the size.
Prices are always changing, but in general, for the same size Dutch oven, Staub is $20-$30 less than Le Creuset. Before you buy, be sure to compare the current prices on Amazon (chart below).
|Dutch Oven||Price||View Details|
|Staub Petite French Oven 1.5-Quart||Amazon|
|Staub Pumpkin-Shaped Cocotte 3.5-Quart||Amazon|
|Staub Round Cocotte 4-Quart||Amazon|
|Staub Round Cocotte 5.5-Quart||Amazon|
|Staub Wide Round Cocotte 6-Quart||Amazon|
|Staub Wide Round Cocotte 6.25-Quart||Amazon|
|Staub Round Cocotte 7-Quart||Amazon|
|Staub Round Cocotte 13.25-Quart||Amazon|
|Le Creuset Braiser 2.25-Quart||Amazon|
|Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven 3.5-Quart||Amazon|
|Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven 4.5-Quart||Amazon|
|Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven 5.5-Quart||Amazon|
|Le Creuset Round Wide Dutch Oven 6.75-Quart||Amazon|
|Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven 7.25-Quart||Amazon|
|Le Creuset Oval Dutch Oven 9.5-Quart||Amazon|
|Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven 13.25-Quart||Amazon|
Similarities Between Staub and Le Creuset Dutch Ovens
Now that we’ve covered what makes Staub and Le Creuset different, let’s look at all the ways they are similar.
Where It’s Made
Staub and Le Creuset Dutch ovens are both designed and manufactured in France.
Le Creuset manufactures all of their cast iron Dutch ovens in Fresnoy-le-Grand, where they use a 12 step process that involves 15 different workers.
Le Creuset makes other products in Thailand and Portugal, but its Dutch ovens are still made in France.
All of Staub’s cast iron products are made in Merville, France. You can see how they’re made in this quick behind-the-scenes video.
Both companies pride themselves in strict quality control and hold their production to exceptionally high standards. Holding such close control over the manufacturing process results in high-quality cookware.
Staub and Le Creuset Dutch ovens are both made with cast iron coated in enamel.
As I mentioned in a recent post about how to properly use cast iron cookware, cast iron is an extremely thick and dense material.
Due to its thickness, it heats up slower than most cookware, but once heated, it distributes heat evenly and retains it for a long duration.
The interior enamel coating on both Staub and Le Creuset Dutch ovens is smooth and non-reactive, which means you can cook any food in them, including highly acidic foods like tomato sauce.
Acidic foods can penetrate the surface of non-coated cast iron cookware and cause tiny molecules of metal to break off into your food. With these enabled cast iron Dutch ovens, you never have to worry about that.
Staub and Le Creuset both provide a lifetime warranty for their Dutch ovens. Their warranties cover manufacturer’s defects but don’t cover damage resulting from misuse, or minor scratches and chips that could happen over time.
Endorsed by Professional Chefs
Both brands are used at home and in professional kitchens across the globe. The fact that some of the most successful chefs in the world use both of these brands speaks volumes to the quality and performance.
The late Paul Bocuse, a famous, Michelin Star winning French chef, was a huge fan of Staub and became their official ambassador for twenty years between 1998 and 2018.
Sohui Kim, the chef at Insa, a popular Korean barbecue restaurant in Brooklyn, New York, was quoted in NY Magazine saying, “Le Creuset pans are workhorses, and they’re made to really, really last. They’re very durable, conduct heat tremendously well, and look super nice.”
Caring and Cleaning
Staub and Le Creuset Dutch ovens are dishwasher safe, but both brands highly recommend hand washing. Cleaning in the dishwasher can dull the enamel finish over time but does not impact safety or performance. I’ve always hand washed my Dutch oven because I find it easier and, between the base and the lid, it would take up nearly a quarter of my dishwasher. Read my guide to cleaning enameled cast iron cookware to learn more.
If you read reviews for Staub and Le Creuset, you’ll see that most are positive.
But both brands have a few downsides. Most notably, they’re heavy and expensive, and food sticks to the bottom.
- Dutch ovens are made of dense cast iron, making them very heavy.
- They are expensive because they are premium products carefully crafted in France, unlike most cookware mass-produced in China or Thailand.
- Lastly, their surfaces are not non-stick, so when you brown meat, you will likely have to deal with some bits and pieces sticking to the bottom.
I tested Staub and Le Creuset to see if food sticks to one more than the other. I heated both to the same temperature and greased them with the same amount of oil. Once the oil coated the entire surface, I cracked an egg in each Dutch oven.
Although you’d never cook a fried egg in a Dutch oven, eggs are prone to sticking, so it’s a good way to test the cookware’s performance.
Unsurprisingly, the egg stuck to the surface of both Dutch ovens, and there was no noticeable difference in the “stickiness.”
Food will stick to almost any cookware besides a non-stick pan. But a 20-minute soak and a good scrub should get nearly anything off the bottom.
So, while there are a few downsides, they are consistent across both brands.
What Others Are Saying About Staub and Le Creuset
Staub and Le Creuset are two of the best-selling cookware brands in the world, and if you search for the “best Dutch ovens,” you’ll find them atop most lists.
But what do media outlets and independent product experts like about Staub and Le Creuset?
Which Dutch ovens are better according to these outlets?
Let’s take a look.
Food & Wine Magazine named the Le Creuset Signature Round Dutch Oven the Best Enameled Dutch Oven. The reviewers acknowledged its high cost but claimed it’s well worth the price since it can last decades or longer. They praised its slick interior surface, which prevents food from sticking, and its durable chip-resistant exterior. Staub wasn’t included in the list of the top options.
CNET tested several top-rated Dutch ovens and awarded the Staub 5-Quart Cocotte their Overall Favorite Dutch Oven. They highlighted that it’s significantly cheaper than a similar-sized Le Creuset Dutch oven with no noticeable differences in construction or performance. They also praised its self-basting lids and elegant design.
In the same article, CNET named Le Creuset The Best Dutch Oven If You’re Looking to Splurge. They called Le Creuset an “iconic French brand” and the “gold standard” of Dutch ovens. They love its stain-resistant porcelain enamel, large handles, and lid knob that stays cool on the stove. That said, they recognize that Le Creuset is a splurge and won’t fit in everyone’s budget.
The New York Times’ Wirecutter put the top Dutch oven brands to the test and named the Le Creuset Signature Dutch Oven their Upgrade Pick. The experts praised its large, roomy handles, durable coating, and easy-to-grab lid knob. Like CNET, Wirecutter experts used the term “gold standard” to describe Le Creuset.
Wirecutter also tested the Staub Dutch oven but didn’t like its dark interior. They claim the black finish makes it difficult to judge the doneness of meat or caramelized onions. They mentioned that the lid does an excellent job retaining moisture, but it retains so much that the braises and stews are more watery and less rich in flavor.
CNN Underscored tested 13 best-selling Dutch ovens and awarded Le Creuset the Best splurge Dutch Oven. It earned that honor thanks to its iconic design, even heat distribution, durability, and wide handles. They said it “aced all the tests,” and the only real downside is the price.
Staub ranked highly in CNN’s testing but not as high as Le Creuset. The reviewers praised its matte black interior and spiked, self-basting lid but pointed out that the lid knob and side handles are on the small side, making it challenging to handle, especially with oven mitts.
Food Network experts tested several Dutch ovens and named Le Creuset the Best Classic Design and Staub the Best Splurge. They applauded Le Creuset’s beautiful look that comes in over 20 different colors. They also highlighted its dome-shaped lid that promotes heat and moisture retention. Its iconic design is why people think of Le Creuset when they hear someone say “Dutch oven.”
They also liked Staub’s modern look with straight sides and dark interior. They also highlighted Staub’s excellent searing ability, thanks to its textured interior. Their one complaint was the dark interior made it challenging to see stains and bits of food when cleaning.
Test engineers at Consumer Reports put a selection of the top Dutch ovens to the test. They measured their ability to boil water, sear meat, simmer sauce, and bake bread. The Le Creuset Signature Dutch oven topped their ratings, earning an “Excellent” score in the browning test (the only Dutch oven to earn that score). Le Creuset also scored points for its wide handles and relatively lightweight construction.
Staub earned a “Very Good” score in Consumer Reports’ browning test, putting it in the top category but still behind Le Creuset. The reviewers didn’t like the dark interior, which made it more challenging to monitor browning.
Serious Eats tested 12 top Dutch ovens and called Staub and Le Creuset two of their favorites. The experts liked how chicken thighs didn’t stick to the Le Creuset, and the light-colored interior made it easy to spot fond developing. They also liked its wide handles and plethora of color options. They didn’t like how the diameter is under 8 inches, and some Le Creuset Dutch ovens come with a phenolic knob — they believe the stainless steel knob should be standard.
Serious Eats experts liked Staub’s wider (8.3-inch) diameter because it allows you to sear more food without overcrowding. They also found the flat lid interesting but mentioned the spikes on the underside of the lid the brand advertised as a critical feature don’t make a difference in reality.
FAQs About Staub and Le Creuset
Do you still have questions about Staub and Le Creuset Dutch ovens? Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions.
As I cover in detail in my guide to cleaning enameled cookware, cleaning Staub and Le Creuset requires dish soap, warm water, and a soft sponge.
If gently scrubbing doesn’t remove all stains, boil a few cups of water in the Dutch oven, mix two tablespoons of baking soda, and stir. Use a wooden spoon to scrape bits of food and a soft sponge to scrub any stubborn stains.
Never clean Staub or Le Creuset Dutch ovens with metal tools, steel wool, rough scrubbers, and abrasive sponges. They’ll scratch the enamel coating.
A 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven is the ideal size for most households, and both Staub and Le Creuset offer 5.5-quart models. That size provides enough capacity to cook stews, soups, and braises but won’t overcrowd your cabinets and stovetop.
As a rule of thumb, you’ll want about 1.5 quarts of capacity for each person in your household. So if you’re a household of three, go for at least a 4.5-quart Dutch oven.
No, you don’t need to season Staub and Le Creuset Dutch ovens like you would with a bare cast iron skillet. The enamel coating replaces seasoning by providing a stick-resistant, non-reactive layer between the iron and the food.
Yes. Staub and Le Creuset Dutch ovens are oven-safe up to 500°F, but Le Creuset black lid knobs have lower heat thresholds. Le Creuset’s Classic black phenolic knobs are only oven-safe up to 380°F, and the Signature black phenolic knobs are oven-safe up to 480°F.
Yes, both Staub and Le Creuset Dutch ovens are dishwasher-safe. However, I highly recommend hand washing them.
You can get away with putting Dutch ovens in the dishwasher occasionally, but the high water temperatures, steam, and harsh detergents will damage the enamel over time. Plus, utensils and other objects in the dishwasher can scratch the surface.
Yes, both Dutch ovens are compatible with all cooktops, including induction. That said, you need to be careful using heavy cast iron cookware on glass cooktops. If you accidentally drop it, you could break the cooktop.
Check out my guide to cooking with cast iron on glass cooktops to learn more.
Le Creuset and Staub Dutch ovens are safe on the stove, oven, and even over an open flame, but they are not microwave-safe. In fact, putting any metal in the microwave is dangerous and can ruin your appliance.
Staub and Le Creuset Dutch ovens are available in kitchen supply stores like Crate and Barrel, Williams Sonoma, Macy’s, and Sur La Table. They’re also available on Amazon at these links: Staub and Le Creuset.
I detail why Le Creuset is so expensive in this in-depth review, but, in short, the high price reflects the high demand.
People love Le Creuset’s iconic French-made design and the history of the brand. Owning a Le Creuset Dutch oven is a status symbol. It shows you care about cooking and are willing to invest in the best brand.
Staub is expensive for the same reasons. It’s a brand with a long history, and its Dutch ovens are lauded by French chefs for their high performance.
Unlike other brands (like Lodge), Staub and Le Creuset haven’t outsourced production to China to cut costs. Their quality standards and commitment to tradition maintain the brands’ prestige and keep demand (and prices) high.
Like most premium products, Staub and Le Creuset Dutch ovens rarely go on sale. Sales vary by retailer, but the most common times you can find discounts are on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Prime Day, and Presidents Day Weekend.
Le Creuset has a “Specials” page on its website where they list discounted products. Occasionally, Dutch ovens are listed for sale on that page.
Le Creuset is pronounced “luh-CROO-zay” with the emphasis on the “CROO.” Staub is pronounced “SHTAH-b.”
Staub and Le Creuset are both iconic, high-end brands that are known for carefully crafted, high-quality Dutch ovens and other cookware. The biggest downside of Staub and Le Creuset is that they are expensive.
Although I highly recommend Staub and Le Creuset, there are several high quality, less costly alternatives.
Made In Dutch Oven
The alternative that I recommend the most is the Made In Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven.
- It’s made in France in a factory that’s been producing premium enameled cast iron cookware for over a century.
- Thick 6 mm walls provide superior heat retention.
- It has the same self-basting lid design as Staub Dutch ovens.
- Features a wide knob that makes lifting the lid easy, even with an oven mitt.
- It’s significantly less expensive than both Le Creuset and Staub (check price on MadeInCookware.com)
- It’s only available in one size: 5.5 quarts.
- It’s only available in navy blue.
- The dark interior makes it difficult to monitor browning and fond development (similar to Staub).
Read my comparison of Made In vs. Le Creuset to learn more.
Lodge Dutch Oven
Another worthy alternative to Staub and Le Creuset is the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven.
- Lodge is a family-owned business founded in 1896. They are known for making high-quality cast iron skillets (see my review), Dutch ovens (see my review), and other cookware.
- It is made from the same materials as Staub and Le Creuset: cast iron coated porcelain enamel.
- It comes in 13 different exterior colors with a sand-colored interior.
- Almost all of the reviews on Amazon are 4 or 5 stars.
- Significantly less expensive than Staub and Le Creuset. Check the current price on Amazon.
- The biggest complaint about the Lodge Dutch oven is that it is not durable.
- The enamel coating chips, cracks, and stains easily.
- It’s very heavy. The 6-quart version weighs 16 pounds compared to the Le Creuset 7.25-quart version that weighs 12 pounds.
- It’s made in China.
Bottom Line: Should You Buy a Staub or Le Creuset Dutch Oven?
Now that you know how Staub Dutch ovens compare to Le Creuset, it’s time to decide which brand to buy.
Should you go with a stunning, brightly-colored Le Creuset or opt for a Staub with superior moisture retention?
Ultimately, you can’t go wrong with either Dutch oven. Staub and Le Creuset Dutch ovens are high-performing, ultra-durable, and elegantly designed.
If you still can’t make up your mind, I recommend Le Creuset. It costs more, but it’s worth the investment.
Le Creuset Dutch ovens are lighter than Staub (although still heavy) and have larger handles, making them easier to maneuver. I also prefer the light-colored interiors, which allow you to monitor browning more clearly.
You could argue that Staub delivers better performance since it has a heavier lid, thicker walls, and retains more heat and moisture. And, all of that is true. But after cooking dozens of meals with both brands, I haven’t noticed a significant difference in the results.
Both brands are available on Amazon, so check them out, read more reviews, and enjoy whichever one you choose for many years to come.
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