Is Le Creuset Dutch oven worth the money?
Is Le Creuset Dutch oven worth the money? I really want to buy a Le Creuset Dutch oven I have seen. I looked at a few but this just seemed to stand out for me. I love the color and the brand is important to me.
I know I could get a slightly cheaper one in a color I like but I keep going back to the Le Creuset. It is expensive so is Le Creuset Dutch oven worth the money?
Question from Sharon Marshall
Jayne: Thank you for your question Sharon and it’s a question that I know many of you have worried about at one point or another.
I can answer this question for you but I need to help you understand a few aspects to it.
I will therefore start by explaining why Le Creuset Dutch ovens are great and the benefits they bring.
An explanation will follow on why they are expensive and potentially what alternatives you could consider. Finally, I will explain whether I would buy one given your position.
Listen to this post…
The history of Le Creuset
Life for Le Creuset began in 1925 as a partnership between two Belgians, Armand Desaegher and Octave Aubecq. Meeting at a trade fair, within a year they had started the business as we know it today, Le Creuset.
Why are Le Creuset important to the history of Dutch ovens? Previous to them, Dutch ovens were pretty basic cast iron ovens that were unsuited to domestic settings. Le Creuset changed all that. The innovation they brought to the cookware market meant that they could add a layer of enamel to cast iron. This made the not only more attractive but also capable of working on a number of heat sources. They brought desirability to the cookware market.
So, what makes Le Creuset so great?
Aside from their history and heritage, let me quickly highlight the benefits of buying a Le Creuset Dutch oven.
They set the standard in the Dutch oven market. The way they produce the items and the care they take sets them apart, with maybe only Staub coming close to their quality. Their quality control is amazing and you can physically see the perfection in their products.
Other reasons why Le Creuset Dutch ovens are worth buying;
Cooking performance – I own a number of Le Creuset cookware and I can clearly say that the cooking performance is absolutely exquisite. Very few other Dutch ovens can even come close to taking this crown.
Durability – I have owned my Dutch ovens for a long time and one of them is particularly old as I inherited that one. One thing that is clear is that they are built to last. The quality of the enameling and cast iron means they can last a lifetime.
Appearance – Le Creuset Dutch ovens look distinctive and they clearly have their own design language. The shape of them has only changed a few times in their history. Don’t let this fool you into thinking they look dated, far from it.
Colors – Le Creuset set the standards that others follow. In fact, Le Creuset are such an important lifestyle brand now that when they do launch a new color, it is major news in the design world.
Lifestyle brand – No longer are Le Creuset just a cookware company. They are a lifestyle brand that create products that fit a particular image of style and sophistication. The brand is something that is to be desired and clearly, they sit at the very top of this premium market.
Why do Le Creuset Dutch ovens cost so much?
There are a number of reasons that explain why Le Creuset cost much more than some other products.
Before I explain some of those reasons, it is worth pointing out that this is a very subjective viewpoint.
What one person considers expensive may be cheap to another. We all have our own opinions on value. Yours won’t be the same as mine.
So, what are the reasons…
Location of production – Le Creuset cast iron Dutch ovens and braisers are made in France. This is an expensive country to produce products in and cannot compete with cheap production countries like China. Therefore, any products coming out of France will inevitably be more expensive. They also have to get them here which adds something.
Production methods – Le Creuset still use the original sand mold method which they say makes every cast iron item unique. This is a more expensive method of production as each mold is destroyed. In China, they cast mold a a much quicker rate therefore produces more
Materials – The cast iron that is used is designed and produced specifically for Le Creuset’s purpose. In other countries like China, cast iron that is melted from auto motor parts is used.
Marketing and distribution – This adds to the cost you pay. As with any luxury or premium brand, the name adds to its desirability. Le Creuset are no different in this case and more than likely pay more than anybody else to reinforce in your mind their number one status.
It’s a question that is asked over and over…is Le Creuset Dutch oven worth the money? That is up to you but if I was in your situation and happy to pay the price, then Le Creuset is an excellent choice. I am more than sure you will be delighted with you purchase for many years.
The main reasons for this decision aside from the fantastic products, is the fantastic warranty that is in place that actually delivers on what it promises.
Another reason is the investment aspect. The resale values of Le Creuset remain high should you change your mind and the investment price for old examples is very high.
All things considered, I think they are a solid investment.
What alternatives do I have?
If you are in the market for a premium Dutch oven, I would also consider buying a Staub. They are incredibly well made, also from France. Some would argue that the cooking performance is better than Le Creuset. I have personally tested a Staub 5.5 quart Dutch oven and I can confirm their brilliance.
Since you are here…can I ask you a favor?
It would be really nice if you could share this image on social media…it’s just a couple of clicks for you but it means the world to me.
Thank you so much