Yes, I am starting it....Staub or Le Creuset?
Still working on our wedding registry (which you guys helped so much with thus far)...and its come down to the cast iron dutch oven/cocotte!!! We are totally torn between the two brands. We initially picked the LC 3.5q round and LC 6.75q oval...but admittedly didn't know much about the Staub line. Now, it seems like Staub might be the way to go. Less staining, less chipping, easier to clean. And the coq au vin has a rooster on it! come on now.
Seems like there hasnt been a good LC vs Staub thread in a long time.
What are your thoughts/experience 'hounds?
<Less staining, less chipping, easier to clean>
I think the staining may be about the same. However, the Staub has a dark near black surface, so staining on a Staub is not nearly as visible as that on a Le Creuset.. As for chipping, yes, I have read more chipping problems about Le Creset than Staub. However, there are many more Le Cresuet out there, so you are bound to hear more complaints -- something to consider.
I am not a huge fan for enameled cast iron cookware, but between these two, I lean toward Staub.
There HAS been a HUGE Staub vs. Le Creuset thread fairly recently. As much as I love discussing this cookware the subject has really been done to death as the thread was added to over a long period of time. Please do a search and you will see it. I guarantee it will contain all you've ever wanted to know and more regarding the strengths and weaknesses and differences of these two cookware brands.
The consensus was that they are both awesome cookware and quality brands. The LC isn't as heavy and has the light interior and a better track record in the warranty dept, and the Staub has the dark interior that's a bit harder to clean, but can season over time. It's really about which YOU like better as there are people here that have their favorites and will vigorously defend their choice. You have to choose what features and styling appeals to you more. You can't go wrong with either!
Honestly, I think this is a lot of hand wringing over nothing. Pick one and go. I think you will find that for every person who says they have had a great experience with LC, you'll find another who will say the same regarding Staub. You may hear more good and bad reporting on the LC, because it seems to have a bigger share of the market, but we really are talking about two very comparable pieces of equipment here.
My experience is as follows: I got a 5.5 Qt LC Dutch Oven at Home Goods a number of years back, and I use it regularly, and I have not had a single issue with it. It does exactly what it is supposed to do. Sure, the pot has stained slightly, but every other pot or pan (except one) in my arsenal is either copper, carbon steel, or cast iron, so the minor staining in the LC is nothing compared to the color changes each of my other pots and pans goes through every time I use one. My experience with Staub has not been good. I went through four, yes four, small cocottes, and each and every one chipped within a matter of days. WS happily gave me my money back, and the sales rep at the local store swore she had not seen Staub cocottes chip like that before. She said she has used, and abused, hers for years to no ill effect.
On another note, I hope you are buying a 3.5 Qt Round and a 6.75 Qt Oval, because you feel a need for them in your cooking. Please don't buy a piece of cookware because someone tells you you need it. Really figure out what you are doing in your day-to-day cooking (styles, quantities, etc.), and buy what you need to accomplish those tasks. Personally, I cannot really see a need for a dutch oven smaller that about 5 or 5.5 Quarts. Maybe you do. Also, I tend to prepare birds in either cut up or in a roaster or a skillet, so an oval does not really appeal to me. And for stovetop use, with CI's poor conductivity, the oval would leave the two ends too far off the flame for me, so I stick with round pots. Maybe you prepare a lot of whole chickens and want a Dutch Oven for that purpose. If I were starting over (getting married and no kids yet), I'd get only a round 5.5 Qt LC Dutch Oven in a classic color, so I could get a matching larger one later. If I only ever wanted to buy one, and only one, I'd get a 7.25 Qt, as that may be the best do-it-all size.
In the end, given your circumstances, I'd recommend that you select sizes and shapes that you know you will need and then, between LC and Staub, pick what you like best for looks and feel in the hand. Lastly, buy from a place with a great return policy or warrantee, in case an issue arises.
Just wanted to chime in to agree about the size here. I have a 5.5 qt. round and a 7.25 oval and they get constant use for me. I also have a 3.5 qt round and for me, it's just too small to do much with. I make side dishes with it just because it is there, but almost never in the oven, and for top of the stove a regular 3.5 qt. saucepan would actually be as good or superior.
A cocotte with the rooster knob was my very first piece of enameled cast iron (thanks to a Chowhound tip!). I love that thing! Then I got the soups pot with the acorn knob(not as efficient, but it looks cool). Sine then I've gotten a few more Staub pieces, as well as a Le Creuset 7.25 l. Both work well, but I prefer the Staub colors.
I agree with everyone else, you can't go wrong with either. Decide which color and style (LC or Staub) you like best and just go for it. When I was deciding, price played a part, but what I learned was most important to me was that I personally do not like to cooking in pots that have dark interiors. I just don't find it appealing, and I find it's harder to gauge things (like fond). In my case, LC was the way to go.
I have owned several Le Crueset for several years and recently bought a large Staub oval Dutch oven on sale at Williams-Sonoma. I really like my Le Crueset but, I must admit I like my Staub better. It seems a little heavier then LC which can be good or bad depending on your point of view. The enamel on Staub is better IMHO. Thicker, more durable, ... I just like it more. Both cook really well. With LC's colors of the month, I think it will be easier to color match Staub in the future when you want to add more pans to your kitchen.
Both brands are the best you can get and are competitive with each other. Those Staub chicken pots are super "cute". They are sized well for a newly married couple too.
re: Sid Post
I think you two (primarycook and Sid Post) summed it up quite well. The lighter-whitish interior of LC makes it much easier to see the cooking process. On the other hand, the darker/blackish color of Staub has its attraction of "hiding stains" and "ability to get seasoned".
On thing of interest is that the new Le Creuset Signature cookware is supposed to be easier to clean and more resistant against thermal shock than the Le Creuset Classic. So .... either (1) the new Le Creuset Signature is as good as Staub, so the Staub was better than the Le Creuset Classic.... or (2) the Staub is as good as the Le Creuset, and the Le Cresuset Signature beats them both.
You simply cannot have Staub to be as good as both version of Le Cresuset.
I don't have the answer, but I want to throw this out.