Le Creuset Vs Staub: The Similarities
Both Le Creuset and Staub have become household names and are highly sought-after. To start with the similarities, both of these are premium French brands that have roots dating back to the 20th century, meaning they know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to cookware. The essential thing to know is: enameled cast iron Dutch ovens are the specialty across the board here.
Staub Vs Le Creuset: Which Brand Makes The Best Dutch Oven
Any discussion pertaining to enameled cast-iron begins and ends with two brands.
The role of the enameled dutch oven is to serve as a vessel when preparing anything that takes a while to cook. Their weight keeps temperatures even during hours of cooking their tight-fitting lids keep moisture in and because theyre in fact cast-iron, theyre capable of reaching heat levels needed to acquire crusty goodness .
Any discussion pertaining to enameled cast-iron begins and ends with two brands: Le Creuset and Staub. Both are French, and share the crown by delivering on similar promises: slow-but-even heating, extra durable enameled interior and exterior, fitted lids, unmatched braising abilities and, finally, lifetime warranties. Youll frequently find sales on both brands, but, if youre going to drop the kind of coin required to pick one up, you should know which to buy and for what reasons.
To draw my own conclusions, I tested a 5.5-quart model from each brand and made the most stereotypical dutch oven dish there is the classic beef bourguignon as well as a few other recipes. This is the short of it.
Review: Staub Cast Iron Round Cocette
Staub is another premium cookware brand that specializes in enameled cast iron cookware. Staub was founded in 1974 in Alsace, France. Their production still remains in France but has moved to Merville.
Staub has been around for about half as long as Le Creuset, but their products are made with equally high standards and attention to detail.
The Cocotte , as Staub calls it, is the companys most popular and widely used item. In most English speaking countries around the world, these dishes are known as casseroles. In the US we generally call them Dutch ovens, and in France cocotte is typical. Staub decided to use the French name in all markets, and cocotte is actually molded into the lids of their pieces.
Staubs cocottes are primarily round, with a handful of ovals available. They also offer various specialty and seasonal shapes and sizes.
Recommended Reading: Pork Loin Recipes In Oven
Which Is Better Le Creuset Vs Staub
While I reached for the Le Creuset pan more for everyday dinners, like stews or refried beans, the power that the Staub holds with the black enamel means it was my go-to vessel for grilling and searing.
The affordability of the Staub also means that if I was purchasing a Dutch oven myself, I would likely opt for it, as I found the quality remarkably similar to the Le Creuset, though you may lose some prestige points. Whichever brand you opt for, the lifetime guarantees applied to both will go a long way when it comes to peace of mind about parting with that much money, and the fact that these ovens can last for decades certainly makes me more mindful when cleaning and storing.
Our Head of Reviews Millie Fender, who’s reviewed the top-rated cookware on the market, from Le Creuset’s bread oven to viral frying pans. weighed in on her experiences using both Le Creuset and Staub cookware saying “There’s no denying that the Le Creuset cast iron is iconic, especially if you want a matching cookware set to go alongside it. It is a hefty choice, not suitable for those who struggle with lifting weighty pots in and out of the oven, but because of the color and size options available I think this is the top choice for those who want to start a coordinated cookware collection.”
What To Look For When Buying A Dutch Oven
When shopping for the perfect Dutch oven, you’ll want to consider the size of the pot. That’s probably the most important decision you’ll make so give it some real thought. The most popular interior sizes are between four and seven quarts, but you can find products as small as 2 quarts or as large as 10 or more. If you tend to make large holiday meals with lots of grub for your extended family, a bigger Dutch oven might serve you well. Just keep in mind that larger pots will be quite heavy . I personally think a 4-quart Dutch oven is great for a single person or couple but would probably bump up to a 6-quart if I had a few kids or more mouths to feed on the regular. Keep in mind, most are cast iron so they’re not particularly light, so don’t overshoot just for the heck of it.
Recommended Reading: Cubed Sweet Potatoes In Oven
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers
The bottom of the Lodge has a slightly curved surface compared with Le Creusets oven. Thats an asset when sautéing vegetables or caramelizing onions, but the Lodge required a few extra minutes to achieve the same level of sear on large cuts of meat, compared with other ovens with flatter surface areas. The base is an inch smaller than that on Le Creusets oven, so you have a little less room to brown meat if youre cooking in large batches.
Weve seen complaints from Amazon reviewers, our readers, and a few Wirecutter staff members that the Lodges enamel chips easily. We havent experienced any chipping ourselves, and Lodge told us that its warranty covers cracked or chipped enamel. But one Wirecutter writer with a damaged pot did not hear back from Lodges customer service. The Lodge is much more affordable than our upgrade pick, but it may also have a shorter lifespan. Price isnt always a tradeoff for quality, but in the case of Dutch ovens, it may be something to consider.
Who This Is For
An enameled Dutch oven is a multipurpose pot that you can use for all kinds of recipes, including braising, baking bread, boiling pasta water, and even deep frying. These pots are particularly well-suited to slow cooking not only because they effectively retain heat, but also because they can be transferred from stovetop to oven, so you can sear and then braise meats. Their lids trap in moisture as food cooks, which makes everything inside extra-tender. And unlike bare cast iron, the enamel is easy to clean and maintain.
A 5½- to 6½-quart oven should serve two to four people, and we think this size will work for most cooking tasks. If youre feeding a crowd, you might want to bump up to a 7-, 9-, or even 13-quart version. Keep in mind that the bigger the oven, the heavier and harder it will be to move around a kitchen, especially when its brimming with chili. When it comes to shape, a round Dutch oven will work better on the round burners of most stoves, whereas an oval oven may heat less evenly and be difficult to fit on a small stovetop. However, an oval oven can be useful for large, long roasts like a tenderloin. It will of course fit nicely on an oval burner, and it should also work fine on a large round burner for something like a braise, which you start on the stove and finish in the oven.
Don’t Miss: Stainless Steel Pizza Oven Outdoor
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.
Do Professional Chefs Prefer Le Creuset Or Staub
Depending upon the chef you talk to some choose Staub over Le Creuset, because of Staubs heavy self-basting lid and heavier cast-iron pot. Others prefer this quality product for Le Creusets ease of use: generous handles, light-colored smooth inside enamel allowing them to see their dish is progressing, also easier clean up regardless of the high price.
Professional chefs Laurent Tourondel, Dominique Tougne, and Paul Bocuse are among the lovers of Staub cookware. While New York chef Sohui Kim and Chef Hansen Lee in LA are fans of Le Creuset cookware.
Read Also: Boneless Pork Chop Oven Recipes
Best Enameled Cast Iron: Le Creuset Signature Round Dutch Oven
Le Creuset has quite the fan base, and for good reason. For one, it’s a trusted brand that sells some of the highest quality cookware on the marketand its Dutch ovens alone are gorgeous. While Le Creuset’s signature round Dutch ovens are on the pricier side, anyone who owns one seems to agree that they’re well worth the price because they don’t just last years, they last decades . What’s more, the enameled cast iron material allows for advanced heat distribution that results in quick, easy, and consistent meals every time. The interior coating also prevents food from sticking and makes it easy to clean, while the exterior is resistant to chips, cracks, or damage. This 7.25-quart option is a bit larger than other Dutch ovens, making it a great option for feeding groups or families in one go.
One shopper called Le Creuset’s famous Dutch oven “the Bentley of cookware” while another said “there are reasons this is a classic.”
Speaking to its longevity, one buyer said “I have had mine for almost 50 years, it has seen heavy use, and it still looks good and works perfectly. i have a lot of Le Creuset and feel that every piece worth the price.”
Price at time of publish: $460
- Material: Cast iron
Dutch Oven Test : Browning
Most reviews online claim the Staub browns more effectively, but this was not my experience. I heated both ovens up for 10 minutes on high heat and developed crusts indistinguishable from one another, whether I was browning protein or veggies. In comparison to Staubs matte black interior enamel, Le Creuset features a creamy white interior that makes it much simpler to track the browning progress. This might seem like a small advantage, but, with the Staub, it can be mildly frustrating to pull out a phone flashlight to check progress.
You May Like: Cuisinart Toa-65 Digital Convection Oven
Cooking With A Le Creuset Vs Staub Dutch Oven
I’ve learnt that cooking with a Le Creuset white enameled Dutch oven requires patience. Think one-pot meals, casseroles, stews and braising recipes as your go-to. The design means that low to medium heat is king and that once the surface is hot, it’ll stay that way for absolutely hours, which is perfect for all-day slow cooking.
Or, need a place to chill your wine during dinner parties? After a stint in your refrigerator, the Staub and Le Creuset ovens can also cool contents inside for long periods too. Another excellent idea is using your pot to present iced desserts too.
With the Le Creuset, you can steer clear of lengthy preheating sessions, which I found can actually cause foods to stick during cooking. Instead, make sure to cover the base with a layer of oil, and get started with just that low to medium temperature.
Meanwhile, cooking with the black enameled Staub requires very little oil. If you prefer to steam, then you only need minimal water for that task too, as the flat lid that we mentioned earlier has those contours which ensure that moisture is always fed back down into the pot below. Staub claim that this helps to recirculate moisture nine times more effectively than competitors, and makes this an absolutely ideal Dutch oven for braising meat, a fact we found when trying this oven at home too.
Dutch Oven Test : Care And Storage
Due to its white interior, the Le Creuset makes it easier to see what youre doing , and I didnt have any issues with staining or discoloration. Folks who do have this problem have likely left the food in the pot overnight or more and let it set too long. Its also dishwasher-safe, which is hugely convenient if youre just not in the mood to scrub.
The Staub, whose black interior hides leftover food bits, should not be dish-washed, as its interior enamel is porous and can be degraded by the chemicals in dishwashing detergent .
As far as storage and maneuverability go, neither are particularly comfortable to pick up or put down. Theyre big and bulky and you probably dont need more than one per kitchen. That said, the Le Creuset is slightly lighter.
Id advise against giving either the Matryoshka doll treatment by stacking all manner of other cookware inside the enamel coating is very strong, but coming into contact with another heavy metal object is asking for a chip. And these pots are already heavy enough without the rest of your cookware nesting in them.
You May Like: Lasagna With Oven Ready Noodles Recipe
Should You Buy A Le Creuset Or A Staub Dutch Oven
Both Le Creuset and Staub offer similar, high quality and colorful Dutch ovens. For those keen on branding and aesthetics, Le Creusets design and color palette is the best choice.
More accomplished chefs may prefer the Staub, as the heavier construction and tighter lid provide optimal insulation. However, the darker interior and added weight of the Staub Dutch oven dont always help the casual chef. They may want to look for the more convenient Le Creuset Dutch oven.
What Is A Casserole
A Casserole is a deep, oven-safe dish that is perfect for one-pot meals and dishes that require slow cooking. It is typically made of glass, ceramic or enameled cast iron, which is perfect for both stovetop and oven use. Casseroles are also often used for dishes that require both a cooking and a serving dish, as they often have a sleek and attractive design.
One of the most notable features of a casserole is its wide and shallow shape. This allows for large surface area, which is perfect for browning and searing meats, and for creating a crispy topping on casseroles. Additionally, the wide and shallow shape allows for easy access to the food, making it easier to stir and check for doneness.
Casseroles are also great for dishes that require a liquid component, such as soups and stews, as the wide shape allows for evaporation and concentration of flavors. They are also great for dishes that require a bubbly and cheesy topping, like lasagna and macaroni and cheese.
In short, a Casserole is an essential kitchen item for anyone who loves to cook one-pot meals, slow-cooked dishes, soups and stews, or dishes with a bubbly and cheesy topping. Its a versatile and attractive dish that can be used for both cooking and serving, making it a must-have for any home cook.
Read Also: How To Cook Lamb Chops In An Oven
How The Le Creuset Has Held Up
Le Creuset Dutch ovens are among the most durable of any weve tested, and with proper care, they can last for decades. They dont need to be babied, but we do have tips for how to preserve both their function and their looks. And though senior engineering manager Polina Grinbaums Dutch oven still works well after 16 years, she tells us shes been hard on it, and the ovens internal enamel has taken some damage .
What Size Dutch Oven Is Best
While enameled cast iron Dutch ovens come in everything from cute 1/4-quart to massive 13 1/2quart sizes, a 5- to 6-quart pot is the most practical size for most homes, as it should make enough food for four to six people. Go any smaller, and a typical recipe might overflow the pot bigger pots can end up underfilled, potentially affecting the outcome of a recipe .
If you often need to feed a larger crowd, sizing up to a 7- or 8-quart Dutch oven may be worth considering. We tested a couple of pots that were only available in 7-quart sizes, but all of our favorite 5 and 5 and 1/2-quart models also have larger 7- or 7 and 1/4-quart offerings.
Recommended Reading: What Is Sabbath Mode On An Oven
Staub Cast Iron Cocotte Review
One of the big differences between Staubs Dutch oven and Le Creusets is that interior cooking surface.
Staubs is layered with black enamel, which also has a certain amount of texturing. This helps to prevent food from sticking to the surface.
Thats definitely a benefit, but it also comes with its own drawbacks.
First, its a little harder to clean a textured surface. Although both of these Dutch ovens are dishwasher safe, I would always recommend washing this kind of premium cast iron cookware by hand.
In other words, expect to apply a little extra elbow grease when youre cleaning this one up.
The dark nature of this layer also makes it harder to see how the progress of your cooking is going. If youre browning meat, for example, its just that little bit harder to get a view of things with a quick glance.
Theres one extra clever little design touch to the Staub Dutch oven that I want to highlight here.
The underside of the lid captures the moisture generated over time as your food cooks. It then cascades this back onto the food with what Staub describes as a rainforest effect.
This helps to keep the food moist, without you having to baste it continuously. If you want to actually remove moisture from the dish though, youll need to tilt the lid somewhat so it can escape.