If you’re in the market for a Dutch oven and trying to decide between Staub and Le Creuset, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I provide a detailed comparison of Staub vs. Le Creuset Dutch ovens and dive deep into their similarities, differences, pros, and cons.
By the end, you’ll know exactly how they compare in terms of cooking performance, design, size options, warranty, price, and much more.
Let’s jump right in!
Click the links below to jump straight to a section:
- Staub vs. Le Creuset: 30-Second Summary
- Comparison Chart
- A Deeper Dive Into Their Differences
- A Deeper Dive Into Their Similarities
- Other Dutch Oven Brands Worth Considering
- What Is a Dutch Oven?
- The Bottom Line: Which Dutch Oven Is the Best, Staub or Le Creuset?
If you only have a minute and are looking for a quick comparison of Staub vs. Le Creuset Dutch ovens, here’s what you need to know.
- Lid Handles: Staub handles are made of steel and are available in animal-shaped designs. Le Creuset handles are round and made of a synthetic black phenolic material.
- Lid Interior: Staub lids have small bumps on the interior to collect and evenly distribute evaporated liquid across the entire pot. Le Creuset lids have a smooth finish on the interior.
- 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, most of which are earth tones. Le Creuset offers twenty different exterior colors, including bright and vibrant options, in addition to earth tones.
- Size Options: Staub offers 13 different shapes and sizes. Le Creuset offers 10.
- Price: Both brands are pricey, but Staub is generally $20-$30 less expensive, depending on size.
- Where They’re Made: Staub and Le Creuset both design and manufacture their Dutch ovens in France.
- Materials: Both brands make their Dutch ovens out of cast iron coated in enamel.
- Lifetime Warranty: Both brands guarantee their products with a lifetime warranty.
- Cooking Performance: Their cooking performance is nearly identical. Both Staub and Le Creuset Dutch ovens effectively trap moisture, conduct heat evenly, and retain heat for long periods.
- Endorsed by Pro Chefs: Both brands are used and endorsed by renowned chefs.
- Cleaning: They are dishwasher safe, but both brands recommend hand washing.
- Common Complaints: Customers complain that both are heavy, expensive, and food sticks to the bottom.
- Purchasing Options: You can buy both in most kitchen supply stores like Crate and Barrel, Williams Sonoma, and on Amazon (links to Staub and Le Creuset on Amazon).
(Swipe left and right to view the entire chart on mobile)
|Staub Dutch Ovens||Le Creuset Dutch Ovens|
|Where They Are Made||Alsace, France||Fresnoy-le-Grand, France|
|Material||Cast Iron Coated In Enamel||Cast Iron Coated In Enamel|
|Endorsed By Professional Chefs||Yes||Yes|
|Cleaning||Dishwasher Safe, Hand Wash Recommended||Dishwasher Safe, Hand Wash Recommended|
|Common Complaints||Heavy, Expensive, Food Sticks||Heavy, Expensive, Food Sticks|
|Handle/Knob||Steel With A Nickel Or Brass Exterior. Oven Safe Up To 500 Degrees Fahrenheit.||Black Phenolic Knob. Oven Safe Up To 500 Degrees Fahrenheit.|
|Lid||Small Bumps Underneath Lid To Capture And Evenly Distribute Evaporated Liquid.||Smooth Surface.|
|Interior||Matte Black Interior That Won't Show Discoloration Over Time.||Smooth, Sand Colored.|
|Sizes Of Round Dutch Ovens (Quarts)||.5, .75, 1.25, 2.75, 4, 5.5, 7, 9, 13.25||2, 3.5, 4.5, 5.5, 7.25|
|Sizes Of Oval Dutch Ovens (Quarts)||1, 4, 7, 8.5||1, 2.75, 3.5, 5, 6.75|
|Price||Varies By Seller (Check Amazon)||Varies By Seller (Check Amazon)|
When I was in the market for a Dutch oven, I was completely torn between which brand to buy. On the surface, Staub and Le Creuset seemed so similar, but after digging into the details, I learned they have several key differences. In fact, they are different in several areas, including design, interior, color, texture, sizes, and price.
Let’s take a closer look at those differences.
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 degrees Fahrenheit 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 its signature black phenolic knob that doesn’t get hot on the stove and is oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Most of their models also come with a stainless steel knob that you can easily attach and is oven safe at any temperature. If the particular Dutch oven that you are considering does not come with the stainless steel knob, you can buy one for around $20 on Amazon (link to Amazon).
If you turn over the lid, you’ll see a 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.
Although the inside of Le Creuset lids is smooth, it’s equally effective at sealing in moisture.
The bumps on Staub lids are a nice feature, and the science behind the design makes sense, but as long as moisture is sealed inside (which it is which both Dutch ovens), the food will come out juicy and tender, and the impact of those bumps won’t be noticeable.
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 makes this task more difficult.
Staub’s dark interior prevents food from sticking and makes it easier to achieve an even sear on meats.
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 the video below 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 “Carribean” 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.
Sizes of round Dutch ovens (in quarts): .5, .75, 1.25, 2.75, 4, 5.5, 7, 9, 13.25
Sizes of oval Dutch ovens (in quarts): 1, 4, 7, 8.5
Sizes of round Dutch ovens (in quarts): 2, 3.5, 4.5, 5.5, 7.25
Sizes of oval Dutch ovens (in quarts): 1, 2.75, 3.5, 5, 6.75
As I’ve mentioned, 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 (links below).
Now that we’ve covered what makes Staub and Le Creuset different, let’s look at all the ways they are similar.
Where They Are 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. They make other products in Thailand, but all of their cast iron products are still made in France. All of Staub’s cast iron products are made in Alsace, France, with a similar process and attention to quality and detail.
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 dense material. Due to its density, it heats up slower than most cookware, but once heated, it distributes heat evenly and retains it for a long duration. Even heat conduction is a massive benefit of both of these dutch ovens thanks to their cast iron material, and I’ll cover more on this topic later in this article (jump to it).
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. If you’re interested in reading the fine print, here are links to each company’s warranty: Staub lifetime warranty, Le Creuset lifetime warranty.
In my opinion, the most important factor when choosing between Staub and Le Creuset is performance. Of course, the trouble with this category is it is incredibly subjective. To measure it, you would need to conduct a controlled experiment where the only variable is the Dutch oven. I’m not going to do that, but what I can tell you is that I’ve enjoyed meals made by Staub and Le Creuset, and they’ve both been equally delicious.
As I will explain in the next section, the differences that could impact performance, like the underside of the lid, are subtle, and it’s tough to determine if they have any impact.
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.
Jamie Bissonnette, award-winning chef and owner of Toro in New York and Boston among other restaurants, was quoted in NY Magazine saying, “Le Creuset Dutch ovens are the best heavy-bottom braising pots.” (source)
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.
If you read reviews for Staub and Le Creuset, you’ll see that the vast majority of them are very positive.
I dug into the few dozen negative reviews that I could find to figure out what people don’t like about these brands.
Interestingly, the three themes that surfaced were the same for both Staub and Le Creuset.
Those themes were: it’s heavy, it’s expensive, and food sticks to the bottom.
Based on my experience, I have to agree with these critics.
- Dutch ovens are made out of dense cast iron, which makes them very heavy.
- They are expensive because they are premium products that are carefully crafted in France, unlike most cookware that is 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.
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 and are things you need to expect when you’re dealing with this type of cookware.
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 would highly recommend Staub or Le Creuset, if you’re looking for a less costly dutch oven, there are several quality options on the market.
Lodge 6 Quart 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.
Cuisinart Stainless Steel Dutch Oven with Glass Cover
- Made out of stainless steel, which is known for even heat conduction, consistent cooking, and no hot spots.
- Glass lid that locks in moisture and allows you to monitor the food without breaking the seal.
- Oven and dishwasher-safe.
- It weighs only 4.9 pounds, significantly lighter than cast iron dutch ovens.
- Even less expensive than Lodge. Check the current price on Amazon.
- Cast iron has more thermal mass, which makes it a superior material for long and slow cooking (which is why you buy a dutch oven, right?).
- Heat is focused on the bottom and not distributed as evenly as cast iron.
- Stainless steel sticks and stains easily.
- The lid gets extremely hot.
- It feels cheap.
A Dutch oven is a heavy cooking pot with a lid that is often made out of cast iron. Dutch ovens are known for their durability and ability to maintain heat evenly for long periods, which makes them the perfect cookware for soups, stews, and braises.
There are a few things that differentiate Dutch ovens from other similar cookware.
Dutch ovens are incredibly versatile. They can be used on the stove, in the oven, and are often aesthetically pleasing enough to use as a serving pot. They are the perfect cookware for delicious one-pot meals that make clean up super easy.
Their heavy lid traps evaporated liquid inside the pot, creating a natural basting process. This moisture lock is the magic of a Dutch oven and is the core reason why they are so ideal for slow cooking. Rather than burning off, the evaporated moisture which is full of flavor gets reincorporated, resulting in juicy, tender, and delicious meals.
Cast iron, relative to other materials like copper or aluminum, is an inferior heat conductor. This means that cast iron Dutch ovens will take time to heat up; however, once heated, they distribute the heat completely even. They will hold onto that heat for an extended period after it’s removed from the heat source.
This is a huge benefit for a couple of reasons. First, the even heat distribution means you don’t need to keep checking the food and moving it around. You can trust that every part of the cookware, including the sides, is cooking the food perfectly even. Second, if you are entertaining guests and need to keep food warm for extended periods, dutch ovens will hold the temperature but not overcook the food.
Cast iron is an extremely dense and nearly indestructible material, which means your Dutch oven will last a lifetime. When you pick up a Dutch oven, you will immediately feel the weight and durability in your hands. To give you an idea, Le Creuset 6.75 quart oval Dutch oven weighs 13.2 pounds.
Cast Iron vs. Enameled Dutch ovens
When you think of a Dutch oven today, you are likely thinking of a brightly colored pot with a lid on top. If you open the lid, the inside is usually colored white, and the surface is smooth. What you’re thinking of is enameled cast iron Dutch oven.
The core of it is cast iron, and the surface is covered with a thin layer of porcelain enamel. With an enameled Dutch oven, you get the durability and heat conduction benefits of cast iron, but it’s easier to clean, doesn’t need to be seasoned, and can withstand acidic foods. The fact that, unlike regular cast iron, enameled can withstand acid foods is important because many of the best Dutch oven recipes include tomato sauce and wine. Both of those ingredients are extremely acidic and would break down the seasoning and ruin a regular cast iron surface.
The Staub and Le Creuset Dutch ovens that we are comparing in this article are enameled. To learn more, we recently published an article that goes in-depth on how to cook, clean, and care for cast iron cookware.
When I am deciding between Staub and Le Creuset, the most important things to me are cooking performance, price, and aesthetics.
The cooking performance is arguably the same, and Le Creuset is marginally more expensive, so the deciding factor came down to aesthetics.
In the end, I chose the Le Creuset 5.5 quart round Dutch oven in the Marine blue color. I strongly prefer the design of Le Creuset over Staub. The design of the Le Creuset Dutch oven is more elegant and modern, which goes well with the style of my kitchen.
The truth is, both brands are incredibly effective at what they do, and their differences are so subtle that so you really can’t go wrong with either.
Both brands are available on Amazon, so check them out, read more reviews, and enjoy whichever one you choose for many years to come.
- Check out the Le Creuset that I purchased on Amazon – round, 5.5 quart, Marine color (link to Amazon)
- Check out a comparable option from Staub on Amazon – round, 5.5 quarts, dark blue color (link to Amazon)
Thank you for reading our review of Staub vs. Le Creuset cast iron Dutch ovens!
We hope you enjoyed the review and that you are one step closer to deciding between these two well-known brands.
Have you had a different experience with Staub or Le Creuset? Do you agree or disagree with our comparison? Are there any other Dutch oven brands that you think are better? Please let us know in the comments section; we would love to hear your feedback.
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