Which dutch oven should I buy?
June 15, 2006 5:38 PM   Subscribe

Le Creuset or Le Chasseur? Is one a cheap imitation of the other? Or are they much of a muchness? Are either even worth the money in the first place, or would I get the same result from a cast iron dutch oven from a camping supply store?
posted by obiwanwasabi to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Besides the two manufactures you listed consider Lodge and Staub .

I do not have a Le Chausseur however I do have the other three and all have performed well. You must be prepared for some discoloration to occur on the interior of the Le Creuset after cooking with it for awhile. Both the Staub and the Lodge have spikes on the interior of the lid so that moisture is bastes the food while the Le Creuset has a smooth interior lid.

The handles for both the Lodge and Staub are metal while Le Creuset's is made of resin held in place by a single screw.

Both Lodge and Le Creuset have light colored interiors while Staub has a dark interior. Staub and Le Creuset have the better color choices in enamal.

All three did just fine with all my cooking. Cleaning was a snap and real difficult stains were taken care with Bar Keeeper's Friend on all three. I personally prefer Staub because of the aesthetic.

You can occasionally get a GREAT price on Lodge if price and quality are a factor. Le Creuset is available pretty much anywhere there is a high end cooking store while Staub is a little more difficult to find e.g., Williams and Sonoma does not carry the line usually.

No matter who you choose do not, under any circumstances, buy a cheaply enamelled dutch oven. I hope that I have not muddied the waters too much for you.
posted by jadepearl at 6:21 PM on June 15, 2006

Le Creuset has a smooth interior lid

Le Creuset now has a model or two out with spiky inside lids for moisture, too. I saw one at their local outlet store.

I have several Le Creuset pieces, and they're great. I love that I can use my French oven on the stove for chili or in the oven for pot roast or somesuch, and the food will cook marvelously well every time. And then the pot will clean easily. What more could you want?

(Well, OK, you might want something that doesn't take quite so much strength to lift, but it's still totally worth it.)
posted by cerebus19 at 6:42 PM on June 15, 2006

I have an Emile Henry dutch oven that I love. It has the spiky lid. I use it to make ropa vieja probably about once a month which is double duty on the stovetop and in the oven for the one dish, and cleans easy (made meatballs in it last night actually).

But the Staub line jadepearl linked is gorgeous. Now I'm wanty (clearly, I need a new teapot).
posted by birdie birdington at 6:50 PM on June 15, 2006

Best answer: Difference between La Creuset and Chasseur - I've got pieces from both and they're all fantastic, the only difference is that one is cheaper than the other - and I'd guess that's down to brand awareness rather than quality

La Creuset/Chasseur vs: other options - go with the good stuff if you're someone who's into cooking.
posted by bella.bellona at 6:52 PM on June 15, 2006

I want that Staub mussel pot.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:44 PM on June 15, 2006

I want the Staub mussel pot, too! And the knobs on their collectibles are adorable. I especially like the snail...:)
posted by phoenixc at 7:59 PM on June 15, 2006

I vote Staub as well. I've never used Le Creuset or Le Chausseur, but my family uses the Staub line and I swear, you've never tasted anything better than something cooked in La Cocotte (I think it's the picots on the lid).

There's a great little write up by Clotilde @ Chocolate & Zucchini, here.
posted by mewithoutyou at 8:00 PM on June 15, 2006

creuset and lodge are both stellar though creuset look nicer if youre into that
posted by fumbducker at 9:28 PM on June 15, 2006

Best answer: Cast iron can't be beat for price, but be aware that you can't cook with wine in it because you'll get a foul-tasting chemical reaction.
posted by O9scar at 10:45 PM on June 15, 2006

the difference between a normal cast iron dutch oven and a le creuset/etc. is that the latter is non reactive, as in you can make things that are acidic (dishes with tomato, lemon juice, etc).
posted by ifjuly at 11:54 PM on June 15, 2006 [1 favorite]

Best answer: We have a bunch of Chasseur stuff, it's really bloody good stuff.
posted by The Monkey at 3:45 AM on June 16, 2006

I've had the same LeCreuset pans for twenty years and they look like they'll outlast me easily (I'm only 38). Not quite dutch ovens but if their construction is consistent across the range, then that's why they're worth the money.
posted by itsjustanalias at 7:07 AM on June 16, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks all!
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:31 AM on June 17, 2006

Cast iron can't be beat for price, but be aware that you can't cook with wine in it because you'll get a foul-tasting chemical reaction.

That is untrue for enameled cast iron.
posted by Caviar at 8:42 AM on June 18, 2006

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