We all have our priorities. If there’s an item we really want, we’ll generally find a way to buy it if we believe it’s worth the money. If you love to cook, you’ve probably contemplated Le Creuset cookware and wondered whether you should invest in this iconic brand.
We delve into what makes Le Creuset so special and if it’s worth the money.
What’s so special about Le Creuset cookware?
The Le Creuset legacy started in 1925. The company designed artisan cookware that was both useful and aesthetically appealing. While most pots and pans created back then were dismal black or gray, Le Creuset changed this when casting specialist Armand Desaegher and enameling professional Octave Aubecq joined forces. Together they designed a line of braisers, Dutch ovens, saucepans, and skillets that were bright and cheerful. They are available in a range of colors to match just about any kitchen decoration scheme. The bright color scheme of the cookware set it apart from its competitors.
Why it’s So Iconic
Le Creuset cookware became an iconic brand that both professional chefs and design enthusiasts take seriously. Known for its design and function, the enamel cast iron is both durable and easy to use and care for. The cookware is individually crafted by artisans using quality materials.
It’s been featured globally including on America’s Test Kitchen, Cooking Light, and Epicurious. Besides being functional and durable, it has also inspired new kitchen and dining room designs around the world. Its durability lends itself to be handed down to future generations. Each piece is hand-fitted to ensure the perfect cover fit too.
What You Should Know Before You Buy
While the company is best known for its dutch ovens, they make a wide range of products including bakeware, cookware, dinnerware, tea kettles, and other kitchen accessories.
Many items come in multiple sizes so you should consider your cooking needs prior to purchase. For instance, you can order a one-quart round or oval Dutch oven priced at only about half what the 5-quart one would cost. The one-quart size would suit anyone slow-cooking 1-2 lbs of meat at a time and serving two people.
To feed five or more people, you would probably need the 5-quart one, which can run for $300 or more.
Additional Buying Tips
Le Creuset creates more than just Dutch Ovens which can retail for up to $685 for the 15-quart size. For instance, certain square and rectangle baking pans cost only between $50-$100 each if you want to start with a smaller investment.
Other non-stick, stone and stainless steel items are also available. Before purchasing the pieces that require more of an investment, consider the pros and cons.
If you want to build a collection, you can also start with small investments that will never go out of style.
Smaller items include the classic salt or pepper mill or a tea kettle and mug set. They also make great gifts.
Consider the pros and cons of this iconic brand before making a significant investment.
- Non-stick surfaces — Even the cast iron ones have a surface that prevents food from becoming stuck to them.
- Light-colored interior — It prevents certain foods, such as eggs, from turning a dingy color as opposed to cooking them in a non-enameled cast iron pan.
- Lightweight — Le Creuset cast iron cookware feels lighter than traditional cast iron, yet the frying pans still get phenomenal performance when searing meat. The Dutch ovens and bakeware also provide the same slow-cooking benefits as the heavier cast iron counterparts.
- Variety — You have endless choices of colors, shapes, sizes, and types.
- Handles stay cool — The cast iron collection will not burn your hands.
- Easy to grip — This brand’s cookware has some of the roomiest handles in the industry.
- Collectible quality — Pass them onto children or grandchildren. If you care for them well, they can be used forever and passed on to future generations.
- Recommended by professionals — Restaurant owner and recurring Food Network judge Richard Blais stand by this brand. As does culinary instructor and personal chef, Allison Anastasio.
Just about all the casserole pots and pans that Le Creuset makes withstand up to 500 degrees of heat in the oven and on the stovetop. The perfectly fitted lids also help prevent boiling over when cooking on the stove. They also work on gas and electric stoves, and people have even used the Le Creuset Dutch Oven on glass-covered burners. These iconic pots and pans also don’t crack easily and will last decades if you take care of them right.
Some lower-priced square and rectangle baking pans do not come with a lid as the Dutch Oven would. This might not always matter, but it does mean that you will have to use aluminum foil or another method to cover if required when baking.
- Cost (depending on size) — You don’t necessarily have to buy the largest piece or the most expensive item that Le Creuset sells, but it’s definitely an investment.
- Metal utensils scratch interior — Just make sure you don’t use metal scrapers, spatulas, spoons, or other cooking utensils on the inner surface.
- Knob is not always oven-safe — As long as you’re cooking at temperatures below 375 degrees, it should be fine. However, you’ll have to take time to unscrew the knob from some Dutch ovens if you plan to use it in temperatures higher than that, especially in the oven.
Is it worth the money?
The Le Creuset brand is a solid investment if you love to cook and entertain and favor quality pieces. While you can certainly find quality cookware suited for a lower budget, the durability and classic look of this brand will last a lifetime or longer when passed onto future generations. It’s a brand that has been around for nearly 100 years and will never go out of style.
So if you’re willing to make the investment, it can be worth getting some high-quality pieces that will last a lifetime. With the motto of quality over quantity, you can start small and build your collection over time.