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.