If you’re looking for high-end cookware that is going to last for decades to come, then you have come to the right place. We’re about to review a brand that is well known for producing extremely high-quality kitchen cookware. Yes, here we are talking about Le Creuset.
Le Creuset has been around for almost a century. In that time, they have consistently produced high-quality cookware. Le Creuset makes cast iron skillets, Dutch ovens, and many other high-performance products. People hail this cookware for its great performance, durability, convenience, and much more.
We’re going to be reviewing this particular kitchen cookware brand based on a variety of factors. These include cooking performance, durability, cleaning and care, design, colors, sizes, and more. There are quite a few things to consider when looking at the Le Creuset cookware brand. Let’s get right to it and see if this is a brand that you might be interested in.
History of Le Creuset
This is an extremely old kitchen cookware brand that’s been around since 1925, so almost for a full century at this time. This is a French brand name, one that was started by Arman Desaegher and Octave Aubecq. Respectively, they were a metal casting expert and an enamel casting expert.
Modern Le Creuset Dutch ovens are made with enameled cast iron, so you can see where this comes from. These two men worked together to create kitchen cookware made out of cast iron coated with enamel. This was done in a foundry that the two men built themselves in Fresnoy-Le-Grande.
In fact, in French, Le Creuset means “the crucible”. For those of you who don’t know, a crucible is simply a container that is made out of a very durable substance that can resist massive amounts of heat. Yes, the cookware created by this brand name is able to resist great amounts of heat. This is one of the reasons why it is so popular.
Ever since this brand first started pumping out Dutch ovens and other cast iron cookware, it became extremely popular. In fact, these Dutch ovens are often considered the gold standard. They’re durable, easy to clean, easy to maintain, feature good heat distribution, come in many sizes, colors, designs, and more.
This company is known for producing a wide variety of products including kitchen tools, accessories, enameled steel cookware, enameled cast iron cookware, stainless steel cookware, nonstick bakeware and cookware, oven-ready stoneware, and more.
How/Where It Is Made
What you might really like about the Le Creuset brand is that their Dutch ovens are still made in the main foundry created almost 100 years ago, in Fresnoy-Le-Grande, France. Because this cookware is made in France, you can rest assured that the quality is very high.
It’s still the same exact factory that was used almost 100 years ago, with high-quality European standards always being adhered to. In their Dutch ovens, under the lid, you can see the word France very clearly. This is something we appreciate, especially because Dutch ovens are really what we are here to look at today.
However, other types of cookware created by this brand, such as bakeware and stainless-steel cookware, are made in a variety of other countries including the United States, China, Portugal, and other countries. Yet, their most popular products, enameled cast iron ones, are still all made in France.
In terms of how they are made, the Dutch ovens start off as a mixture of recycled and pure iron, with some of the recycled iron coming from old cookware that didn’t meet quality standards. On a side note, Le Creuset rejects about 30% of all cookware made due to imperfections. This speaks to the very high standards that this company has.
That liquid metal is then poured into molds made out of sand, then allowed to set, and once set, when the pots are cool, multiple layers of enamel are then sprayed on. These enameled cast iron Dutch ovens are then baked in an oven at over 1400 degrees Fahrenheit. They then get another coat of colored enamel. This is done in a special way to achieve that gradient color scheme that Le Creuset is known for.
The most important thing to take note of here is that all Dutch ovens from Le Creuset are handmade by over 30 different people. This is a very labor and time-intensive process. Each product goes through strict quality assurance tests to ensure that only the very best of the products leave the factory.
One of the really cool things about Le Creuset Dutch ovens is the fact that they work on all types of cooktop, whether gas, electric, or anything in between. They feature a cast iron core that is magnetic and is therefore compatible with induction cook tops.
Even better is the fact that all Le Creuset Dutch ovens can be used in the ovens up to 500 degrees. Even the stainless-steel knob on the lid won’t be affected. If you aren’t using that lid, you can go well over 500 degrees.
One thing that does need to be said is that because these Dutch ovens have extremely thick cast iron walls, they do take a long time to get hot. However, they have fantastic heat distribution for even cooking, and once they get hot, they stay hot for a very long time.
What’s really cool is that because this cast iron is enameled, or in other words, coated in a layer of enamel, they’re also non-reactive. This means that you can cook acidic foods without having to worry about any components of the cast iron getting into your food.
Therefore, if you need a piece of cookware that can be used at extremely high temperatures, without the risk of your food sticking, then Le Creuset Dutch ovens are definitely something to consider. Yes, that coating of enamel is essentially non-stick.
You do still want to use a little bit of oil, but it’s nothing like bare cast iron where food is going to stick if you don’t use half a liter of oil. On a side note, this actually makes these Dutch ovens very easy to clean.
Furthermore, if you like your food moist and juicy, then these Le Creuset Dutch ovens are a great option. They come with form-fitting lids that really lock in moisture. When you cook, they barely let any moisture out at all, which is also true for heat. This really allows flavor to develop in your dishes, particularly when you cook them for many hours at a time.
If there is one thing that you can rest assured with the Le Creuset brand name, whether with Dutch ovens or other products, is that they are extremely durable.
Now, we can’t focus on all of the products here, but what we can say is that the Dutch ovens are about as durable as humanly possible. They feature extremely thick cast iron walls with a triple coating of enamel. The cast iron itself is extremely strong and durable.
You can really put these things through a whole lot of punishment and they won’t warp, bend, or lose their shape in any way. Cast iron is one of the toughest materials out there, and it really shows. At the same time, that triple layer of enamel shouldn’t scratch, chip, or break unless you are unnecessarily rough with it.
Keep in mind that you probably shouldn’t use metal utensils in these enameled cast iron Dutch ovens. Extensive use with metal utensils, especially if you apply a lot of pressure, may scratch or damage the layer of enamel. Other than this one small downside of not being able to use metal utensils, these devices are built like tanks.
Cleaning and Care
What’s cool about these Dutch ovens is that they are so durable that they really don’t need much care. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind. For one, using a pot or pan protector is a good idea. In other words, don’t put other metal pots or pans inside of them without a protector.
You also don’t want to use metal utensils inside of them, or anything like steel wool. You don’t want to scratch that layer of enamel. The other thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to expose them to very extreme shifts in temperature, or they may warp.
Other than that, to clean these pieces of cookware, some simple hot water and soap will do just fine. Even if the surface stains with prolonged use, this won’t change the cooking performance.
Something you might want to avoid, however, is putting them in the dishwasher. To be safe, when cleaning and caring for these products, treating them like other nonstick cookware is recommended.
Design, Colors, and Sizes
Dutch ovens come in many different sizes, including 1, 1.5, 2, 2.25, 2.75, 3.5, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6.75, 7.25, 8, 9, 13.25, and 15.5 quarts.
These products also come in a variety of shapes including round wide, round oval, pumpkin cocotte, cassadou, fleur cocotte, heart cocotte, fleur oval cocotte, and sauteuse. There are also 22 different colors to choose from.
No matter what shape you get, the design is always going to be very high quality. The form-fitting lids are designed to keep in heat and moisture. The thick walls keep in heat very well. The high walls allow you to cook stews and other foods with plenty of liquid. No matter what way you look at it, Le Creuset Dutch ovens are designed to be very user-friendly and functional.
One of the only real downsides here is that you can’t use metal utensils in the enameled cast iron. Furthermore, while Dutch ovens are very heavy, that’s what you get with a thick cast iron. It’s the tradeoff that you get for extreme durability.
Also, these Dutch ovens take a long time to heat up, but they also retain heat very well.
Other than that, the only other downside is the high price of all of these products. Yes, this is one of the most expensive brand names out there when it comes to kitchen cookware. However, we do think that it is well worth the investment.
Why Is Le Creuset So Expensive?
Simply put, you get what you pay for, and with the Le Creuset brand name, you get quality. These are extremely high-quality and handmade products made with super high-quality materials. Over 30 different people work on a single Dutch oven, with over 30% of products being rejected due to not meeting quality standards. If there is one thing you can rest assured of, it is that Le Creuset is synonymous with quality.
Is Le Creuset Dishwasher Safe?
Yes, these products are technically dishwasher-safe. However, to keep this cookware in prime condition for as long as possible, hand washing is recommended.
Can Le Creuset Go In An Oven?
Yes, all of the bakeware, stoneware, and enameled cast iron is oven friendly. This is one of the major benefits that you get with the enameled cast iron cookware.
Does Le Creuset Cookware Need Seasoning?
The beauty of the enameled cast iron cookware is that it doesn’t need seasoning like normal cast iron does.
How Do I Clean Le Creuset Enamel?
All you need is a simple sponge, some hot water, and some soap. Don’t use anything overly abrasive like steel wool or metal utensils.
What Is The Le Creuset Lifetime Warranty?
The warranty means that if there are any defects in workmanship or material, the product will be replaced.
Overall, the bottom line here is that the Le Creuset brand name is absolutely fantastic. We especially like their line of Dutch ovens. They are some of the most durable, high-performance, and easy-to-maintain pieces of kitchen cookware out there. Yes, they are very expensive, but we think that they are well worth the investment.
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