We're suckers for a sibling rivalry, and today's contenders are two kitchen icons: Le Creuset's Dutch Oven and Staub's Cocotte. Le Creuset refers to the product as a Dutch oven while Staub calls it a cocotte, but they are indeed the same kitchen tool. We're doing a deep dive into the color offerings, weight, price, and construction of these cult classics. Read on for a full breakdown of each brand's unique characteristics, plus pros and cons to help decide which Dutch oven is right for you.
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Le Creuset Dutch Oven and Staub Cocotte Compared
- 31 colors offered
- A slightly looser fitting lid allows more moisture to escape
- Light-colored smooth interior
- 13 colors offered
- Tighter lid for more liquid retention
- Heavier weight
- Black matte finish interior
- Less expensive
Le Creuset is known for its stunning classic and seasonal colors. Most of the brand's hues are in a gradient while most of Staub's are one rich shade throughout. And since the former has over twice as many exterior color choices, there's a healthy mix of bright tones and pastels, including a whopping seven shades of blue. There's even a marble patterned option. But if you like the classics, Staub's color section will surely suffice.
Many swear by Staub for its self-basting lid. As the brand explains, "The innovative lid features tiny bumps on the interior that continually release condensed liquid back onto the food, for moist, flavorful results." And we can confirm that this unique system really does work wonders. Plus, with its very tight-fitting lid, a minimal amount of liquid is released during the cooking process. Le Creuset's lid, however, allows more liquid to escape, which can sometimes be beneficial depending on the dish.
Since Le Creuset is the lightest weight cast iron by quart on the market, it's super easy to transport from oven to table. Staub, on the other hand, is slightly heavier, which in addition to its tighter lid, allows the vessel to hold temperature for longer. For reference, Le Creuset's 5.5-quart dutch oven weighs 11.5 pounds, while Staub's 5.5-quart dutch oven weighs 12.57 pounds. It's definitely not a huge difference, but still good to note before purchasing.
Le Creuset and Staub's interior enamel couldn't be any more different. Le Creuset's is white, which makes it easy to track the cooking progress. Staub's, on the other hand, has a textured black matte enameled interior, which is better for searing and browning food, specifically meat, but makes it trickier to see the state of your food as it cooks. And while the white makes it easier to ensure all the food is cleaned out when washing, it also stains quite easily.
Both brands are an investment. Le Creuset is, however, slightly more expensive. Interestingly enough, Staub's base prices are usually higher than Le Creuset's, but Staub's products are always on sale. For reference, Le Creuset's 4.5-quart Dutch oven retails for $390, while Staub's 4.5-quart Dutch oven technically retails for $457, but is always on sale online for between $319.99 and $339.99. And in terms of Le Creuset discounts, you should definitely keep an eye out for frequent sales, especially on Amazon.