The Pros and Cons of a Le Creuset, Staub, and Lodge Dutch Oven

updated Jan 9, 2023
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Hands holding handle of $50 Dutch oven.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

The world of enameled Dutch ovens is big, but there are three main heritage brands you’ll come across — Le Creuset, Staub, and Lodge. We’ve tested and loved newer direct-to-consumer brands like Made In and Caraway, though we’ll always have a soft spot for the three OGs of Dutch ovens.

But just because there are a few heritage brands doesn’t mean that choosing one that fits your kitchen and cooking needs is going to be easy. In fact, we think it’s similar to shopping for a car. No, really! Think about it — they’re both shiny, bright, and relatively expensive. Plus, they require you to consider your budget, lifestyle, and space needs and constraints. And don’t forget about the durability, maintenance, and warranties either.

So, like when shopping for a car, one of the most useful things you can do when shopping for a Dutch oven is to make a list of pros and cons. And, you’re in luck, because we already did it for you.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)


  • Widely considered a leader in the industry, which we break down why here.
  • Handmade with strict oversight and quality standards.
  • Available in a wide range of colors from its classic Flame (a red-orange hue) to seasonal shades like Rhône (a red-plum), as well as patterns, like its Olive Branch collection, and exclusive collaborations, such as with the Harry Potter franchise. Many colors have a slight gradient to them, too.
  • Available in wide variety of sizes as well, from mini 1/3-quart cocottes to 15 1/2-quart versions that can feed extended families and friends.
  • And shapes, such as oval (which we think are prettier to serve in!), as well as deeper versions of the classic round Dutch oven.
  • White enameled interior lets you to see cooking progress easier.
  • Both the Dutch oven and the knob are oven-safe up to 500° Fahrenheit.
  • Roomiest handles of all the brands we’ve tested, which make oven-to-table transport easy.
  • Excellent lifetime warranty program.


  • Expensive — the cost for a 5 1/2-quart pot is $420 when it’s not on sale.
  • Light interior can be easily scratched by metal tools and stained by food (although you can eliminate some stains with some tough cleaning).
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)


  • Also considered an industry leader.
  • Handmade with strict oversight and quality standards, which we saw in person when visiting its factory in France.
  • Comes in saturated colors with more uniformity throughout the exterior, plus exclusive collections with retailers like Williams Sonoma and Crate & Barrel.
  • Dark, black matte enameled interior doesn’t show stains, is more effective at browning meat evenly, and can build up a nonstick “seasoning” over time.
  • You can replace the original knobs with ones in whimsical animal shapes, also made out of stainless steel and oven safe up to 500° Fahrenheit.
  • Bumps on the underside of the lid allow condensation to drip into the center of the pot, thereby “self-basting” the contents (most effective when used on the stove instead of the oven).
  • Tightest-fitting lid of all the brands, which maintains even heat inside and reduces evaporation.
  • Excellent lifetime warranty program.


  • Starting prices for Staub Dutch ovens are usually more expensive than its counterparts from Le Creuset, but they regularly go on sale and ultimately wind up being cheaper.
  • Comes in fewer colors than Le Creuset, although this is still more than other brands.
  • Dark interior can make it a little harder to monitor the browning process.
  • Spikes under the lid can make cleanup more difficult.
  • Tight-fitting lid means you’ll likely have to reduce the cooking liquids to keep flavors concentrated.
  • Staub Dutch ovens can be a little heavier than Le Creuset and the handles are not as roomy.
Credit: Sarah Crowley


  • Produced by an independent company based in the U.S.
  • Independent reviews consider Lodge Dutch ovens to about as durable as ones from Le Creuset and Staub, which we can also attest to.
  • Far cheaper than Le Creuset and Staub.
  • Knobs are metal and oven-safe up to 500° Fahrenheit like Le Creuset and Staub.
  • Interior is light colored-enamel like Le Creuset.
  • Handles are slightly more roomy than Staub, but not as roomy as Le Creuset.
  • Interior is very rounded, almost like a wide wok, so nothing gets caught in the corners.
  • Comes with a generous lifetime warranty.


  • Not handmade, though there is strict third-party oversight.
  • Not available in as many colors and sizes as Le Creuset and Staub, although the sizes are versatile enough to fit many households.
  • Light-colored interior can stain.
  • More rounded interior results in a smaller base diameter, which means you might have to brown meat in smaller batches.
  • Heavier than Le Creuset and Staub.

Knowing all this now, which Dutch oven brand would you pick?

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