Staub vs. Le Creuset: Which Iconic Dutch Oven Is Right for You?

Spoiler: You really can’t go wrong

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staub vs le creuset dutch ovens
Digital Art by Paula Boudes

You’ve dreamed of the day you could display a glossy, candy-colored Dutch oven on your stovetop (not to mention make braised chicken thighs and gorgeously browned loaves of sourdough), and now you’re shopping around. Both Staub and Le Creuset are heritage brands (founded in 1974 and 1925, respectively) known for their high quality and durability. Both can be workhorse pieces for all kinds of recipes, but buying either is an investment. Here, we’re breaking down the differences between Staub vs. Le Creuset so you can determine which is best for you. (Spoiler: They’re both excellent—but not exactly the same.)

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Meet the Expert:

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City restaurants. Prior to testing Staub and Le Creuset side by side for this review, she’s cooked with both cookware brands extensively in her home kitchen.

staub vs le creuset: two dutch ovens side by side
Staub/Le Creuset

How I Tested Staub’s 3.75 Quart French Oven and Le Creuset’s 5.5 Quart Round Dutch Oven:

To test for both dry cooking (like caramelization and browning) and wet cooking (like stewing and braising), I cooked French onion soup and chili in both brands’ Dutch ovens, taking notes as I went to compare the process and results. I then rated each brand’s Dutch oven separately on the following factors:

  • Value: Is the cookware worth the cost considering its quality?
  • Functionality: Does the cookware’s design make it easy to use? Does it heat evenly and retain heat well? Are there hot spots?
  • Quality: Is the cookware made from high-quality materials?
  • Aesthetics: Does the cookware look nice sitting on your stovetop? Does the brand offer a wide variety of colors and styles?
  • Versatility: How much can the cookware do? Can you tackle many different cooking techniques and recipes with it or is it a single-purpose item?

One note: While I wasn’t able to test identical capacities (the Staub model was slightly smaller), I didn’t find this to be a determining factor in my rating process, as I was examining browning and heat retention more than capacity.

What Sets Staub and Le Creuset Apart?

Both brands are known for high-quality enameled cast iron cookware that is designed to withstand vigorous use over decades. The heritage brands are both notable for their iconic designs and expansive color selections, as well as their durability and strict manufacturing standards. Both brands offer lifetime warranties, and both are beloved by professional chefs.

Staub vs. Le Creuset Dutch Ovens: What Are the Main Differences?

The biggest difference you’ll notice when comparing Staub vs. Le Creuset is that the interior surface of a Staub Dutch oven is a black enamel—Le Creuset is off-white. Le Creuset also features slightly larger handles and a larger knob on its lid. The Staub Dutch oven I tested—the 3.75 quart French oven—has a slightly rounder, tapered bottom than the traditional Le Creuset round Dutch oven. The interior surface of the Staub lid also features a spiked surface, which is designed to release condensed liquid back onto the food to keep it moist.

staub vs le creuset: red staub dutch oven
Katherine Gillen

My Staub Dutch Oven Review

What We Like:

  • Innovative spike design on lid keeps food moist
  • Black enamel interior doesn’t show stains or scratches

What We Don’t Like:

  • Black interior can make it hard to gauge browning
  • Heavy


  • Value: 19/20
  • Functionality: 20/20
  • Quality: 20/20
  • Aesthetics: 18/20
  • Versatility: 18/20
  • Total: 95/100

Staub Dutch ovens are available in a range of classic colors (think red, blue, black, white and green) with occasional seasonal hues rotating in and out of the lineup. There are round and oval options to choose from in capacities ranging from less than a quart to more than 13 quarts. Compared to Le Creuset, the color options are slightly less expansive, but not so much that it’s a huge drawback.

In my tests, the Staub French oven heated up evenly and retained heat very well—there were no apparent hot spots and I was able to maintain a steady simmer over a low flame. I found it efficient at browning meat and easy to clean at the end of cooking with a gentle scrub by hand.

One advantage of the black interior surface of a Staub is that it won’t show the inevitable wear and tear over time. A testament to this: I received my Staub as a wedding gift six years ago and it still looks brand new despite near-weekly use. The only downside to the dark surface is that it can be tricky for beginner cooks to tell if a food is browning…or burning.

staub vs le creuset: staub dutch oven interior
Katherine Gillen

Since it is cast iron, this pot is heavy. While oven safe, some home cooks might find it difficult to maneuver from stovetop to oven—but that’s just the nature of cast iron Dutch ovens. Another unavoidable downside is the price: Staub Dutch ovens aren’t cheap. (They’re slightly cheaper than Le Creuset—a 5.5 quart round cocotte retails for $400 vs. $420 for Le Creuset—but not significantly so.)

Fast Facts:

  • Cooking Surface: enameled cast iron
  • Oven-Safe Temperature: up to 500°F
  • Induction Compatible: Yes
  • Size and Shape Options: round or oval, up to 13.25 quarts
  • Care Instructions: Dishwasher safe, but handwashing is recommended
staub vs le creuset: brioche colored le creuset dutch oven
Katherine Gillen

My Le Creuset Dutch Oven Review

What We Like:

  • Large handles are easy to grab with potholders
  • Off-white interior makes it easy to gauge browning

What We Don’t Like:

  • Off-white interior can stain over time
  • Heavy

Le Creuset

  • Value: 19/20
  • Functionality: 20/20
  • Quality: 20/20
  • Aesthetics: 19/20
  • Versatility: 19/20
  • Total: 96/100

One of Le Creuset’s biggest selling points aside from its high quality is its array of classic and seasonal colors to choose from. (I worked with the newest color, Brioche, a matte warm beige.) Even if you’re a newbie cook, you probably have a Le Creuset on your wish list for appearances alone. Luckily, this Dutch oven is as functional as it is beautiful. The Dutch ovens are available in both round and oval shapes, in capacities up to 13.25 quarts for round and 15.5 quarts for oval.

Like the Staub, the Le Creuset Dutch oven made for superior browning and caramelization—no hot spots and excellent heat retention. In my caramelized onion test, I particularly liked that I could see the color develop on the bottom of the pot and catch burning before it became a problem. While it was easy to clean, the light interior isn’t as forgiving of stains. My pot looked brand new because it was, but I know from past experience that any light-colored enamel will eventually develop a patina.

staub vs le creuset: le creuset dutch oven interior
Katherine Gillen

Once again, you’ll find that lifting a Le Creuset is an arm workout—our 5.5 quart Dutch oven was slightly heavier than the 3.75 quart Staub, but that’s likely due to the difference in size. You won’t find a “lightweight” Dutch oven (and if you do, it’s probably not worth your money). One thing I did like over the Staub is that the handles on a Le Creuset are slightly rounder and roomier, allowing for easy lifting while wearing potholders. (The same goes for the generously sized lid handle.)

Fast Facts:

  • Cooking Surface: enameled cast iron
  • Oven-Safe Temperature: up to 500°F
  • Induction Compatible: Yes
  • Size and Shape Options: round or oval, up to 15.5 quarts
  • Care Instructions: Dishwasher safe

What Size Dutch Oven Should I Buy?

That depends on what you want to use it for—I find a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven is large enough to serve five to six people or bake one large loaf of bread. If you want a larger size for, say, roasting a chicken or making brisket, a 7-quart will serve you well. (Both oval and round are nice, but I prefer round because it fits on the burner of our stove more easily, and therefore heats up faster.)

The Bottom Line

When it comes to Staub vs. Le Creuset, you really can’t go wrong with either choice. Both Dutch ovens heat evenly, retain heat beautifully and can be used countless ways in the kitchen. If you think you’ll be bothered by the eventual wear of regular use, I’d suggest going with the Staub in a darker color to hide any stains. If you prize trendy colors and don’t mind inevitable stains, go with Le Creuset. You’ll spend about the same amount of money on either, and you won’t regret it.


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...