Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Jan 14, 2012 08:31 AM

Le Creuset Newbie Questions

I have a few questions about Le Creuset.

Is every piece made the same way/the same material? When I was looking on amazon, I saw some descriptions say that the piece is ovenproof to 350, while descriptions for other items state some other temp. Another difference I noted is that some descriptions state that the piece is dishwasher safe, and others say hand washing recommended.

Can I put every piece on the stovetop (flame)? I mean, I wouldn't put a butter or utensil crock on the flame, but could I? Or is it because they are "stoneware," they would crack? Could I take their baking dish, cook a chicken in the oven, then put it on top of the stove on a flame to make a gravy?

Do they have a few colors that will stay around forever? I don't want to buy an item this year in one color only to find out next year that the color has been discontinued.

I called the company today before I posted, only to be zapped into their voicemail. Maybe they are closed on Saturday, but they didn't mention that while I was holding.

Thank you.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You might have been looking at stoneware if it said ovenproof to 350F. Also the stoneware is cannot be put on stovetop. As far as colors staying around LC is the worst at changing there colors every year. Flame and red have been around forever. Blue was too but they changing the shade of blue for 2012. All other colors are open for change every year. Drives me crazy.

    Where in NJ are you?Amazon isn't always the best bet for LC.

    19 Replies
    1. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies

      I am in Essex County.

      I love the Caribbean and the Fennel, but am afraid to get anything in those colors.

      What about black? Is that a standard color?

      Where should I get LC? I do have Williams Sonoma nearby, but I thot Amazon would be less expensive.

      1. re: DonnaMarieNJ

        With so many gorgeous colors why limit yourself to just one? Buy a whole range of colors to enjoy and then you don't have to worry about one color being discontinued. Each of my many pieces are a different color. More fun to have a rainbow.

        1. re: blondelle

          This. I have blue Le Crueset stoneware baking dishes and a white Le Crueset salt cellar, but red and green Staub cocottes (nb: they are almost exactly like the Le Crueset dutch ovens). It's so cool to have different colors. Before the Martha Stewart dutch ovens were recalled, I had a big red one and a smaller teal one that were given to me separately. Those colors were so much fun!

          1. re: charlesbois

            I didn't know MS ones had been recalled!! Who made them?

            1. re: charlesbois

              Agree. I'm building my collection in various colors. It's more fun that way!

          2. re: DonnaMarieNJ

            Shop LC online at Bed Bath and Beyond. Decide what you want and take one of the 20% off coupons to the store. If they don't have it in stock, they will order it, give you the discount and ship it to your home.

            I went to a local specialty kitchen store in order to see the colors and feel the pieces first. Their prices were higher than BBB even before the 20% discount. And I agree about getting a variety of colors!

            1. re: mojoeater

              But BBB *smells* so awful, I can't imagine going into one of their stores.

              1. re: Jay F

                I don't understand. Is your local store stinky? Ours is not, nor the others we've visited in other states/cities.

                1. re: mojoeater

                  Smells like Glade, incense, faux cinnamon, that kind of thing.

                  1. re: Jay F

                    I find perfume and cosmetic counters in deprtment stores far more odiferous. And if I can save $50 on a Le Creuset piece by going to BBB, I will!

                    1. re: mojoeater

                      Go right ahead! I didn't tell *you* not to shop there.

                      (I don't do department stores, either, btw. Stenchpits, all of them.)

                      1. re: Jay F

                        That's hilarious Jay! I never thought about it but they are a bit much. How do you feel about Subway or Hollister?

                        1. re: southernitalian

                          I've heard some people don't like the smell of Subway because of the bread baking, but the few times I've been there, I didn't notice. And I don't know Hollister.

                          1. re: Jay F

                            It isn't the bread, those onions emit odd fumes! Not like the onions from the market.

                        2. re: Jay F

                          Oh dear! That's a bit extreme. I guess you never cook cabbage or garlic. What do you do when you're cooking in all your Le Creuset and one of the ingredients has an odor? Do you abandon the dish?

                          1. re: blondelle

                            I love garlic.

                            Hate cabbage. I have never cooked it.

                            But I was really talking about chemical, perfumey, glade-y smells.

                            1. re: Jay F

                              Subway has an incredibly chemical smell. Having worked in a bakery for years, I can honestly say the Subway smell has nothing to do with real bread baking.

            2. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies

              I get a little smug satisfaction from using LC shapes and colours that I've had for 25+ years and are no longer available. Stupid, maybe, but I can't help it!

            3. You are probably looking at differences between ceramics (stoneware) and enameled cast iron. Some of the cast iron models have different knobs that may reduce maximum oven temperatures.

              In terms of colors, avoid the trendy or exclusive colors and you should be fine. White for example has been around a long time and will continue to be. Blues, Oranges, etc. come and go with different shades over time.

              You can cook in enameled cast iron like you would in cast iron. Be aware that you don't want to shove or scoot your enameled cast iron across burners on stove racks because it will mar the finish. Also don't use metal utensils in them to preserve the finish.

              12 Replies
                1. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies

                  And that was one I thot would be around for a while.

                  1. re: DonnaMarieNJ

                    Try not to get too hung up on colors. The only color that has always been available is flame which was the original color back in the '60s. Of course, you will pay a premium for that color. If you want to save money look for discontinued colors at places like TJMaxx. Or custom (WS only) colors which didn't sell well. Also, some pieces don't come in all available colors (even flame).

                    1. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies

                      Which colors were discontinued for 2012? Any new colors for 2012??

                      1. re: mshedd2011

                        Black, white, kiwi and colbalt are disconinuted. And they seem to be thinning out caribbean and dijon and cassis(purple). Marseille is the new blue replacing colbalt.
                        I'm sure end of 2012 Cassis and caribbean will be gone too.

                        1. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies

                          Aren't both Caribbean and Cassis Sur la Table exclusives? Would we get news of new exclusives prior to their being discontinued? How does this usually go?

                          1. re: foiegras

                            foiegras: "Aren't both Caribbean and Cassis Sur la Table exclusives?"

                            Maybe they were once, but they're not anymore.

                            1. re: Jay F

                              Does anyone know what will happen to Linen and Ocean? I have been told that WS has discontinued both colors. Will they show up at other locations since they have been discontinued by WS? I made a phone call to LC and they were very unsure. The woman said she wasn't sure that it looked like WS only had a timed time exclusive on those colors.

                              1. re: mshedd2011

                                If the "exclusive" is over, they could show up at the outlets, but I don't know. I would probably call my closest outlet store.


                                1. re: mshedd2011

                                  That's interesting ... I figured Linen was being discontinued (by W-S), since it was on sale, but I hadn't heard about Ocean. There were local reports of its being a top selling color.

                            2. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies

                              Cobalt is featured (or should I say closed-out) at the Le Creuset outlet stores this month (Jan 2012). 30% on enameled cast iron, 25% of other cobalt items. 25% off stainless steel cookware.

                      2. This link says to HAND WASH and reviews state that the 1 qt is only 3/4 quart (not a problem with me - just pointing it out).

                        So, should I had wash all LC?


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: DonnaMarieNJ


                          Here is their care and use page that covers their different products. Personally I don't put any of it in the dishwasher, even the couple stoneware pieces I have. I certainly would not put the enameled cast iron in the dishwasher as the edge of the bottom pieces and the rim of the lids are care cast iron on all of the ones I own.

                        2. I have, and have had over the last 30 years, lots of LC. I don't know anything about the stoneware. Only the cast iron. The only color that has been constantly available during this time is Flame, but I disagree that you will have to pay a premium for it. You can find plenty of it at LC outlet stores. Sometimes the prices at the outlet stores can be higher than you'd expect, but sometimes you can get great deals. You get free shipping most times if you spend over $100.

                          A hell of a lot of LC cast iron has been made in Cobalt. It's been available since at least 1999. Right now, they're clearing it out at the outlet stores.

                          They're re-introducing Indigo (my favorite color) at Sur La Table this month, and I imagine if it is a success, it is the color that will replace Cobalt universally. That probably won't happen for a year or two. They did the same thing with Fennel, introducing it as a SLT exclusive for a year or two, then making it available everywhere. If you like blue, SLT's Indigo might be a good color choice for you.

                          LC America *is* closed on Saturday and Sunday, as you surmise.

                          White has been deleted.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Jay F

                            The new blue replacing Cobalt is called Marseille. I found two stores selling it in CA, although the photos one shows is of the Cobalt as it would be in the Signature collection and their photos are of the standard collection. Here's a site that is showing a lid in Marseille. Don't know how accurate it is. Looks like a slightly shaded version of the older French Blue.

                            Scroll down


                          2. My Le Creuset goes in the dishwasher, and then I do additional cleaning by hand if necessary. The new finish in the Signature line from W-S cleans up better.

                            I also buy each piece in a different color (all of mine look good together). I don't have anything in Flame ...