If you’ve been eyeing a cast-iron Dutch oven for your kitchen arsenal, odds are you’ve been comparing a Staub vs Le Creuset. These top-tier brands of cookware are considered by professionals and home cooks alike to be superior to all others.
Before we get started, we should mention that Staub and Le Creuset technically make French Ovens rather than Dutch Ovens. According to Le Creuset, a French oven is "similar to its Dutch counterpart, but boasts an interior and exterior enamelled coating."
But at this point, the vast majority of people in the U.S. call these dutch ovens (even Le Creuset in their ads), so that's what we'll go with.
No doubt that adding an enameled cast iron from either company will elevate not only your cooking but also your kitchen decor. So how do you choose between the two? We explain the key differences between a Le Creuset vs Staub Dutch oven to help you.
Whichever brand you go with, rest assured your new high-temperature cookware will suit your favorite slow-cooking recipes and bring them to new heights. Not sure what to cook in your new oven? Try these 27 delicious Dutch oven chicken recipes!
What is so special about Dutch ovens?
A Dutch oven, typically made of enameled cast iron, is a durable and versatile piece of cookware. Anything you can make in a pot, you can make in a Dutch oven. The durable cast iron can withstand high temperatures and the heavy lid retains heat well without losing moisture.
Dutch ovens are great for braising meat—that is, cooking tougher cuts of meat at low-to-medium temperatures for long periods. They are also handy for deep frying with minimal oil, roasting, cooking stews, and baking bread. Dutch ovens can be used on the stovetop or in the oven.
What makes Dutch ovens so expensive?
Buying a quality Dutch oven is a bit of an investment, but it’s one that will last for many years. They tend to be expensive because cast iron and quality enamel are expensive (yet durable) materials. Because they are so versatile, however, they can replace a lot of other cookware in your kitchen. When possible, try to buy from the company directly—this can save you money by cutting out the middle man (and thus eliminating the retailer markup.)
Comparing Staub ve Le Creuset
Staub and Le Creuset are leading brands when it comes to cast iron cookware. Both make beautiful, durable products with high-quality materials that will last for many years. Let’s look at them side by side so you can choose which product is right for you.
Le Creuset Dutch ovens have a light enameled interior while Staub products have a black enameled interior. Why does this matter? Some chefs prefer the light-colored interior because they can better monitor cooking progress. Whether browning onions or cooking meat to the desired level of doneness, you can see their color better.
On the flip side, the darker enamel will better hide scuffs, scratches, and discoloration from regular use. Choosing between the light interior of Le Creuset and the dark interior of a Straub is really a matter of personal preference.
The exterior color of your Dutch oven will not affect your cooking in the least. However, it’s an expensive piece of cookware that will be in your kitchen for many years to come. They tend to become a part of your kitchen aesthetic.
Both Stab and Le Creuset ovens are beautifully crafted and come in a wide range of colors. Le Creuset offers a range of 35 vibrant colors to choose from while Straub offers 9 earth-toned color options. If external color is important to you, Le Creuset has more options and more vibrant colors to choose from.
Dutch ovens are notoriously heavy, which is great for durability but a consideration if you have physical limitations. The weight of your Dutch oven will depend on the size that you buy, but whichever model you choose, Le Creuset Dutch ovens are lighter than Staub Dutch ovens. According to Le Creust, they are the lightest on the market.
The difference is enough that you can feel it when lifting the unit. While the lightness of Le Creuset units makes for easier lifting, the extra weight of Staub ovens means that they keep temperatures even for longer, which is a plus.
Both Le Creuset and Staub ovens are safe to use at temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Because the Staub units are heavier, the Staub will maintain a steady temperature and stay warm for a longer period than Le Creuset.
Lid fit and Steam Retention
While both companies make quality lids, Staub's lid fits more tightly than Le Creuset's. This means that Staub has better steam retention, which is important for dishes like soups and stews in which you don’t want to lose too much moisture. For braising, it is okay for some moisture to escape—this is expected and actually helps to deepen the flavor of the dish.
Le Creuset Dutch ovens are generally more expensive than Staub Dutch ovens, though the difference is minimal and both are an investment. At the time of publication there are many holiday and year-end sales going on, so don’t sleep on them!
Overview: Is Le Creuset or Staub better?
Both brands offer eye-catching and high-quality options for enameled cast iron Dutch ovens, as reflected in their price. Here are the main considerations when choosing between a Le Creuset vs Straub Dutch oven:
- Interior Color: Le Creuset has a light-colored interior, while Staub has a black interior. It is easier to see cooking progress in Le Creuset units, but Staub hides wear and tear better.
- Exterior Color: Le Creuset offers a wider range of vibrant colors, while Staub has fewer, earth-tone colors to choose from.
- Weight: Le Creuset Dutch ovens are lighter than Staub.
- Temperature: Staub holds temperature more evenly and for longer due to their weight.
- Lid: Staub lids fit more snugly and retain moisture better.
- Price: Staub Dutch ovens are generally less expensive than Le Creuset.
Q: Is Staub or Le Creuset heavier?
A: Staub Dutch ovens are heavier than Le Creuset Dutch ovens. The weight of Dutch ovens from either company depends on their size.
Q: What is the downside of Le Creuset?
A: Le Creuset products are expensive due to their reputation for durability and a large selection of colors and sizes. Le Creuset lids don’t fit as snugly as Staub lids, meaning they are not as good at retaining moisture.
Q: What is so special about Staub?
A: Staub products are made in France and go through rigorous quality control. Staub Dutch ovens are durable, long-lasting, have a great lid fit, and retain heat for longer periods than their competitor, Le Creuset.
Q: Why is Staub and Le Creuset so expensive?
Staub and Le Creuset products are durable and long-lasting as they are made with quality materials. They are used and loved by professional chefs and home cooks alike.