Le Creuset cookware is one of the most expensive types of cookware on the market. But, why? What makes it different from any other type of pot or pan that you might buy at your local kitchen store?
Le Creuset uses high-quality materials. Their cookware is designed for performance, durability, reliability, and safety with large handles and knobs for easy use. Le Creuset’s almost 100 years of experience honing its proven innovative designs and manufacturing skills are backed by offering lifetime warranties.
Is Le Creuset worth the high price? Yes, it is, in this Le Creuset review and deep dive into this heirloom-quality enameled cast iron cookware manufacturer let’s find out why Le Creuset is better than other brands. If you are in the market for high-quality pots and pans that will last a lifetime, then this is the place to start.
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Le Creuset’s History
Le Creuset is a French brand that has been around since 1925 and was founded by two brothers named André and Armand Desaegher in a small village called Fresnoy-le-Grand near Paris France.
The brothers were able to produce cast-iron cooking ware at an affordable price due to their understanding of casting technology from manufacturing guns for World War I. André Desaegher had been working as a metallurgist during WWI where he researched ways to improve gun barrels by developing new alloys that would hold up under high temperatures better than traditional iron or steel.
Over the years since 1925 when the first iron pot (French Oven) was poured, Le Creuset has been making cookware that’s made from cast iron, aluminum, and stainless steel. Today the company still operates manufacturing facilities and it is estimated that there are over 500 Le Creuset stores across the world today! As you can see, Le Creuset’s roots date back almost 100 years!
How to Pronounce Le Creuset Correctly
Just break it down “luh-CROO-zay”.
Want to hear it? Let the famous French chef Ludo Lefebvre teach you how luh-CROO-zay
Why is Le Creuset Cookware So Expensive?
What makes the pots, pans, and the vast range of accessories and other homewares from this company so superior to others on the market? Listed here are the many reasons consumers and home cooks are willing to pay the high price tag for great quality products.
Honing its design and manufacturing almost skills for almost 100 years Le Creuset is the market leader over other cookware brands in the enameled cast iron space. This is proven by the fact that loyal and new customers are willing to pay more for Le Creuset cookware, tableware, ceramics, stainless steel, and accessories.
Where Le Creuset is Made
Let’s clear up the confusion about where Le Creuset products are made:
- Enameled Cast-Iron – is made in FRANCE
- Stainless steel, bakeware, non-stick cookware, tableware, utensils, and other accessories are manufactured worldwide (United States, Portugal, and China to name a few)
The main reason Le Creuset cookware is so expensive has more to do with what goes into making each piece than anything else!
These two things are non-negotiable practices that are carried out every day: quality control standards and how long each piece takes to make at their foundry in Fresnoy-le-Grand, France by skilled craftsmen.
It is important that every piece meets Le Creuset’s high expectations and so 15 pairs of hands inspect each piece before shipping.
Le Creuset Cookware Materials
There are an array of different types of materials that the Le Creuset collection is made from which include cast iron products that are coated in porcelain enamel (which is durable), and stoneware (also thick with the benefits of being consistently heated), nonstick bakeware, and stainless steel.
Another reason Le Creuset pots and pans are more expensive than other brands is that they use high quality cast iron instead of other materials such as aluminum or stainless steel. Cast iron has a much higher heat capacity, meaning that you can cook at lower temperatures with less energy consumption, resulting in better-tasting food.
Cooking time may be reduced by up to 30%. The cooking surface stays evenly hot throughout the entire process reducing the risk of burning food since everything gets cooked from all sides simultaneously.
How is Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Made
Le Creuset has honed its production skills and manufactures sustainably using the following process;
- New high-quality raw materials as well as 85% recycled iron and steel
- Melted raw materials are poured into the sand molds known as ‘creuset’, where the Le Creuset name originated
- Each Le Creuset piece is truly an original because after cooling the molds are broken away. The sand is recycled over and over to create thousands of new Le Creuset pieces
- Cookware pieces then receive multiple layers of enamel color then baked at temperatures of 1400°F and over
- 15 Le Creuset craftsmen inspect each piece of cookware through the entire manufacturing process
- The end result is a piece of heirloom cookware that Le Creuset guarantees with a “Lifetime Warranty”
Read more about Le Creuset’s manufacturing processes in my Le Creuset Buyers Guide
Performance of Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron
The non-reactive enameled cast iron range from Le Creuset is so vast you will be frying on a skillet or griddle, baking in a roasting pan, making paella or risotto in a braiser, or making a stew or casserole in a Dutch oven.
Le Creuset has the formula of the thickness of its bases, walls, and lids just right. Along with the fact that you can use each piece of enameled cookware on all cooktops including induction as well as in the oven.
The integrated handles are generous and are safe to 500°F providing you use the stainless steel knob on the lid. If using the black knob avoid going over temperatures of 375°F as the knob will melt.
Using this type of cooking pot in a conventional oven produces wonderful recipe outcomes by heating the pots from all sides and using the self-basting system for stews, casseroles, and soups.
Roasting, baking, or making artisan bread in Le Creuset cookware also produces delicious meals every time.
Cookware that is built to last! The average lifespan of Le Creuset cookware ranges from 20 to 30 years or longer depending on how often you use them; this means you’ll be able to hand your pots and pans down to your children.
This is because the cookware surfaces are enameled with multiple vitreous layers of porcelain that are fused to the cast iron, which protects it from cracking and makes it very durable so you’ll have less need to replace them over time.
The signature, high-quality, enamel coating on top of their products prevents food from sticking to the cookware’s surface, along with correct heat application and use.
The enameled coating and glazing also allow the pot to go from the stovetop hob directly into the oven and also into a preheated broiler (without any additional preparation).
The versatility of the Le Creuset range! There are many different sizes and colors that will fit any kitchen or cooking style, whether you’re looking for small pots with lids (called cocotte), French ovens in all shapes and sizes, saucepans perfect for making sauces/gravy, Dutch Ovens that allow you to braise or stew meats without other liquid needed, or a Le Creuset skillet for cooking your eggs and bacon in the morning.
Innovative Designs and Colors
Unparalleled gorgeous designs with light cream interiors and signature gradient colors! Enamel coating covers all areas of pots, lids, and rims negating the need for seasoning.
Le Creuset’s handle design is the best. It provides a space large enough to fit mitted gloves comfortably while cooking and moving the heavy pot around without sacrificing quality.
Slow cooking is made easy as the Le Creuset lid has a tighter fit than most. Lids self-basting drip function and stainless steel lid handle to assist in making traditional Dutch ovens gold standard kind of cookware.
There are various knobs available either for replacement or to change up the convenience and look of your Le Creuset Piece. They come in different shapes, sizes, and materials including stainless steel and the classic black phenolic knob.
Le Creuset cookware has a classic look with traditional colors that are very popular right now. They’re sleek and stylish, but also beautifully simple in shape and color which makes them perfect for any kitchen décor or style you prefer.
There are many colors available including Flame (Volcano) is Le Creuset’s most popular color, in fact, it was the color of the first enameled cast iron Dutch oven manufactured by the company.
New colors drop when we least expect them! See the current large range of Le Creuset colors available in 2022 – here
Cleaning and Maintaining Le Creuset (Easy Care)
The quality of this cookware shines through with the ease of care when cleaning these pots and pans need to happen. The caveat to this is that you should remember that some food will stain light-colored enamel surfaces over time and if left unattended. These include acidic food such as tomatoes. Alleviate this by cleaning well after use.
Any enamel cast iron needs to be protected from thermal shock (quick shifts in temperature). So to avoid warping, surface enamel spidering, cracking, and chipping heat up on medium heat with ingredients in the pot. Don’t put cold water into a hot pot similarly don’t put a cold pot on a hot cooktop or oven.
Protect the enamel from damaging utensils like metal by using wood or silicon, Le Creuset has its own range of utensils that will protect the surface of your pots and pans.
They’re all completely dishwasher-safe! Although they are dishwasher safe you need to be aware of how abrasive and harsh dishwasher cleaners are. Resulting in colors that may fade over time. I hand wash my Le Creuset and use Le Creuset’s own cleaning products.
Storing cast iron can be tricky use the stoppers Le Creuset provides between the lid and the pot, do not pile other cookware on top of your enamel pieces.
See how to care for and maintain Le Creuset the right way – here
Le Creuset cookware comes with a Lifetime Guarantee! If you feel your product has defects in workmanship and materials there are measures in place all around the world to make sure you receive the product you ordered.
Extensive information regarding Le Creuset warranties can be found here at Le Creuset Customer Service
Le Creuset Enamel Cookware Pros and Cons
As you can see the benefits of Le Creuset far outway what some would consider disadvantages of this cookware.
|Le Creuset – PROS||Le Creuset – CONS|
|Made in France in 1925, by a renowned brand||Most expensive in this cookware class|
|Retains heat for even cooking and optimum moisture||Con of all cast iron cookware, slow to heat up|
|Generous handles for safety and to combat the fully laden weight||Con of all cast iron cookware, heavier than other materials|
|Generous interchangeable Le Creuset replacement knobs that are oven safe||The light interior may discolor without the correct cleanup after every meal|
|Use on all heat sources cooktops, ceramic, electric, induction, gas as well as oven safe up to 500°F|
|Cleanup is easier than other brands|
|The largest variety of shapes, sizes, and colors than any other cast iron enamel coated brand|
|With care, these heirloom pieces will be handed down through the generations|
|Limited Lifetime Warranty|
Alternatives to Le Creuset
What Cookware Is Better or Comparable to Le Creuset?
Staub is the closest alternative to Le Creuset, using quality materials and made in France. The workmanship of their products also reflects this standard along with a 30-year warranty. A Staub 7-qt. Round Dutch Oven is cheaper than a Le Creuset Signature Dutch oven by approximately half. For those looking for great quality affordable cookware Lodge®, Tramontina® Cuisinart®, and Crockpot all are brands with longevity in the industry.
Mus read when you want to compare the differences between two luxury brands Staub vs Le Creuset
|Alternative Brands to Le Creuset|
(Prices vary in sales and from
store to store)
CHECK OUT THE LATEST PRICES
|Le Creuset 7.25-Quart Round Dutch Oven||$400.00|
|Staub 7-Quart Round Dutch Oven||$300.00|
|Tramontina 7 Quart Oven Dutch Oven||$170.00|
|Misen Dutch Oven 7 Quart Round||$165.00|
|Cuisinart 7-Quart Round Casserole||$150.00|
|Lodge Dutch oven 7-Quart Oval||$110.00|
|Crock-Pot 7-Quart Round Dutch Oven||$60.00|
|Amazon Basics 7.3-Quart Round Dutch Oven||$60.00|
My in-depth article Alternatives to Le Creuset deep dives into the 3 best alternatives to Le Creuset.
Le Creuset Sale Prices
Le Creuset’s high-quality and durable cast iron cookware is the perfect choice for cooking your favorite dishes, but its steep price can be a turnoff for some people. The good news? Le Creuset offers many different products at affordable prices. Depending upon when and where you purchase Le Creuset cookware you never have to pay full price! Shop around…
Frequently Asked Questions
I have gathered together and answered some of the most asked questions about Le Creuset for your convenience…
What is the most expensive Le Creuset?
A set of Le Creuset cast iron pieces that belonged to Marilyn Monroe sold for $25,300 in 1999. Today in 2021, a set of 16 Le Creuset Cookware pieces can be purchased for less than $850, less if you wait for a sale.
Is there a cheaper alternative to Le Creuset?
There are alternatives to Le Creuset. Staub cast iron cookware is Le Creuset’s only rival in this cookware class.
Le Creuset and Staub cookware are considered a luxury or high-end cookware, even though Staub is slightly cheaper both are still more expensive when compared to other brands. For those looking for an affordable Dutch oven for a fraction of the price of other cast iron cookware, you should consider Lodge®, Tramontina® Cuisinart®, and Crockpot all brands with proven longevity and a good reputation in the industry.
Are there Le Creuset fakes?
How can you tell a fake Le Creuset? Check the rim of the Le Creuset pot where you place the lid. Fake ovens, pots, and pans will have underlying cast iron showing through. Le Creuset stamps its brand name, as well as size identifying letters, and numbers on the bottom of cookware pieces/lids. In some cases, it raises the sunken lettering in the ceramic.
See my article that teaches you how to identify authentic Le Creuset cookware pieces from fake or counterfeit Le Creuset cookware How Can You Tell a Fake Le Creuset?
How long does Le Creuset last?
Forever? Le Creuset does offer a lifetime warranty! Seriously if you care for a Le Creuset piece it will last your lifetime and possibly that of anyone you will the piece to…
Related read about “The Constances” Le Creuset Doufeu: Complete Guide
Does Le Creuset go on sale?
The great news is that Le Creuset does go on sale through their own retail stores, outlet stores as well as online. It’s worth checking out other retailers who may be running sales throughout the year. For those of us who are patient enough to wait until a Le Creuset sale pops up – discounted Le Creuset well done!
Check out where and when to get the Best Le Creuset Prices throughout the year including at Le Creuset Outlet Stores.
Does Le Creuset Sell Seconds?
Le Creuset as well as other retailers like TJMaxx may sell seconds. Seconds are Le Creuset pots that are completely useable but have very small flaws, and as such, are marked down. The Le Creuset warranty may be affected so check with the retailer selling the item or contact Le Creuset themselves before purchasing. Le Creuset warranty information.
Is Le Creuset worth it?
Le Creuset cookware is not cheap, however, its reputation precedes it, and once you purchase a set of Le Creuset cast iron pots or a Dutch oven, they will last for many years to come. So yes I would say that Le Creuset is worth the money!
Recommended read my article about the costs and expenses involved in manufacturing cast-iron Dutch ovens and other cast iron cookware: Why are Dutch ovens so expensive
See what America’s Test Kitchen says about Le Creuset
Wrap it Up! Why is Le Creuset So Expensive?
So there you have it “what makes Le Creuset so pricey” and “why Le Creuset is worth it”
- Le Creuset is a French company that makes cookware using cast iron
- The pieces are also made in northern France, at its original foundry, which adds to their prestige
- Well, there are a few reasons that come to mind: quality, design, beauty, and durability
- They make all types of pots, pans, skillets, baking dishes, roasting racks, Dutch ovens (casseroles), griddles… you get the idea!
- Largest range of shapes, sizes, and colors of cast iron cookware of any brand
- Bright colors Flame (a vivid orange) Cerise (classic deep dark red) Marseille (a classic timeless blue) or warm colors like Cotton and Oyster. Something for every decor and personal taste
- Another reason they are so expensive is that their products last for decades are easy to clean and with minimal maintenance, they’re built to last
- Heirloom long-lasting cookware with limited lifetime warranties
- The Le Creuset cookware range is not limited to cast iron pieces. They have stainless steel cookware, tri-ply cookware, ceramic bakeware, and much much more for all our kitchen and home decor needs
If chefs from all over the globe like Ashton Keefe, Marcus Wareing, Nigella Lawson, and Nic Caicedo use Le Creuset cookware I would say if you want it you should try it you will not regret using this cookware – I did and I have absolutely no complaints.
Why buy Le Creuset? All these factors add up to an expensive brand that you should consider buying if you have the budget for it!
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- AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Ovens
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