HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >

Discussion

Le Creuset vs. Staub

LOCKED DISCUSSION

I will be honest - Le Creuset seems to be all the rage within the circle I hang out with. But....after reading some of the chow's posts it seems as Staub is really worth looking into.
Please tell me if both products are similar, maybe one is better than the other? I would love to hear some opinions. I only have a couple of le Creuset pots and absolutely love them.

  1. Thanks for bringing up this topic, as I've been wondering the same thing myself.......!

    1. (If I do say so myself...) I think I said it best when I said, "Le Creuset is for the masses, Staub is for those in the know." Go buy yourself a nice Staub and be the envy - not the same - of all your friends.

      1 Reply
      1. re: HaagenDazs

        But why? I am planning to buy a 5.5 qt. dutch oven. I can buy the Le Creuset doufeu or the Staub which are just about the same price - neither is cheap.
        I've been happy with my other LeCreuset, some of which I've had for decades. What's so special about Staub? I don't care what my friends think. This is for ME.

      2. I have both. While I really can't say anything negative about LC, I prefer my Staub. I think it browns better, seems to be heavier with a better fitting lid, and--when used for stovetop braising--the dimples really do make a difference.

        No one is going to be disappointed with a piece of LC, it's just that having used both over the last two years, the Staub seems to have a slight edge.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Sam Harmon

          I have both as well, and Sam said it nicely. I always go for my Staub over my LC. One very simply addition I'll make (but an important one) is the design of the lid handle. It simply works better. More space to hold on to, it's metal, it never has to be tightened (in my experience anyway).

        2. I have both and I use both often. I have an oval dutch LC oven, an LC soup pot, an LC wok and a round Staub dutch oven. I don't find significant differences in performance between the dutch ovens. I do like the handle on the lid of the Staub a bit better than on the LC because it sits up a little higher and is easier to get a hold of while holding a towel or pot holder. Of course, that's necessary because the handle knob is metal and gets hot whereas my LC lid handle doesn't get hot nearly as quickly and almost never when it's on the stove top.

          I don't think you can go wrong with either brand. If I buy another piece of either, I have to say that it'd come down simply to price.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ccbweb

            The new LC Signature line has re-invented the design of the handles and they not only sit up higher, they can handle heat up to 480 or 490 so they can be used for things such as bread. Additionally, the handles have been made a bit larger for easier hold with pot holders.

          2. The main difference is Le Creuset gets stained and dingy looking with use, and the Staub gets better with use. It's interior develops a seasoning and becomes more and more nonstick. Searing a piece of meat in LC will cause brown stains on the enamel. These can be removed at first with some bleach, but bleach is alkaline and it's use after a while causes the enamel to lose some of it's shine, which causes more staining. Staub also sears much better.

            I don't want to worry whether cooking something is going to stain my pot. I would prefer a lighter interior, but you get used to the darker one, and it's nice not to have to worry about staining. It's also nice to know the pot you spent so much money on will improve with age, and not get more and more stained and discolored, and look dirty inside.

            52 Replies
            1. re: blondelle

              What's the interior of Staub made of that allows it to become seasoned? Isn't it enamel, just like Le Creuset? What makes it sear better if it is the same material?

              1. re: MakingSense

                The interior of the Staub is matte black enamel. It's slightly rough which allows the pores of the enamel to fill and season from hot oils that become polymerized, and form a nonstick patina over time, just like raw cast iron. The smooth, glossy interior of the LC doesn't permit that.

                A dark slightly textured surface will sear better than a light, glossy one. Dark absorbs heat better and it gives a deeper, better sear more quickly.

                1. re: blondelle

                  This has puzzled me since I first read it.
                  Enamel is glass. Glass is non-porous, ergo, no pores to fill, polymerize, and season as in cast iron.
                  You can't see "stains" on the dark finish of Staub but the gunk might be building up anyway, just as it does around rivets on pans if you don't clean them well. Is that really a "nonstick patina"? That would build up in the same way on a LC once the shine was gone as long as you didn't care what it looked like.

                  I've never seen an appreciable difference in searing between light or dark enameled cast iron. I hate searing on either or them. I usually sear in a plain cast iron skillet and transfer to the dutch oven for further cooking. I get a much, much better sear than in the coated cast iron that makes it worth a quick washing of an extra skillet.

                  1. re: MakingSense

                    Glass actually IS porous. It's why you can get calcium deposits built up over time on your windows from rain or sprinklers; the molecules have pits and tiny surface variations in which to settle.

                    1. re: nicemonster

                      Nope...not that it really matters, but neither glass nor enamel are porous.
                      Webster's says:

                      po·rous [pawr-uh s, pohr-]
                      -adjective
                      1. full of pores.
                      2. permeable by water, air, etc.

                      True, substances can adhere to the surface of glass or enamel, but they are not porous or permeable, and nothing will be absorbed into them. Adherence occurs more with glass or enamel which is frosted or has a matte finish because unlike glossy surfaces, there are more interstices to hang onto.

                  2. re: blondelle

                    I saw Staub today at Dillards. The interior appears to be pre-seasoned cast iron as opposed to enamel. The real question is whether pre-seasoned cast iron can be considered enamel.

                    Also, Staub was designed for restaurant use. Restaurants in the U.S. are not allowed to use enamel because if it chips then bacteria can be harbored there. That makes me even more suspicious about their enamel interior claim.

                    1. re: krbtv

                      Enamel is a glass coating, normally over cast iron. "Pre-seasoned" cast iron is cast iron with some oil burned onto it. I don't think anyone questions whether one can be considered to be the other -- they're entirely different in all respects.

                      That rough black surface is enamel. Really. LC makes a number of pans which also have the rough black enamel interior.

                      1. re: krbtv

                        Staub's interior is black satin enamel. It is definitely NOT preseasoned cast iron: the two surfaces are easily distinguishable when examined side by side.

                    2. re: MakingSense

                      ^^There is a HUGE difference between their interiors. While LC claims to have an interior that resists sticking, it's really just glazed enamel. So the more you use it the more it wears away (and stains). However the Staub is completely different:

                      "Why Staub Enameled Cast Iron?
                      Self-basting spikes underneath the lid ensure continuous, natural basting
                      The more you use your Staub product, the better it gets! Oils used when cooking will penetrate the pores of the matte enamel and create a natural, smooth, nonstick surface
                      Special, smooth ceramic bottom is usable on all heat sources
                      Lids feature stylish solid brass and stainless steel knobs
                      Staub enameled cast iron products are highly durable, do not discolor or rust, resist chipping, do not require seasoning, and are ready to use immediately"

                      ^^As you can see the difference is the: "Oils used when cooking will penetrate the pores of the matte enamel and create a natural, smooth, nonstick surface" - the surface of the Staub gets better and better while the surface of the Le Creuset just wears more and gets worse and worse.

                      1. re: beauxgoris

                        Folks, Chowhound is not a debating contest, where one poster "wins" and another "loses". We're here to share great chow tips. We all feel passionately about our favorites, but please share your opinions with respect for the fact that others won't feel the same.

                        We don't see any new information being shared here, and we've removed some increasingly hot-tempered posts. If we see the discussion continuing in this direction, we'll be locking it.

                        1. re: beauxgoris

                          I don't think we're disagreeing with you about what Amazon may say, but I think we disagree that LC itself, the manufacturer, makes the claim that their product is non stick or prevents the food from sticking. I'm sure Staub is a wonderful product, just haven't yet seen a reason to replace my LC, which so far, fortunately, has worked well for me. I don't buy LC because of its "stick or non-stick" qualities - in cooking where sticking is an issue for me, I buy Swiss Diamond - so I'm not sure why the sticking or non sticking is such a big deal in a product that I at least use for braising, risottos, etc.

                          1. re: MMRuth

                            I'm not saying you should replace your LC with anything. I'm only giving my personal review having owned both products. The interior of my LC became more and more worn: i.e. stained and no longer as non-stick as it was (which I was happy about) when it was new. However my experience with my Staub has been the opposite: mearly that the interior gets better with use like a well seasoned cast iron pan. That's all. As for whether or not the interior of LC should resist sticking: I wrote to LC (about the description posted on amazon.com) to see what they say. I find it rather pathetic that some are taking this to the wall based on what is posted on one vendors site: but there you go. I'll let everyone know what the response I receive is. Just as you are free to love your LC (as I used to). I am free to feel as if Staub is a much superior product. As far as I know i'm the only one in the discussion (of the three of us) that has actually owned and used BOTH products for a long period of time. So I feel on that basis alone my testimony is relevent. I don't know why I keep getting attacked for my opinion - but as much as you might not like it = that's what it is.

                            1. re: beauxgoris

                              I'm sorry if you feel attacked - that certainly wasn't my intention - and thank you for your clarification.

                          2. re: beauxgoris

                            Staubs enamel is made of the same material as LC's but it's just a different color and finish. If LC's enamel wears away with use, so will Staub's with continued use. Staub stains too with brownish stains which is the seasoning of polymerized oils building up. If you scrub that away you lose the benefit of it becoming more nonstick.

                            The main difference is Staub has the dark interior, becomes more nonstick with use, and has the basting spikes on the inside lid. Le Creuset has for the most part a glossy, sand color enamel interior which makes it easier to monitor your cooking, is a bit lighter in weight, comes in many more sizes and colors, has a track record of pieces being in use for 60+ years and still performing well, and has an iron clad warranty with great customer service and they have been making this for 80+ years.

                            Which is prettier is subjective but I think that Staub is. With a many piece collection though, their ornate lids become a bit much. After weighing the benefits of both brands I sold my Staub and went with LC. While I will give the edge to Staub by a small margin, the bottom line was that I didn't really want to cook with it. I found the dark interiors drab and deary, and not inviting to make me want to use it, especially in the warmer months, and THAT after all is said and done, is THE most important factor!

                            1. re: blondelle

                              My 5 quart Staub Dutch oven has a glossy light sand color interior. But my LC Grill pan has a dark, rough interior that is extremely hard to clean after using. And I always spray my LC with Pam, before using.

                              Perhaps in different years, both LC and Staub have tried different colors/finishes.

                              1. re: mcel215

                                Staub makes several lines, at different price points. The Basix and Elite lines, carried by QVC (and very reasonably priced), both have glossy light interiors, but pieces in the highest-priced line always seem to have the rough dark one. I haven't seen the QVC stuff in person, but it looks very nice on the website and I would guess that the quality is more than acceptable. A few years ago HomeGoods was carrying random pieces from one of Staub's discontinued lower-priced lines, and I picked up a couple. So far, they've performed just like my Le Creuset, and the enamel has held up just as well.

                                1. re: Miss Priss

                                  I sent my MIL a 5qt Staub from QVC for this past Christmas. She's been thrilled iwth it. Quality is quite nice, especially given the price. I was a bit concerned when I ordered it without seeing and touching but it really is a great deal.

                                  1. re: ziggylu

                                    The Staub sold on QVC is of different quality than it's standard pans. Glad to hear that it is still good. I was wondering about the quality. I love my Staub coquette. I plan on aquiring more as soon as funds allow.

                                    I have never used LC, I really debated between the two brands. In the end, it came down to the discoloration and rubbing off of the enamel of the LC.

                                  2. re: Miss Priss

                                    My Staub was bought for me as a gift from QVC and I absolutely love it.

                                    I can't say the same about my LC grill pan and although it cooks well, it is such a pain to clean. It is almost not worth the clean up.

                                2. re: blondelle

                                  I own Le Creuset only at this point, have never used Staub. I definitely understand what you guys are saying about staining. Barkeeper's Friend works well, but I have stains that are extremely well set from before I had it (and there will be no bleaching--this is a bleach-free household).

                                  I'm wondering if the spikes cause any issues when you're not braising/using a method where they are useful. For example, I cook oatmeal in my Le Creuset ... I wouldn't want to have condensation pool on top while I'm trying to get everyone served. Does everything have the spikes?

                                  1. re: foiegras

                                    Just out of curiosity...what's wrong with using bleach to remove the stains on the LeC?

                                    1. re: josephnl

                                      Bleach is incredibly toxic ... and pans are for cooking food ... that will be ingested. Plus, I breathe the air in my kitchen ;)

                                      1. re: foiegras

                                        I don't know where you get your information, but you are misinformed. Sure, undiluted bleach is toxic, but if a pot or pan is washed off after soaking, the amount of residual diluted bleach remaining is totally safe. If you have ever gone swimming in a public pool, you have been exposed to bleach. Virtually all surfaces in hospitals from floors to countertops are cleansed with products containing bleach. Drinking water often contains chlorine bleach as a purifying agent.

                                        I don't know your background, but I have spent much of my career studying and ensuring safety of marketed drugs, so I do have at least some expertise in this area. I can assure you that treating stained cookware with bleach is completely safe, as long as the pot/pan is rinsed reasonably well prior to using.

                                        1. re: josephnl

                                          I'm sure we can agree to disagree on whether bleach is a plus in the kitchen.

                                          I am aware of how bleach is used in water supplies and swimming pools. I don't swim. My local water department uses ozone I believe it is instead of chlorine. I have used chlorine filters before, and can see that there is little chlorine in our tap water here. All of my drinking water is spring water.

                                          Additionally, if there is crud (or mineral deposits, as another poster so much more elegantly put it) on my cookware, I'd rather see it than hide it from myself. Bleach isn't removing the deposits, it is simply removing their color.

                                          1. re: foiegras

                                            But please...if you have reason to believe that the minute amounts of chlorine that may persist after bleaching a pot, or reside in swimming pools are toxic to most persons...please lead us to the reference or scientific evidence that this is true. Chlorine has been used for more than a century as a disinfectant, and is still widely used as a swimming pool and hospital surface disinfectant. I am unaware of any significant human toxicity when chlorine bleach is used properly, but am anxious to be better informed if you could please provide us with some reasonable scientific evidence to the contrary.

                                            I continue to use bleach to remove stains from ceramic/porcelain cookware such as that made by Le Creuset, and really do not believe that this is in any way unsafe.

                                            1. re: josephnl

                                              I have a feeling that any evidence I presented would be received with great disbelief; I am quite happy to agree to disagree with you. (One would think the smell of chlorine bleach alone would be enough to convince anyone it cannot be a good thing ... there's a reason we have a sense of smell.)

                                              I wonder if anyone has an answer to my original question about the spikes??

                                              1. re: foiegras

                                                I am by education and experience a scientist. I would truly welcome any evidence that contradicts my opinion. Rather than disbelief, if you were to present some credible scientific rationale for your opinion that careful use of bleach as a cleanser is dangerous, I promise you I would honor it. I truly respect scientific honesty, but fiercely reject any opinion which is not based on experience or science.

                                                Thus, I continue to think it totally reasonable to bleach stains in cookware with household bleach, and to clean sinks, countertops, etc. with bleach products. As long as the residual bleach is rinsed away, I think that the benefits of so doing far outweigh any possible risk.

                                                I would truly welcome any scientifically based contrary opinion.

                                                1. re: foiegras

                                                  If smell alone were a reasonable indicator of unsuitability or toxicity, then by your reasoning Morbier cheese would be toxic. It's not, and neither is lutefisk, natto, or any other smells-horrible-but-tastes-delicious food.

                                                  1. re: foiegras

                                                    Yes, there is a reason we have a sense of smell. There's also a reason we have science, and science was created because our senses can fool us pretty easily. To really know that something is dangerous, you have to be able to create replicable trials that are well designed to eliminate confounders (these are the variables that might correlate but which do not indicate causation) so that false positives are excluded. But at the end of the day, it isn't about "great disbelief"--that would imply that science works the same as a religion where evidence is excluded that does not fit the preconceived model. Instead, scientific evidence from one (and sometimes more) studies is treated skeptically until you can know how well the studies are designed to remove confounders, how well the evidence has been peer reviewed, and how successful other researchers have been at replicating the results. All these steps are in there because sometimes what our senses convince us can't be a good thing really doesn't cause any problems at all. To put this more on topic, Hungry Celeste nailed it: our senses would probably tell us stinky tofu ca't be good for us, but assuming a standard dose it is extremely unlikely that it would cause any harm (other than the smell/taste does tend to linger on the palate :D).

                                                    Oh, and I think the main complaint jospehnl had (he'll correct me if I"m wrong, I think), is that while it is true large amounts of chlorine bleach can be "incredibly toxic" (does that make people super dead?? ;), there is a dose-response curve in most things, and minute amounts of toxins are often part of the foods we eat and drinks we drink with no discernable negative response. For example, allyl isothiocyanate is quite toxic as well (LD50 of 151 mg/kg), in fact more toxic by mass than allyl isothiocyanate at 192mg/kg for the LD50. It is also the stuff that makes mustard and horseradish hot. So the idea that something is toxic and shouldn't be near food just because it has some toxicity level would mean that there are a lot of things we regularly eat that we couldn't eat anymore. The trick is that the normal doses we ingest of the stuff in question just aren't high enough to cause toxicity. With bleach, assuming most have the same concentration of the stuff I have in my laundry room (6%) and a 70kg person (roughly about 150lbs--I'm rounding from here on out), you'd have to drink nearly a can of soda worth of bleach straight out of the container before you'd kill off 50% of the population, and if you start talking about the levels of dilution you'd get from normal kitchen use, you'd have to start drinking buckets and buckets of the stuff. This is assuming, of course, that the toxicity response in lab rats is directly translatable to humans, but since we're rounding it is probably ok. I am sure joseph can be more exact here.

                                                    All this is a long way of demonstrating that bleach, while definitely toxic, has a dose/response curve that doesn't warrant any real concern in normal kitchen uses.

                                                    As for the spikes question, I have cooked thick stews and chilis in a Caphalon enamel/cast iron pan with similar spikes on the lid. It does cause a bit of pooling of water under the spikes, but for something like oatmeal I would think it would be a minimal thing that you could easily blend back in. You may want to adjust the moisture you start with using a pan like this with something like oatmeal because of this, but it shouldn't cause any real harm to the recipe.

                                                    1. re: mojomarc

                                                      Not to get overly technical here, my point was that bleach is not only very effective in removing stains, it is, if used with any degree of common sense, extremely safe. Indeed, amongst most commonly found household chemicals, it is probably the best and safest readily available disinfectant to clean surfaces contaminated with human blood, raw poultry, etc.

                                                  2. re: josephnl

                                                    I'm with foiegras. Regardless of your belief that chlorine is not unsafe, josephnl, I know as a matter of absolute fact that breathing in chlorine bleach gives me a migraine. So mine is a no-chlorine home, too.

                                                2. re: josephnl

                                                  I am not the OP who posted about bleach, but I have asthma and the fumes cause major problems for me, even if diluted. If I accidentally get it on my hands, I get huge whelps. I stay away from pools, and cannot be near an indoor pool b/c of the fumes.

                                                  Many of us are very sensitive to the toxicity of bleach, and it is toxic no matter how much you dilute it.

                                                  The USDA has devoted much time and effort to our safety too, but somehow we still get beef that has been gassed with ammonia and that is contaminated and must be recalled.

                                                  1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                    Thanks for your comments, I find them very interesting.

                                                    My sister is allergic to Splenda, and gets big welts in her mouth if she eats something containing it accidentally. I am leary of artificial sweeteners anyway, but it's always enlightening to hear from a 'canary' who has a bit more of an extreme reaction. After all, there would be no welts if it was just sugar, or in your case, if it was just water.

                                                    Something doesn't need to kill me or cause me a reaction instantaneously in order for me to believe it the better part of wisdom to avoid it, to the extent I can.

                                              2. re: josephnl

                                                Bleach is highly alkaline and will etch the enamel if used consistently. It will remove the stains but over time the enamel will lose it's shine and be more vulnerable to staining, starting a viscous cycle. I've had that happen, and Le Creuset which used to recommend a mild bleach solution on their website for removing stains, has stopped doing so.

                                                1. re: blondelle

                                                  I use it rarely, and it does work. Perhaps once a year if there is significant staining, I put a dilute solution of bleach in the pot and it seems to work well, and I have not (at least as yet) noticed no damage to the enamel. I was primarily addressing the issue of safety, which in my opinion is a non-issue.

                                                  1. re: blondelle

                                                    The new pieces of LC that Williams Sonoma carries has a finish that is anti-stain. I've three pieces of this and it works well. I've not yet encountered any staining on mine.

                                            2. re: beauxgoris

                                              How high a temp can Staub go to vs. the dark-coated LC? (Another bonus for Staub is better color selection, if it is not fiesta day every day in your kitchen.)

                                              1. re: Cinnamon

                                                If you want to use really high heat to sear things, I would not recommend a porcelain ironware (neither do the manufacturers). Get a regular cast iron pot/skillet like a Lodge. I actually use both as the non-porcelain will start to rust if you leave food in them for a short while.

                                                1. re: Mikecq

                                                  Thanks. Where would you say is the temp cutoff in the oven or over gas burner?

                                                  1. re: Cinnamon

                                                    The manufacturer recommends 375 degrees F in the oven (the knob is the weak point). You can brown on the stove but you should avoid very high output burners for searing. The reason people use cast iron is the heat retaining value and the weight of the lid which causes a slight buildup of pressure which helps make food more tender. I don't have a temperature for the stove top but I avoid the really high flames.

                                                      1. re: Mikecq

                                                        The newer pieces are available at Williams Sonoma and are good for 450 degrees...and the handles are bigger and easier to handle.

                                                        1. re: Mikecq

                                                          FYI, you can buy stainless steel knobs to replace the polymer ones that Le Creuset ships with - they're about $10-12. I got mine at a Le Creuset outlet (LOVE that place) but you can probably find them on amazon.com and probably at William-Sonoma.

                                                          (oops, should have read further, point was made)

                                                    1. re: Cinnamon

                                                      The Staub website states you cand use it in the oven up to 500 degrees F, you can't do this with LC as the knob is plastic. You can brown a roast on the stove top at medium heat or slightly above with no issues. The way the web site states the temperature resistance reads 500 oven and stove top.

                                                      1. re: mikie

                                                        You can resolve the knob and temp restriction with a $10 stainless replacement knob sold by LC. It's a non issue!

                                                        1. re: blondelle

                                                          But you have the hassle of having to purchase an extra knob and do the replacement. I wish they would just ship with the stainless knob.

                                                          1. re: decolady

                                                            For over 2 years ,Sur La Table has sold LC with a metal knob
                                                            I bought one in white -6.75 that we used for the NK bread and other
                                                            things easily it now lives at my sister-in-laws home
                                                            since it proved way too big for my family

                                                            1. re: gulfcoastgal

                                                              I also have a Cuisinart cast iron porcelain dutch and must say the quality is similar to the LC but with a metal knob. It's also way cheaper.. Check it out and compare the quality.

                                                              1. re: gulfcoastgal

                                                                I haven't bought any in the last couple of years. Thanks for the info.

                                                                1. re: decolady

                                                                  LC seems to have a lot of "special deals" exclusive colors, exclusive new shapes or exclusive new sizes, etc. I'd guess the metal knob already on the DO could be a Sur la Table exclusive they made with LC. Obviously I don't have any insider information, but I haven't seen the metal knob on any other sellers LC, although, everyone does sell the metal knob.

                                                                  I'll make one other knob comment. The LC website states the knob is phenolic and is oven safe to 375°F, having spent 17 years in the phenolic industry, selling to companies molding phenolic knobs and pot and pan handles. I personally think 375°F is a bit of a streach. If your DO is going in the oven, just buy the metal knob and replace the plastic one. I'm also not sure what material the new knob on the post available at WS is made of that they claim something like 480°F as the safe oven temperature, but I'm extremely curious to know. If anyone hears what that new plastic is please post.

                                                                  Thanks,

                                                              2. re: decolady

                                                                I think that was done with the intention of safety. People may just grab the hot metal knob....

                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                  Perhaps. But Staub comes with a metal knob.

                                                  2. I have both Le Creuset and Staub and find them both useful for different things. I take good care of the Le Creuset and have not experienced "staining".
                                                    The Staub is fantastic in the oven.
                                                    Also if it matters to you, they both have different looks imo.

                                                    1. I don't own a Staub but I do own 2 Le Creuset Dutch Ovens (5 quart round and 7 quart oval). I also own a 6 quart Lodge Enameled Dtuch Oven and I think the Lodge Dutch Oven is as good in terms of performance as the Le Creuset Dutch Ovens at less than half the price.

                                                      http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Enamel-Qu...

                                                      30 Replies
                                                      1. re: Norm Man

                                                        Hi! This is my first post with Chowhound, but I've been reading up on the Staub vs. Le Creuset discussion for several days.

                                                        I am looking to purchase a 5.5 quart Dutch Oven and cannot decide. (( It probably does not help that I am terrible at making decisions anyways! ))

                                                        I will primarily use my cast-iron cookware for Braising and Soups. I love the look of Staub, but wonder if the customer service / warranty is as trustworthy as LC. On the contrary, I do have concerns on how the lighter (thinner?) interior of the LC will hold up with all of the serious browning I will be doing for braising.

                                                        All of your comments have been extremely helpful, and if anyone has any insight on my above questions, I would be very grateful.

                                                        1. re: akillian24

                                                          The Le Creuset interior will definitely stain with high heat searing and browning. To avoid that you can do your searing in another pan and transfer to the LC for braising, but then you have another pan to deglaze and wash. The dark interior will also brown better. If the staining will bother you then go for Staub. The LC will also lose it's glossy interior over time, and become harder to clean.

                                                          I'm pretty sure that Staub will replace an oven that has a serious defect, but LC goes above and beyond the warranty replacing ovens that have been dropped and broken at 1/2 price or less, and replacing worn out ovens too for free.

                                                          1. re: blondelle

                                                            I just checked with Staub as I was curious myself. They will replace a worn out item, but not one that you dropped and broke or give anything off a new one under that circumstance. I have all my unused Le Creuset on Ebay now, and I'm going with the Staub. I've picked them up here and there at great prices. I think it's a better product but I do prefer the ligher interior. I know I won't though with stains all over it.

                                                            1. re: blondelle

                                                              Thanks so much! I stopped by the William Sonoma store today too. Everyone seems to agree that LC makes a great product.. but I am always a bit of a 'researcher' and Staub seems to be a great product that is fairly new.

                                                              I read my Molly Stevens braising book, and she actually lugs around a 15 year old LC, but also says that Staub is a good brand.

                                                              Do tough! I definitely do not want a stained interior though... and I like to sear, brown and blacken all in the same pan.

                                                              1. re: akillian24

                                                                Staub may be fairly new to the US, but it's been around in Europe for ages. It's also used in restaurant kitchen where I think the LC is not. The Graphite gray color which they just brought out, was actually developed they told me for food service, which is for restaurant kitchens.

                                                                For your type of cooking which seems like higher heat searing, and browning, Staub is the way to go. Much better for searing, no staining, and the ability to accept seasoning and therefore better release the more it's used. Gets better with use, not dingier!

                                                            2. re: blondelle

                                                              I don't know what sort of "staining" the above poster has experienced, but I have used my various LC for tomato sauces, braises w/tomatoes, searing big hunks of meat, then oven-braising 'em, stovetop pot cooking, making rouxs & gumbo, jambalaya, risotto, chicken stock, in short--every sort of cooking conceivable that might produce a stain. No stains. The interior does get dirty, yes, you have to scrub it clean, but it's not a difficult task.

                                                              1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                                ^^For me - my staining happened after years of use. Also the more scrubbing and bleaching one does (although I never bleached or used a scouring pad or anything like that) the gloss of the finish does wear away, making the pot less and less nonstick.

                                                                1. re: beauxgoris

                                                                  LC is FAR from nonstick, even brand new. Try boiling pasta in it and you'll see what I mean. I'm not contradicting your experience regarding finish wear & staining, simply the characterization of the finish as non-stick. Plus, they're guaranteed for life; if you experience wear, send 'em back. LC will give you new ones.

                                                                  1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                                    ^^No they're not teflon - but after much use the interior of my pots were stained (I do make a lot of gumbo's etc) and very sticky. All in all the Staub (so far) as served me better. Their interior finish is different and seems to get better (like an aged cast iron pan) with use and time. I also prefer their metal knob (over LC's plastic one) and the spikes under the lid or basting. I also think the seal on the lid is a bit tighter. Maybe that's because the lid is heavier, I'm not sure. No need to take offense - I had and used nothing but LC for over 10 years, then I found the Staub line. In MY personal experience the Staub is the better preformer. That's all. Cheers!

                                                                    1. re: beauxgoris

                                                                      If you want to get rid of your old, sticky, stained, LC, I'll be happy to take it off of your hands!

                                                                      1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                                        Sorry, already given to my B-I-L. ; )

                                                                    2. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                                      Yes, all this talk about LC loosing its nonstick is puzzling. LC doesn't claim to be nor is it nonstick.

                                                                      1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                                        I agree about LC being FAR from nonstick. (Mine also stained badly.) Pitched it years ago. Don't know about Staub.

                                                                        1. re: pikawicca

                                                                          I have two LC dutch ovens that are at least 8 years old. I use one or the other at least once a week. Of course they are not non-stick...but they clean up easily, and mine are not stained and look like new. The trick to avoiding bad staining is to use them only over low to medium heat (or in the oven), and to clean well after each use. I use Barkeepers's Friend which works beautifully. I have on one or two occasions soaked them in laundry bleach to remove some minimal residual staining.

                                                                          1. re: josephnl

                                                                            If you're searing meat, "low to medium heat" does not work Who cares if your pot is pretty, but the cooked good is pallid? I don't want my cookware dictating how I cook.

                                                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                                                              Medium heat works just fine for searing meat in a LC oven...but only if you take the time to allow the pot to fully heat up. Can take 10 minutes!

                                                                    3. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                                      I've had some of my LC pieces for over twenty years, and the interiors do darken due to food stains that cannot be removed without damaging the enamel. There is no way around it, as it happens to all the Dutch ovens and sauce pans if you really use them. All you really need to do is burn somthing like gumbo or tomato sauce on the bottom, and you start to see it change. To me, it is a normal part of wear with LC, and I fuss quite a bit to keep all of my cookware in pristine condition. It is also the reason I am avoiding any of the pretty new light exterior colors, like Dune. I am anxious to get my first piece of Staub because I want to try the black interior. Still shopping...

                                                                      1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                                        I know this is a old thread but I had to agree with Hungry Celeste. I've used Le Creuset for the past 24 years - same pots and they have not stained to the point where a little elbow grease hasn't removed them. I don't think they ever claimed to be nonstick either.
                                                                        Also stainless replacement knobs can be purchased for LC. With that said - I've never had to replace one of the black ones yet, and I am not very gentle with my cookware. It's all about vanity to me. (yes I'm replacing some of the knobs to see if I like the look)
                                                                        I have been eyeing the Staub featured at Wm Sonoma lately, and while I LOVE my LC cookware, I would be willing to try a Staub piece as well. I think they are probably comparable in quality and price, and will come down to the design preference. JMO

                                                                    4. re: akillian24

                                                                      If you're looking for a 5.5 qt. Seriously consider this. This is what I have, and I love it. Also, have a round 2 qt Staub that gets a lot of use.

                                                                      http://www.metrokitchen.com/product/S...

                                                                      1. re: Sam Harmon

                                                                        Ooohh.. I love the handles on the Staub. (Trivial, yes, I know. ;) )

                                                                        Is the 6 quart an OK size for 2 people? And I've read threads on this before, but the oval really is a good choice for the first cast iron piece? (I have both the small and large All-Clad SS round braisers and pots as back-up)

                                                                        1. re: akillian24

                                                                          I also like the large side handles on the Staub. As I'm a guy with somewhat large hands, it makes for a more sure grab when pulling it out of the oven.

                                                                          My feeling is go with oval, if you only have one. This has become particularly true since I've been experimenting with the French bistro chicken in this month's CI.

                                                                          A question for you, how do you like the large round All-Clad braiser? I was able to buy the 4 qt Paella pan on a great deal ($85 for the LTD display model at Bloomingdales without a single scratch or nick). It's the same pan as the braiser--just with a flat lid. I've been thinking about ordering the domed braiser lid.

                                                                          The pan itself is incredibly useful, and I've yet to make paella in it. I use it as a large saute pan and as a shallow sided roaster. It excels at both tasks.

                                                                          1. re: Sam Harmon

                                                                            Sam, do you think that pan replaces the AC 12" skillet. It's a bit deeper. Do you think having both would be redundant in a small kitchen? I think I might be better off with the 4 qt. braiser, and the 11" french skillet. I also have the smaller 2 qt. AC braiser. The 11" French skillet would replace the 10" and 12" AC standard skillets I think as it has as much bottom area as the 12". The flared sides on the regular 12" skillet would make for better browner I think, than the straighter sides, but at my level of cooking skills I don't think it would be an issue ;-).

                                                                            Sorry, I haven't used my braisers yet to let you know how they are. You might want to read the Amazon reviews of them which are excellent.

                                                                            BTW, I got mine in stainless in the 4 qt. with dome for $99.99 at Williams Sonoma. Lucked out I guess as it's double that!

                                                                            1. re: blondelle

                                                                              I don't think the 4qt paella/braiser pan could replace a skillet. For one, it would be very awkward to flip the contents of the pan without a long handle. Attempting to do so with the two side handles of a big pan would be a mess I fear.

                                                                              I use my AC paella pan as a substitute for a flat-bottomed, straight sided saute pan. For this, it does an admirable job. To get the same surface area, I'd need to spend $300+ for the AC 6 qt saute pan, which I'll probably do at some point, but for now, the paella pan makes a great alternative. As I mentioned, the pan also works great as a round, short sided roasting pan. Combine these two functions with its advertised braiser/paella pan functions and one gets a very versatile, multi-tasking piece of cookware. IMO, a bargain even at its $215 list price.

                                                                              All that being said, I still reach for my 10" AC frypan more often.

                                                                              1. re: Sam Harmon

                                                                                Hey Sam!
                                                                                I have really got a lot of use out of both braiser pans... the small one for just DH and I, and the larger one for company. In my experience, the I think the domed lid helps the liquids circulate nicely. With the actual braiser dish, it's easy to move in and of the oven and really makes for a wha-la on the table. (Compared to my saute/fry pans with a long handle rather than a lid)
                                                                                HTH

                                                                                1. re: Sam Harmon

                                                                                  Thanks Sam! I'm not much of a frypan flipper though ;-). I usually just turn the food, or mush it around with some other tools. The 12" AC would be too heavy for me to do the chefie flip anyway full of food. Other than the flip thing, any other reason it can't sub for the AC 12" fry pan?

                                                                          2. re: Sam Harmon

                                                                            Confusing because they use the term "La Cocotte." IS that the same as a dutch oven? Why spend a lot of it and Le Creuset if cheaper cast enameled products exist? Just curious.

                                                                        2. re: Norm Man

                                                                          Another new Lodge fan here, too. We shopped around for a Dutch oven for a few months, looked at all we came across, almost sprung for a Le Creuset that was on sale for $200, but didn't do it. Moments later, at the grocery store, we found an enameled Lodge for $50. We looked it over, it was similar in quality to the Le Creuset, and much better than all other similarly priced Dutch ovens we'd seen, so we bought it, used it later that night, and love it. Even if it turns out to be not as high of quality as the Le Creuset in the long run, we'll be able to buy four of them for the price of the one Le Creuset.

                                                                          1. re: Norm Man

                                                                            +1 for lodge enameled. very cheap. I've got this one: http://www.kitchensupplydirect.com/26... which has dimples on the lid for braising. works great.

                                                                            1. re: flies

                                                                              I got a red one from the Lodge Color line and I'm very impressed with the weight and quality of the enamel. I was really surprised as it was only $35 from Amazon shipped free. I didn't expect it to be so nice. The enamel was much smoother and better quality than the Batali I returned.

                                                                          2. Ok, so after I wrote this post...santa must have overheard because he brought me a 5qt red Staub! It's beautiful, and looks very different than LC . Now I think that it is good to have one of each! It seems as the Staub will be better in the oven, while LC should be used for braising and soups. I am sure I will have more thoughts on it in a few weeks.
                                                                            BTW, Staub pots come with little white cloth napkins- anyone knows if it is for a specific use?

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: polish_girl

                                                                              That is sooo cool! What a great Santa you have! LOL

                                                                              I (obviously) don't know for certain, but the Staub is supposed to be very braising-friendly. Mainly b/c the dark interior is good for browning the meet while the 'pointy things' under the pan assist in helping the juices drip back down onto the meat during the cooking cycle.

                                                                              Let us know! (And sorry.. I have no idea about the napkins.. except maybe to use to move a hot pan or to grab the lid with?)

                                                                              1. re: akillian24

                                                                                Need someone to allert or inform me to a good sale or clearance price on staub, 5 qts up to 8 qts. Having a hard time finding any mark downs except a damaged staub dutch oven.

                                                                                1. re: Tinker

                                                                                  There aren't any right now, but you might try Ebay for the best prices. Staub will introduce some new colors in March, and last year Amazon had a big sale of Staub in January, so you might want to keep checking Amazon. They might have discontinued colors for sale then.

                                                                                  1. re: Tinker

                                                                                    Keep an eye out for Staub also on QVC. They have great prices, when they showcase them.

                                                                              2. I was a chef for many years and my preference is for LeCreuset, but for no reason that is based on rational thought. It's largely just what I am used to. The Lodge is very nicely made, but limited in sizes. You might also want to look at Daniel Boulud Kitchen (DBK). While not a wide range of sizes either, I have been impressed with the value and the build quality. (http://www.amazon.com/Daniel-Boulud-K...) FWIW, LeCreuset also makes a line with the darker interior like the Staub, but I have not noticed any difference in the browning potential. If you want a really good sear, go with plain cast iron. Also, while I'd never say never, I will tell you that I have never seen a piece of any enameled cast iron in any restaurant where I have ever worked. It just wouldn't hold up to the abuse. There are usually several pieces of plain cast iron though for browning some items and blackening things. Lastly, go to LC's website and look for a factory store near you. If you buy "seconds" and get a preferred customer discount (join when you go into store-free-just a mailing list), you can save 30-50% over regular retail. The seconds are hard to tell apart from the regular first quality(if not impossible), and the selection will surprise you. Worth a drive.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: htgriff

                                                                                  I was told by Staub that their Graphite color was made for the food service industry, which are restaurant kitchens. The Matte Black was also for that use, and many restaurants including Per Se use the smaller ones to cook and serve in for individual portions. Staub originally was just sold for commercial use, before it became more widely available. It is used in many European restaurant kitchens and used by many famous chefs there, the most famous being Paul Bocuse.

                                                                                  1. re: htgriff

                                                                                    Do you know of an LC outlet in the pacific northwest? I'm in Vancouver but I can get around if a deal like that exists.

                                                                                    1. re: bendhiman

                                                                                      bendhimen: There is a LC outlet in the "Seattle Premium Outlet Mall" in Marysville/Tulalip.

                                                                                      Also a Calphalon outlet there.

                                                                                  2. As with others, I prefer the Staub -- better made, better fit; seems higher quality. I reach for it over my LC all the time . . .

                                                                                    1. Is the Staub interior a matte black enamel, as someone mentioned, or is it just unenameled cast iron? When I took a look at a Staub, it didn't seem to me to be enamelled on the interior.

                                                                                      I have a LC 5 qt oval oven, which I love and use all the time. I've checked out some Staubs at Williams Sonoma, and my impression is that Staub may be a better product -- the metal knob that doesn't need tightening (unlike LC), and the overall look of the product itself sets it apart. But it definitely seems HEAVIER than the LC. Maybe not tremendously so, but I personally need to go for something that is less of a work-out to use.

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: SC77

                                                                                        The Staub ovens are completely enameled, and the interiors are matte black enamel. They are a bit heavier, but that's a good thing really. If you take the cover off before moving the pot it's much lighter as a lot of the weight is in the lid. I got rid of all my LC and replaced it with Staub. It will hold up better, and not get all brown and stained inside, it sears and browns better, and those nubs on the cover do work. It is also much prettier.

                                                                                        1. re: blondelle

                                                                                          I second everything that blondelle has said about Staub. As a long-time LC user, I was skeptical initially about Staub's matte black enamel interior. Two years have passed and I absolutely could not live without my Staub cookware. There are no stains and it sears/browns as well as cast iron. And yes, I love the nubs on the lids which help to make a pot roast nice and moist.

                                                                                          1. re: DishyDiva

                                                                                            ^^As someone that's only had her Staub a year it's good to hear that it's holding up well. One other thing I forgot: I think the seal is tighter on the Staub then it was on my LC. It really seals in moisture!!

                                                                                      2. I have LC, Staub, and Mario Batali's 5.5 in my kitchen, and for most purposes, they all perform the same. Unless you do something exotic, or like the looks/color/handle differences, buy what you like or what's on sale. That said, no matter how much you pay for them, they will be a great investment.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: Claudette

                                                                                          * I owned a full set of Le Creuset for almost 10 years (cherry red). At the time I purchased it - it was my first *nice* cookware and I was in love. Le Creuset is a cast iron pot that is coated both on the inside and outside with enamel, this helps with "non-stick" and also keeps you from seasoning the pot as you would have to in a raw cast iron (lodge, griswold) pot. There is nothing wrong with their product and I used mine happily for many years....... but then the enamel started to stain and seemed to get less "non-stick" over time. Some people recommend bleaching your pot after every use (to keep the inside white) - don't do this. It only strips away at the enamel and makes it more and more sticky. Although it served me well - it's main non-stick feature was breaking down and I wasn't thrilled with their product.

                                                                                          * Then one day I discovered Staub. They were having a blow-out sale on some discontinued colors and my LC was wearing out. I read about it on other cooking boards and people were raving so I gave it a try. Staub is different than LC. Staub is enameled on the outside (for even heating and of course beauty) but it's enameled in a way that similar to seasoned cast iron on the inside. It's JUST as non-stick as the LC (more so) - and still doesn't need to be treated with oil, etc. after every use like a Wagner/Lodge/Griswold pan - This is what makes it a better pot to me. The more you use it the better the surface becomes! The pot just gets better and better. I've heard that Staub is more popular in Europe and LC is more popular here (mostly due to their cornering of the market - the only store i've even seen Staub in is Sur La Table). I also find the glazes and designs of the Staub more beautiful than LC. (but that's just personal preference).

                                                                                          I honestly think after cooking with both that the Staub is a better product. Because they're not as well liked here (every Food Network chef has their LC status pot that is used for their cooking - so that's what people here like and know) - you can find it for fantastic sale prices each season. Williams-Sonoma is starting to carry some of their pieces and had some serious discounts last month! So keep your eyes open.

                                                                                          Basically it's all Staub or Griswold (American vintage cast iron) for me now.

                                                                                        2. Last year after the NKB and the teflon articles I wanted to try some enamel cast iron. Well, the Le Creuset was too expensive for me, even the seconds. I found the Target pot and like that. Then I got a Staub pot on sale at Amazon and really fell in love! ;-) Then I got another and then another (still keeping my eyes open for more sales). I would like to try Le Creuset if I could get it for a reasonable price but really can't imagine how it could be better than the Staub.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: josie888

                                                                                            ^^It's not IMO. (see post above) I had (and used wel) Le Creuset for 10+ years. After hearing rave review from chefs about Staub I too cashed in on the sale last year. Best move ever! I can't believe how much better of a product the Staub is. I love my 'lil Le Creuset veggies (for whimsy) but I'll never go back now that I have Staub.

                                                                                          2. I don't know of Staub except for having seen it at one store only. A wonderful kitchen store in the heart of Philly. It's gorgeous stuff, but I have so much LeCreuset and others too, I wouldn't buy one just to suit my need of yet another fix.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                              ^^Are you talking about Fante's? I've always wanted to go there.

                                                                                              1. re: beauxgoris

                                                                                                sorry just looking at this thread again forgot about it.
                                                                                                yes I am, it's wonderful if you're a foodie and love everything food related.
                                                                                                I walked around in there forever

                                                                                            2. Hi Everyone,
                                                                                              I'm a newbie at using cast iron. My mom gave me this really cool enameled covered cast iron skillet from HSN.com and I just love it. I've been looking for something larger to cook in.

                                                                                              I bought a Lodge enamel preseasoned skillet and everything sticks to it. So then I bought a Staub preseasoned cast iron skillet bec the salesperson at Sur La Table told me I would love it. She told me to let the pan heat up for 3 min then add oil and heat up another 1-2 min, then cook in it. I called her telling her that my eggs still stick and she says if I keep using it, the pan will eventually become more non stick.

                                                                                              So my question is... everytime I cook eggs in this pan, I have to soak it and clean it in water with a soft nylon brush. Clean up is a breeze. But then the oil comes off. So am I supposed to be cooking other things in this pan and wait til it's even more seasoned before I cook eggs on it? Or will my eggs always stick to the pan?

                                                                                              I read a review in Cooks Illustrated, and their highly recommended the Lodge Logic preseasoned skillet. Eggs stuck alot on the first time cooking on it but then after a few weeks of testing other foods, the eggs slid right off. I wonder if I should just buy a Lodge Logic?

                                                                                              Thanks!

                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: wendymc

                                                                                                ^^The great thing about Staub is IT WILL get more and more non-stick everytime you use it. Also the interior won't stain or wear away (like the finish on my Le Creuset did). I'm speaking of dutch ovens though. If you want a skillet I would highly recommend a good old cast iron (pre-seasoned) skillet. The gem of any cookware collection. You can cook eggs, roast a chicken or sear a steak in it. Every kitchen needs at least one! Cheers!

                                                                                                1. re: beauxgoris

                                                                                                  Thank you so much for your quick response! My Staub is preseasoned already. But I'll cook other stuff in it first and try the eggs again later when the skillet is more seasoned. Can you recommend a 'good old cast iron (pre-seasoned) skillet to cook my eggs in that won't stick?

                                                                                                  I'm really about to buy a pre-seasoned Lodge Logic as recommeneded by Cooks Illustrated. I don't want to give up on the Staub just yet either....

                                                                                                  I don't like to cook on teflon nor stainless steel and I can't find a larger sized skillet that's comparable to what my mom got me...

                                                                                                  Thanks so much everyone!

                                                                                                  1. re: wendymc

                                                                                                    A new Staub pot is NOT preseasoned as it's just matte black enamel. Once it's used, the pores of the enamel will begin to fill with polymerized oil from your food, and over time it will become more nonstick. If you want to speed the process just wipe with a thin coat of vegetable oil and heat the pot until it stops smoking, and repeat until it become a bit shiny. The instruction come with it for doing that.

                                                                                                    Lodge preseasoned still isn't really seasoned enough to cook eggs without sticking and even a well seasoned pan won't behave completely like a nonstick pan will. Your best bet is a nonstick 8"-10" nonstick skillet used just for eggs. If you keep it at medium heat or lower and don't heat it empty it shouldn't cause any health problems. Pans like Thermalon, also called green pans, supposedly don't contain the nonstick chemicals and still offer easier release of sticky foods like eggs. There are also others on the market.

                                                                                                    1. re: blondelle

                                                                                                      Everyone seems to love the Staub interior finish and I am tempted to get my next piece in staub but the prices are nearly twice what I could get in the outlet during a sale. I want a 5qt dutch oven or cocquette (sp?).

                                                                                                      1. re: warneral

                                                                                                        ^^amazon recently had a promotion for the 8qt. staub for around 170. - which is a really good price! Search out a Staub - you'll be happy you did!

                                                                                                      2. re: blondelle

                                                                                                        My sentiments exactly. I use non-stick for eggs and crepes, and don't overheat. Aside from that, having used many different types of cookware over the decades, I don't see much difference aside from the really cheap and tinny stuff.. I can't understand the flames (web flames, that is). Will a Staub dutch overn make your food taste any better than a Le Creuset, or vice versa? Answer: No.

                                                                                                2. I discovered Staub when our local Marshall Fields was discontinuing the line. Picked up a perfect large La Cocotte for under $30. I was amazed at how moist and rich stews, roasts, soups, etc. turned out. It became an obsession of my husband's to find more pieces at great prices. He went to many area Marshall Fields and had a "take" of an oval and a small round La Cocotte,a beautiful blue bouillabaisse pot with the collectable animal handle, tea pot, a large and small mussel pot, and 6 mini La Cocottes which I use for individual baking-serving pieces all for a grand total of under $300. I'm impressed with the quality of the pieces. I had looked at Le Creuset but wasn't impressed with the pieces I saw. Lids didn't seem to fit as well and I thought that the Staub had more heft to them.I also thought that the interior of the Le Creuset( in the pieces I looked at) wouldn't be as durable over the long haul. I get requests to make meals using "THE POT" from my grown son often and he has requested one as an inheritance!

                                                                                                  1. I own two pieces of Staub--a 5.5 qt. purple (excuse me, aubergine!) cocotte with the rooster knob and a 5 qt (I think) soup pot, with the acorn knob. Love them! I got them when they were on sale at Amazon. I'd been eyeing Staub and LC for years, but because of the price, I hesitated. I jumped on these when I saw the Amazon deal. That said, I'm sure I'd be happy with LC as well. Some of my friends cook with LC and love them.

                                                                                                    BTW, my avatar is the acorn knob from the soup pot (which is in use right now for black bean soup, given that it's snowing and I've got to get my strength up for the shoveling task ahead!)

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: nofunlatte

                                                                                                      ^^That soup pot with the acorn is beautiful. I have the blue fish knob pot (same sort of pot) and love it as well. Staub can be found on sale: you just have to wait for it - but it's really worth it!

                                                                                                      1. re: beauxgoris

                                                                                                        Thank you--I thought it was so lovely, that I took pictures of it and emailed them to some of my colleagues. It's okay--they think I'm a little wacky anyway (in love with a piece of cookware). I love the blue fish pot as well--that blue is stunning!

                                                                                                    2. This is perhaps the funniest bit of silliness regarding who's got the better dutch oven. How about we all whip 'em out and measure... They are both fantastic products, the best way to decide is to do so all by yourself, buy a round one and an oval, and decide which one you like more, then deal with the fact that you may have one pot that doesn't match the rest of your "set". As long as your cookwear is heavy duty, you have nothing to worry about.

                                                                                                      1. looks like polish girl already went with the staub, and i hate to add 2 cents when we have 70 posts here, but in cruising them quickly no one mentioned these basic reasons for choosing the staub over the creuset....
                                                                                                        1. the staub handles are metal. creuset are plastic. they melt. especially if they are placed upwards near the broiler.
                                                                                                        2. creuset quality has really gone down the past few years. fit, finish, and most importantly, enamel thickness. they bought out their competitors (cousances, et al.) and then down-graded the product. they look great on the shelf, but staub beats them. older creuset/cousances give them a run however.

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: mythomane

                                                                                                          I've never had a problem w/ Le Creuset lid handles melting in the oven, though I have a broiler below the oven, not at the top. That said, I'm not sure when I'd have the oven on so high w/ the LC in the oven such that it could cause it to melt.

                                                                                                          1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                            It is not that hard to do, especially if you have an element or broiler at the top. They are only rated to 425.

                                                                                                        2. I was a big supporter of Staub. I posted many messages here and elsewhere singing their merits and why they are better than Le Creuset. Well there's an important area that hasn't been mentioned and that's customer service. What happens after you make this substantial purchase. That's why I've stopped supporting Staub, and have returned and sold all my pieces. First of all the company has just been sold to Zwilling-Henkels. What they do with the line, and where they take it is anyones guess. On the cooksillustrated board, is a saga of the ordeal of what one woman is being put through dealing with them, and it's still not over yet. Another gal had enamel pop off the pot of her pot after just cooking small pieces of bacon. On flickr is a photo after one use of rust on a Staub rim. The Le Creuset customer service is excellent, and Staub's is horrendous.

                                                                                                          There are also personal reasons I've switched back to LC. The Staubs are too heavy. You can argue that is makes them cook better having more mass, but I can hardly lift the larger ones empty, and what good is more mass if they are unusable for me to cook with. I know I won't use something often if it's hard for me to use and clean. The LC's also clean easier.

                                                                                                          The other issue I had is the dark interior. Yes, it helps with staining, and maybe develops a nonstick patina over time, but they are so dreary to cook with. Do I really want to use a dark colored pot with a black interior in the warmer months? The bright, pretty colors of the LC, with the pretty, shiny, sand interior are so much more inviting, and make me want to cook in them. They are so cheerful to have in the kitchen.

                                                                                                          The Staub pots are gorgeous, but so ornate, and formal looking. The covers are so heavy with the raised rims. I also don't like the wide rim around the top of the pot. One or two is fine but a whole collection of them is a bit much for a modern kitchen.

                                                                                                          There are issues with lead. The brass knobs of the matte black line contain lead, and the blue color enamel contains lead. There are signs in Sur La Table in CA warning of lead in them.

                                                                                                          I also like the whole unified look of LC better with the stoneware in complimentary colors, and matching silicone line. It all goes together so nicely.

                                                                                                          This is just my $.02, and why I've switched back to LC.

                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: blondelle

                                                                                                            Somethings fishy here. For the past few months you have been one of the loudest Staub evangelist and Le Creuset basher on this site. I just went back to check your posting history on the larger LC vs Staub discussions and sure enough, you were pretty high on one and very critical of the other. Anyway, nice to see you back in the LC camp. Let's hope you don't stray away again ;-)

                                                                                                            1. re: nooner

                                                                                                              Doesn't Le Creuset's yellow, flame and red colors contain cadmium, which is toxic? I read that on another cookware board.

                                                                                                              1. re: beauxgoris

                                                                                                                unless you've turned the pan upside down and are cooking on the colored enamel surface, it wouldn't matter would it?

                                                                                                                1. re: karmalaw

                                                                                                                  I was just pointing out that both LC and Staub seem to have some toxic issues with their paint. Blondelle stated above that one of the Staub blue colors had lead it in, and in another forum she also posted additionally that the Le Creuset colors listed had the cadmium in them.... This seem to scare a lot of people. But if it's on the outside paint perhaps it's not as dangerous as it seems? IDK?

                                                                                                                  1. re: beauxgoris

                                                                                                                    The big difference is that Le Creuset cookware complies with the California Proposition 65 which is the most rigid standard in the world for these substances. Staub cookware does not, and has that warning on just about all it's cookware on Amazon. Here is the full answer from their website:

                                                                                                                    Q: Is Le Creuset lead and cadmium free?

                                                                                                                    A: Cadmium and lead are two elements under strict control in the cookware industry. Our position today for the entire production process is to be in compliance with California Proposal 65 which is the most rigid standard in the world for these elements (approx. 10 times lower than "acceptable" limits). Lead is NOT used in our recipes and for cadmium a special anti-acid enamel fritt is used which will not release the cadmium pigment during cooking. Cadmium is used for coloration purposes in achieving bright exterior colors such as Flame and Cherry. The interior enamel which makes contact with food is either sand, white, or black.

                                                                                                                    Staub does have lead in it's brass handles and in their enamels. They will be reformulated in about 6 months I was told to comply with Proposition 65. If I would have know that I wouldn't have bought them. ALL the colors have the proposition 65 warning on the product page on Amazon, not just the blue. Staub's yellows, reds and oranges also contain cadmium.

                                                                                                          2. This is my first post on chowhound. I own two LC and one Staub I like them about the same but about a year ago I was looking for some enameled cookware to use in my outdoor kitchen and bought a 6 qt Mario Batali / Copco dutch oven and it's a keeper. Bought it at cooking.com for $99 and it has the dimpled lid. Mario offers a 2, 4, 6 and 9 quart dutch oven and the 9 quart at under $150 is going to be hard to beat.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. I have Le Creuset, and it is certainly a great product. I more recently got the Staub Teapot in Matte Black, and love the look of it. So, I'm looking into buying one of the new Staub Braisers in the Matte Black. My Le Creuset has stained on the botton inside probably because I always seem to have my burner high. Since someone mentioned it, I do like the light color on the inside of the Le Creuset pans. Plus, the handles stay much cooler than the metal Staub ones. It could very simply be the black rough texture's similarity to uncoated cast iron, but they do seem like they'd be be more apt at browning. I have a Le Creuset grill/griddle with the same black matte enamel.
                                                                                                              Does anyone know why the Staub prices differ depending on the color you get?

                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Haines

                                                                                                                Hi, I bought two Le Creuset pots from Ama....com and returned them because they arrived with very rough edges on the pot and lid rims. I was afraid that the particles will fall into my food, and touching a pot and lid with rough edges like that won't do me any good -- the roughness feels awful. I have also been looking for these pots at other department stores and see the same problem. What's worse is that they are made with cast iron, which I cannot use because of cancer danger conditions. I never saw a Staub pot. Is there any pot out there that is completely covered with a strong enamel finish over stainless steel or surgical steel? I heard that there was but don't know where to purchase one. Your help is greatly appreciated.
                                                                                                                Thank you so much,
                                                                                                                Marie

                                                                                                                1. re: cat4

                                                                                                                  The edges on the Le Creuset are covered in matte black enamel. Nothing will fall into your food. An enamel covered stainless pot will be terrible to cook with as it won't conduct the heat well. What did you expect an enameled cast iron poi to be made of ;-)? Enameled cast iron is more inert and safer than stainless as stainless can leach nickel, and chromium intoi your food. Enameled cast iron, and glass cookware are the safest cookware you can use. Glass cookware is terrible to cook with though. There is no cancer danger from even raw cast iron. I don't know who told you that!

                                                                                                                  1. re: blondelle

                                                                                                                    I've only been using these kinds of pots and pans for a hundred years and agree with Blondelle here. They are wonderful. Maybe the craftmanship isn't up to par [or the standards are down compared to what it used to be]. When I ordered mine {3 Nigella colored ones from an outlet Mall in Riverhead NY} they came with jagged edges too. I think they are ''seconds'' as probably were the ones cat4 is talking about.

                                                                                                                    1. re: blondelle

                                                                                                                      I think that perhaps Blondelle's misinterpreted the post from Cat4. I could be wrong, but when I read the post I assumed she meant that she had concerns, as a cancer patient, about using cast iron. Not that she was afraid cast iron causes cancer. I'm no doctor, but I could see scenarios where one might be particularly cautious about raising one's iron intake if certain organs weren't functioning properly... Bare cast iron does add iron to your diet - which is good if your family is like mine and tends toward the anemic side, but bad if your body can't properly process the iron.

                                                                                                                      That said, enameled cast iron, like Le Creuset or Staub, shouldn't leach iron into your food unless the enamel is damaged. The cast iron is well covered in pretty impenetrable surface. But I'm not one to discourage someone from being overly cautious.

                                                                                                                2. LC made in France..... Staub made in China... I will stay with my LC

                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: trent talmage

                                                                                                                    Staub has never been, nor will ever be made in China. All their lines are made in France. Where ever did you get such nonsense from?

                                                                                                                    1. re: blondelle

                                                                                                                      How can you be sure it will never be made in China? Thanks.

                                                                                                                      1. re: blondelle

                                                                                                                        First post here. Interesting discussion. On cooking (dot) com they sell both LC and Staub. Seems like the smaller pieces for Staub come from China.

                                                                                                                        Pretty presumptuous and naive to claim that all of Staub is only made in France.

                                                                                                                        One example is this enameled cast iron skillet.

                                                                                                                        http://www.cooking.com/products/shpro...

                                                                                                                        1. re: connery

                                                                                                                          Thanks for the info. This is really a surprize. I am a Staub fan but I go out of my way to avoid products made in China.

                                                                                                                    2. This argument will be going on long after all of us are gone. Both are quality products which with minimal care will last a lifetime. I have two LeC Dutch ovens which I have had forever and both remain like new despite much use. I have a friend who has Staub and has had the same experience. Neither is better than the other...it's simply a matter of preference for color or style. If you like the appearance equally well, then go for the one you can get the best price on. You will not be disappointed with either.

                                                                                                                      1. Whether you buy Le Creuset or Staub you're certain to get a quality product that will be great to cook with. Le Creuset has propably been better at branding themselves as the choice of the the ambitious amateur chef. I've cooked with both with satisfying results. Personally I prefer Staub because it seems more robust.

                                                                                                                        A little bit off topic: I've always wondered how to pronounce "Staub". Should it be pronounced in French or in German? I know the company is French (or Alsacian), but Staub sure sounds German.

                                                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Frede

                                                                                                                          The correct way to pronounce Staub rhymes with robe. I like the looks of Stau, but that weight is too much for me. Le Creuset is heavy enough, but the Staub is even heavier. I like one or two pieces of it, but a whole set of it I find too heavy and ornate with all the ins and outs of the cover. I also don't feel the company is stable having just been sold. It's being widely discounted, and stores like Bloomingdales and Williams Sonoma have dropped the line, and Sur La Table is carrying a small edited line. of it There are also lead issues with it.

                                                                                                                          1. re: blondelle

                                                                                                                            Yes, but "shtobe" or "stobe"? That's the main french/german problem with the word.

                                                                                                                            Also, what's with the rumormongering with the lead thing? Do you have a reference for this or just passing around internet supposition? I've seen some internet supposition, but nothing solid at all. You?

                                                                                                                            1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                                              Well, if Staub is a German (or Alsatian) word, as I think it is, it's certainly properly prounounced "Schtowb" - at least as far as I recall from my childhood years in Germany and high school years of German ....

                                                                                                                              http://www.drugs.com/dict/staub-traug...

                                                                                                                              1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                German 'au' diphthong is more like the ou in house or mouse. Haus, Maus, Rheingau, etc., no? But that's all quatsch if it's french.

                                                                                                                              2. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                                                California Sur la Table stores have signs on the tables selling Staub warning that the cookware doesn't comply with Proposition 65. Calling them, the store manager confirmed the problem was lead in the blue glaze and in the brass knobs on the matte black pieces.

                                                                                                                                Amazon also has the same warning on the product page of the Staub pieces they sell. Email to Staub regarding the issue was ignored.

                                                                                                                                1. re: blondelle

                                                                                                                                  Ah, I was imagining cadmium in the red. Anyway, it's good that we don't live in Topsy-Turvy World where they cook on the outside of their pots. Sounds a bit like Staub has a problem with Prop 65 rather than a problem with lead.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                                                    Cadmium is another problem. Le Creuset admits there's cadmium in their reds, yellows and oranges, but says they use a special glaze to contain it. It's right on the website. You might cook on the inside, but when these pots are heated who knows what's being released from the glazes into the air. They change color from the heat, so the glaze is being chemically changed when heated.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: blondelle

                                                                                                                                      Goodness...people have been cooking in these pots for ages. I am sure that if any major toxicity existed, it would have come to light by now. Both LeC and Staub are quality products, and I seriously doubt that there is any reasonable safety concern with using either. I would be far more concerned with buying unbranded clothing, toys, pots, pans, etc. coming from China. (By the way...my professional expertise is drug safety...I have spent the major portion of my career evaluating and reporting on the safety of drugs.)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: blondelle

                                                                                                                                        Sigh. Where to begin? No, the glaze is not being chemically changed. At least, if the only evidence you have is the fact that it changes color with heat, you cannot say it is chemically changing. I don't know if you've noticed but when it cools off it changes back to the old color. Do you suppose it's re-absorbing whatever it just gave off?

                                                                                                                                        It's completely fearmongering to say "who knows what's being released." Some people do. And you can find out if you ask around. Heck, get out your old CSC handbook and check the sublimation point of Cd or Pb or whatever. Without actual evidence to the contrary I'm guessing it's a lot higher than your oven.

                                                                                                                                        I don't understand this. It's almost like what's going on over there in the granite countertop threads with crazy radiation hysteria. Why are some people absolutely terrified of their kitchens? The two actually dangerous things in your kitchen are knives and fire. The first you can master with a tiny bit of practice and the second with a $10 extinguisher. Everything else is just gravy.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                                                          I actually think it's fairly reasonable to have some concerns about the materials your pots are made of. I suppose if one wanted to truly be entirely paranoid about it, the logical choice would be bare cast iron - for most people anyway. However, I think most of us aren't so paranoid and therefore consider any minor risks along with what's practical in our kitchen. So we put up with a little cadmium on the outside of our pot where it probably won't cause any real harm anyway because we want to make a really rockin' tomato sauce that doesn't taste like you're sucking on a penny...

                                                                                                                                          But we were discussing the pros and cons of two different cookware lines. I think there's a good population of people who would consider it a positive thing that LC complies with CA Prop 65 regarding their lead content. Likewise I think there are people who will consider it a negative thing that Staub doesn't. It makes sense to mention it in this thread.

                                                                                                                                          Incidentally, Lodge's enameled lines also comply with CA Prop 65. I've never tried them, though, so I can't really comment on their performance, etc...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: paraque

                                                                                                                                            >"It makes sense to mention it in this thread."

                                                                                                                                            Well ... maybe. Assuming that most of the people reading this don't live in California, they might not be aware of any of the controversy surrounding 65 and might be led to the conclusion that the presence or absence of the warning has actual meaning. The list of problem substances is about 1000 items long ranging from tobacco to thalidomide to hydrofluoric acid -- things dangerous but dangerous in much different ways.

                                                                                                                                            There are various exemptions from the labeling law if a manufacturer can show that exposure is below safe levels. Exactly -how- to show that is not written into the law. There is a small army of lawyers who do nothing but sue over real or imaginary violations. There are no penalties for displaying the warning when it is not necessary. Consequently, many, many businesses just post the warning whether or not they know of a problem. It's a business decision. To make the leap from this business decision to making (un)scientific claims is just flat-out wrong.

                                                                                                                                            So, while I agree people may consider the presence or absence of the warning a positive or negative thing, it's not at all clear that it actually has any meaning whatsoever.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                                                              Well, it may be true that the Prop 65 warnings are overused sometimes. I mean, I know during my time living in CA at least 25% of the businesses I entered had the warning posted on their doors. However, my understanding is that the CA Sur La Table stores that had the Prop 65 warnings posted on the Staub confirmed exactly what the warning was regarding, which was lead in the brass knobs of the matte black pieces, and lead in the glaze of the blue pieces. I believe this was mentioned earlier in this thread.

                                                                                                                                              So at least in this particular instance, it APPEARS that the warning isn't just the company trying to cover its posterior. I suppose you never know, but then again, you never know...

                                                                                                                                              I'm not trying to suggest everyone should stop cooking or anything... But I do have to admit that it factored into my decision when I was picking which side would get my $100 purchases.

                                                                                                                            2. I just read through all of the posts to this topic, and I'd have never thought it to be such a controversial topic. I've used LC & Staub both for a number of years. I've also have a few Lodge enameled pots (few because they only make a limited number of sizes at this point). For the money, I find it hard to beat Lodge. I find Lodge enameled to be every bit as good as LC, with the same light colored interior coating for those with that preference.

                                                                                                                              For those who prefer the black enamel interior coating, I've got both LC & Staub in satin black and find them to be very comparable. I give Staub the edge because of the metal knobs and self basting lids, though my LC satin black was avaiable in more sizes. It can be harder to find LC in satin black, but they are out there.

                                                                                                                              I find the new Lodge signature series to be a good alternative, too. And they are very stylish looking. Haven't heard anyone comment on these. Lodge is defintely starting to come out with some interesting new products.
                                                                                                                              http://www.lodgemfg.com/signature-ser...

                                                                                                                              While my LC & Staub ovens are pretty. My Lodge pro-logic ovens are the best I've ever used, and the ones I go to most often. Not enameled, just seasoned cast iron, but what do I need enamel for? I think a good seasoned patina beats enameled hands down every time.
                                                                                                                              https://secure.lodgemfg.com/storefron...

                                                                                                                              If you're a big Staub fan but are more price conscious, the new Rachel Ray line of enameled cast iron are pretty much Asian-made knock-offs of Staub. Copco makes the Mario Batali enameled cast iron pieces, and I think they're Asian-made as well.

                                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: citizenconn

                                                                                                                                Does anyone have any thoughts on this topic now that Staub has been owned by Henckels for a year? I'm registering for my cookware and wondering which way to go?

                                                                                                                                1. re: CookingWithGas

                                                                                                                                  This subject has really been discussed to death. The two products are both excellent and I would choose between the two based simply upon style and color preference. You will not go wrong with either. With proper care they will both perform perfectly for you and at least one generation to come.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                    Cookingwithgas - all of my Staub is a couple of years old, so I don't have any of the "newer" stuff to rate for you. I agree with the post above - they're both excellent products and surely one can be happy with either product.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: CookingWithGas

                                                                                                                                    Heck, I'll toss in my two cents by mentioning that you can buy stainless replacement knobs for your Le Creuset (I got one on Amazon for $9.) and that takes care of the "knob melting" partisans. ;-)

                                                                                                                                    I just like the style of Le Creuset better, too. It's less fussy, has more classic lines. Staub looks too 'busy."

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Beckyleach

                                                                                                                                      I agree with Staub being too "busy". I went to Dillards to look at Staub and felt the same way.

                                                                                                                                  3. re: citizenconn

                                                                                                                                    Lodge is made in China, and I find that very scarry. At least when I cook with my much adored LC I don't feel like I am ingesting lead. Oh, RR is made in China...beware!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: jeaniemarie

                                                                                                                                      LC was asked by California to reformulate their glaze for some red colored pots due to small amounts of the toxic metal Cadmium being present (just on the outside, not the inside cooking surface). They of course quickly complied, but I would not expect some no-name chinese subcontract metal forge to do the same - There is no meaningful oversight for such things in China - you get what you pay for, and cheap China products will save you money and possibly give you plenty of lead and toxic metals.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: jeaniemarie

                                                                                                                                        Don't be silly. You are implying that ALL lodge cast-iron products are made in China. This could not be further than the truth and is incredibly misinformed. http://www.katom.com/lodge-buyers-gui... Lodge is in TN. They offer two lines that are made in China, that's it. http://www.lodgemfg.com/lodge-history... Considering the vast selection and sheer number of products that are offered by Lodge I think a little research here would have gone a long way.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: VBKlaus

                                                                                                                                          I didn't take her post to indicate that all Lodge products were made in China. The thread is specifically discussing enameled CI.

                                                                                                                                    2. What can Le Creuset do that a good Crock Pot (slow cooker) can't do?

                                                                                                                                      13 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: mateo21

                                                                                                                                          Duh! I set myself up for that. LOL I thought someone would reply with the statement "last for 40 years or more."

                                                                                                                                          But for the cost of Le Creuset - wouldn't you be better off browning in a a cast iron skillet then transferring to a Crock Pot? Or would it not render the same flavor?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: krbtv

                                                                                                                                            You can't bake a loaf of Lahey's no-knead bread in a crock pot. You can't bake a tarte tatin in a crock pot. You can't go from stovetop to oven without switching pans (with a crockpot). You can't deep fry or panfry in a crockpot. This is an apples to oranges comparison: LC has a diverse array of cooking vessels, ranging from roasting pans to soup pots to casserole/buffet dishes to grill pans and skillets in the enamel over cast iron construction. You can find a LC piece to perform virtually any cooking task.

                                                                                                                                            A crock pot is just a crock pot.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                                                                                                              Assuming she was just talking about the dutch oven, it doesn't seem entirely unfair to ask, "what can a $250 Le Crueset pot do that a $10, no-name, 8-quart stock pot can't do?"

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                                                                Yes I was just talking about the dutch oven.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                                                                    It is far easier to do a slow simmer or braise over low heat with a heavy Dutch oven than with a stock pot. The heating will be far more even over extremely low heat. And yes...a Le Creuset or Staub oven looks pretty on the stove or on your serving table...and will last forever.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                      My Le Creuset Wide Round dutch oven (more like a casserole) doesn't seem to be doing the trick for me. When the pot cools it takes way too long to rebound back to hot. I'm thinking about buying a large solid copper Falk casserole. It's about twice as much as the enameled cast iron but copper works really well.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: krbtv

                                                                                                                                                        It's the nature of the beast. The main advantage of an enameled cast iron dutch oven such as Le Creuset is that because of the cast iron's inate qualities, it heats siowly and retains heat long after the heat source is extinguished. This very property makes it ideal for stewing, braising and techniques which require constant relatively low temperature. If rapid response to temperature change is what you are after, stainless + copper is what you want.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                          Hey Joseph,
                                                                                                                                                          Are you saying that copper is not good for stewing and braising?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: krbtv

                                                                                                                                                            No, I certainly didn't mean to imply that copper is not good for stewing and braising. Only thing with copper is, that it is such a good conductor of heat, you must be sure that your range has a very low and very even simmer burner. Therefore for slow even cooking, I think that most of us would prefer a heavy dutch oven, such as that made by Le Creuset...it's more forgiving for slow cooking.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                            >"heats siowly and retains heat long after the heat source is extinguished. .."

                                                                                                                                                            True, but the heat capacity of the pot is going to be almost insignificant compared to the heat capacity of the contents. The time to heat a steel pot full of water is essentially identical to the time to heat an iron pot. Cooling times should be fairly identical too. Oddly, here's some guy who actually tried it out and found the cast iron pot full of water to cool faster:
                                                                                                                                                            http://blog.khymos.org/tag/conduction/
                                                                                                                                                            Harold McGee tried the same experiment with only a little bit of water and got the expected result there:
                                                                                                                                                            http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/08/din...

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                                                                              Fascinating!! You've burst my bubble...and in so doing disproved another of my established truisms..."that mothers are always right"! I learned to cook from my mom who insisted that cast iron heats more evenly and holds heat longer than stainless. Both myths have been disproved by your articles. Harold McGee is amazing...a force not to be reckoned with! Thanks for "re-educating" me!!!

                                                                                                                                            2. Just a head's up. Staub is in bankruptsy protection.

                                                                                                                                              20 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                                Might be just the time to look for Staub on sale.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                                  That's strange as the company was recently bought by Zwillings-Henkels. They have yet to bring out their first line under the new ownership. Guess they are a victim of the economy just like everyone else and couldn't compete with Le Creuset with reduced sales in the downturn. Guess Monsieur Staub got out just in time.

                                                                                                                                                  Edited to add:

                                                                                                                                                  Where did you happen to see this? I just searched the net, and can't find anything about it. Staub doesn't exist as a separate company anymore being under the Zwillings-Henkels umbrella along with many other prestige brands, so I don't see how they can go bankrupt, unless their parent company is bankrupt.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: blondelle

                                                                                                                                                    I'm in the "business." We hear about some of this stuff before it becomes common knowledge.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                                                                        Now, I'm really confused! Zwilling-Henckels DOESN'T own Staub? Did they buy or acquire (same thing?) Staub and Demeyere cookware? I read some kitchenware trades too and didn't see it mentioned.

                                                                                                                                                        Still don't see how a company that's owned and part of another brand can go bankrupt on it's own. Would love to know more. The cookware is gorgeous, but they had the worst marketing, and they didn't know how to merchandise and present the cookware properly. So many stores including Williams Sonoma and Bloomies dropped the line.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: blondelle

                                                                                                                                                          There customer service does not respond to emails either.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: krbtv

                                                                                                                                                            We brought Staub into our tabletop/kitchen store because of the fact that it was harder to find and felt a little more exclusive (plus we really like the product). Apparently now that Henckels owns the company they're planning on making it as ubiquitous as LC. They sold it to the hardware store 4 blocks away.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: socaldesign

                                                                                                                                                              Is there a super-secret third brand that's still rare and exclusive and all the cool kids are using and not telling us about?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pass

                                                                                                                                                                  What is the super secret?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: krbtv

                                                                                                                                                                    My super secret is: Some of my best cookware is old stuff that belonged to my grandmother and mother. Vintage (circa-WWII), US-made RevereWare from the former and Griswold pans and Belgian DescoWare from the latter. I own AC and LC also, but these old pieces also have a place in the kitchen (and my heart). One idea: Try using only wooden utensils with LC in order to not rough up the internal enamel finish.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ps26

                                                                                                                                                                      I love my vintage Revereware!
                                                                                                                                                                      Anything built in the US will be qualty, so look for patent pending or a US city stamped on the bottom. Rome NY, Clinton, IL etc. You can get it reasonably priced on ebay or at estate sales.
                                                                                                                                                                      Once they shipped production overseas it ceased being worth buying.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                                                                                  It is not super-secret to those of us who know the secret handshake.

                                                                                                                                                                3. re: socaldesign

                                                                                                                                                                  At this point they will sell to anyone who wants it! It was even at Smartbargains a year ago, Could have had their Coq Au Vin for $90 but passed. Took them forever to sell off their inventory even at very low prices. Target and Zappos shoes have it too, and at full price. Strange they haven't reduced the prices though, especially in this economy. They are hardly Staub's target retailers.

                                                                                                                                                                  Staub is gorgeous stuff. I really don't know what went terribly wrong, but something did, and enough for Monsieur Staub to dump the company even though it was in his family for quite a while.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: blondelle

                                                                                                                                                                Last fall, I was under the impression from our Henckels salesperson that Henckels/Demeyere was merely a distribution/marketing agreement (and that Staub was in the same situation). But thanks for Chuckles (above) and Blondelle (below), to revealing the actual acquisitions of these two brands. Already, Demeyere is getting improved awareness as I saw them prominently displayed at Bloomingdales. Normally I could only see and touch them at Sur La Table.

                                                                                                                                                                Either way, in a few years, it's possible Staub and Demeyere will be just as well known, easy to find, (and coveted) as Le Creuset and All-Clad.

                                                                                                                                                                With regards to the bankruptcy--that is an interesting question. Maybe Henckels knew about Staub's situation and "required" Staub to declare bankruptcy as part of the pre-acquisition clean up. Or maybe Henckels was unfortunate in their timing. Either way, from these press releases, Staub will be around.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: creuset

                                                                                                                                                                  No, they actually bought Staub and Demeyere. See this:

                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.scribd.com/doc/8121764/Zwi...

                                                                                                                                                                  Do a search and will find loads of news releases regarding this sale.

                                                                                                                                                                  Staub is still being made in their factory but the company has been sold to Zwilling-Henckels. They are under their control. That's why it doesn't make sense that Staub has filed for bankruptcy protection, as they don't exist as a separate entity any more. Would love to find out what's really going on here.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: blondelle

                                                                                                                                                                    It makes a lot of sense for them to file for bankruptcy, otherwise Zwilling-Henckels would be buying all their old debt.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: blondelle

                                                                                                                                                                      This really isn't that mystifying. A company can be a wholly-owned subsidiary of another company but still undergo fundamental corporation actions (merge, go out of business, or yes, declare bankruptcy). Think of it this way: you start a hot dog stand as your own company. If you keep losing money, your Hot Dog Inc. can declare bankruptcy even though you would still have assets (which would be the whole point of you creating a corporate identity in the first place). Now the situation isn't really different if, a year earlier, you sold all of your ownership rights to Frankfurter Corp. Hot Dog Inc. is still a separate corporation; it just has a corporate owner right now. Make sense?

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: creuset

                                                                                                                                                                      "Maybe Henckels knew about Staub's situation and "required" Staub to declare bankruptcy as part of the pre-acquisition clean up. Or maybe Henckels was unfortunate in their timing."

                                                                                                                                                                      In any corporate acquisition there is a process known as "due diligence." You can bet your bottom dolalr that Zwilling/Henkels knew about Staub's financial situation in excruciating detail before the deal went down.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Politeness

                                                                                                                                                                        All of this is true. The point being missed is that the purchase was -complete- over a year ago. So the claim that Staub "-is- in bankruptcy protection" (note the present tense) is what is confusing.

                                                                                                                                                                        While there are all sorts of hypothetical other things that we can guess at happening, the specific rumor that Candy reported with no confirming evidence does appear to be incorrect.

                                                                                                                                                            2. I hate that my Le Creuset pots get stained easily. I will look into Staub next time.

                                                                                                                                                              15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Emilyishere

                                                                                                                                                                ^^I have both and I do love that the Staub never stains, it also seems more non-stick then my LC - not that a dutch oven needs to be this: I just find it nice.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: beauxgoris

                                                                                                                                                                  I now own both Staub and Le Creuset dutch ovens, and love them both. However if I had to choose one it would probably be the LC - easier to clean, a little lighter and easier to handle, the knob doesn't get hot on the stove top and I think the lid fits just slightly better. Both wonderful pieces of cookware though, but my one piece of Staub will be good enough-my LC collection keeps growing. Couldn't care less about the slight staining - just shows that it gets well used.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: beauxgoris

                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks y'all for an informative discussion!! I am researching these and am leaning toward Staub. Unfortunately I haven't found a retail store in my city that has them. The BEST PRICE I have found online so far is at QVC, where a round 5-quart goes for about $60.

                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.qvc.com/qsearch/search.aspx

                                                                                                                                                                    Now I have to find out if those handles are interchangable; I want a ROOSTER!!!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ApartmentDweller

                                                                                                                                                                      The QVC line of Staub is different from the regular Staub. It's not nearly as pretty online, though I have no firsthand knowledge of its actual quality.

                                                                                                                                                                      The only brick and mortar chain I know of that still sells the higher end Staub is Sur La Table. You can find it online lots of places, though.

                                                                                                                                                                      Bed Bath and Beyond has just started carrying Fontaigne, which appears to have an affiliation with Staub. It looks nice in the store (not as nice as Staub, but half the price). Does anyone know anything about this line?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pothead

                                                                                                                                                                        apartment dweller: I wouldn't go with QVC either. I purchased a bunch of staub from amazon.com a couple of years ago and couldn't be happier. They also do steep discounts on the line from time to time. I used to be a LC person, but watching the cream interior turn dark brown over the years and lose it's surface and luster made me switch camps over to Staub. Good luck with whatever new pot you buy!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: beauxgoris

                                                                                                                                                                          I absolutely can't understand why some people have a problem with LC discoloring over time. I have two LC Dutch ovens that are at least 15 years old. I use one or the other at least once or twice a week, and they look almost like new. Perhaps it is because I rarely put a high flame under them (they get plenty hot enough to sear after 4-5 minutes over a low-medium flame), and I regularly clean them with Barkeeper's Friend. When they become slightly discolored (which is not very often), a 30 minute soak with laundry bleach returns them to like-new. Most of the time when they are on the stove-top they are simmering over very low heat, and probably half of the time I use them in the oven. I've heard many people complain of LC discoloring, but it has not been my experience. I am convinced that when this happens, it is likely due to high heat...and perhaps ?? lack of proper care in cleaning them scrupulously after every use.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                            ^^Nope. No "high heat" for me. It happened with normal use.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: beauxgoris

                                                                                                                                                                              Have you considered contacting LeC about possible warranty replacement? I can assure you that your experience with discoloration is not universal...so perhaps LeC would do something. They are an excellent company, but they might just tell you that this sometimes happens in time and is purely cosmetic.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: beauxgoris

                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks, Beaux! ;)

                                                                                                                                                                            Just bought my Staub ON SALE at Amazon! 5-quart round (in blue, and they also have the red) is now $139.99. It's from a third-party seller, but I have purchased from them before and if there are any problems you can return, no questions asked.

                                                                                                                                                                            YIPPEEE!! Can't wait to get it.

                                                                                                                                                                            Found out where to buy a Rooster knob, too. !!!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ApartmentDweller

                                                                                                                                                                              Apartment Dweller, could you tell me the name of the third-party seller where you have purchased Staub from before through Amazon? The last time I ordered, I had a large chip and sent it back to Amazon. I could have gone through the 3rd party seller much easier I believe and it was probably the one you used. Thanks

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Tinker

                                                                                                                                                                                Hi Tinker, <Sigh> I wasn't able to get my Staub, and I'm pretty upset about it too. The third-party seller was R&D (I think) Electronics, and they are in NYC. Last year I purchased an electronic item from them and returned it sans problems so I assumed things would be smooth with the Staub. Not so. Despite adding the item to my shopping cart and paying for it, I received a phone call from R&D that they were out of them. Apparently those people don't know how to do inventory....

                                                                                                                                                                                Anyway, I have been holding off, hoping to catch another sale on Amazon. But after reading your posts and a couple of other posts RE defective Staubs from Amazon I am rethinking the plan... It may behoove me to buy it elsewhere at a higher price to get better quality. Dealing with Amazon is NOT always hassle-free (my last interaction with them was quite frustrating in fact), and if I can spare myself the headache of dealing with returning something I dearly want I probably should.

                                                                                                                                                                                Did Amazon send you a new Staub free of defectss?

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: beauxgoris

                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks, Beaux! ;)

                                                                                                                                                                              Just ordered my Staub online (my prior post deleted?) on SALE! Yippee!!
                                                                                                                                                                              5-quart round, in le bleu. Can't wait til it comes! (Does this mean I can throw out my bulky stock pots??)

                                                                                                                                                                              I do appreciate your (and others') informative comments; they have been quite helpful to me during the decision-making process.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ApartmentDweller

                                                                                                                                                                                Hi, we haven't deleted any of your posts. Here's a recent post (directly above this one) where you mention purchasing your Staub:

                                                                                                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4695...

                                                                                                                                                                                Hope this helps.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                                                                                                                                                  Hey, thanks! Too many hours sitting at the 'puter; I was going crosseyed. Or maybe I'm losing it...

                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: pothead

                                                                                                                                                                              According to the company's website (www.staub-fontignac.com), Fontignac doesn't just have an affiliation with Staub: it IS Staub, and is made in France. The Fontignac line looks very much like the Staub Basix line carried by QVC.com, but in different sizes; it also has the Fontignac logo embossed into the underside of the lid, and a speckled pattern on the outside, instead of a solid or graduated color like the Basix. The Staub-Fontignac website shows two other product lines that resemble the two other Staub lines carried by QVC.com. I have a couple of similar cocottes, purchased about 10 years ago when the company was called Nomar (or Nomar-Staub), and I don't notice any difference in performance between it and my Le Creuset. Maybe the Staub is so much less expensive than the LC because of some difference in the manufacturing process--and there certainly seems to be a difference in advertising budget! In any case, my Nomar pieces have held up well so far.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Cleaning Le Creuset

                                                                                                                                                                        You can remove the "stains" (which are actually a mineral buildup) from your Le Creuset. Put a little Bar Keeper's Friend in the pot and add some warm water. Let it soak for half an hour or so and gently scrub it with a nylon brush. If that doesn't get it done, repeat the process but add a little vinegar to it and soak it again. If you've had the piece for years and have never done this, it may take several soakings but it WILL come off. It's the mineral buildup that's on the enamel that is staining, not the enamel itself.

                                                                                                                                                                        I work at a kitchen retailer and we recommend this all the time. It works!!!

                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kim384

                                                                                                                                                                          Is it the liquid or the powder Barkeeper's Friend that you are using? My understanding was that the powder was too abrasive to use on enameled cookware, so I save it for my clad pans and use the liquid version for my Le Creuset (which admittedly is not as effective as the powder)

                                                                                                                                                                          Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                            I use the powder and a nylon brush. I am careful to soak them for a bit and then lightly scrub them. I have had some of my pieces for many years and they still look brand new.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. I discovered that using some dishwasher detergent (that's POWDER for the MACHINE) and a plastic scrubby gets most stains out of LC type pots. And it doesn't seem to scratch.

                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                                                                                                                            Bought my first dutch oven by Staub two months ago and have been so happy with it. We got the 6.5qt Blue round dutch oven from www.chefsresource.com. One of the major reasons was cost. I paid $199.99 for it with free shipping from the site and it arrived within a week after purchase.

                                                                                                                                                                            Another reason was for the dark interior, which would make cleaning the inside a lot less annoying for me if it does stain, but after several uses and I still haven't seen any crust at the bottom. Granted, I've been using a baking soda paste to help scrub the inside whenever I clean it.

                                                                                                                                                                            It comes down to personal taste on which one chooses. I admit I love watching Alton Brown's "Good Eats" and I realized that the dutch oven that he uses many times on his show is made by Staub. The signature cover on his oven was what alerted me to the Staub namebrand. Before, I thought Le Creuset was the only major vendor of dutch ovens b/c I saw them everywhere. After reading comments here and other reviews, decided that the Staub would be our choice iron cookware if possible.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LifeStar

                                                                                                                                                                              A little over a year later and they're still the same price, still with free shipping. Currently they only have mat black, titanium and grenadine in stock, ready to ship; I don't know if they're getting more of the different colors in at that price, or if they'll honor that price on a back order of a different color. Still, that's the best price I've seen on Staub; used ones rarely, if ever, turn up on eBay, although I've gotten several different used but clean LCs there (eBay), at really good prices.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. I'm not sure why I feel the need to put my 2 cents in after the 182 replies, but: I have 4 LC items. 2qt dutch oven-- a little stained; 5 qt dutch oven --medium stained and then cracked- from a drop onto a pine wood floor; a flat bottomed wok--LOVE IT; and an enameled steel tea kettle---super cute but a PIECE OF CRAP. When I went to replace the 5qt dutch oven I was debating, LC or Staub, but instead I bought an Emile Henry (made in France) 'Flame' dutch oven. It's composition is a special ceramic. It weighs less, can be used stove top and oven and even in the microwave. Thus far, I've been loving it. Just something to consider!

                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pletty

                                                                                                                                                                              Well, pletty, I'm going to throw my 2c into the ring also. All I can say is that we were given a set of LC for a wedding present. Next year is our 28th anniversary, and the LC still get used every single day. We've added a couple of Dutch Ovens as the family grew. If you want a long-term investment, I think that's pretty good.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chris100

                                                                                                                                                                                I was just looking at Staub cookware for a piece to buy a family member this Christmas and saw this description. There seemed to be some debate about the "seasoning" issue that some Staub lovers were claiming and I for one love. Here's the exact text:

                                                                                                                                                                                " *Black matte enameled interior does not discolor or rust and gets better with use.

                                                                                                                                                                                * No seasoning required; oils from cooking penetrate the enamel pores and create a smooth nonstick surface."

                                                                                                                                                                                Oils penetrating pores and creating a non-stick surface sure sounds like seasoning to me. This has been my personal experience as a Staub owner and user. Hopefully this helps some people that were confused on this.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. I have several pieces of Staub that I love, one piece of Le Creuset that I never use but only due to the shape of the frying pan and a better alternative. I recently bought the Kirkland enamel cast iron from Costco and it is a fantastic deal at 49.99, a best buy that performs as well, really well made.

                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: josie888

                                                                                                                                                                                Hi Josie :)

                                                                                                                                                                                Just curious: What color is the interior of the Kirkland? Does it have spikes?

                                                                                                                                                                              2. Keep in mind LC has been around a lot longer than Staub. Although they both are guaranteed for life. If your smart about where you buy your pans you can always exchange it for a new one, most likely the same one, without questions. If you buy seconds then, this is a chance you take. I always get my LC pans at Sur la table which also carries Staub. You can find them cheaper at times on the web, but piece of mind is with the difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: urbanguy33

                                                                                                                                                                                  I was all ready to buy a LC until I heard about the Staub here. I'm not sure which one to get. The Staub seems to have it's advantages yet both seem to have negatives. I am going to go to my local Williams-Sonoma and see what they carry and what they can tell me. I also wish I had a Sur La Table here in Wisconsin. Thank you to all for your many interesting, informative posts.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jkluender

                                                                                                                                                                                    This is really getting sort of silly. Both LeCreuset and Staub are excellent products which will perform wonderfully, and with reasonable care will last at least a lifetime. Select the one which looks the best to you and which seems to be the best buy. You will definitely not go wrong with either. Each has slight advantages over the other in some areas, but both are wonderful products!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                      Ok, I finally handled a LC today at a Tuesday Morning and at TJ Maxx. I was surprised both stores had them. The one at Tuesday Morning was a 7.25qt for $179.00. I determined that is the size I want. You really can't tell these are seconds. The only thing that seems different about them is the glaze. It is a solid color not the firsts that have the multi colored glaze on them. I really would love a red one but Tuesday Morning had my favorite overall color of gray. I think I can scrape enough $$ together to get that one. But I really would like to get my hands ona Staub and compare to really decide what I want. I'll still not 100% sold on if I need one. I would love a cooking vessel that goes from stove to oven. I don't even have a cast iron skillet. Do you think that in 30-40 years when I am probally to old to handle a heavy pot my kids would want a gray LC instead of a red or orange color?? I'm dying to get to Williams-Sonoma a handle a first and see what I like better.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jkluender

                                                                                                                                                                                        If you do any sort of cooking, you will love a good Dutch oven such as one of these. For soups, stews, braises, or anything that will benefit from slow even cooking either on the top of the stove, or in the oven, these can't be beat. I'm sure that you can do without one, but I'm equally sure that once you use one you'll wonder how you ever got along without it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jkluender

                                                                                                                                                                                          I was looking at the Staub Coq Au Vin with rooster knob at Sur La Table and it says it is manufactured: Staub USA. But the Staub 6qt black french oven is manufactured by Staub. If they are making some in the USA would the quality be less??? If you would be buying one for the first time, would you want one possibly made in the US or in France??

                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.surlatable.com/product/sta...

                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.surlatable.com/product/sta...

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jkluender

                                                                                                                                                                                            The ovens are all manufactured by Staub. Staub USA is just the name of the company in the US selling Staub here. The company was bought by Zwilling- Henkels last year.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: jkluender

                                                                                                                                                                                            My Dutch Oven gets daily use for baking bread (Jim Lahay's No Knead Recipe) and weekly use for soups, stews, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I would have a very difficult time parting with my Staub 8 qt round oven. This oven and a few cook books would be items I rescue from my house in case of fire.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, your children will want this oven. I'm not sure about the gray color (see my pic for my favorite color). I plan on handing down my Staub and Emily Henry pieces of cookware to my daughter.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Brian

                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: albin1e4

                                                                                                                                                                                              I totally agree albin1e4. I have the 8 quart Staub round oven in the Aubergine color. I've used this pot for everything from roasts, to soups and stews and could never part with it. It's so nice to be able to sear a large piece of meat (for a roast) and then use the same pot for the stew or braise. The pot gets better with every use - it must be the type of seasonable enamel the interior is lined with. Good equipment really does make a difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: albin1e4

                                                                                                                                                                                                I know I'm late to this Dutch oven debate but I just bought Lahey's bread cookbook. I was initially concerned when he descibed having to remove the handle from a Le Creuset oven as it wouldn't stand the high heat. Then I sighed in relief. I own a Staub with a metal knob and it can be heated to 500 F. I hope to start on bread soon. Wish me luck!

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: jkluender

                                                                                                                                                                                                I know this is a few months old, but I just wanted to chime in to note that the Le Crueset currently found at Tuesday Morning is, in fact, not second quality. It is simply two discontinued and unpopular colors, "Providence Blue" and the gray you refer to is, in fact, "Granite." If you like the color I would snap them up while you can as they are first quality. TJ Maxx, however, definitely sells LC seconds, you could almost describe them as "thirds," as they appear in much worse condition than the outlet store stock...

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: aldgate west

                                                                                                                                                                                                  My Tuesday Morning also has pieces in Burgundy, but they are all banged up and scratched from being pushed around together on the shelves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  On the other hand, I found some lovely Saffron pieces at TJ's - I looked them over closely, and made sure the lids weren't warped or ill-fitting before I bought them. So, even if they were second quality, I couldn't tell why.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Have I missed something here?

                                                                                                                                                                                          The whole point of the light interior of the Le Creuset is not cosmetic-- it's functional. With the light interior of the Le Creuset, it's easy to tell when your fond is at that critical point of going from brown to black. It's a visual indicator of whether your heat is on too high.

                                                                                                                                                                                          With that black Staub interior, you've lost that CRUCIAL bit of functionality.

                                                                                                                                                                                          When I pay that much money for a piece of cookware, it better damn well be 100% functional! I'm not paying that much money to add more complications to my life, you know?

                                                                                                                                                                                          (FYI-- I have a 7.25 quart round Le Creuset French oven)

                                                                                                                                                                                          Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                            Lessee: Brown on black background = visible.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Black on black background = invisible.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Ergo, it should be quite easy to tell the difference between when your fond is standing out versus blending in with the background. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ApartmentDweller

                                                                                                                                                                                              I can't tell when yellow onions are browning in my staub until they're overdone.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Why Staub
                                                                                                                                                                                            Because of its’ outstanding performance… Staub is used and praised by the most celebrated chefs around the world.
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Self-basting spikes underneath the lid to ensure continuous, natural basting
                                                                                                                                                                                            o Black Matte Enamel Interior
                                                                                                                                                                                            o Highly durable
                                                                                                                                                                                            o Does not discolor or rust
                                                                                                                                                                                            o Resistant to chipping
                                                                                                                                                                                            o No seasoning required
                                                                                                                                                                                            o Ready to use immediately
                                                                                                                                                                                            • The more you use it, the better it gets! Oils used when cooking will penetrate the pores of the matte enamel and create a natural, smooth non-stick surface.
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Special, smooth ceramic bottom usable on all heat sources
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Solid brass and stainless steel knobs

                                                                                                                                                                                            23 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: izakmy

                                                                                                                                                                                              o Black Matte Enamel Interior is NOT a benefit! It makes the fond more difficult to see and size up.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                ^^Maybe for you, but not for me. I haven't had a problem with that at all. In fact I can now sear without fear of dulling or staining the enamel on the bottom of my pot which is what happened with my old LC dutch ovens. To me a pot that gets better and better with each use, vs. getting more worn down and dull - well the better and better wins every time. The exact text from staub said:

                                                                                                                                                                                                " *Black matte enameled interior does not discolor or rust and gets better with use.

                                                                                                                                                                                                * No seasoning required; oils from cooking penetrate the enamel pores and create a smooth nonstick surface."

                                                                                                                                                                                                So for my use that's much more important to me than a bright interior that dulls and stains. To each their own though I say. There are plenty of these things around to make everyone happy. ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: beauxgoris

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Beaux,

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Your points are correct, but they do not address Mr. Taster statements. Having a black surface makes it difficult to see the food contents, including fond. Since it is impossible to see and size up the fond, it is very to deglaze the fond with proper amount of liquid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Don't get me wrong. I am a cast iron, carbon steel person. I love the performance of my cast iron dutch oven and carbon steel wok, but it is difficult to see the foods in these black cookware. For example, when I heat oil in my shiny stainless steel pan, I can see the oil get wavy at first, and slowly darken. I cannot see any of these in my black cookware. I have to completely rely on my instinct.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Exactly-- I'm much more concerned with function over form. It doesn't bother me that the enameling in my LC discolors slightly with use, as long as the interior doesn't darken to the point where I can't see the fond anymore. That would be bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Both LC and Staub I'm sure are outstanding for searing, and if you're not interested in developing fond to make jus or pan sauces then I can understand your preference for Staub.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    However, to my mind these pots are damned expensive, and I'd rather go with the pot that maximizes functionality for the purposes I'll use it for the most.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                      For function over form I'd go Staub (I'm getting confused LOL), as an enamel surface that improves with cooking = a "function" to me. As for a lighter colored enamel I can understand why some would like it, but to me that's more of a "form" or cosmetic issue. I agree that they're both expensive and both perfectly functional. I use my dutch ovens for: roasts (meats of all sorts), beef stews, gumbo, etouffee, soups - so at least as far as those items are concerned I've been very happy. At least it's nice to have options so that everyone can find a pot they love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Honestly though Griswold is my favorite - I'd love to get one of their dutch ovens one day too. They've always been my favorite iron cookware and I have and love several of their skillets. A dream to sear and cook in. Perhaps that's why I love my Staub = because the interior reminds me of my Griswold (my very first cookware).

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: beauxgoris

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've never heard of Griswold, nor have I ever seen it at Williams-Sonoma, Sur la Table, or other cookware stores. Is it better than Lodge, and where do you get it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                          ^^It's vintage American cast iron cookware. It's not sold at WS or SLT because it's not produced anymore. It's different than today's Lodge cast iron cookware in that the bottoms are completely smooth - a different animal that the cast iron that's produced today. You can pick up a #8 skillet on ebay for a decent price (or scour flea markets or yard sales) it's worth the effort. Sorry if O/T.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Griswold is more of a legend. A legend when dinosaurs roamed the Earth -- a bit before you were born. Legend has it that Zeus (maybe Hades) casted these Dutch Ovens in the War of the Titans, which Zeus wielded them as weapons to defeat his father Cronus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            After the war, these Dutch Ovens were scattered the four corners of the world (when Earth was still flat) and the blessed ones used them for cooking and past them down from generations to generations. No moral soul has yet able to reproduce the quality of these Dutch Ovens, or so said the Legend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Actually, I have Griswold (old). And Lodge (new). And Le Creuset (old and new). And Staub (new). And while I would be happy to own any one of them, the old Griswold I have is really nifty. It is legendary because it deserves to be legendary. Chemical, I say that having a fistful of their skillets. NOT a dutch oven. But gosh... they are bigger and yet lighter than lodge, with a smoother finish, they take and hold the heat, they produce a truly beautiful sear... I got one for my dad as well, and not knowing what griswold is, or that they are a wrapped, as you say, in myth and legend, he is enamoured as well. And he's a practical guy, who I know loves me because he actually recently gave me the pot I have coveted all my life: the Le Creuset dutch oven he bought in 1976, and that has had so many chunks of beef shin (for his boeuf bourguignon, my very favorite thing) seared in it that the bottom is permanently, PERMANENTLY brown, now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: beauxgoris

                                                                                                                                                                                                            How exactly does an enameled (i.e. glass) surface improve with use?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Incidentally, the people from PBS' "America's Test Kitchen") did a comparison of the Le Creuset vs. Staub dutch ovens. CI is the Consumer Reports of the culinary world, testing equipment and recipes sometimes 100 times before coming to a consensus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            In the Le Creuset vs. Staub cook-off, they stated the actual cooking results between the two brands are very comparable. However the lighter interior of the Le Creuset made it much easier to see fond development and prevent it from burning. As a result, their top pick remains with Le Creuset.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have had Staub for years and have never burned anything in it. My onions are always wonderfully caramelized, I get a beautiful Malliard reaction, my sauces come out impeccably, and my cream based soups never scorch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              If you tend to your food carefully and aren't an amateur (which I suspect that most people on here are not), you shouldn't have a problem with ruining a fond or burning foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              My logic says that both brands have rabid fans and that one is probably not actually better than the other overall. They are unique in their own ways, and some people just may appreciate the qualities on one over the other.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I can say that Staubs do in fact get slightly more "non-sticK" over time (if that is how one would describe it), although I would hardly call them non-stick. If you try to turn your food too quickly (meats), over cook, cook for too long at too high of a heat, neglect to stir, or don't use the proper amount of fat, food will stick in these pans.Getting your food not to burn or stick in any pan without a TRUE non-stick coating is a skill, but it has it's rewards.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              No pan is going to make you a better cook.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I had Le Creuset new pots, then sold them to get Staub as I thought they were prettier, but then sold those because as gorgeous as they were, they weren't inviting to cook with. I would take them out of the box to admire them, but they didn't make me feel like cooking. That is a VERY important consideration too. Now all mine are LC. I just found the dark interiors and heavy weight (yes, they ARE much heavier than LC) oppressive, and uninviting. I also couldn't see using them in the summer and spring for soups and lighter fare where I could see the LC used then. Pots and pans should inspire you and make you feel like cooking and those didn't. I just wanted to look at them, not cook with them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: blondelle

                                                                                                                                                                                                              That is weird. Usually, I am inspired to cook when I am hungry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well with this type of cookware for low and slow you have to start way before you're hungry. If you start then you will be starving after a few hours waiting for the braise to finish...LOL!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: blondelle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Blondelle,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Good point. Heh he heh. Well, here is a real-life example for you. I used to come home hungry often and I would prepare my meal while eating cereal. Really! By the time I am done with cooking, I only needed eat a little bit just to taste and put the rest in the refrigerator. So I would be really cooking for next-day meals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          4. re: beauxgoris

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Amazed at the amount of stained LC posters. I don't mean to be crass, but I have to wonder if you guys are cleaning your pots well. I cook bacon in my #26 every morning (to avoid splatter) as well as normal weekly use, etc. I soak it after it cools down and use a Dobie and palmolive and I have never seen a stain on the thing...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: aldgate west

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Agree completely. LC rarely stains in my hands, and I have used LC several times a week for many years. Barkeepers Friend and/or bleach will remove any staining that may occur.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have a round Le Creuset enamelled cast iron dutch oven that I've owned about 10 years. Over time, it has stained on the bottom (inside) from the occasional burn-on of food during low simmers on the stovetop and braising in the oven. I have tried Barkeepers' Friend, bleach, boiling water with baking soda, and Le Creuset's own stain remover but nothing completely removes the discoloration. Fades it, yes, but dark shadows remain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: koigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My LeC looks like new, even though it's heavily used. I wonder why? Perhaps it's because I never put them over anything other than a low to medium flame, or use them in the oven. I never sear over high heat. I find that if I am patient, the pans get plenty hot enough to sear if I keep them over low-medium heat for 10-15 minuttes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Many times, I do browning and degrazing in my All-Clad 12 inch fry-pan rather than in my LC. Then, I put everything into LC. I feel it is much confortable as the fry-pan is shallower and it has wider opening than my 6.75 oval LC. Needless to say, you have an extra pan needs to be cleaned, but I believe that way, the inside enamel stays cleaner and the life of enamel gets longer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          5. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have older eyes as does my DH(late 50's/early 60's)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            And seeing it turn from light to med brown us readily visable
                                                                                                                                                                                                            On all our stains
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Two thoughts. Have more light available
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Over the pot and get upgraded glasses

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gulfcoastgal

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I never said it was impossible to see, just more difficult (which you're implicitly acknowledging by your suggestion of turning on more lights and/up upgrading glasses). Unless your optical anatomy is different from mine, it's simply easier to see dark fond gradually developing against a light background. In the end, I agree with the analysis that all other things being equal (since cooking results in CI tests were virtually identical between the Staub and LC), I'd rather go with the pot that makes my job easier without having to turn on extra lights or buy new glasses. Ultimately it's up to you to decide what's right for you. I know what's right for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I have to cast my vote with the Staub camp. As an unabashed kitchen gadget kind of guy. They are expensive but it is something to always be able to give for a Christmas present. The first ones I got were the mini's... but I didn't get to use them much. So, I needed a salt pig one day and guess what, they are the perfect size and they have a lid and they look nice on the counter. Is that wrong?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: KMan94

                                                                                                                                                                                                            That's actually a creative idea.. I've seen the mini pots here.. not LC or Staub.. but knock offs and wondered what you could do with them they are so small.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: grnidkjun

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Perfect 4 Roasting garlic or dividing up portions
                                                                                                                                                                                                              To ind sizes for a side or dessert

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I have both Le Creuset and Staub. Most of these are in the ten year old range, though a few are older and few are newer. My Staub pots have the black matte enamel interior. Exterior colours on all the pots are a beautiful rainbow: blue, red, purple, yellow, green, etc. The Le Creusets are stained inside from the years of use. I don't bleach them because bleach damages the surface of the enamel over time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Which ones do I like better? Staub. I like the enamel colours better. I like the handles on the sides of the pots better. They make me feel happier when I cook with them. And the blue mussel pot is just too cute for words. (Yes, I use it, too.). I love the snail, rooster, fish, etc, knobs. And I feel they sear better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I grew up cooking with regular cast iron. Well seasoned skillets and Dutch ovens that inherited from my great-grandmother. Staub pots look like cast iron pots because they are black inside. To me that is a huge benefit. I have no trouble whatsoever telling when oil is hot enough or food is done to the proper colour. The creamy beige Le Creuset interior always looks somewhat dirty to me. Even before it got stained. To each his own, of course. This is just why I like Staub better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: decolady

                                                                                                                                                                                                              But how do you tell if your fond is burning? Or do you not make pan sauces?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Like beauxgoris, I cook with all my senses, not just my eyes. I can just tell. Perhaps it's because I cooked in regular cast iron for so many years. I am sorry you have this problem, but obviously it is not something that is common to everyone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: decolady

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You hit the nail on the head as far as using your senses for cooking. I cooked with my LC and Staub Dutch ovens side by side yesterday and had no problem seeing the "fond" forming on either of the pots and the smell told me the onions were almost ready with no burning.. It's a matter of preference - I don't think one is better than the other. Staub is definitely heavier though, but I like the design of the LC better - more comfortable in my hands as I find their handles better than the Staub, but that is just me. As for staining, I always find a bit of stain at the bottom of the Staub after washing it, kind of a brownish hue - put a bit of oil on it and it disappears, but Staub stains too - you can just hide it better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: lominator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree. It's incredible that 260 people have posted re comparing LeC and Staub. They are both superb products. Both will last more than a lifetime. It's simply about which you prefer from a cosmetic point of view, or which is available at a better price. You cannot go wrong with either. I have used both, and sure it's easier to judge browning of a roux or fond in a lighter colored pot such as LeC, neverthe less it's not difficult to do so in the darker Staub. This string is truly gelling silly. Both products are first rate, and it's simply a matter of personal preference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: decolady

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree. I am a big sensory cooker. I am one of those people who just "knows" when it's right. It something I just do. Cooking is like breathing to me. It comes naturally. I rarely even measure anymore. Sometimes, I'll guesstimate something, and I'll put out a measuring cup after I guess at it and I am normally right on the nose. It's one of those skills that just develops over time. The fact that I have been cooking for 25 years doesn't hurt. I haven't burned anything or messed up a dish in many, many years though. I have certainly never burned a fond in my Staub.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      How long has Staub been available in the USA? I don't think I ever heard of it before 2008.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: decolady

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  decolady, I'm in the same boat as you. Lots of LC and Staub, but for me the Staub wins out for the same reasons you already mentioned: I also learned to cook with traditional cast iron and the Staub is an extension of that, but better. The fact that the surface gets better and better with use is a HUGE reason that I love it. I never seared or abused my LC and yet the surface isn't as slick or nice as it once was - food sticks to it more than my Staub and I find it dirty looking too. I don't have trouble either "seeing" when food is the correct color or when oil is hot - after all you cook with all your senses not just your eyes, the sizzle and smell tell all, and even if they didn't I can see and tell what's happening in there. On a side (non cooking note) I too find the glazes more beautiful, the colors more saturated and in general the look of the pan more unique. I also prefer the knob, the design of the handles and the spikes underneath the lid. My Staub has a better seal and also bastes food (roasts) better due to those spikes. They inspire me to cook old winter favorites and also try new things. I find excuses to use them. LOL The fact that the pot gets better and better with each of these uses is just icing on the cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: decolady

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Exactly my thoughts which is why I really really like
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My white ( not dune) 3.5 wide LC oven which is actually
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    White on the inside as opposed to sand cream color like in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My two. 1.5 LC buffet braiser and my 3.5 LC braiser and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My bell pepper and tomato. All light tan. My least favorite
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Color in the universe tan I rembrr crying when I learned my folks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    were painting the interior of our home tan when I was 12 as I thought that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    too dreary. I love white and my kitchen is white and black
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It is funny how color is soooo important to us and each responds to color
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So strongly. I live in the south and our grass is green year round
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And things bloom 8 mo of the year in sequence around here All if us live
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Our Staub and LC " blooming" like a garden on our stove and tabletops
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would like my LC better if the interior were white on all. Haha
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Because of where we live homes are built with ginormous windows
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So the kitchens are all light and bright my sister and daughter each
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Went to school in NYC and lived in teeney dark places b/c of the huge rent
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Issue so not everyone has light so our pots and Pans become decor
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Still love both but in a fire I would get my DH and pets and rum bac k in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    For my Staub haha

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Hi from the 'Land of Oz'!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I made a decision some weeks ago to throw out all my teflon coated (and scratched) and stainless steel pots and pans and to invest in good quality & safe cookware. I have done very extensive research for healthy cooking options and it's been on a very interesting journey finding many sites with lots of info. Then I landed here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've read all the discussion and it has been most informative. I've learnt quite abit as I'm a total newbie to anything other than the cookware I'm about to throw out!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I can't say that I've come to a decision yet about brand. I'm still researching because I need to be totally convinced that I've made the right decision before the financial layout.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As I've read comment after comment, there have been pros and cons put forward that I would never have otherwise known about. I've also noticed that it has made me question more than I may have peviously; what I want from the cookware and what is and isn't a priority; e.g. the discussion about the dark and light interiors.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i look forward to reading more while making my big decision.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: foodie_from_Oz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Why throw away your stainless pots & pans? If you're looking for safe and non-reactive cookware, you can't do much better than stainless. Of course if they are simply old, thin, cheap stainless pots & pans then you can have a reason to upgrade, but don't think stainless steel is bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Fuller

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Agreed ... what could be wrong with stainless. Teflon on the other hand ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm not a believer in buying sets or quantities of anything. If after you look at them it still seems like a tossup to you, I'd buy one Le Creuset and one Staub and see how they work for you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm a Le Creuset person as I've mentioned, but it's certainly not the only cookware I own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: foodie_from_Oz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi foodie_from_Oz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There are so many choices in cookware that it can make your head spin. I believe that randomly buying pots and pans without a grounding philosophy or knowing your cooking style (or how to cook, for that matter) could result in a lot of expensive purchases of things you really don't need. (i.e. tiny, expensive cast iron salt pigs, for example)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I live in a 1 bedroom apartment with a small kitchen, so I subscribe to the philosophy that one should buy as few pots as possible to achieve maximum versatility. Even if you live in a large home with a huge kitchen, this is sage advice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As a result, I believe that it's best to spend a lot of money ONLY on pans that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1) are widely versatile AND
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2) will last a lifetime (like enameled cast iron or fully clad stainless/aluminum)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And spend a minimum possible amount on pans that::
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1) are minimally useful (like paella pans, for example, which have only one practical use) AND
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2) wear out over a period of a few years (like nonstick pans)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am a huge fan of Cooks Illustrated, a collective of professional chefs who develop recipes and rate cookware many dozens or hundreds of times in order to determine the best quality/techniques, etc. (they publish several magazines and have a few tv shows on PBS television).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The CI people designed a list called "The Ideal Cookware Set: A La Carte", basing their choices exactly on the philosophy I described above. It's best if you read the article on cooksillustrated.com, but I think it's only available to subscribers (at about $30/year, it's an extremely worthwhile investment, in my opinion). Somebody compiled a list of CI's picks on amazon.com here:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.amazon.com/Cooks-Illustrat...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Interestingly enough, retail mega-whore Wal-Mart must have gotten wind of CI's article, and they created their own "Ideal Cookware Set" which mirrors CI's recommendations almost exactly, but at a fraction of the cost of buying the pots individually.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produc...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        (CI rates Wal-Mart's Tramontina made-in-China cookware extremely highly, comparable to the made-in-America "All-Clad" whose stainless line is more or less the gold standard for high quality consumer cookware)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        However, all this information isn't really worth anything unless you know precisely the reasons why you're buying these pots & pans to begin with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As you may have read, I am extremely against the dark interiors of the Staub Dutch Ovens for the following reasons. The reason that dutch ovens are on that "ideal cookware set" is because they are outstandingly versatile, and will last a lifetime. In a dutch oven, you can not only do the obvious (making soups and stews). You can also bake bread in them, sear chicken/beef, develop rich and deeply flavored sauces, deep fry, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Staub and Le Creuset are comparable in that they are both cast iron with an enameled coating... in other words, the cast iron is fully enclosed in a protective layer of glass. So you're actually cooking on a glass surface, not a metal/iron one. The benefit of the glass surface is that the glass protects the iron core from rusting. In addition, pure iron pans are highly reactive to acidic ingredients, and if you for example stewed something in wine for a long time in a standard, non-enameled pot, the stew would pick up metallic, rusty flavors. That's why pure cast iron cookware is best reserved for things like quickly searing steaks, not stewing sauces for a long time. In a Staub or Le Creuset, it's no problem at all to sear that meat and then stew it in wine and broth, all in the same pot. The added benefit of this is that after you sear the meat, the enameling grabs on to little browned bits of intensely flavored goodness (called 'fond') which is the basis for deeply flavorful sauces and stews. When you add wine/broth/etc to the pot after searing the meat, the fond dissolves into the liquid, making for a wonderful, complex sauce or stew base.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Here's my beef with Staub. All other things being equal between LC and Staub (as a recent CI report declared, both sear and perform equally well), having that black interior prevents you from seeing whether your fond is brown or on it's way to turning black. (Assuming that if it is already black, you'll be able to smell it-- but by that point it's too late!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The black interior completely circumvents one of the great advantages of enameled cast iron... being able to see your fond develop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have read many times her from the Staub-ites talking about how their cooking surface becomes better with age, but I highly doubt this is true. UNTREATED cast iron improves with use, but once that iron is sealed in glass enamel, it will not react to anything. It will not develop a deeper, blacker cooking base like a standard cast iron pan will.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have an untreated cast iron pan which gets better with use. It's completely unnecessary to have this function as part of your dutch oven, especially when it comes at the expense of a VITAL core function.... being able to see fond development.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mr.Taster, as I already posted above, but perhaps you didn't read: the EXACT text from Staub about the interior of their product is this:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "The exact text from staub said:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          " *Black matte enameled interior does not discolor or rust and gets better with use.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          * No seasoning required; oils from cooking penetrate the enamel pores and create a smooth nonstick surface."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ^^The type of enameling is different on the Staub from the enameling on the LC. Perhaps if you had some Staub you would see, but as you don't (and I do) let me tell you have cooked extensively with EACH: the Staub description of their product is CORRECT! Their enameling is constructed in a way that enriches it with every use. As the text says: "The exact text from staub said: --> "No seasoning required; oils from cooking penetrate the enamel pores and create a smooth nonstick surface."<---- I know you wish it was otherwise since you don't like the Staub and seemed determined to talk it down. But until you own a piece and cook with it I don't think you can say it doesn't do what is says it does. Especially since those of us that *DO own it and cook with it* and find the interior surface to be *improving with use* - say so. Don't knock it until you try it. I was a devout LC user for years until I discovered Staub and was tired of my LC pots surface becoming stained and sticky. As for not seeing, either you have a very dimly lit kitchen or eye issues. Its not like cooking in a cave or something, you make is sound sooo very difficult, which it isn't - it's just a personal taste, yours is to LC and others to Staub. Such is life.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: beauxgoris

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So are you saying that the Staub develops a nonstick surface over time but still develops fond as well as a standard surface (be it LC or clad stainless)?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pan Sauces 101 tells you that fond does not develop nearly as well in a nonstick surface, so if what you're saying is that fond development suffers as a part of this unusual porous/enameled surface of the Staub (which I still don't understand, but I'll go with it for now), then I guess the point really is moot as to whether or not you can see your fond developing on the dark interior.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Again, if fond development suffers as part of the Staub, I see a huge problem with that critical loss of functionality.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Fond develops with no problems in Staub pots and in regular seasoned cast iron. My great-grandmother's cast iron cookware has been in continual use since she got married in 1910 - 100 years ago this year. The seasoning on those pieces is fabulous. They have definitely developed what people call a non-stick surface in cast iron. And fond develops beautifully in those. People have made wonderful fonds and pan sauces in cast iron for a long time before the invention of the light interior of Le Crueset. (And btw, well seasoned cast iron is not the same as the preseasoned pieces you just go buy. Occasionally I have used wine in preparing pan sauces in my old cast iron and there is no metallic taste. You can't really do that with the pre-seasoned. But I wouldn't do that on a regular basis as I don't want to damage the seasoning. )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              While both regular cast iron and Staub develop a surface that doesn't stick, those surfaces are not like commercial non-stick finishes. You can't really compare them in fond development. Perhaps this is the source of your misunderstanding. There is no loss of functionality regarding fond development in Staub pots. I say this with some years of experience cooking in these pots.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm very interested in all your points and as you say, it is a very individual thing as we all cook diffferently.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I must say that the black and light interiors are intriguing me as I hadn't thought about it before reading the comments on here.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                All my frypans are black inside and I have cooked with them for years and don't have a problem at all with burning etc, but maybe it's different if the vessel is deeper such as a Dutch Oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Can you tell me whether Staub is heavier than LC or did someone mention that it's the lid and that if you remove that before lifting the pot it's a bit lighter?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the CI link Mr Taster, I haven't had a chance to go on there yet, but I will. It sounds very informative

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: foodie_from_Oz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Foodie,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I cannot tell you anything about LC vs Staub, but a lighter color cookware can help you to see better. For example, you can see the oil start to get wavy. You can see the garlic just starting to get light brown on the edge. So it help you to see very subtle changes, not so much in preventing full blown burning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: foodie_from_Oz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Foodie from Oz, I just now saw your question. With the pots of comparable size, I don't really notice a difference in the brands in how heavy the pots are. All cast iron is heavy and the porcelain coated pieces are heavier than plain cast iron. As I think about it, most of the time I am picking them up without the lids on any of them. Both brands are very good, and as I said, I have pieces from both lines. It really is just a matter of personal preference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: foodie_from_Oz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Foodie,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I like to reiterate Fuller. Stainless steel is pretty safe. As you know, carbon steel is made of carbon and iron and both are pretty safe compounds. However, carbon steel can rust and high maintenance. Stainless steel has chromium added which makes the steel corrosion resistance. In other words, stainless steel does not readily react.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I own both Staub and Le Creuset and love them both, but give LC the slight edge as I find the Staub a little more difficult to clean, particularly the rim indent around the inside of the lid. I find it funny though that people complain about not being able to see the "fond" or "sucs" form on the black interior of the Staub. The Lodge cast iron skillets are fantastic and they are black and no one complains about not being able to see them form before things burn on those pots, so why people complain about the black interior on the Staub is beyond me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: lominator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  For me it's because the things I cook on my cast iron are generally seared at high temps for short periods of time. There's a lot more nuance involved in dutch oven cooking techniques than there is with cast iron (by which I mean an untreated cast iron frying pan like Lodge Logic). I feel cast iron is excellent at certain limited functions whereas a high quality enameled dutch oven excels at a much broader range of applications. The interior of the Staub appears to be some odd hybrid of a LC and a Lodge Logic style pan and I prefer to keep those two very different pots separate because they are best used in cooking very different types of things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. I just got back from Sur La Table, where they have Staub 2.5 qt. dutch ovens on sale for $99. I contemplated this a while, but I couldn't think of any use for a dutch oven that small, attractive as the piece may be. I'll save my money and get a large size when I can get a good price on one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree.. I have the 3.5 LC round and just can't see going any smaller in enameled cast iron.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: grnidkjun

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I bought my 2-liter Le Creuset round oven on sale many years ago, and it's turned out to be one of my favorite pieces of cookware. It's a perfect size for steaming 1-1/2 cups of raw rice (3-4 portions), heating enough sauce for a pound of pasta, reheating two portions of soup or stew, and many other miscellaneous jobs. It keeps the food warm for a long time after the burner has been turned off, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have 3 in that size and they are used all the time I used one for a fabulous veggie dish for 6 ( we had 4 but wanted a bit more for seconds and leftovers) one for potatoes and one for a braised meat dish on a bed of carmelized onions and roasted garlic Everyone raved about the food and the cocottes It kept everything warm when everyone was not ready to come eat on time I used one to cook 2 nights ago seared the chicken/removed and tossed in onions and garlic removed added a bit of vinegarette to remove the font and get the sauce going tossed in chopped potatoes and the rest and in an hour everyone kept asking when dinner was since it smelled so fabulous The black interior is easy to see and my kitchen is not all that bright I have 56 yr old eyes but it is easy to see when things are ready Our gr grammas cooked on black fry pans on black stoves and no one worried about it The smaller cocottes are great for side dishes I will use my 3.5 LC braiser or my 5 qt Staub for bigger groups for the entree but I also have 1 cup and 1 qt LC that we use often ( oatmeal etc)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gulfcoastgal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I just bought a 4 quart sapphire blue braiser from Williams and Sonoma on for $180. However once I got home I noticed there were no dimples on the lid. Is this normal? I looked on the W&S website but none of the pictures show the underside of the lid, although the description does include the dimples... I finally found a picture on Sur La Tables website. it had the dimples but all the colors were different. Any advice would be appreciated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: new user

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Are you talking about LeCreuset or Staub? Staub has dimples, LeC does noy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: new user

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I just looked it up myself and the $180 sapphire blue braiser in Staub says it has the little knobs whatever under the top of the lid. It is on sale and I would imagine the one New User bought. I sort of had a hard time refinding both of your questions as it seems to be in the middle of the thread somehow by the way. Anyhow I just searched for braiser $180 under Williams and Sonoma and the Staub was pictured as such.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Tinker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As an aside, do the little bumps on the underside of the Staub oven lids really do anything, or are they just a gimmick? I have been a fan of LeC for years and have wondered if I am missing out on some terrific Staub feature.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They're supposed to grab on to the condensation and drip moisture back down on to what you're cooking (stalactite style) as a sort of auto basting feature. Whether or not there is really a significant benefit to this is up for grabs. (I braise and stew lots of things in my Le Creuset 7.25 qt round oven and I've never had a problem with lack of flavor or tenderness as long as I was using a good recipe and/or good technique.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I feel that having a light colored interior is more critical to my cooking than having these gimmicky basting bumps. (Light colored interior allows you to judge browning and fond development in a more accurate and precise manner).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm with you. I use LeC all the time and like the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              light interior and do not miss the "self-basting" blips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love my Staub, but will admit this feature can be quite annoying at times. I like it for some things, hate it for others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Tinker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I wonder what is the outcome of New User buying a Staub braiser at W&S not having the dimples under lid top? It seems to me I bought a Staub once way back from QVC and it did not either. In fact I think it is white enamel even in the interior. The 3 quart cooker is actually made by Staub that I bought but did not have the raised name like my regular Staub cookers have. I can not imagine why W&S would sell an actual permanent marked Staub that is without the dimples unless it is a factory defect in the make. So far my favorite between LeCreuset and Staub is Staub. I am pleased with the few LC that I own but if had to select between the two in an identical size I would choose Staub as they seem to keep the interior much nicer and lot less work to them. I like the raised knob better on top of Staub lids also.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MCFAC

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, I would return it too if I paid $180 for certain. I would feel like I wanted the actual Staub cooker with bells and whistles included.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have three in that size and use them for sides
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            very often

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. I have a few Emile Henry Flame pieces which I liked for the versatility (stovetop, oven, microwave, etc.) and light weight but when my EHF tagine recently cracked, I decided to switch over to enameled cast iron instead. While EH was good about replacing the cracked tagine, I realized that between a cracked tagine and a short 3-year warranty made me lose confidence in the product. After all, a 3-year warranty makes it sound like the company only has a 3-year confidence in their product.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The comments here are helpful, tho not all accurate, and ultimately I chose a Staub 5.5 qt round cocotte over LC. It seems both brands are quality products and it ultimately comes down to personal preferences plus, as I experienced with EH, warranty and customer service. I have been pleasantly surprised with each dish I've cooked in it these first few months...risotto, chicken makhanwala, seared/roast beast, stews...I haven't had anything stick so far and the food colors just pop against the black matte interior.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have seen some minor staining in the Staub, but we do have hard water here, and a little vinegar took care of it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I love my Staub; however, because both Staub and LC are fairly expensive, I'm carefully plotting my next enameled cast iron purchase. I do have an enameled cast iron braiser purchased years ago but it is made with a thicker layer of iron, hence heavier, and for some reason the lid doesn't fit well. So I do caution against cheap cookware, in all forms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Hi from Australia too. My 4 year old boy choose Staub oval mini cocotte, to which I said excellent choice. This one is AUD$70 from Victoria's Basement. It's a personal choice really, love the subtle changed in color - red pimento - bright and sunny, and too cute. Also love the spikies under the lid. And when compared side to side just loved the Stub and it is visibly very well made. At the time I had not know what this spike is for is just instintly prefer it over LC, the same night of purchase I stumbled on this site I love it even more. I just love the ornateness. I planned on expending on my new Stub collection getting 5 more of the same mini cocotte, so I can make potato gratin, coq au vin, meat pies, baked macaroni, etc - individual portions that can be cooked and served sur la table for the family. No I will not be cooking eggs in it, although I found a recipe online of eggs in petit cocotte. I will attempt tarte tatin and cream brulee in it. This is a very informative discussion and the heat makes me chuckles too many times. it had took me too many hours to finish reading till the wee hour in the morning. Slow reader and too many interruptions. I love the oval - I think it distribute weight better than the round one as you can bring it in a little closer to your body, taking the lit off is a fantastice tip!Personally I will have no problem with the dark interior as with many others I cook with senses not only with "eye". I would wash as I go, chopping vegies, and doing many other thing and not watching the pot but can just tell by the sizzling I hear know when it is the right time to do the next steps. I think it is the internal "clock" timing and stirring of the pot to feel the consistancy and the occassional look/checking of things. It is very true that a person with a passion for food sooner or later developed this skill with years of practice. It also help I used to cook in commecial kitchen and begin my cooking apprenticeship in French cuisine in Canada. I loved the special offer Stub set of white cocotte from Cutlery n things and would most like purchase from here. They do ship to Australia via UPS, it only took 7 calendar days! I ordered at 3 in the morning so you can even minus 1 day out. I ordered 9 items first time, including shipping I still get every item less than I would pay in the basement. Another plus is I could get item not avaialble in Australia e.g pizelle iron and krumkake iron. Although for the same mini cocotte I will go back to Basement - worked out slightly better deal but I get to inspect the good before I buy. My other utensils are multiple small fry pans, dutch oven, woks, etc, all in multiples from scan pan. I hate being inefficient it has to be something to do with past life in chefing. No patient to wait for 1 pan at a time. Before that I was really poor and I use cheap tin that needs replacing every few year so it really is false economy. Choosing equipment you really like does makes a HUGH different, it makes you want to cook! Ignore what everyone else says, go with how the tool feels in your hand, lift it and see if you like the weight, no good if you have to workout everytime, if it makes you happy, does it makes you want to cook and planning recipe and what to cook in it?? Then save for it like I did. OK that is a lie, I impulse buy and deal with credit card later. I feel the same with some post earlier - fell in love with a piece of kitchen tool and really wacky. .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I was in Paris recently where I had lunch at Les Cocottes de Christian Constant. Every single dish is served in a Staub cocotte. See http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Also, I often visit Antwerp for their great restaurants. Here, I found an excellent little place where they serve their classic dish 'vol au vent' also in a small Staub cocotte.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have never cooked with LC. When I see them in the store they look nice but perhaps too neat. I have on the other hand several Staub cocottes. They work perfectly and look authentic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In the end, the choice between LC and Staub is personal. Just cook with the stuff that makes you happy, that's what eating is about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: damiano

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  love that thought - cook with stuff that makes you happy. thanks for bringing it back down.. life really is too short. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I am interested in purchasing a 5-6 quart dutch oven. My concern is the safety of the interior finish after some wear occurs. We all know the safety concerns of regular non-stick pots with Teflon. Is the finish on the LC safer than the finish on the Staub when wear occurs? Also, I hear there are many LC fakes out there, particularly (so I hear ) from Australia. Any truth to this? Where are both products made?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mlstuart1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The enameled surface of these dutch ovens is extremely durable and not likely to show signs of wear unless you use very abrasive utensels and cleaners. Totally different type of surface than the Teflon non-stick pots and pans with which you may be familiar. For all practical purposes the finish on these dutch ovens is glass, similar to the glaze on ceramics, the differenc between LC and Staub is primairly color and texture. The Teflon coating is plastic, a high temperature plastic, but plastic none the less, and yes chemicals can be extracted. As long as you stay with LC or Staub you should have no concerns about the safety of your food, both are made in France. I would not make that same claim if you buy the crap made in China.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Concerning which of the two French brands to pruchase, there is a lot of personal opinion available. We chose Staub, one reason was the metal knob on the lid. LC has a phenolic plastic knob on the lid, I've worked in the palstics industry for years and I know the knob will not hold up well in the oven, even at the 350 degree temperature that is suggested. My wife put stainless steel pots with phenolic plastic handles in the oven for years, and I've replaced the handles many times because they deteriorate with exposure to heat. Other than that, we like the appearance of the Staub better, and I believe there is something to the nibs on the inside of the lid. The interior color has ups and downs, I don't find it that difficult to see and if I'm going to surve in the cookware, I don't want stains in it. This for us was really a non issue. Both brands are hgih quality, well made, and will last a very long time if properly cared for.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mikie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Agree, I love my Staub, and use it more than I thought I would. The exterior finish is also beautiful. The lid design alone puts it a cut above LC, in my view. Metal handle, I use it to make bread. (see other threads about dutch ovens and bread) and the oven temp exceeds 350. I also prefer the interior finish. If you're concerned about the finish, just follow the care instructions, no metal utensils and hand wash. Reasons to consider LC, it's also very good cookware, it's more widely available, and therefore probably easier to get on sale. I've seen pieces at Tuesday Morning at very tempting prices. LC's warranty is more extensive, although I've never actually had to use warranty service from either company, so I don't know how helpful they are in practice. Suggest you visit a retailer who carries both so you can get a hands on feel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MCFAC

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I just received my latest Williams-Sonoma catalog and was surprised that the center piece of the Fall edition was Staub cookware. The cover and first 6 or 7 pages was all about Staub. Interesting because I thought WS was discontinuing Staub a while back (at least that's what some people posted). Now it seems they're really pushing it again. Glad to see it available at more retail locations, especially WS since they're the largest luxury cookware chain around (although I still prefer Sur La Table).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I have both and they are really similar, both excellent cookware!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Le Creuset is sponsoring a contest right now to win free cookware. Please vote for my braiser entry and feel free to add one of your own.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.brickfish.com/Pages/Photos...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I hope all the chow board wins a nice new oven. You can never have enough LC!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Bought my first Staub at WS,7q, 3 days ago.. Yesterday, I was at TJMAXX where I found LC seconds Read lots of these posts and one other thread. Left my house at 8:45PM to take a good look at that LC TJmaxx. Bought two pieces based on what I read on CHOW.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Still want the Staub 5.5 oval with the rooster handle on top. Only seen at WS. I need to cook something.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pattq

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Agree completely with vic383. Both products are excellent and with proper care will serve you well, probably forever. It really is silly to argue which is better...it's pretty much a matter of personal preference re style, interior finish, handles, etc. Everything useful has already been said and it's time to close this board!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. do you all use metal utensiles on your pots? Can metal scratch or not?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        THanks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pattq

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Personally, I would avoid metal utensiles if you are concerned about the looks of the interior of the pot. Hardness is measured on a Mohs hardness scale, soft materials like plastics are about 2, hard material like a Diamond is a 10, most steels run between 5 and 8.5, and glass between 4.5 and 6.5, so yes, depending on the hardness of the untensiles, they could scratch the surface somewhat. Probably not enough to damage it but certianly cosmeticly affect it. To be on the safe side, I would avoid metal whenever possible or at least be very carefull with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mikie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              What about SS utensils on porcelain or bone china -- anyone know the hardness level of porcelain and bone china?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've been using SS utensils (forks, knives, etc.) on my enameled Le Creuset baking dishes -- hope that is okay! (they are mini dishes that one can eat out of)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Also, using SS forks etc doesn't seem to have a (visible) effect on my pyrex but maybe pyrex is super hard..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: iyc_nyc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Personally, I wouldn't use any metal utensils on an enameled surface. In fact, I think my Staub manual explicitly tells me not to, though I could be wrong. I'd stick to wood and plastic (preferably the former).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: iyc_nyc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  SS utensils are made of a variety of different types of SS, it may depend on what you have. A number of years ago I bought some very nice SS flatware, they imeadeately started leaving black marks on the white dinnerware we had. Research turned up that different SSs have different amounts of certian components and it was the high nickel in the finest SS flatware that caused the black "scratches". Just like chalk on a blackboard, only not as easy to remove. Less expensive flatware has no nickel and doesn't leave any marks, probably spoons and flippers and other kitchen utensils don't have nickel either. But they could still leave marks on your cookware depending on their composition and hardness. The black streaks we had were on, for lack of a better name, glazed earthenware, we now have porcelain plates and have no issues using the same flatware. I'm assuming it has to do with the porosity and hardness of the surface between the two types of dinnerware.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. As my username probably suggests, I am a big Staub fan. I don't like the look of the LC's (very '70s, dated looking IMO), and I prefer the heft and quality of the Staubs. Plus, I think for the price of the LC's, they should come with a heat resistant metal knob instead of having to purchase one separately. I own a oval Cocotte in a nice matte black finish, and I recently picked up a beautiful round Staub teapot in graphite grey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Another thing I like about my Staub Cocotte is the rough, black enamel interior which hides stains and also helps to sear the meat and hold the oils, giving it a bit of a seasoning like good old fashioned cast iron, but without the rusting and the worrying about acidic foods, etc. And I just think it looks nicer, very rustic and French, compared to that '70s space-age Modern look of the LCs (although their cassis coloured stuff looks kind of nice).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Just my 0.02 (CDN). :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ETA: Oh, I almost forgot: those little dimples on the lid help keep the meat moist by more or less basting the meat with the condensed juices, which is another handy feature.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: staub

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree on the Staub versus LC. The dimples from the bottom of the lid do make the food more moist. I have prepared the same meat in both types in the same manner. My family can tell the difference. Also, I keep wooden spoons by the stove top at all times in a crock container. The metal ones are further away down the line you might say. It is very seldom I use the metal ones except the ones for soup when filling a container from the pot. I do not use them to stir ever. I of course use metal for skimmer use and straining devices I use as they are mostly surface tools.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Last week, after difficulty cooking a six pound pork loin in a large roasting pan, I decided it was time to get a small roasting pan for our monastery. I wanted one that was not nonstick (to avoid chemicals and so a fond could form) and that could be put on a stove top for deglazing over a burner. To may amazement, almost every source I checked had large (turkey-size) roasting pans with nonstick finishes. The LeCreuset site, however, featured a smaller roasting pan. So on my day off I headed out to the outlet mall in Leesburg, VA for the LeCreuset outlet, hoping to find a seconds (and find out if any would be available at the annual sale at the end of November). The clerk in the shop told me that LeCreuset is discontinuing the item in their shops, but that I might find one across the way at the Williams and Sonoma outlet. Knowing I could not pay full price for one of those, I asked the salesperson at W & S to show me a small roaster that was not nonstick and could be put on the stovetop. She showed me the LeCreuset. Two were in stock at 25% off. But next to them was Staub, which cost half as much and was on sale for 40% off. And she told me that she personally uses the Staub and loves it. I bought the Staub. Is it better than the LeCreuset? I can't say, because I have no basis for comparison. But the Staub serves my needs, and I got it for 1/3 the cost of the equivalent LeCreuset. I am satisfied with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                20 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Father Kitchen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ^^Wow, great buy. I don't know if you noticed - but this Fall all of the WS catalogs I've received are all featuring Staub, Le Creuset only gets two pages to list what they have - but all the recipes and featured items are all Staub. I guess WS is jumping in with both feet to sell Staub this year. I always thought they were partial to LC, but I guess not. It's nice to see Staub getting into the mainstream market.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: beauxgoris

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, but the next catalog was all about the new LC signature line with scant mention of Staub. Their whole store display of Staub was scaled back into one area of the store. They said all the Staub colors were selling. It's nice to have choices but they are pushing the new LC Signature line just as hard. WS is kind of a test market for Staub. The line was dropped from Bloomies, Target, and Dillards recently.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Duh! How could I have not know that?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Father Kitchen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'll have to check out my next WS catalog - every one I've received so far has been heavy with Staub pushing (in a good way) - and pretty much no layouts or new infor about le creuset. I just checked out the "signature" le creuset line online and I don't see anything new about it other than the black handle is slightly different. Am I missing something? Not that I need ANY more enameled cast iron. I have a ton which I use and love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: beauxgoris

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In the Signature line the handles are 40% larger, the knob can go up to 480 degrees, the lids fit better, and the enamel has been improved to be more abrasion and stain resistant and more resistant to dulling. It's the catalog with their new color Ocean LC oven on the cover, introducing this new line. It's not my favorite color.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: blondelle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hopefully this line does better for them and lives up to it's claims. The staining of the interior and also the melting handles were a turn off for a lot of consumers. It will be interesting to see. For LC it's always classic Flame for me imo - but I'm pretty set for life with cast iron.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: beauxgoris

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Staub's interior also stains and gets damaged from overheating. There are also issues with the rim rusting as you can also see here. I've seen several complaints about it on the net. One person said the rim of their 2.35 qt. rusted after 2 uses on the WS site.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://mykitchendiaries.canalblog.com...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also a review on Williams Sonoma under the 5.5 qt. size complaining of white staining in the finish. I see the poster "PattiQ" also posted in this thread. Not sure why she didn't mention her problem with this here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  << bought the 5 and 7 qt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  roasted veg''s and slow roasted pork. The food is delicious. The bad news is that the interior is stained white and the stain is somehow IN the finish. Can't get it off. Reviews state that the interior seasons with use and improves. Hmmm. THe pots are beautiful and do a great job of what they claim to do. >>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Father Kitchen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have both and love them both equally. They each have certain pluses which are IMHO pretty insignificant. They are both terrific and with basic care will last several lifetimes...enjoy!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "The problem with what LC is doing is that they are pointing out all the problems with their main line. That's a risky strategy. They can't expect someone to sell their pieces that are supposed to last a lifetime to buy this, and it creates resentment in people that already have their original line. They are basically admitting our enamel wasn't as good as it could be, our lids didn't fit well, our handles weren't that functional, and our knobs melted too easily.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That doesn't exactly make me want to buy any more of their 'old' line and their new line won't match my existing pieces, and I don't like the colors except Red, and I'm basically pissed off!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, I know all about progress, but if the line was good enough for generations before me and it's good enough for me. At least it was, until LC pointed out exactly what is wrong with it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        New Posts | Permalink | Report | Reply

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        By blondelle on Oct 09, 2010 04:15PM"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Blondelle - I totally agree with what you posted above in the other Le Creuset thread, which is why I copied and pasted it here. How can they expect people to still purchase their "classic line" when they're basically saying it's an *inferior product* to their new heritage line? I also agree that it builds resentment for those that have spend large sums of money of a classic Le Creuset collection. It's funny, all of the upgrades they made were exactly the reasons I left Le Creuset: the staining, the finish that dulls and gets more non stick over time, the handles that can melt at high temps. I still have "vintage" Le Creuset pieces that I started cooking with years and years ago - but I'm pretty much a (happy) Staub gal now. No staining, a surface that gets better (not worse) with use and a heat proof handle. Sounds like Le Creuset "heritage" took a hint from Staub's playbook!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: beauxgoris

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think it's a bad marketing strategy on both their part. I have both Staub and Le Creuset and love them both, but if I had to go with just one brand it would be LC all the way - stains and dulling be damned! The classic line though - LOL.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: beauxgoris

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            " I left Le Creuset: the staining, the finish that dulls and gets more non stick over time, the handles that can melt at high temps."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You don't mean "get more non stick over time", right? I assume you mean less nonstick over time, maybe?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't know if it is bad marketing strategy. Afterall, people already know the problems, or I should say people have a wish list. As technology improves, certain improvements become viable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oops! Yes typo! My surface of my classic LC became more and more sticky or tacky over time. No burning or abuse to surface - it just became more stained and not as "slick" as it was when it was new if that makes sense. I know it's not manufactured as a "non stick" surface like teflon (obviously) but really it shouldn't degrade like that. I guess that's why LC came out with this "heritage" line to showcase their improved new interior enamel?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: beauxgoris

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Heritage line isn't the one with the new enamel. It's just a reissue of their classic shapes and styles that were popular years ago. They still hold up design wise today and are just as beautiful. It's available in most larger stores. The Signature line is the one with the new changes and it's exclusive to WS right now. WS is a test market for them to see the reception these changes will get. If successful it will probably be rolled out to all stores. If not, the enamel of the standard line will just be quietly changed to the newer one over time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: beauxgoris

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  beauxgoris, how old are yor LCs? More than 10 years? I am just curious how long it takes to become such a dull. How often did you use it? 2-3 times per week in fall/winter?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hobbybaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You know, I wouldn't be surprised if the enamel they are using now is different from what they used 10 years ago. LC admitted to me that the enamel has changed over the years. The new enamel looks exactly the same as that used in their standard design. I wouldn't be surprised if all their enamel was quietly changed to the new formula as it became available, and it was just announced as changed as a marketing ploy to push the new design.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I can't imagine LC not using a new enamel that's superior on all their enameled cast iron, especially when they have to replace ovens at their own expense that show this staining and wear.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: blondelle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      what was exactly changed for the enamel of the signature line, formulars, number of layers?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also, related to the enamel, I read at ebay on the 2nd quality as follows. But I don't know if it is correct. I don't know if beuxgrois's LC is second or first, but it might be another factor that her LC's inside goes dull quicker ?? I just paste what I read in ebay, here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ===============================================

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Recognizing Second Quality pieces. (1) I've been told that one can tell by the quality of the interior finish if one has a second quality piece - particularly when the interior finish is white, beige or tan. LeCreuset applies three coats of enamel to their cast iron pieces: one black and two of the finish color. Second quality pieces usually have only one coat of the interior color. First quality has two. The second quality item will appear to have a black undercast and be darker because of the single coat of the interior color.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://reviews.ebay.com/Used-Le-Creus...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hobbybaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hobbybaker, that's totally untrue. LC was upset that was posted as they said there is no truth to it and it's misleading people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LC doesn't set out to make second quality pieces. That would be silly. They apply all their enamel in the same way to ALL their pieces. What makes a piece second quality is that AFTER all the enamel is applied, imperfections are found such as a smear, bubble, too many pinholes, a choppy gradient, or the enamel applied sloppily to the rim area, or a bit of color enamel on the interior. They say ten people inspect each piece and if even one finds the piece objectionable it's then sold as a second. ALL the pieces are made the exact same way at their factory, but being a lot of the steps are done by hand they all don't turn out perfectly, and thus your second quality.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: blondelle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Blondelle. So, this claim in "Buying Guide" by the ebay seller for the 2nd quality is not true according LC. Good to know. LC should contact the seller to correct it if they are upset and find it misleading because this ebay review ( updated 10/20/10) is widely avialable. Just goole with the word, Le Creuset, enamel quality, 2nd, and 1st lead me to this review..About 20,000 views and around 280 people find it is useful as of today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Did they explain what is the exact change of the signature line's enamel? I am just curious what they changed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. What about Descoware, Jullia Child's favorite??? I was considering finding a piece to buy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: shopgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have several vintage Descoware and one was Ungortunately
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sold by someone who had SPRAY painted the enamel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My other sm pieces were not perfect but hey NOT
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Spray painted We use the teeney ones 1 and 2cup size fir
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Melting cheese with a topping of carmelized onions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And garlic and oatmeal respectively several x a wk We have an oval flame
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Descoware w a lid hole inthe heritage style LC bought them and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Copied the style from Descoware in Belgium I have twins
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            One in LC and one in Descoware I think they hold about 16 oz but I
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Would need to check

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Can anyone spell out for me the potential or actual downsides of having the nubs on the underside of the Staub lid? Do they cause problems for making bread? I've heard about the advantages, but what are the disadvantages, if any?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: frofro

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It is all about braising. You never have to baste with the Staub cookware with the nobs. It is pretty great. I love mine (I also have Le Crueset and love that too. They are slightly diff. but both great) Thx!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. This is a very interesting and informative post, that I stumbled upon (and have been reading for half the work day).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I just have 2 questions, that both LC and Staub fans should be able to answer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              - for a first time dutch oven buyer, round or oval? My first intention was to use it for oven braising meats, but it seems that it has many other uses. Call me an amateur, but I think for simple cooking, I would probably prefer to use a lighter, easier to clean, stainless steel pan, and would not be pulling this out. So in that retrospect, it seems the oval shape is more suited to meats (chicken, pork shoulder), but perhaps it works just as well stove top? or is round the way to go?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              - what uses would a mini cocotte (LC or Staub) get? maybe side dishes? presentation more for serving?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              and then an additional question for Staub users, to echo frofro. Do the baisting spikes / nubs have any disadvantages? I imagine with soups, oatmeal (as previously mentioned) it's not that big of a deal / worth mentioning. But I can see bread might have an issue? But then again, many posters here have said the Staub is ideal for cooking bread, as the handle will not melt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jungirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Since you don't put the lid on for baking bread I do not see any disadvantages. I bought a small (2 quart) Staub because it was on sale. IT is too small for most things I make but I find it useful for doing onions. I wouldn't buy the mini cocette: just too small for me to pay so much money.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LidaK

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks LidaK. I was unaware the top is off for bread. I was asking about the mini ones because I saw this deal:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.kitchen-universe.com/Staub...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am still torn between oval vs round though. I guess it doesn't make a huge difference?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jungirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have the minis and love them -- melt cheese in them, serve sauces, make one egg meals. Very cute too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: iyc_nyc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sauces! didn't think of that idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I did manage to find a bunch of other oval vs round posts, and it seems that a larger oval functions fine on a stove top, as it should distribute heat evenly after a few minutes. And has the advantage of fitting longer cuts of meat. It's been a confusing journey, but I think I'll start with the oval. I will probably get hooked and buy myself a round one soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jungirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        jungirl: "[F]ine on a stovetop, as it should distribute heat evenly after a few minutes."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Noooooooooooooooooooo. Do not believe this! Cast iron is terrible at delivering even heat on the stovetop. Especially on gas. Unless your oval sits entirely within your electric or induction hob area, the ends will stay 100-200F cooler than the center. And when you goose the heat up to compensate, you are going to get a hotspot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Don't believe me? Go to and read:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7381...; or

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5151... or

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7511...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I know, I read, I believe, BUT. We gave our daughter an oval for her birthday a few months ago and my wife cooked the first roast in it. Oval DO on a glass top electric stove and you know what, the roast didn't just brown in the middle, it browned on the left and right of middle beyond the burnner foot print. Although I certianly understand, as an engineer, the theories and concepts of heat transfer and conduction, cast iron works pretty well to cook in despite all it's inherent inadiquicies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have yet to find a cookware that evenly distributes the heat. I use different pots including cast iron enamel cast iron, copper pots, steel pots with various bottoms and the use an infrared thermostat to check the temperature. Depending on the pot, the difference will vary between 30 and 50 degrees. The copper pot was the only one I find that carried the heat more evenly up the sides.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            All in all, depends what you are cooking, the pot may or may not make a difference.Cast iron pots do perform much better than the steel for stewing. The weight of the lid creates a higher pressure that the thin lids on the non cast iron pots. This results in shorter cooking time and more tender food.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            For searing or high heat, bare cast iron (non-enamel) is the way to go.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Don't forget the shape of the pot, this can affect the rate of evaporation which affects how the food comes out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Mikecq

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              mikie and Mikecq: Yes, you can successfully cook in CI on the stovetop. But there is nothing "even" about cast iron cooktop cookery. The best that can be hoped for is that the vessel is sized perfectly for the hob, and the heat is set somewhere in the Goldilocks' porridge range. Otherwise you're going to have 100-200F differentials.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              For the record, I consider that using CI on electric is likely to provide the most even heat (over gas and induction). And also, just so you don't think I have it in for poor CI, steel and pyrex are even worse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Isn't cast iron and carbon steel are about the same in term of heat conductivity? Or do you mean stainless steel?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Why do cast iron behaves better on a electric range than a gas range? I thought a gas range has a more uniform heating surface, whereas an electric coils are bound to have heat and cold spots:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://i.ehow.com/images/a06/2f/33/el...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi, Chem: Yes, I guess I was being a little overbroad. "Steel" embraces countless alloys (and the distinction between high-carbon and SS being somewhat arbitrary), and so the conductivity of steels is commonly given in ranges when listed in references. But yes, you are right--as you often are--that generally "high carbon" steels are generally close to CI in conductivity, while "stainless" is generally poorer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Re: electric... IMO, whatever other defects/disadvantages electric hobs may have, they have (inch for diameter of inch) the advantage of evenly heating a greater proportion of the total area of the hob than does gas. Think of how a tightly-wound resistive element (mine have the equivalent of 7 concentric rings (14 across), none of which have gaps between them of more than 1/4 inch) every inch of which is at the same temperature, compares to a single-ring gas burner with VERY hot tips and less-hot penumbra. Radiant electric ribbons are even more even, with effectively no gaps at all. As a consequence, I believe that with electric--especially when paired with poorly-conductive materials like CI--you end up with a very even bottom heat that is difficult to equal with gas or induction. I think of it like this: if the bottom heat is truly uniform, even CI can't screw it up. That's why CI worked so well on woodstoves!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The photo you linked to, being only 3 turns (6 "across"), shows electric at is most cheap and uneven. Still, I would be shocked if a "scorchprint" of even this lousy coil showed a translation through of the spiral coil; my bet is that one would not see any gaps at all, with the possible exception of a SLIGHTLY cooler dead center wher there is no element. Even those widely-spaced coils are close enough, and cover enough area, to be considered quite "even". Still, one of those new 15" LC skillets isn't going to work well on a 6-inch hob...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Very good points about the gas stoves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This may be due to the gas burner design. When you turn your cas burner on high and look at the flame under a pot, it spreads outward. An electric range coil is closer and stays that way.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Some higher gas burners have better designs. The is the star configuration which makes the heat more even along the bottom of the pot. Then the is the outer / inner burner which does the same thing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If you have an infrared thermometer, check out the pot on the burner. Measure the temperature in the middle and work your way out. You will see a difference.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Some manufacturers make their bottoms thicker to spread the heat more evenly. The french copper pots are usually better. The copper is thicker than some "copper" pots I have seen and is fairly heavy. I find that even the sides heat up better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mikecq

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So what's the point? Most of us use Le Creuset or Staub pieces...Dutch ovens, etc. for braising or slow cooking meats, poultry, soups, stews, etc. for hours over low heat on the stove top or in the oven. These enameled cast iron pieces work brilliantly for this on both gas or electric ranges. Why practically should I care what pattern an infrared thermometer shows? Isn't this more theoretical than of practical value?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The posting was in response to a question concerning why there id s difference between gas and electric. If you find it displeases you, just ignore it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: jungirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          What a bargain. Go for it. What colour do you like?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jungirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That is a great price at Kitchen Universe on the oval and two extra small ones. I sure would buy it. I bought a rooster type handle lid and paid a fortune few years ago. This is a super price for 3 pieces you are looking at

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. LC, Staub and Cuisinart all seem to have the same enamel. They are hard to chip and they react the same. The reason for the Staub being better is due to the little points on the lid. This causes the condensation to drip from the points as opposed to running down the lid to the sides. This results in the food being based better.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Concerning the staining of the enamel, I find that if you use dish washer liquid and warm water to soak the pot, it will bleach the stain out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Mikecq

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't think many people would consider the enamel surfaces of the typical LC and Staub to be the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree with above post. I have both LC and Staub and found their enamel to be VERY different. I posted the reasons why above. HTH!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Mikecq

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree with your point about the condensation nobs. However, it does NOT make Staub better. It makes it different. I posted just before this on same topic. Do you own any of these or just a Staub, because I think they (I don't have any cuisinart cast iron, never heard of it, in fact) are both amazing for different reasons and I plan to collect both forever!!! Peace! Thanks for the info!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kelsirish1974

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I actually have Staub, le Creuset and the old cast iron cookwares. I also use the copper pots for different things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. I stopped by the LC outlet today and everything was at least 25% off. They had a dark blue LC line that was 35% off and a light yellow that was 40% off. This was the LC outlet in Silverthorne, Colorado, but I imagine others are having great deals right now as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I got my first LC 5.5 red DO for $147. I can't wait to try it out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Peachie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              hello, I am from Singapore and I used my Staub 7 qt for the very first time today to make post turkey stock. The end result is awesome as I kept the lid throughout 6 hours and the lid was kept close tightly and no spillage at all!! I love the sturdy make of the staub more than LC, it is heavy but I feel the assurance better! I am so glad that I bought it and looking forward using my staub for chicken tagine next week!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Here's the deal. I was all about Le Crueset (and still am). However, I received a Staub Dutch Oven (French Oven) and I was only shocked. (You see, I didn't ask it. They were out of Le Crueset. I have a procrastinating Boyfriend:) I used it almost immediately. I adored it. JUST LIKE MY LE CRUESET from last year!!! The only difference I can see is the coating on the pots. I admit, I like to be able to see the fond on the bottom of the pot. In a Staub you cannot, as it is black. (Picture a seasoned and lovable cast iron pan) If you love love love your cast iron pan, get a Staub. If you have to see your fond (I love to) get a Le Crueset.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In short I love them both like beautiful children! Not one bad thing about either they are just a bit different.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kelsirish1974

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Agree completely...they are both wonderful with only a few minor differences as you point out. I find it amazing that this string never seems to die!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I use both LC and Staub. Have more Staub than LC however. Seems they are a better made enameled cast iron. I guess it just depends on what each of us decide we like the best.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I've got a couple of Le Creuset French/Dutch ovens (one actually a Cousances doufeu), and just got a Staub Cocotte, which I