This French Cocotte Is So Much Better than My Dutch Oven

published Sep 7, 2023
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One pot penne all'arrabbiata in Dutch oven on countertop.
Credit: Photo: Tara Donne | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Whenever I cook at home, I tend to stick with my trusty Dutch oven or a cast iron skillet (of which I have several sizes). Recently, when looking to expand my collection of kitchen cookware, I took the plunge and picked up a 5-quart Staub Tall Cocotte in Dark Blue. 

Quick Overview

What’s to Love About the Staub Cocotte?

With taller sides and a slim design, the Staub Tall Cocotte keeps messes to a minimum, while taking up less stovetop and storage space. That’s a win-win in our books!

There’s a lot to love about this handy piece of cookware. It’s extremely versatile and has become a go-to in my kitchen, whether I’m throwing together a soup, frying up some chicken, or making beef stew. Another plus is that it’s gorgeous to look at — I’ll often serve straight from the pot or keep it out on my stovetop as kitchen decor. Let me introduce you to my new favorite cookware.

What Is a Cocotte?

A cocotte is basically the French equivalent of a Dutch oven. Just like a Dutch oven, it’s made from cast iron and is available in many capacities, from mini sizes for personal dishes, all the way up to 7 quarts to feed a crowd. They can come in various heights — a classic pot height, something more shallow, and a taller version, which is what I tested. There are also novelty designs in addition to the usual round and oval shapes.

Credit: Kristina Razon

What Can You Cook in a Cocotte?

Like a Dutch oven, a cocotte has a lot of potential uses in a kitchen. It can handle just about any task, from boiling and stewing to frying and braising. Personally, I like to use my cocotte to make a pot of chicken adobo, some beef and bean chili, or a batch of vegetable stock. And while I haven’t done it myself (yet!), you can even bake desserts in there. It’s especially great for layers or tall desserts like soufflés.  

Credit: Kristina Razon

What’s So Great About the Staub Tall Cocotte?

While the Staub Tall Cocotte is nearly identical to a Dutch oven, what really sets apart this particular model comes down to two key aspects: the taller sides and slim design. 

Because I like to use my cocotte for dishes that involve lots of liquid, like chicken adobo,  the taller sides reduce the chance of boil-overs and minimize mess. This is great for frying, too. In the past, I’ve always pulled out my Dutch oven whenever a recipe calls for deep-frying, as it’s sturdy and can easily regulate temperature. These days, this cocotte edges out my Dutch oven, aas it contains splatter so much better — no one likes getting hit with drops of hot oil. 

As for the slim design, this translates to more space on your stovetop. I have an electric stovetop, so a Dutch oven takes up more than that neat circle. My Staub cocotte, on the other hand, sits well within that circle, ensuring that heat is evenly distributed across the bottom. The design also makes it easier to store, as its reduced footprint won’t take up as much cabinet space. 

Other pluses are that it works on all stovetops, from gas to electric to induction, and that it is oven-safe up to 500°F. 

Credit: Kristina Razon

Is the Staub Tall Cocotte Easy to Clean?

Yes, the Staub cocotte is a breeze to clean. While it’s technically dishwasher-safe, hand-washing is recommended. The smooth enamel surface is easy to scrub down with a sponge, soap, and hot water. 

After repeated use, one small drawback I’ve noticed is that the black enamel on the interior, paired with the taller sides, makes it harder to see the bottom of the pot (unlike my Dutch oven, which has a white enamel coating). While it isn’t a big issue, it does take some getting used to.

Credit: Kristina Razon

Is the Staub Tall Cocotte Worth Buying?

While the price tag is hefty ($389.99 at the time of writing), it’s comparable to an enameled Dutch oven of the same size. If you have the budget and are interested in expanding your roster of enameled pots, you won’t regret getting a Staub Tall Cocotte of your own.