Choosing a French Oven: Le Creuset vs. Staub

A dutch oven or in this case a French oven, as they are both made in France, is a kitchen basic. It also happens to be something I have yet to own. In making soup and stews, my standard pots sufficed so I held off, but after seeing some photos of beautiful no knead breads baked in one – the time has come.

Le Creuset or Staub?

Which size?
Which shape – round or oval?
Which color?

The choice is a personal one based on what you’re going to be using it for and what your preferences are. This simple to-the-point comparison was helpful in making my choice. If you want to read more opinions, there are also a number of threads on Chowhound on this topic, including this one. Many commentators own both so their comparisons are useful and also confirm points in the review.

In the end, my choice was based on:

  • Easier to clean (and doesn’t look dirtier over time)
  • Better fitting lid
  • Design – I went with my DH’s preferred choice. It will look slightly more refined on the the tabletop.
  • Knob temperature – Only initially, however, the review incorrectly states that the “knob that is oven-safe to 350-400 degrees”. The Le Creuset product information on their website indicates that the knobs are heat resistant to 500°F.

I plan to mainly use mine for baking bread and cooking soups and stews.  Currently, I cook for two with leftovers. . .with hopefully more in the future. Keep in consideration potential long-term uses since this product is in it for the long haul.

And the winner is. . .
5.5 liter round Staub!

I have enough gift certificates that it’ll only cost me $20 + tax through Sur La Table. Sur La Table only carries three colors so it will be the grenadine. Without the gift certificates, I probably would also have looked more closely at the Lodge dutch oven.