If you’re getting serious in the kitchen and you want the very best, you’re probably looking into one of these fine enameled cast iron French ovens. With very similar price points and slightly different specs, you might be wondering, Staub or Le Creuset?
This is probably the most visually obvious difference, and it has the biggest impact on care and use.
Le Creuset’s French oven interior looks very similar to it’s exterior, except it’s always beige. The shiny interior is easier to clean and food tends to release from it easier when it’s new.
The interior shows stains more than their competitor, but Le Creuset sells a cleaning product specifically for removing the stains. It’s also easier to chip.
Staub’s interior is a matte black enamel. Although it looks like raw cast iron, it’s not. You can use soap and water to clean it which is beneficial for households with a variety of dietary restrictions.
The matte black enamel gets better over time. While there’s more care initially (it’s recommended you coat it with oil before use), it can season with repeated use. When seasoned, it acts more like seasoned raw cast iron.
The Le Creuset lid is iconic in appearance, but the Staub lid has a cool feature you may not know about.
The iconic rings on the rounded, convex lid make the Le Creuset lid totally Instagram-worthy.
The interior of the Le Creuset lid looks very similar to the rest of the interior. In this image, you can see the screw that makes changing the knob easy.
The Staub Lid is flat with a rim. While it looks more industrial it serves a purpose.
When cooking, in the oven or on the stove, put some ice cubes on the lid. This lowers the temperature of the lid. When the steam produced by cooking hits the cooled lid, it condenses instantly. This is where the inside of the lid comes in:
These little knobs are called “self-basting spikes.” They take the condensed steam from your cooking and distribute it evenly into your food.
That’s right. The lid actually helps your food retain moisture.
While Le Creuset has a version of this — the Doufeu — this feature is included in all Staub French ovens.
Both companies offer a variety of extra knobs you can purchase. Check out the ones shaped like different animals!
Most Le Creuset French ovens come with an oven-safe plastic knob. While not as pretty as the stainless steel ones you can purchase, they do stay cooler which makes it possible to pick up off the stove without an oven mitt.
The Staub knobs are generally all stainless steel. They look great, but don’t reach for it without an oven mitt or a kitchen towel. Ouch!
Staub offers knobs in the shapes of animals like a rooster and a fish. I guess it’s a fun little add on.
If this is important to you, the Le Creuset colours tend to be bright, while Staub seems to prefer a darker colour palette.
Le Creuset uses bright, primary and secondary colours, while Staub uses richer tones like dark blue and forest green (they call this colour Basil).
Le Creuset and Staub enameled cast iron French ovens are made in France. (Many of their other products, like their ceramics, are made places like China.) “Made in France” in this case means rigorous testing and quality control.
Both Staub and Le Creuset feature an outer enamel that is mostly glass based. They boast easy cleaning but can chip.
In both cases, a pot with a chip on the outside is still safe to use, but chips on the inside should be submitted as a warranty claim. Unfortunately, as with all warranty claims, there’s no guarantee you’ll get a new pot.
Wood and silicone tools and utensils are recommended for both Staub and Le Creuset. I’ve heard of people always using metal utensils with no problems at all, but I’ve also seen warranty claims on fairly new French ovens for using metal utensils. Play it safe and stick to wood or silicone.
Le Creuset and Staub cast iron is heavy. They hold heat very well, so once heated, you can turn your stove down and save energy.
They both come in similar sizes and types, including braisers, frying pans, French ovens and more.
Hopefully this helps you make a more informed decision when shelling out the clams for a top-of-the-line piece of cookware.
As always, if you have more questions, I’d love to hear them in the comments below or you can shoot me a message.