One of the pioneers in the market, Le Creuset is a brand many know and love. But how well do you know it?
Well, with this in-depth review, we’ll surely introduce you to the brand! From its rich history to its place in the market today.
History and Legacy of Le Creuset
You may have heard the story behind Le Creuset and their cookware, reaching back almost a hundred years in history. The success is due to two Belgian industrialists: Octave Aubecq and Armand Desaegher. Who came together at the demand of a Brussels Fair, both experts in different (albeit complementary) areas.
Le Creuset was born in Fresnoy-le-Grand—a small town in northern France. Driven by their expertise in casting and enameling, the pair revolutionized the cooking industry with the invention of the superiorly stylish and long-lasting Dutch oven.
Throughout the twentieth century, it became ever more celebrated for its legendary cast iron pieces characterized by signature vibrant colors like Flame (orange), Marseille (blue), and Cherry (red).
In the 1950s, international recognition came when Paul Bocuse started using the brand, inspiring a plethora of chefs alike. Propelling their success even further worldwide, subsidiaries were opened in different countries in both the US and Asia.
Then, materials such as stoneware and silicone were integrated into their endless product line, including skillets, saucepans, and kitchen utility tools. From professionals to home cooks to innovators, many easily convey their culinary creations thanks to this quality brand.
Material and Construction
Being so long in the game, Le Creuset features a wide range of cookware and materials. In this section, let’s explore their cookware sets and how they’ll affect your cooking process!
Enameled Cast Iron
Le Creuset’s enameled cast iron is the world’s pioneer of colorful cookware. It stands as its most famous series and innovation from the company. Since then, it has been the standard for quality and color for almost a century, used by acclaimed chefs and home cooks alike.
Its stand-out features are its heat performance! Achieving unbeatable heat retention for unparalleled cooking results with its eye-catching enamel finish. On top of that, the robust design ensures long-lasting reliability, ease of use, and easy cleaning, making Le Creuset enameled cast iron one of the reliable favorites of the past and today’s generation.
Of course, like many cookware brands, Le Creuset also dabbles in the world of stainless steel pans. Their series has a tri-ply layer which makes it great for heat distribution.
All the pans in this series have an aluminum core from the base to the rim. This conducts the heat well, especially with the mix of lightweight titanium with stainless steel as the coating. It makes their pans more resistant to corrosion and scorches.
That said, what makes their stainless steel pans different?
Well, their design comes with an ergonomic heat-resistant handle along with a pouring rim for faster cleanup. As pans of this material can become hot in a short time, their lid features their iconic three rings and steam vent.
Currently, Le Creuset has a Non-stick PRO series that, much like their stainless steel pans—are tri-ply. These series are among the most durable and well-reviewed among enthusiasts.
It features a smooth, easily-cleaned surface. Along with that, it’s safe for oven, dishwasher, and metal utensil use, which is among the most common problem with non-stick pans in the industry.
Enamel on Steel
Of course, not all cookware is for retaining heat. Their enamel on steel material is featured in their stockpots and kettles.
It has a carbon steel core along with a porcelain enamel coat. So that it will bring broths and water faster to the boiling point.
As this series is primarily for bringing out the flavors of your food, the coating needs to be non-reactive—thus, the enamel. Along with that is the pot’s bigger size, so the lightweight carbon steel is the solution.
Key Features and Performance
Now that we know Le Creuset’s materials, let’s tackle how it affects their performance.
Heat Distribution and Retention
This factor can be based on what you want to do with your cooking process. But, on average, Le Creuset possesses excellent capacity for these features.
Depending on the material, their pots and pans can easily be used in low to medium heat. For example, if you want your pan for frying, their enameled cast iron or non-stick pro can be the best option.
These two series spread the heat more equally whilst being slower to go cold. Hence, it’s perfect for quickly and equally frying your food without making it stick in the pan.
Versatility and Cooking Performance
Heat in the stove is not the only heat your cookware will encounter. Some of them can also go into the oven. So, are Le Creuset’s pans oven-safe?
Yes, the brand’s flagship enamel cast iron pans can go safely to an oven of up to 390⁰F or 190⁰C. Although the pan itself can go up to temperatures of 500°F, its phenolic handles and lid can’t reach that heat.
Meanwhile, their stainless steel and non-stick pans can withstand oven use of 500°F or 260°C. A lot higher than their enamel series.
Now, let’s tackle its durability. It can handle a pretty substantial heat, but can it survive a trip to the dishwasher?
The answer is that it depends on the material you will use. Le Creuset’s cast iron pans and phenolic handles can safely be cleaned in the dishwasher.
However, that’s not recommended. The enamel coating can erode as time goes on.
So, you can occasionally do it, but opting for handwashing can be an excellent idea in the long run. Considering this brand’s price point, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Design and Aesthetics
Other than the material, let’s talk about the design of this brand. Le Creuset features a wide range of attractive design features, and here are some of them:
- Phenolic ergonomic handles
- Anti-drip rims
- Three-ring lid with steam vents
Other than that, you might notice the colorful elephant in the room: the enamel hues of Le Creuset!
For a long time, this has been the most recognizable feature of this brand. Whatever color you want to match your kitchen, there’s a Le Creuset pan for you, as they currently have around 24 colors in the market.
Pros and Cons of Le Creuset Cookware
· Easy to clean and maintain
· Wide range of cookware
· Vibrant Color
|· Higher cost
· Higher-maintenance enamel coating
· Limited Warranty
· More weight
· Slow heating and cooling
Le Creuset cookware is a staple across many kitchens, and one reason is its ultra-durable cast iron and stoneware construction. No more dealing with hot spots!
Meanwhile, every cooking job you have is covered. Whether it’s stovetop, oven, or grilling, there’s a Le Creuset perfect for the occasion.
And what about stylishness? Absolutely! The vibrant colors provide undeniable elegance to your kitchen.
But don’t forget about convenience – once you’re done using your top-notch cookware from Le Creuset, it can go easily in the dishwasher. Also, its non-porous enamel coating ensures food never gets stuck or lingers around.
The luxurious Le Creuset is known for its stunning craftsmanship and durable materials. But with it comes a higher cost than other brands—a hindrance to those with more limited budgets.
The weight of the cast iron pieces adds to their heat retention but can prove difficult for some individuals to move around with ease. Given the thickness of that premium material, heating and cooling could take on a slower presence —yet retaining the heat efficiently is where it shines!
Pricing and Value
Le Creuset can come in a wide range of sets and singles. These are the following price range:
|Signature Enameled Cast Iron
|$1500 (11-Piece Set)
$575 (5-Piece Set)
$136 – $250 (Single Skillet)
|Toughened Non-stick PRO
|$900 (13-Piece Set)
$650 (10-Piece Set)
$420 (6-Piece Set)
$180 – $200 (2-Piece Set)
$88 – $126.40 (Single Fry Pan)
|Signature Stainless Steel
|$1050 (12-Piece Set)
$525 (6-Piece Set)
$210 (2-Piece Set)
$96 – $152 (Single Fry Pan)
As you can see, this brand is pretty pricey, but you certainly will have the bang for your buck. Le Creuset is considered a high-end cookware brand, meaning most of the buy from this brand can last you a lifetime with the proper care.
However, here are some other brand alternatives:
Customer Feedback and Rating
As Le Creuset is a household name, here are some of the ratings for their series (courtesy of Amazon.com ratings):
Signature Enameled Cast Iron
- 75″ Skillet:4.7 out of 5 (5,368 Ratings)
- 25qt. Saucepan: 4.9 out of 5 (792 Ratings)
Toughened Non-stick PRO
- 12″ Fry Pan:6 out of 5 (353 Ratings)
- 8″ & 10″ Fry Pan:8 out of 5 (582 Ratings)
Signature Stainless Steel
- 8” Fry Pan:4 out of 5 (147 Ratings)
As you can see, most of them have excellent reviews. But be sure to do your research and read individual thoughts.
How to Care for Le Creuset Cookware?
Set on buying some pans from the brand? We want your Le Creuset to last very long, so here is a list of things you can follow:
Although some of their signature sets can withstand cleaning from the dishwasher, their care guide advises everyone not to rely on them. Hot water with dishwashing soap will always be the best way to clean your pans.
Don’t Wash Hot Pan
On the topic of cleaning, don’t submerge your hot cookware under cold or running water. The material can go through temperature shock and reduce its durability in the long run.
You might be used to setting high heat for your cookware, but don’t do that to your Le Creuset pans and pots. As their heat retention is excellent, high heat will not help your cooking and might even cause some damage.
It should just be for boiling water and pasta. Other than that, low to medium heat is more than enough.
Of course, we can’t put all the info in this short section, so check out their care guide here. It’s even divided by materials, so you’ll know the best way to maintain your cookware!
With that, we know you’re now well-introduced to the with this Le Creuset In-Depth Review. Whether it’s the color or durability, there is something to love with this beautiful line of cookware!
Michael Johnson is the founder of Pan Mastery, Inspired by his blacksmith grandfather’s legacy has a deep appreciation for hand-crafted pots and pans, he provides invaluable guides, reviews, and recipes to enhance your culinary journey.