Staub and Le Creuset are two of the most famous French Enameled cast iron manufacturer today. Although, Le Creuset has been casting cast iron cookware since 1920, Staub is still a relatively new company. There is no doubt that both of these manufacturer made their name with their famous dutch oven. But how do they compare? In our Staub vs Le Creuset Dutch Oven test, we will see what makes their dutch oven different. Do they perform the same or are they just look and name brand? We will go through all aspect of both companies dutch oven to find out.
Staub vs Le Creuset Dutch Oven Design
Dutch Oven Handle Design
Le Creuset handle looks like a very simple design, all it consists of is a simple loop. However a lot of thougth actually went into the designing of this handle. A lot of manufacturer makes the false assumption that all is needed is a loop. Other will decorate it or put weird shapes.
Le Creuset handle was designed with ergonomics in mind. There is ample clearance space so that your knuckle wont hit the pot when gripping it. These larger handles also accommodate and help you lift the pot when you have gloves on. The last thing you want to do is to drop the dutch oven. Although this may seem minor, lots of manufacturer seems to have forego this step when designing their dutch oven handles.
Staub handles have their name engraved into the pot. I believe the reason they did this is because they would have no branding otherwise if the lid was not on top of it. The clearance room on these handle is not quite as big and my knuckles will not clear the pot. There is still enough room to hold it comfortable with a mitten on but Le Creuset design is better.
Staub vs Le Creuset Dutch Oven Lid
Staub is the clear winner in this competition both in looks and functionality. Staub lid has a chisera lid that allows for steam to condense on the spike and drop back onto the food. Their thought process behind this is to allow for automated basting of the food. How useful this is really depends on your goal.
More than likely you are really only basting the food with water. The sediments that contain flavor compounds will most likely be still in the sauce below. Only the water will be converted to steam and any light solids that is in the sauce will remain. Since the steam will be mostly water it is recommended that you keep on basting it if you want the traditional flavor that comes from basting.
Le Creuset lid
Le Creuset lacks any such design aside from the Doufeu model. Why they choose not to continue this design onto newer dutch oven is probably due to tradition, people don’t like change. I personally don’t think the spikes will make that much of a difference but something is better than nothing, maybe.
In terms of aesthetic, I prefer Staub design. There is something about the raised lip and the circular ring with the engraved Staub logo that is satisfying. Le Creuset lid is the traditional lid that most other manufacturer try to copy. It is the vanilla of the Dutch oven industry. Not bad by any means and definitely not a negative, vanilla is vanilla for a reason, everyone loves it. You should use your own judgment when deciding on what company makes the best looking dutch oven lid.
Staub vs Le Creuset Dutch Oven Lid Accessories
Aside from that, Staub typically comes with a metal knob that is standard. You can choose and buy special animals design for these knobs. I personally prefer the chicken version as that is the most popular animal associated with French cuisine.
Le Creuset knob comes with a plastic one, depending on the model you buy. They have a temperature limit of 500 degree, so I recommend switching it out when you get a chance. The benefit of the plastic knob is that it wont burn your hand when you grip it. Whether that is worth it or not is dependent on you but you should be using a towel when using these dutch oven regardless. There are other type of metal knobs you can buy from Le Creuset, but they don’t have the animals.
Staub vs Le Creuset Dutch Oven Enamel Interior Coating
Staub Black Interior Coating
Staub interior enamel coating is black. They believe that the darker interior enhances browning and aids in cleaning. They even have a whole video about the effects of this. I have my reservation on how the black enamel aids cleaning. All it really does is that it hides it so that you can see it as well. Burned food will be black so it will blend into the background.
I do believe that the black interior holds more heat. When both white and black interior are heated at the same rate the black interior should be at a higher temperature. This in turn should mean that the food should brown at a faster rate.
Le Creuset White Interior
Le Creuset White Enamel coating is one of the most popular type of coating for dutch oven. Almost all the other manufacturer of dutch oven uses this color. America Test Kitchen claims that this color is better because you can judge the fond better, which I agree with. You really don’t want to have burnt fond in your stew. As stated before, the white should reflect heat better overall so it wouldn’t surprise me if it stays cool longer.
The interior also will not stay the white glossy material that it is when new. Expect it to dull and develop hairline cracks in the enamel overtime. It does not really affect the cooking though, even if it flakes off. Just hopefully not in your food.
Staub vs Le Creuset Colors and Enamel Coating
Le Creuset Colors
In general Le Creuset have a wider range of colors. They tend to be lighter and more pastel in tone. They are more cheerful and colorful. The enamel coating tend to develop orange peel on the exterior, they do not have a smooth mirror like finish to them. On the current model that I am testing, the bottom is bare cast iron. The newer models seem to have the whole pot coated in enamel.
I personally believe that the older design is better, simply because I think the enamel affects how well the heat is transferred from the stovetop. My previous test comparison between lodge and le creuset showed that lodged outperformed Le Creuset.
Staub colors tend to be darker and more adult. They have a beautiful glossy look which is in contrast to Le Creuset pastel like color. I personally find that their colors to be more attractive. They also have less of a orange peel issue. You can see your reflection a little better in their pots. Although their color is not as extensive as Le Creuset, they have enough to satisfy most home cook needs.
The enamel coating on staub dutch oven is fully coated minus the rim lip. This seems to be the trend that almost all cast iron manufacturers seem to be going these days. I think in general that its just more simple and cost less to do this.
Is the rim of cast iron pots coated in Enamel?
The simple answer is no, I asked this question to Staub and they confirmed it to not have any coating. The reason being is that under high temperature, the enamel will fuse the lid and the pot together. So there you go, no more internet bickering about this. If you get some rust on the lip, you can get some sand paper and lightly sand it off. You can then coat it in oil to prevent more rust from forming.
Is it safe to cook when the enamel coating flake off?
Yes it is. Underneath the enamel coating is cast iron. Manufacturer like lodge specializes in bare cast iron cookware. It is completely fine to cook if you see exposed cast iron in you dutch oven.
I hope you like this Staub vs Le Creuset Dutch Oven Comparison, If you would like to see more, please visit our Pots and Pans Review page.