Le Creuset cookware is pricey, but its cast iron and stoneware pieces can last for years, if not decades — here's why they're worth the investment

Le Creuset cookware is pricey, but its cast iron and stoneware pieces can last for years, if not decades — here's why they're worth the investment

November 20, 2020

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

  • Le Creuset is known for its beautiful, well-crafted, and versatile enamel Dutch ovens. It created its first one in 1925, and still makes all of its Dutch ovens in the same foundry in France. 
  • Its cookware is expensive, but not without reason. Le Creuset's products last for years (if not generations), are made with distinct attention to detail, and come in many eye-catching colors. 
  • We tested seven of its products, including its signature enamel cast iron Dutch oven, oven-ready stoneware, and non-stick cookware. 
  • Below, you'll find our reviews of a variety of Le Creuset products, along with a history of the company and how it became one of the most coveted cookware brands in the world.
  • Sign up for Insider Reviews' weekly newsletter for more buying advice and great deals

Round Dutch Oven (5.5-Quart), around $360, available at: Amazon | Le Creuset | Williams-Sonoma 

We used it to cook: beef stroganoff, broccoli and sausage orzo skillet, chicken pot hotdish, and so much more. 

Why we love it: The 5.5-quart version of the popular Le Creuset Dutch oven isn't cheap at $350, but it's the cornerstone of my kitchen; it offers a lot of versatility, a durable design, and crucially, even heat distribution. I use it to cook easy, one-pot meals on most weeknights — everything from beef stroganoff to spring peas and asparagus risotto to a broccoli and sausage orzo skillet. —Ellen Hoffman, Executive Editor

I use a 4.5-quart version of this Dutch Oven, the same one that had previously belonged to my former boss' wife. She and I would swap recipes through her husband, delivering muffins and breakfast bars and favorite recipes to each other via his briefcase. At a holiday party at their home a few years ago, she gifted me one of her Le Creuset pots along with her matching frying pan. She gave it to me because she was growing partial to her Staub Dutch oven and didn't need so many in the house, but it was still one of the kindest gifts I've ever received. I love cooking in it and especially using it to serve stews, sauces, and orzo during dinner parties. —Sally Kaplan, Senior Editor

Signature Lite Grill Pan

Signature Lite Grill Pan, $180, available at: Le Creuset

We used it to cook: grilled summer squash phyllo pie, Beyond Meat sausages

Why we love it: When I'm too lazy to fire up the grill on our rooftop (so, most of the time), I opt for this stovetop grill pan. It gives my veggies and meat substitutes the perfect grill marks, and it's easy to move around on the burner if there's a hot or cool spot (which happens with square-shaped pans). When I grill things like summer squash on it, and there's something so satisfying about turning it over to see those little charred and caramelized bits. The surface is relatively non-stick, so food comes up cleanly as you're flipping it, and the pan wipes down easily.  —Sally Kaplan 

Mini Cocottes

Mini Cocottes, $100, available at: Amazon | Le Creuset 

We used it to cook: single-serving/app-sized mac and cheese, veggies, baked eggs, apple pie

Why we love it: These are hands down the most adorable pieces of cookware I own. The mini versions of the brand's classic cocotte are perfect for serving personal desserts, side dishes, and snacks like nuts or candy. They're made from stoneware, so they're best used in the oven on a baking tray and uncovered. The set I got came with a cookbook filled with recipes optimized for tiny portions, but if you're comfortable with experimentation, I can see the potential to get really creative (and cute) with these mini cocottes. —Connie Chen, Senior Reporter

Square Dish

Square Dish, $50, available at: Amazon | Le Creuset |Bed Bath & Beyond

We used it to cook: fudgy vegan brownies, roasted apricots with coconut sugar, cornbread, and a million other things

Why we love it: I've had this square dish for about three years now, and it's one of the most-used dishes in my kitchen. I bake quick-breads and brownies in it, use it to roast veggies at high temperatures, and even make pot pies with fluffy, crispy drop biscuit crust. The coating on the stoneware is so glossy and smooth that it's always easy to clean — mine has been through hell and back, and still looks as new as it did the very first day I got it. —Sally Kaplan

Nonstick Saute Pan

Nonstick Saute Pan, $145, available at: Crate & Barrel | Le Creuset

We used it to cook: vegetarian "meat" sauce, garlicky zucchini noodles

Why we love it: I have a lot of nonstick pans, but I threw two of them out after I cooked with this one for the first time. The nonstick coating is above and beyond what I've experienced before. It took about three seconds to wash the pot I cooked this sauce in because there was absolutely nothing sticking to it. Not only that, but it provided fast, even heat throughout, and the walls of the pan are just high enough that you can use it as a saucepan and saute pan interchangeably. It's an excellent value for $145 — I use it all the time. —Sally Kaplan

Braiser

Braiser, $200, available at: Le Creuset 

We used it to cook: lemon thyme chicken thighs, rigatoni and chicken with vodka sauce (family recipe), and lots of other bigger, saucy pasta dishes

Why we love it: This pan is the perfect size for the kinds of one-pot, saucy pasta dishes I make all the time. It's super wide and deep enough that I don't have to worry about adding too much liquid and having the contents spill over the sides. It's also great for cooking meats and veggies since, like I said, there's plenty of surface area so everything has room to get nice and crispy.—Ellen Hoffman

Rectangular Casserole

Rectangular Casserole, $115, available at: Amazon | Le Creuset

We used it to cook: Enchiladas, lasagna, pasta casseroles

Why we love it: The depth of this 3.5-quart casserole dish is ideal for recipes that call for layering, and the stoneware construction ensures every layer, whether sweet or savory, heats evenly and comes out of the oven piping hot. Though you might think the enamel would be too delicate to touch with a knife, rest assured you can slice into your casserole worry-free. I do wish the handles were slotted so I'd feel safer carrying it out of the oven, so just be extra careful about not dropping your hard work on the ground. —Connie Chen

Subscribe to our newsletter.

You can purchase syndication rights to this story here.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected]

Source: Read Full Article