So, this is a quick post to go over the Le Creuset Signature vs Classic Dutch oven ranges. Before I start, it is clear that this is not a massive change between the two in terms of functionality nor design. Subtlety is the word here…but there are a couple of important ‘upgrades’.
Summary of changes
- Knob handle resistant to higher temperature
- Changes to logo and rim lines on lid
- Bigger handles with more finger room
- Better lid fitment
- Better quality enamel
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Le Creuset Signature vs Classic: Read more in detail…
The Classic is the older version of the Le Creuset Dutch oven, with the Signature line the new range. They still sell the classic but you should know the difference between the two. The Classic range is cheaper of the two.
If you are looking to buy, I would suggest the Signature range for a couple of good reasons I will talk about.
Just on visual inspection, you may be able to notice a few subtle differences.
The first is the knob handles. You will notice that they are thicker on the Signature line and are easier to hold on to. The most important change here is the temperature they can go up to in the oven.
The new Signature handles can go up to 500F. The classic line had a maximum temperature of 375F. This means that you can cook at higher temperatures and cook things you would not be able to do in the classic range e.g. bake no knead bread.
Rim lines & logo
Staying with the lid, there are some subtle changes to the design of the rim lines. They are now much more prominent. They look slightly more modern but the most obvious change is the ‘Le Creuset’ logo, it is more detailed than it was on the Classic line. The logo stands out much more.
The next major difference is the handles. They are said to be 45% bigger according the Le Creuset.
I think they are when comparing the two together. They look much wider and the number of fingers I can slide into the handle is different…three fingers on the Classic, four fingers with a little wiggle room on the Signature range. This makes it much easier handle and move around.
The next big difference is the lid fitment. The new Signature range has a more tight-fitting lid than the classic line.
They definitely feel more solid when you place them down, they don’t have that wiggle with the lid on.
The final difference is on the inside. The Signature line has a higher quality enamel than the Classic.
It is more resistant to thermal shock and less likely to crack or chip. It is also more resistant to changes in color too.
This is important if you are worried about interior chipping as this is not normally covered by the warranty.
So those are the differences, Le Creuset Signature vs Classic. Five pretty significant ones. It reflects the quality increase in Le Creuset and they are clearly apply new technology, especially with the enameling process.
Both versions are for sale but as you would expect, the Signature line is more expensive. For fans of Le Creuset, these will be welcome changes and they still offer you great value.
Le Creuset Signature Dutch Oven 5½-Quart Review
Product Name: Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5.5 Quart
Product Description: This is one of the most iconic Dutch ovens around, setting the standard for others to follow. In a wide array of colours to suit all tastes, this versatile Dutch oven is perfect for every cooking style.
A wonderful choice that you cannot be disappointed with. Fantastic cooking performance, world class build and a Dutch oven to last generations.
- Lightest cast iron available
- Tight-fitting lid
- Easy grip side handles
- Chip and crack resistant
- Lifetime guarantee
- The highest price on the market
Frequently asked questions
What are the new Signature Phenolic Knobs?
They are the new lid knobs for the Le Creuset Signature range. They are also available as replacement parts so you can upgrade your existing Dutch oven.
There is good reason to do so. Not only are they more comfortable to handle, they offer a better grip when using oven gloves. They are larger and taller than the replacement Classic knobs.
Importantly, they can be used in an oven up to 500F which is much better than the Classic knob which has a maximum of 375F.
If you do want to replace them, it is a simple do it yourself job involving one screw. They are well worth the upgrade.
They come in two sizes…47mm and 57mm;
Size 47mm Fits:
All Saucepan Lids
18cm – 22cm Round Casserole Lids
23 and 25cm Oval Casserole Lids
Size 57mm Fits:
24cm – 30cm Round Casserole Lids
27cm and 31cm Oval Casserole Lids
Can you get a stainless-steel replacement knob?
Yes, you can, they were recently introduced by Le Creuset. Just like the Phenolic Knobs, they are slightly larger and taller whilst also improving the grip. The biggest benefit is the maximum oven temperature which is 500F.
Should I buy the new Signature Dutch oven from Le Creuset if I already own the Classic?
You should only consider replacing it if you were going to get one anyway. The Classic Dutch ovens are great and you should get as much use out of them as possible. If anything, simply replace the handle so that you can use them at higher temperatures.
Remember to keep the original though, often the older Dutch ovens become collector’s items.
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