What Is the Difference Between a Cocotte and a Dutch Oven?

cocotte vs dutch oven

These two heavy-duty yet beautiful looking cooking pots have been used as a staple piece of cookware for hundreds of years. But confusion still reigns over what the modern enameled version of these cooking pots should be called.

A Dutch oven is the original cocotte or French oven. Originally from The Netherlands, they were forged from cast-iron. Used in their raw form (no enamel coating) over open fires or wood stoves. Modern-day Dutch ovens have been coated in enamel and are known as “Cocottes” which is a French term for “Dutch ovens”.

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What Is the Difference Between a Cocotte and a Dutch Oven

Staub 5.5-Quart Cocotte – click the image to check it out

Why Does Cocotte Mean?

In France and Europe, the enamel-coated Dutch oven is called a cocotte or French oven.

Dated back to 1865 the word cocotte is French for a small round or oval cast-iron pot known as a “casserole”.

These cooking pots can also be made from earthenware and fireproof porcelain and are used to cook portions of meal, fowl, or game.

Le Creuset 5.5-Quart Dutch Oven – click the image to check it out

What Is a Dutch Oven?

In the United States, they are more commonly known as Dutch ovens or French ovens.

The earliest record of the Dutch oven is dated back to 1760. The Dutch oven is described as a cooking pot with a heavy lid.

This pot will make just about any dish but pot roasts, stews, soups are what would have been cooked in them hundreds of years ago.

Related Reading

What is a Dutch oven? and Dutch oven history

The Differences Between a Cocotte and Dutch Oven?

Dutch oven manufacturers and Brands name various shapes of their Dutch ovens different names such as cocotte, french oven, and Dutch oven, to add to the confusion.

Two very well-known brands Le Creuset and Staub both have cocottes, French ovens, and Dutch ovens in both their extensive ranges of cookware and accessories.

Cocottes (French ovens) and Dutch ovens are both cast-iron enamel coated cooking pots. Cast with thick walls, bases, and a heavy tight-fitting lid.

Dutch ovens usually have spikes or (nipples) on the inside of the lid. These spikes allow the flavorsome condensation to drip back into the oven for those full bodies flavors we all love.

This is where one major difference occurs between a Dutch oven and a cocotte.

This lid of a Dutch oven is curved in such a way to maximize the basting feature of its lids.

Whereas some cocotte, such as the Staub Brand cocotte, has a flat lid with spikes. It has amazing self-basting benefits it just looks different.

Cocottes and Dutch ovens come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, weights, prices, and finishes.

What Is a Cocotte Used For?

Although the shape of your cocotte may be slightly different and has been distributed by a manufacturer as a “cocotte” it is essentially a Dutch oven.

Dutch ovens are the original cooking pot that can cook almost any dish you want to prepare in it. So what can a cocotte be used for?

Is Staub as Good as Le Creuset?

What owners are saying about these two wonderful brands of cookware.

As with most debates about similar quality products – it really is a personal choice as to which one you will love.


Staub – Pros

  • Cocotte lid fits tightly
  • Self-basting spikes
  • Size is more convenient
  • 475 degrees Fahrenheit max temperature
  • I wanted to buy a Staub but they didn’t have a color I wanted

Staub – Cons

  • I have a Le Creuset oval Dutch oven but prefer my Staub Cocotte
  • The tight-fitting lid needs to be removed towards the end of cooking to reduce liquids
  • Heavier than Le Creuset
  • My cocotte lid is difficult to clean

Le Creuset

Le Creuset – Pros

  • I own equivalent size ovens but my Le Creuset is much lighter
  • Largest handles of any brand of Dutch oven I have used
  • Interchangeable knobs – if required
  • I love the lifetime guarantee
  • Great range of sizes, and shapes
  • I could not decide on what color I wanted there we so many choices
  • I love searching for vintage Le Creuset pieces to add to my collection

Le Creuset – Cons

  • No self-basting spikes
  • Slightly more expensive than Staub

5 of My Favorite Enamel Cast-Iron Dutch Ovens

Top 5 – Enameled Cast-Iron Dutch Ovens
(click on images to see what others are saying and current prices)

Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Round French (Dutch) Oven, Cerise

Staub Cast Iron Round Cocotte, Black Matte

Lodge 7.5 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, Caribbean Blue

Tramontina Dutch Ovens (7 qt. and 4 qt.) – Red

Crock-Pot Artisan Round Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 7-Quart, Pistachio Green

Finals Thoughts – The Difference Between a Cocotte and a Dutch Oven

So there you have it the differences between a cocotte and a Dutch oven. Almost little to none really.

I believe the best cocotte, French oven, or Dutch oven is the one you use everyday… After all, they are the original versatile one-pot cooking pot…

Which one is best for you? It really is a personal choice but you should take into consideration the following to get the most out of these wonderful cooking pots…

  • what types of food you will be cooking
  • how many you will be preparing food for regularly
  • what weight of pot can you safely handle
  • decor color choice
  • budget

One-Pot Cooking Rocks

Thanks for the video music – Ben Sound

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