Tramontina vs Le Creuset Dutch Oven, which is better? It may surprise you that in terms of performance, there isn’t much difference. When it comes down to it, the metal used in the cookware is what determines the performance. What does make it difference is the durability, shape and design of the pot. There are some things that Tramonita does right and some that is wrong. This review will take a in depth look at the design and feature of these two dutch oven. We will see which dutch oven is better.
Tramontina vs Le Creuset Dutch Oven Quick Summary
|Colors||Limited||Wind Range of Color|
|Brand Awareness||America and Brazil||Known Around the World|
|Place of Manufacturer||China||France|
|Thoughts||Great Dutch Oven Design at a Fraction of the Price. However, colors are limited and Enamel is Fragile.||Widest range of colors available and its a Icon. It is slightly wider which allows for easier cooking. Expensive though.|
|Tested Cookware||Tramontina 5.5 qt Dutch Oven (Good and Budget Friendly)||Le Creuset 5.5 qt Dutch Oven (Best Performer Overall)|
Why use a Enamel Dutch Oven
There are two main type of dutch oven used, Enamel and Bare Cast Iron. What the enamel does is that it prevents the cast iron from rusting. In the bare cast iron, if moisture happens to penetrate the seasoning of the cast iron, it will start rusting. Considering that it is mostly used for stews, the chance of it is quite high. Not only that, acidic food can strip the seasoning of the bare cast iron. It is a bit of a hassle to have bare cast iron in a dutch oven.
Tramontina vs Le Creuset Dutch Oven Design
Both of these handle are well designed. They give ample room for a good and easy grip. I have enough room to clear my knuckle in both Dutch Oven. Le Creuset handle has slightly more room however, Tramontina handle is wider. I can fit my pinky finger easily in the Tramontina Dutch Oven. Where as in the Le Creuset, I can only use three of my fingers. In terms of design, I would say that Tramontina has a better design. The chances of you dropping the dutch oven is lower.
The shape of both Tramontina and Le Creuset are surprisingly similar. Tramontina is 10 inch in diameter with a base cooking diameter of 8.25 inch. Le Creuset is 10.3 inch in diameter and 8.5 inch in diameter. Tramontina is slightly taller at 5.25 inch while Le Creuset is only 4.75 inch.
A wider dutch oven is more practical than the taller type of dutch oven. They usually sacrifice width for height. When you do that, you have to sear food in more batches. If you dont do that, food will steam. Not only that, it is easier to stir and move food around. A wider dutch oven is preferable over a narrow one. Le Creuset wins this round, but both are quite close.
Tramontina vs Le Creuset Dutch Oven Lid
The design of these two lids are different. On the bottom of the Tramontina one, there are lines throughout it. Liquids will pool around those lines and it will drop back into the food. This is similar to how Staub their lid. The chisera droplets on those lid drop liquid back of the food also. On the Le Creuset dutch oven, it is smooth. It wont “self baste” the food but it will go back into the pot eventually.
Both lids have a plastic handle so that it wont get hot over time. But there is a heat limit around 400 F, if you want to stick it in the oven, I recommend that you get a metal knob. I know that Le Creuset have many different version knob. But for Tramontina, you have to make your own alternative. Other than that, both lids are very heavy and they hold in liquid and steam well.
Enamel Coating and Colors
Both dutch oven very similar enamel coating. The range of color is a lot more extensive on the Le Creuset model. Where as Tramontina have only the few basic colors. Both interior are cream white on the inside. This lets you see the development of the fond. With black interior, it is very easy for you to accidently overcook and burn the fond. However overtime, the white gloosy interior will discolor and marr. It will not maintain its glossy finish.
Another thing to note is the durability of the enamel coating. In my experience, Le Creuset Enamel Coating is the most durable out of all the different manufacturer. Where the one on Tramontina was already flaking off. It wont fall out during normal use, but it is still fragile. If you accidentally hit it, there is a chance of it flaking off.
Both dutch oven has a bare cast iron rim. This is because under high heat, the enamel coating can fuse together. To get around this, the manufacturer have opted to leave it bare. I have a older saucepan from Le Creuset. In those days, they coated the lip in enamel coating. I guess they ran into some complaints.
In terms of thickness, Tramontina is thicker at 4.33 mm. While Le Creuset sidewall thickness is at 3.82 mm. In general, the thicker the cookware the better. This is because it can store more heat. When you bring out a hot pot of soup from the oven, you want it to stay hot. After all, it will be the center piece on your table.
What is interesting is that I think Le Creuset purposely made theirs thinner so that it wont be as heavy. On the bottom of the Dutch Oven, you can see that it is thicker. This is probably done to aid in the retention of heat. When you begin the intitial searing of food, you need a lot of heat stored. Else the food will steam instead of carmelize. It is a bit of a clever design by Le Creuset. Usually only more higher end manufacturer will do this. I know that Lodge, Le Creuset and Staub do this. Tramontina and Cuisinart not so much.
Fit and Finish
Fit and Finish on both of these pots are ok. While both have orange peel, it is less pronounced on the Le Creuset model. For whatever reason, the enamel coating never have a clear smooth paint. In the automotive industry, both will receive a F grade for it. Staub has the best finish, but it is still there.
Tramontina vs Le Creuset Dutch Oven Specs
Note:These measurement are done by me with the tools that I have on hand. The manufacturers have their own measurement guidelines and that should be assumed to be accurate. What I find on this review can vary widely due to several factors, such as ambient temperature, location, water, tool calibration, stove btu, etc..and should only be considered as my opinion.
Weight: 4085 g 9 lb Lid Weight: 1522g 3.3 lb
Rim Width:Around 10 inch
Base Cooking Diameter: Around 8.25 inch
Height: Around 5.24 inch
Thickness: 4.3 mm
Weight: 3477 g 7.66 lb Lid Weight: 1503 g 3.3 lb
Rim Width:Around 10.3 inch
Base Cooking Diameter: Around 8.5 inch
Height: Around 4.7 inch
Thickness: 3.82 mm
Le Creuset is slightly lighter due to its thinner sidewall. However, I think this was done on purpose. A lot of complaints from people is about the weight of the pot. To try and maintain performance, it seems like Le Creuset compensated for this by making its base thicker. Although I will say that Tramontina will retain its heat better.
Tramontina vs Le Creuset Dutch Oven Thoughts
I think that Le Creuset dutch oven is better designed. Although there is some benefit from Tramontina, specifically the handle and thickness. Overall, Le Creuset has a more utilitarian shape. It is slightly wider, letting you sear more food in less batches. Also the color and the Enamel coating is more durable than Tramontina. Not only that, it is made in france, where as Tramontina is made in China. Now, whether that is worth 2-3x the cost, that is up to you. If I was on a budget, I would go for Tramontina. If you want the best dutch oven money can buy, Le Creuset will win hands down.
I hope you enjoyed this Tramontina vs Le Creuset Dutch Oven Review. If you would like to see more, please visit our Pots and Pans Review page.