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Now that we're knee-deep into the Holidays (Dec, 19th as I write this), most of the arguments against Staub and Le Creuset siting price, should have resolved themselves by now. I have 3 Staubs and 2 Le Creusets and I purchased each of them at deeply discounted prices. For instance Staub's 4 Quart Round Cocotte has been offered at numerous outlets this month for $99 vs. the $285 regular price (the MSRP is even higher). I've see similar promotions for Le Creuset as well. At those prices, there really isn't much incentive to purchase lesser brands (Lodge) or inferior compositions (aluminum). Enameled cast iron is the standard, and Staub and Le Creuset have been making them longer than anyone else and offer more sizes, configurations, and colors than anyone else. Deciding between Staub and Le Creuset is more a matter of taste/preference as opposed to function--they do the same things equally well. Sometimes I prefer Staub's deep exterior finish to Le Creuset's, other times I prefer Le Creuset's wider selection of colors. Interior finishes differ between brands: Staub uses a black, textured enamel finish and Le Creuset uses a smoother, cream colored enamel. True, Le Creuset's lighter colored enamel does make for a better contrast between food and finish when sautéing or browning, and that can make it easier to see and collect the fond you've you've just created, but that's really a minor point in practice. If you're looking for your first Dutch Oven, you can't go wrong with Staub's 4 Quart Round Cocotte for ninety-nine bucks. It's a good, all-around size (will fit a small, whole chicken or make a good sized batch of stew, chili or soup). If you need to upgrade the capacity, don't overlook the oval configurations from either company. A Staub 4 1/4 qt oval can handle five pound, whole chicken with plenty of vegetables. Speaking of whole chickens, one thing to consider, is the depth of your Dutch Oven; a given size may fit your bird length-wise, but headroom becomes tight when that bird is resting on a bed of carefully chopped onions, carrots, parsnips and new potatoes. When you finally get to the point of putting the lid on your creation, you'll quickly realize, deeper is better! As you compare capacities, note that overall depth doesn't increase much compared to diameter. Staub and Le Creuset offer extra deep versions, though I've not seen them on sale. So, as with cookware, bide your time and wait for the sale and promotional prices--never pay the crazy-high regular prices and never, never pay the MSRP prices! With a little luck and patience you'll find the Dutch Oven you really want at a decent price. Good luck!
Im set on dutch oven for the kitchen but I would love a deal on the bigger gsi anodized aluminum dutch oven for bwcaw trips
Dumb poll. Everyone knows it’s either Staub, Le Creuset or inferior knock-offs.
Shocked emile henry wasn't up there.
The flame line is basically immune to thermal shocking, stovetop safe, broiler safe, can go from fridge to oven, fine for electric or induction ranges (with a hob since it isn't enamel) and since it's straight flameware it's lighter then an enameled version.
You don't have to worry about enamel slowly coming off the piece due to the difference in thermal expansions between cast iron and enamel either since it's solid, such as when you're trying to bake break in a preheated dutch oven as many are want to do. It's also less then half the price of the le creuset.
What's not to love? Only downside is less thermal mass if you're trying to deep fry stuff, but I prefer only breaking one wrist in moving a full dutch oven rather than both
None of the above. Le Creuset is nice, but over-priced, even for enamelware. I get much more use out of my Lodge black iron. But, if I were going to buy enamel? I'd strongly consider Castey or Staub, as well as Le Creuset. I just don't wany anything made in China.
Wow--this thread is so old it's got whiskers! None the less, I'm for something in an oval-shape; I think that would be more versatile.
Everyone knows legendary Le Creuset and Lodge, but has anyone heard of, or used Lava? I just added that to the poll, am in the market for a budget friendly dutch oven. Lemme know what you guys think!
I have two enameled cast iron dutch ovens. A 5.5 quart Lodge and a 3 quart Le Creuset. I don’t remotely understand how people can say that the two brands are nearly the same quality. In the three years I have owned them the lodge has started to chip and vein and is distinctly stained, whereas the Le Creuset is in like new condition. They are used for similar tasks regularly and treated the same, but the Le Creuset has held up and the Lodge hasn’t.
It would be helpful if the size of each pot was in the description.
Hey Peeps
It's disappointing to see Le Creuset is doing so well. While it's a great product it's extremely expensive. I own a Lodge one too and it's a great product. And in a store it can be had for $70 to $80 maybe a little less if you shop around, so imagine the savings we'd have here. It performs fantastic and has held up wonderfully.
I have Le Creuset and enameled Lodge, and the lodge is almost as good for 3x less. If baking bread, the high preheat temps and shock from wet dough will degrade the enamel, and I would recommend something you are less likely to cry over than Le Creuset.
I completely agree with you.
For baking bread, use black iron Lodge.
I really really want a dutch oven made by Le Creuset. Theyre perfect for baking bread! (And everything else)
Nah, the Lodge one is super. Does everything Le Crueset does at way less money. Even a mass drop isn't going to make a Le Crueset one that affordable.
I'm a big dutch oven fan. I have 3 of them. 2 of them are dedicated (mostly) to outdoor use and live in my RV/camping gear. The other one is le creuset enameled dutch oven we use in our kitchen.
The outdoor ones are those black cast iron deals with the lid with the rim on it and feet on the botton. This is important when cooking with coals, which is SUPER fun and results in some of the best food ever. There's a great mobile app called "Dutch Oven Calculator" which will help you setup the correct temperature and cooking method using coals. I also use our dutch oven for deep frying outside. No mess/stink inside.
The indoor one we keep in good shape, staying clean and whatnot. This gets used pretty often because we cook quite at bit at home. We use it for nearly everything because we don't have a pot that size in any other form, so we probably use it for things that we don't really need a dutch oven for. Living in a tiny apartment in the city provides limited storage for kitchen stuff so, everything becomes a multi-tasker.
If you're not sure you want to blow $200+ on a enameled dutch oven, you can find legit Le Creusete at TJ MAX (and places like that for half the price) or less. That's how we started. Now we buy the full priced stuff (non blem) because we know we're going to use it.
@Linguitar Eye candy indeed. If I had the space, I'd have enameled cast iron all over the place. I LOVE the Le Creusete stuff and is certainly my go to, but Lodge has some really nice stuff, as well as other brands.
You should check out Skeppshult, they make some nice cast iron cookware.
I do all kinds of cooking, own all sorts of stainless pans, carbon steel pans, cast iron, and teflon. I cook about 5-6 days a week and cook everything and anything. I use my Le Creuset about once a week, and have owned one for ... 4 years? Soups, simmered dishes, and low oven cooking all come out great in the Le Creuset. If you have never cooked in a heavy Dutch oven before, and you do make soups, broths, etc., my experience is that slow cooked dishes simply come out better when compared to the same dish done in a stainless steel vessel. I have also observed that meats that require long cooking times tend to tenderize in less time when compared to a stainless pot. After 4 years of use and abuse, it still holds up very well. Some of the enamel has worn off from the bottom--not to the point where you can see the metal, but enough to where you can tell the material has worn off. The sides and lid are in great condition, again, considering this workhorse. I have not used any other Dutch oven before, though I have often browsed the other brands, including Costco's. If you're someone who cooks often enough, and slow-cooked dishes are something you do regularly, these Dutch ovens can be a nice luxury upgrade to your kitchen. However, if you only cook once in a while and you already have a pot that can perform a similar function, ask yourself whether you really can get the most out of it, or if you're more excited about the prospect of having eye candy on your stovetop. Of course, eye candy is good candy.
You can slow-cook in stainless, too. I often use my All-Clad to braise in the oven.
Always have wanted to try cooking with a Dutch oven