Are you searching for the best Dutch oven but can’t decide between Staub and Lodge?
Both brands are well respected, built to last, and offer attractive designs. But which Dutch oven brand is better for your home?
In this comparison of Staub vs. Lodge Dutch ovens, you’ll learn how they differ in construction, design, product offerings, price, common complaints, and much more.
Plus, I’ll share the results of my heat and moisture retention tests, so you know what to expect when cooking with each brand.
Use the links below to navigate the comparison:
- Staub vs. Lodge: Comparison Chart
- Similarities Between Staub and Lodge Dutch Ovens
- Differences Between Staub and Lodge Dutch Ovens
- Bottom Line: Should You Buy a Staub or Lodge Dutch Oven?
Here is a quick comparison of Staub vs. Lodge Dutch ovens:
|Price||$$$ (view on Amazon)||$$ (view on Amazon)|
|Materials||Enameled cast iron||Enameled and bare cast iron|
|Where It’s Made||France||China (enameled cast iron) and Tennessee (bare cast iron)|
|Exterior Color Options||13||7|
|Size Options||22 options from 0.275 qt – 13.25 qt||6 options 1.5 qt – 7.5 qt|
|Side Handles||.75-inch openings||.75-inch openings|
|Lid Knobs||Round or animal-shaped (chicken, fish, pig) in polished nickel, brushed stainless steel, or polished brass||Round, polished stainless steel|
|Common Complaints||Expensive, dark interior makes it difficult to monitor browning, chipping, small handles||Chipping, exposed cast iron rims, loose lids, made in China|
|Other Products||Cast iron braisers, fry pans, woks, grill pans, roasters, baking dishes, au gratins, and specialty cookware Tea kettles, fondue pots, and kitchen accessories Ceramic bakeware||Cast iron skillets, woks, baking pans, and griddles Enameled casserole Carbon steel skillets and griddles|
Before I break down the differences between Staub and Lodge Dutch ovens, let’s review how they’re alike.
When cooking with enameled cast iron Dutch ovens, you want them to be as heavy as you can comfortably manage because thicker walls mean better heat retention. Yes, thick-walled cast iron cookware will take some time to heat, but once it gets hot, it stays hot.
Staub and Lodge Dutch ovens boast thick cast iron walls, making them masters of heat retention.
Both feature tight-fitting lids to lock in moisture and can be used on all cooktops, including induction.
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Since they are similarly constructed, you’ll get similar performance whether cooking on a burner or in the oven.
Both Staub and Lodge Dutch ovens are made from cast iron.
Both companies use high-quality raw materials, such as pig iron and recycled steel, and finish the Dutch ovens with multiple layers of enamel coating (Lodge applies two layers, Staub applies two or three depending on the color).
Both Staub and Lodge Dutch ovens are ready to use after a quick wash. There is no seasoning required due to the enamel coating.
Both are easy to use, especially for new cooks. And if you choose a bare cast iron offering from Lodge instead of enameled cast iron, it comes pre-seasoned.
So, if the idea of “seasoning” has kept you from trying cast iron, enameled cast iron removes that issue entirely.
Staub and Lodge are similar in that both brands produce Dutch ovens, lids, and knobs that are oven-safe up to 500°F.
If you remove the Staub lid, the Dutch oven is safe to use at up to 900°F, which, by the way, is usually the max temperature of some wood-fired pizza ovens.
Differences Between Staub and Lodge Dutch Ovens
Now that you know the similarities between Staub and Lodge Dutch ovens, let’s review the key differences.
While lids on Staub and Lodge Dutch ovens are designed to fit snugly to retain moisture, they are designed differently.
Staub has a self-basting system that utilizes small spikes that cover the interior of its enameled cast iron lids. As the steam rises, droplets form on the spikes and create a rainfall pattern of moisture. As a benefit, you get an even distribution of moisture.
Conversely, Lodge interior enameled cast iron lids have a smooth texture. As moisture collects on the lid, it mostly slides down the walls of the cookware. You still get moist food, but the food along the sides receives the most basting.
Besides its traditional cast iron lids, some Staub Dutch ovens come with smooth, borosilicate tempered glass lids. Lodge does not offer glass lids for its enameled cast iron cookware.
While both have relatively small handle openings (.75 inches), Lodge Dutch oven handles are rounded and more elongated than Staub.
Staub’s handles are shorter but squared off. The square design makes them easier to grab with an oven mitt or heat-resistant silicone grips.
Staub offers knobs in polished nickel, brushed stainless steel, and polished brass. Most knobs are round, but the company also offers knobs shaped like plants and different animals of the land and sea, such as a rooster or a fish.
Lodge only offers round knobs in polished stainless steel with the logo etched into it. The knobs are thicker than Staub’s round knobs.
Both offer a variety of color choices, but Lodge provides more options than Staub.
Lodge advertises the following colors on its site:
- Midnight Chrome
- Desert Sage
On the Lodge Amazon store, you can also find:
- Caribbean Blue
- Storm Blue
- Burnt Sienna
- Cornflower Gradated
- Gray Gradated
- Lagoon Gradated
- Solid Red
- Holiday Green
- Solid Slate
Lodge oval Dutch ovens come in two colors: Oyster and Red.
Overall, Lodge Dutch ovens are glossy and have a solid or gradient color scheme.
With Staub, you can get up to 13 color choices. Some are glossy, some are matte, and many have a subtle gradient instead of one-tone color.
You can choose from:
- Black Matte
- Burnt Orange
- Dark Blue
- Graphite Grey
- La Mer
- Shiny Black
- White Truffle
Clearly, Lodge offers twice the colors that Staub has, but Staub provides a mix of glossy and matte shades in solid and gradient styles.
Lodge Dutch ovens feature a smooth, light-colored interior, much like Le Creuset (another popular Dutch oven brand).
Alternatively, Staub Dutch ovens have a dark interior with a spiked surface on the lid and a textured cooking surface.
There are pros and cons to both designs:
- The light-colored interior of Lodge is superior to the dark interior Staub uses in terms of monitoring browning and developing the fond (the brown bits left after browning meat or vegetables). However, seasoned cooks may not have an issue, especially if you are used to black, bare cast iron.
- Staub’s dark interior hides wear and discoloration; Lodge’s lighter interior will show everything.
- When washing Staub cookware, it’s harder to know if you missed some food debris on the darker surface.
- The dark textured surface of Staub has more of a non-stick quality than Lodge’s trademark smooth interiors. Plus, the texture aids in searing meats evenly.
- The spiked interior on Staub’s lid provides a more even distribution of moisture because the moisture drips down from the spikes. The smooth interior of Lodge Dutch oven lids causes the moisture to be distributed mostly around the interior sides of the cookware.
Staub offers more Dutch oven sizes than Lodge, including large Dutch ovens and mini French ovens called cocottes.
Staub Dutch ovens come in the following sizes:
- 0.275 qt
- 0.425 qt
- 0.775 qt
- 0.844 qt
- 1.063 qt
- 1.25 qt
- 1.5 qt
- 1.875 qt
- 2.75 qt
- 3 qt
- 3.17 qt
- 3.75 qt
- 3.81 qt
- 4 qt
- 5 qt
- 5.5 qt
- 5.75 qt
- 6 qt
- 6.34 qt
- 7 qt
- 8.75 qt
- 13.25 qt
Lodge offers roughly a half-dozen sizes in the round Dutch ovens. The oval Dutch ovens only come in one 7-quart size.
Lodge round Dutch oven sizes include:
- 1.5 qt
- 3 qt
- 4.5 qt
- 6 qt
- 7 qt
- 7.5 qt
If you’re looking for a standard-sized Dutch oven (between 4 and 7 quarts), both brands have you covered. But if you’re looking for a mini Dutch oven for small meals or a larger size for entertaining, Staub provides more options.
Staub offers Dutch ovens in multiple shapes. It features standard round and oval-shaped Dutch ovens and also offers cocottes shaped like pumpkins and basil plants.
Lodge does not offer this level of variety. Lodge Dutch ovens are either round or oval (and oval Dutch ovens are limited to 7 quarts).
Dutch ovens are known for tight-fitting lids that lock in moisture, keeping food tender and moist. But in some cases, you want moisture to escape.
For example, sauces need to be reduced to develop flavor. However, you can tilt the lid or remove it completely in those scenarios. When the lid is on, you want moisture to stay in the pot.
So, which Dutch oven has the better moisture retention?
To find out, I conducted a simple test.
I poured 32 ounces of water into a Lodge and Staub Dutch oven and secured the lids on top. Then, I placed both Dutch ovens on the stove and turned the heat to high.
Once the water in each Dutch oven began boiling, I lowered the heat to medium and let it simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes of simmering, I turned the heat off and let the Dutch ovens sit on the stove for another 30 minutes.
I kept the lids on throughout the entire process.
After the additional 30 minutes, I removed the lids and poured the water into measuring cups. The Lodge Dutch oven retained 30 of the 32 ounces, and the Staub Dutch oven retained just shy of 32 ounces.
Both performed well, but, based on my test, Staub Dutch ovens retain more moisture than Lodge.
Another benefit of Dutch ovens is that the thick walls retain heat exceptionally well.
Heat retention is important for searing, keeping soup or stews warm for long periods, and overall cooking performance.
Cookware with good heat retention cooks food more evenly because the temperature remains stable, even when adding ingredients.
To test Lodge’s heat retention vs. Staub, I conducted another test. I boiled 32 ounces of water in each Dutch oven. Once the water started boiling, I simultaneously set them on the counter to cool.
After 10 minutes, the water in the Lodge Dutch oven measured 130.8°F.
After 20 minutes, the water temperature dropped to 105.6°F.
The Staub Dutch oven performed even better. After 10 minutes, the water temperature was 136.2°F. After 20 minutes, the water temperature was 111.3°F.
|Dutch Oven||Water Temperature (10 minutes)||Water Temperature (20 minutes)|
Staub retains heat the best based on these tests, followed by Tramontina and then by Lodge in third place. Surprisingly, Le Creuset, arguably the most famous Dutch oven brand, came fourth.
All Staub Dutch ovens are made in Merville, France. The company uses a delicate balance of machine intervention and the skilled hands of artisans. A single Dutch oven takes one week to make, and over 20 people are involved.
Watch the inner workings of the Staub factory in this quick video.
Lodge’s bare cast iron Dutch ovens are made in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, but the enameled cast iron Dutch ovens are made in China.
Lodge claims that they impose strict quality standards in all of the factories. In its China factory, an American-owned, third-party inspector enforces quality standards.
In addition to ancient techniques such as sand molding, Lodge also uses machines, computers, and the expertise of its cookware artisans to create long-lasting Dutch ovens.
You can watch Lodge’s manufacturing process in this behind-the-scenes video (note, this video shows its US factory, not its operation in China).
Lodge backs its Dutch ovens with the Lodge Promise. It’s not your typical cookware warranty. It’s a promise to improve your experience if you have any issues.
Staub offers a limited warranty that covers defects in materials or craftsmanship. Crack or chips that occur during use are not considered normal wear-and-tear and not covered by the warranty.
Theoretically, the main difference here is that Lodge is ready to resolve your issue if you have a chipped Dutch oven, and Staub classifies such damage as normal wear-and-tear.
Yet, if you feel the product is defective, Staub uses an inspection process to determine product replacement qualifications. You can still submit a warranty claim.
Staub is known primarily for its enameled cast iron Dutch ovens, but the company also sells ceramic bakeware, such as pie dishes, bowls, ramekins, gratins, and baking dishes.
Additionally, Staub features an extensive collection of enameled cast iron cookware, as well as tea kettles, fondue pots, trivets, and kitchen accessories.
Lodge is known for its pre-seasoned bare cast iron skillets. In fact, the 10.25-inch cast iron skillet is one of the best-selling and most rated cookware products on Amazon, with thousands of reviews (check out my in-depth review).
When it comes to bare cast iron cookware, Lodge is one of the best brands you can buy.
Lodge also makes cast iron bakeware, carbon steel cookware, and kitchen accessories.
The main complaint with Staub is the price. It’s not the most expensive Dutch oven you can buy, but it’s close. Some people also complain that it’s heavy, but that goes with the territory when considering cast iron.
Some Staub users report chipping or cracking after a few months of use. Although that information is anecdotal, it’s something to consider before making your choice. Plus, if you are not used to working with dark cookware, you might find it hard to monitor how your food is browning.
As for Lodge, chipping seems to be the number one issue, followed by the extra maintenance the exposed cast iron rims require to keep them rust-free.
Lodge Dutch ovens are also notoriously heavy. For example, the Lodge 7.5 qt round Dutch oven weighs over 17 pounds. The Staub 7 qt round Dutch oven comes in at just over 15 pounds.
Lodge Dutch ovens feature a rounded bottom and sides. Some people with electric cooktops complain that the shape hinders the pot’s contact with the heat source. So, it takes much longer to heat.
Finally, some Lodge users are not enamored with the fact that Lodge enameled Dutch ovens are made in China, especially when Lodge leans so heavily on their “Made in the USA” branding (its bare cast iron products are made in the USA).
Staub Dutch ovens are considerably more expensive than Lodge.
A Staub 7 qt enameled cast iron oval Dutch oven is roughly three times more expensive than a comparably sized and shaped Lodge Dutch oven.
The price difference is primarily because Staub manufactures all of its enameled cast iron Dutch ovens in France and Lodge manufactures its enameled cast iron Dutch ovens in China. But the added features, such as the self-basting lids and dark interiors, play a role too.
The chart below shows the current prices of Staub and Lodge Dutch ovens so you can compare side-by-side:
|Dutch Oven||Price||View Details|
|Lodge 3-quart Dutch Oven||Amazon|
|Lodge 4.5-quart Dutch Oven||Amazon|
|Lodge 5-quart Dutch Oven (bare cast iron)||Amazon|
|Lodge 6-quart Dutch Oven||Amazon|
|Lodge 7-quart Dutch Oven||Amazon|
|Staub 4-quart Dutch oven||Amazon|
|Staub 5.5-quart Dutch oven||Amazon|
|Staub 5.75-quart Dutch oven||Amazon|
|Staub 6-quart Dutch oven||Amazon|
|Staub 7-quart Dutch oven||Amazon|
Now that you know the similarities and differences between Staub and Lodge Dutch ovens, it’s time to decide which is right for you.
Before I give you my recommendation, let’s quickly recap.
- Staub Dutch ovens are more expensive than Lodge.
- No seasoning is required for either brand — the enamel surface is ready to use after a quick clean.
- Staub’s lids feature spikes on the interior that evenly distribute moisture while cooking. Lodge lids have a smooth interior.
- Lodge handles are longer and rounded. Staub handles are squared off on the edges.
- Although they both feature round knobs, they are shaped differently. Lodge’s are thicker and easier to grip. Staub has a variety of knob finishes and designs that resemble nature and animals.
- Both offer different color options, but Lodge provides more variety.
- Staub’s cookware interior is dark and features a textured cooking surface for advanced searing. Lodge has a light-colored interior and a smooth cooking surface.
- Staub offers more size options and shapes than Lodge.
- Based on my tests, Staub retains moisture and heat better than Lodge.
- Staub Dutch ovens are made in France; Lodge’s are made in China.
- If you have an issue with your cookware, such as chipping or cracking, Lodge offers a promise to make it right. Staub will only replace a chipped or cracked item if it is defective.
Staub Dutch ovens have a slight edge in terms of heat and moisture retention, offer a unique self-basting system, and come in more sizes.
Plus, they’re made in Staub’s French factories by expert artisans. When you buy Staub, you know you’re getting a quality piece of cookware.
Lodge is tough to beat if you’re looking for an affordable Dutch oven in a standard size. It performs similarly to Staub and costs significantly less.
Although its enameled Dutch ovens are made in China, Lodge is a highly-reputable American company that’s been in business since 1896.
If you’re still on the fence, I recommend Staub. It’s the type of cookware you’ll enjoy for years (and maybe decades), so the higher upfront cost is well worth it.
Check out both options at the links below:
- Staub Dutch ovens on Amazon, Zwilling.com, or SurLaTable.com
- Lodge Dutch ovens on Amazon or Walmart.com
- Staub vs. Le Creuset: Which Dutch Ovens Are Better?
- Lodge Dutch Oven In-Depth Review: Pros and Cons You Need to Know
- Are Lodge Cast Iron Skillets Any Good? An In-Depth Review
- Lodge vs. Le Creuset Dutch Ovens: What’s the Difference?
- Lodge vs. Tramontina: Which Dutch Ovens Are Better?
- 5 Cheaper Alternatives to Le Creuset Dutch Ovens
- Le Creuset vs. Tramontina: Which Dutch Ovens Are Better?
- Is Le Creuset Worth the High Price? An In-Depth Review
- Great Jones vs. Le Creuset: Which Dutch Oven Is Better?
- Caraway vs. Le Creuset: Which Cookware Is Better?
- Oval vs. Round Dutch Ovens: Which Shape Is Better?