Lodge vs Le Creuset Dutch Oven, which is better. In the past, Lodge main focus was on bare cast iron cookware. However because of the market demands, they have ventured into the Enamel Cast Iron Cookware. While this industry is dominated by the likes of Le Creuset, how does it actually perform against them. Lodge is still extremely affordable at prices of less than 60 dollar. Compare that with Le Creuset whose prices are currently around 300 dollar. What exactly does that extra 200 dollar get you? Is there design differences? This review will go in depth about the different aspect of these Dutch Oven.
Lodge vs Le Creuset Dutch Oven Quick Summary
|Colors||Limited||Wind Range of Color|
|Brand Awareness||America||Known Around the World|
|Place of Manufacturer||China||France|
|Thoughts||Great interior design at a Fraction of the price. Colors are limited and the handle could have more clearance||Great choice of color and handle design. Widest range of colors available and its a Icon, expensive though|
|Tested Cookware||Lodge 6 qt Dutch Oven||Le Creuset 5.5 qt Dutch Oven|
What is a Dutch Oven
A dutch oven is a tall pot with two handles on the side. It is usually made in cast iron and is famed for its heat retention. While it is mainly used for braising and cooking stews. What most people dont know is that you can use it as a oven for baking bread. Hence the name, dutch oven.
This pot is one of the most famous and popular cookware these days. I would say that they are right next to the frying pan in terms of popularity. Because of Le Creuset association with the dutch oven, they have made themselves as one of the premier cookware manufacturer.
Lodge vs Le Creuset Dutch Oven Design
Most people overlook the importance of the handle. But they are one of the most important thing when designing a cookware. It can affect how comfortable and ergonomic the piece of cookware is. On Le Creuset dutch oven, they have pretty much perfected it. Although it looks simple, it is wide and have plenty of clearance. When I run my finger though the loop, it clears my knuckle perfectly.
If you take a look at Lodge Dutch oven, its a different story. I like that it is very wide, but the clearance from the pot is so narrow. My knuckle is hitting the side of the pot. If you manage to position your hand correctly, you can get a good grip on it. But the reality is, most people are not focusing on getting a good grip. We expect to have a good grip from the start. A loop handle with little clearance is very detrimental. This is made worse if you have 5 qt of liquid in the pot.
Lodge vs Le Creuset Dutch Oven Shape
The shape of the two pots are also different. While Lodge dutch oven is slightly wider and shorter, Le Cresuset is taller and narrower. Usually, you want a wide pot so that you can sear food easier. However, in Lodge case, even though it is wider, the interior has a interesting curve design. Most cookware has a sharp corner where the walls start, Lodge has a gradual curve to it. Much like how a saucier pan has. While you get a reduction in diameter, this lets you whisk sauces and roux with ease. I am actually very impressed by how they designed the interior.
The picture below shows how straight the Le Creuset Dutch Oven is. It has a more pronounced corner.
This is a small detail that better cast iron manufacturer has. Both Le Creuset and Lodge make the bottom of their dutch oven thicker. If you flip the cast iron to its bottom, you can see that it has a slight raised edge. This should act very much like a disc bottom cookware, but its actually built it. For those of you who do not know, a thicker bottom means that it can sear food better. Thin bottom cookware tends to loose heat fast. When you sear a lot of food all the heat will get sucked out. Looking at Cuisinart, their dutch oven is just one continuous thickness.
The reason why dutch oven lid are so great is because of the weight. They prevent steam from escaping due to its massive weight. On average, they can weight 3-4 lbs. The design of both Le Creuset and Lodge lids are functionally the same. They don’t have any odd design or feature like the chisera droplet from staub. Both lid is a simple smooth interior with rings on the top. While looks are a subject of taste, I find Le Creuset to be more attractive of the bunch. The multiple rings of Lodge dutch oven is just odd and tacky looking, Le Creuset is a classic beauty.
Lodge vs Le Creuset Enamel and Colors
The enamel coating is the color that surrounds the cast iron pot. Underneath, both are bare cast iron that prevents it from rusting. If yours manage to chip, it is perfectly fine to cook with. With that being said, my personal experience with Le Creuset is that their enamel coating is the most durable. Although, I do not really see much issue with Lodge’s enamel coating. One interesting to note is that Lodge sends their dutch oven over to China for manufacturing. Apparently there is some poisonous chemical that doesn’t allow them to manufacturer it here. I need some source to verify this though.
In terms of color, you really cant beat Le Creuset. I think that is the reason why they are so popular. Their colors can literally fit any kitchen. They tend to be bright and vibrant, it brings a cheery mood to any dinner table. Lodge on the other hand have a much more limited set of color. They do have the standard red, black and blue though.
Both interiors are coated in a glossy cream enamel. Overtime, as you cook in it, it will dull and look dirty. I heard of some instance where you can bleach it to make it look white again but don’t quote me on it. I will say this, these type of enamel coating will cause food to stick. Any nonstick ability from bare cast iron is gone, you really cannot develop the same type of seasoning on these.
Another factor to consider is the degraded searing ability. Time and time again, when I test bare cast iron vs enamel coated cast iron, the bare cast iron always win. They heat up faster and it sticks less. I think its because glass has a lower thermal conductivity than cast iron. You can actually seem my results in my comparison of both company skillet. Either way, don’t expect the same performance from bare cast iron.
Fit and Finish
Fit and Finish is ok with both Dutch Oven. They don’t have any weird burrs or color issue. The major problem with all enamel dutch oven manufacturer is orange peel. Some companies are worse than others. In my experience staub is the best, while le creuset and lodge have the same amount. Lesser companies will have even more orange peel.
Lodge vs Le Creuset Dutch Oven Thoughts
Both cookware has its own strength and weakness. The most obvious difference is the price. Lodge is a fraction of what Le Creuset charges. In terms of performance, they should perform just about the same. I love the way Lodge have developed the interior of the cookware. It allows for easy whisking and it prevents food from getting stuck. However, the colors is not as extensive as Le Creuset. Also the enamel coating on Le Creuset has been proven to be extremely durable. Whether this is worth the extra hundred is dependent on you. They both perform similarly.
I hope you enjoyed this Lodge vs Le Creuset Dutch Oven Review. If you would like to see more, please visit our Pots and Pans Review page.