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Apr 22, 2008 09:51 AM

Le Creuset vs. other brands (split from Ontario board)

it's just enamel coated cast iron! You can get the same quality for far far less money. I just picked up a Mario Batalli 6 qt. dutch oven for $65 at Costco. Go to Honest Ed's and you can get the same (though not quite as heavy) for about $35. But if you have $300 to spend on a pot, go for it

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  1. Huge quality differences, Finnegan, between French-made and Chinese-made enameled cast-iron. Lagostina just replaced their superb French-made ColorCast line(dead ringers for Staub) with execrable quality Chinese schlock at nearly the same price.The cheap stuff chips and just isn't in the same league for fit-n-finish either. You gets what you pay for--here as elsewhere.Costco once carried Staub and Creuset sets in some GTA warehouses--too bad they chose a down-market line.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Kagemusha

      And Le Creuset will quite literally last a lifetime. My soon-to-be-80-year-old mother is still using a Le Creuset roasting pan that she brought back from France before I was born, and laments the day years ago that she got rid of the dutch oven, which had started to chip - not long ago she called the company and they said the chipped stuff is still safe to use. I have a few microscopic chips in a LeC my grandmother gave me when I got my first real apartment 20-odd years ago - I just scrub the rust out of the chips periodically and it's good to go. So, for anyone tempted to buy the cheap-made-in-china stuff, try ammortizing $300 over 50 years and then decide which is the better deal.

      1. re: ajane

        They will all chip, regardless of cost. Applying enamel to cast iron is not rocket science, and I suspect Batali has an organization set up to ensue quality. The price difference between Batali and LC is labor cost, color scheme, and marketing.

        1. re: jayt90

          So are Kias equal to BMWs based on that logic? LC and Staub are in a different league. Chinese-made enamled cast-iron is attractive for its low cost and high margins to resellers who profit from branding a cheap product. You still get what you pay for.

        2. re: ajane

          Not only will it LAST a lifetime, it's guaranteed for a lifetime, and LC stands strongly behind their guarantee. They just replaced, free of charge, my 30+ year-old French oven because it was discolored on the inside. I didn't even ask for a replacement; I had only asked them what I could use to clean it up. They told me to pack up the old one (minus the cover), and send it back to them. A couple of weeks later I had the new one. Now THAT'S customer service!

          1. re: CindyJ

            I also had excellent customer service from LC a few weeks ago. I broke the lid to my brand-new pot as I was pulling it out of the shipping box. When I contacted LC about replacing the lid, they sent me a WHOLE NEW DISH--not just the lid--free of charge. I didn't even have to send them the old one!

            1. re: CindyJ

              Yes, LC customer service is excellent. I called them about a Cousances pot that had a broken handle - because it was dropped on the floor (LC sold Cousances through their outlets for a while after buying the company). They said to send it in - and back comes a brand-new LC. Not the same color, because they don't do black anymore, but that's hardly a concern.

        3. I would be cautious of chinese cast iron... lead is commonly used in Chinese products. There is no comparison to the le creuset products. I try to pick them up at home sense, I don't need a matching set color wise and they are set at really good prices!

          5 Replies
          1. re: phisherking

            Imported cookware is tested for lead by government agencies in Ottawa and in Washington; lead has not been an issue in enamelled cast iron cookware.
            I use no-name, LC, and Staub and they all produce the same results, and they are all fragile. You won't see them in restaurants. I really like the Staubs, but I managed to crack one. And the LC has severe chips on the inside. Frankly, traditional cast iron such as Lodge is heavier, stronger, chip-free, and works as well when seasoned.

            1. re: jayt90

              I got an LC dutch oven about 20 years ago as a wedding gift. It's still going strong ,but its no better or worse than my Mario Batalli and at third the price. Maybe if you want to hand your pots down to your children as a family heirloom you should by LC, otherwise with the money I saved I could buy a bottle of Dom and toast myself for being so smart

              1. re: Finnegan

                Or... spend 1/2 of what you would spend on the Batali and grab what is on clearance at Home Goods/Marshalls. I picked up a 7.5 or 8 quart (can't tell, the tag is missing and I haven't tried measuring it myself yet) Chantal Talavera line enameled cast iron dutch oven today for $29 on clearance.. the Outset line were $20 for the 6 quart size.

            2. re: phisherking

              A well seasoned Lodge cast iron Dutch Oven, Fry pan, will produce the same results w/o chipping and you get 9 piece set for $200.00

              1. re: thomasevan

                I agree.
                Skip the LC. Go with Lodge. I picked up a factory second at the factory store in Pigeon Forge, Tn. for $40. I got the casserole but the DO was the same price. A regular DO (Not second) is only $65. Buy it and have it shipped.



            3. I'd spend the $ on the Le Cruset. I got a Daniel Boulud one and it's already chipped. I have a REALLY old Le Cruset and it's flawless.