Le Creuset and Staub Dutch ovens are iconic. Both have been around for a long time: Le Creuset since 1925 and Staub since 1974. And we’ve long recommended both brands—anecdotally (with Serious Eats staffers having used them at home and in our test kitchen) and objectively (both having came out on top after reviewing 20 Dutch ovens).
While both of these colorful pots are truly exceptional, do-it-all workhorses, there are some points to consider when deciding whether Le Creuset or Staub is right for you. Namely, durability and manufacturing, design, color selection, cleanup, and price.
Durability and Manufacturing
With both Le Creuset and Staub, you’re getting an extremely durable, incredibly long-lasting piece of cookware. It’s one of the reasons we recommend investing in heritage brand enameled cast iron. Both Le Creuset and Staub have their own production factories (unlike other manufacturers that outsource this) and maintain strict standards. As we said in our review: «The engineers at the Staub foundry, for example, adjust the moisture of the sand in the molds that form their Dutch ovens daily based on the air’s humidity. At Le Creuset’s factory in Fresnoy-le-Grand, about two hours north of Paris, 15 employees inspect every pot before it ships out.»
This means that you’re unlikely to receive a pot with manufacturer defects. As a further sign of their quality, both Le Creuset and Staub offer lifetime warranties (as do the majority of other Dutch oven manufacturers).
This is where the two brands split more. Most notably, Le Creuset has a light enameled interior while Staub has a black enameled interior. Some cooks may find the black enamel of the Staub makes it hard to see fond development. However, it also means it’s less likely to show the natural scuffs, scratches, and discoloration that happens with regularly using cookware. So, it’s really personal preference.
The handles are also a bit different. Le Creuset features wide, looped handles and a sizable knob on its Dutch oven’s lid. Staub’s pot has slightly narrower handles with squared-off edges and a smaller knob on its lid. Neither are bad, but some cooks may prefer the roomier handles of the Le Creuset, especially when transferring it from the stovetop to the oven with bulky oven mitts on.
Both Le Creuset and Staub have a range of classic, always-available colors. The orangey Flame is iconic for Le Creuset, while Staub’s Cherry is a notable color. However, both brands also routinely come out with new, sometimes limited-edition colors (some are available exclusively at specialty retailers, like Williams Sonoma). So, they’re both pretty even here.
We’ve got a whole article devoted to cleaning a Dutch oven and both Le Creuset and Staub involve the same basic sort of daily care. If you’re concerned about interior marks/polymerized oil splotches on the exterior, you might want to opt for a Staub in a darker colorway. Its black interior will help hide marks and a darker exterior (like a deep red) will camouflage things a bit.
At the time of writing, a 5.5-quart Le Creuset is $400, while a 5.5-quart Staub is $311. So, Staub’s a bit cheaper, but both are still expensive and within the same price range. And, ultimately, with a piece of cookware that’s going to last as long as a Dutch oven, you should invest in the one you really want.
So, Should You Buy a Le Creuset or Staub Dutch Oven?
Sorry, but the answer is: either. Both are incredible pieces of cookware and are designed to last a long time and come with a reputation for quality.
Is Le Creuset or Staub better?
Neither is necessarily “better,” and both have reputations for quality and excellent cookware. Le Creuset’s Dutch ovens have wider handles and light-colored interiors, which makes it easier to see fond development. Staub Dutch ovens have slightly smaller handles and black interiors, which can be tougher for monitoring cooking progress, but hide marks and stains better.
What’s the best Dutch oven?
We reviewed Dutch ovens and named models from Le Creuset, Staub, Milo by Kana, and Cuisinart our top picks (they come at a variety of price points). You can read our full review here.
What size Dutch oven is best?
We recommend a 5- to 5.5-quart Dutch oven for most home cooks, which is plenty big and will get you through recipes that serve four with ease. For those looking for something larger, opt for a 7- to 7 1/2-quart Dutch oven.