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Feb 28, 2007 07:17 AM

Le Creuset vs Emile Henry

So Le Creuset is enameled cast iron while emile henry is porclain - right? What's the difference in how they are used? Which do hounds prefer and why?

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  1. I'd have real reservations about putting the EH porcelain directly on my cook top to brown something it before braising. The LC can of course be in contact with a direct flame.

    1. Emile Henry has a new line out that says that you can put it directly on the stove, but I haven't tried one yet. I LOVE my Le Creust dutch oven...I'd have 5 if they weren't so expensive. I also love me EH covered casserole dishes, but it's not a pot that I would use on the stove, I use it for baking. (I've broken more than one by accidently putting it on a hot burner. )

      1. My EH busted apart when I (stupidly) but it directly on the stove. However for some reason I do seem to prefer it for oven cooking.

        1 Reply
        1. re: brokergal

          Was it a flame top type? Most regular ovenware will 'bust' if you put it directly on the stove.

        2. You're right that the traditional Emile Henry bakeware is not stovetop safe. I, however, do love it for a variety of roasting and baking tasks. I also own ramekins and soup bowls from EH and consider them to be of very high quality.

          Recently, EH introduced a line of flametop cookware (made out of fired Burgundian clay) that's can be used in the same manner that one would use enameled cast iron. I've seen the stuff in the store, but don't own any. Two advantages that seem readily apparent are much ligther weight and the fact that it's freezer and microwave safe for leftovers. These factors, of course, would be meaningless if it didn't handle the basic French Oven tasks as well as LC or Staub. Also, it appears to be priced at a level similar to Staub and LC, so it better perfrom like they do.

          1. Produce Addict, Mario Batali has come out with a line of enameled cast iron that is priced well below LC. At first glance it looks to be very well made. (He also has a cast iron, coated pizza pan that's on my short list to acquire. A gorgeous piece.)

            4 Replies
            1. re: Walters

              Le Creuset (and Staub noted below) will do the best job of retaining heat on your cooktop. It's available in lots of colors and sizes and willl last for many lots years. But it's very heavy and will set you back some $$. You may also get some minor staining on the white enamel.

              Emile Henry's flametop wear usually comes only in a rusty red or a black color (unlike their bakeware). It's 30% lighter, and does a respectable job on the stovetop. If you boil milk or rice in water in it the 1st time it won't craze.

              The Mario Batali pots look good, but they tend to chip and stain.

              Finally, if you like the look of Le Creuset, consider Staub. It's another brand of french enameled cookware. Made, I think, in the same town as Le Creuset and for about as long. It's beautiful, has a black matte inside finish (no staining). But then again, it's heavy and expensive also.

              If you really want good solid heat retention, and don't plan on using tomatoes or other acids, and want to get the best for your money, consider plain old cast iron like our grandmothers had.

              1. re: ducky

                I have a new Emile Henry Dutch Oven and it is in a color called Figue - a beautiful brownish purple! This pot is AWESOME! I had a Lodge Enamel Dutch Oven which went back to the manufacturer because the enamel did all kinds of weird stuff. I haven't had a LC yet, and am debating, which is how I found this thread:) The Emile Henry, by the way, recently boiled over on the stove and the uncooked grains CAUGHT ON FIRE engulfing the pot over a foot high! When the flames went out, I thought for sure the pot would be ruined - but it was perfectly fine! I continued to cook what was in the pot - it didn't burn at all - and then washed the carbon off of the pot from the fire. The pot looks absolutely new after all of that, if you can believe it. This pot is lighter than cast iron, beautifully made, naturally non-stick - everything slides right out of it - and it cooks beautifully. Since I purchased it about a month ago I use it nearly every day. This is why I am debating about a LC or another Emile Henry for a 7 quart dutch oven.

                1. re: dsarah3

                  I also have 2 Emile Henry Flame (stovetop safe) pieces, the chinese pot and the tarte tatin set. They are AMAZING!!! I also have not had LC, but I don't even want to. I bought a Lodge dutch oven at the same time as my EH, and did some direct comparisons in braising and making roux-based pan sauces (real time, both pans side by side, same recipe/ingredients). The EH prime rib was slightly more browned, and the EH sauce did not break, while the Lodge's did. Maybe this could have been fixed with some tweaking, but now, a year later, the Lodge's bottom is scratched (despite attempts to take care of it, although some household members may have been forgetful not to take metal utensils to it), stained, and lusterless, whereas the EH looks like the day it was bought. Plus, EH is lighter, goes in the microwave, fridge, and freezer, and can take temperature shocks and metal utensils/green pads just fine without changing appearance or performance. So as far as I am concerned, the verdict is clear, SO clear I am not even bothering with LC. As soon as I can, the Lodge will be replaced with a 6.3qt oval EH dutch oven (which, by the way, supposedly has basting spikes under the lid like some new LC/Staub. I hope this helps!

                  1. re: sunwaker

                    It does have the basting spikes, I have it. It works as well as if not better than my Staub.