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Is there a difference?

Is there a big difference between the enameled cast iron pots from Le Creuset and other brands that sell enameled cast iron? 

ETA: I understand regular cast iron has its place, and I already have a 12 inch standard cast iron skillet that is great. 

I want an 8 quart oval enameled cast iron dutch oven for making braised dishes with large cuts of meat, or for cooking stews, chilis, or other one pot dishes low and slow over the stove. Unfortunately Le Crueset has discontinued this exact size and shape and therefore I'm looking for other options in different brands because I do not want something smaller or something larger. 

Thanks in advance for you comments!
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Re: Is there a difference?

  • FWIW, we got a cast iron skillet from Crate and Barrell and we LOVE it.
  • B2Z728B2Z728 member
    1000 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited November 2012
    The size and shape that I wanted, and was originally on our registry, was the 8 quart oval. Unfortunately, Le Creuset has discontinued that size and shape and I can no longer get it. The 6 3/4 quart is too small, and the 9 quart would be impossible to lift when full. 

    A part of me thinks that there has to be some reason for the inflated price of Le Creuset other than the name, but I'm not positive there really is. I would assume cast iron is cast iron and there can't be that much difference between that aspect, but perhaps the enameled coating is a lot better? I don't know, just wondering if anyone else has experience comparing Le Crueset and another brand that sells the same thing.

    I've pretty much accepted that I can no longer get exactly what I want from Le Creuset. So I'm sure be happy with the Sur la Table brand instead, which is at least half the price. 
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  • They are most likely very similar, but I'd be lying if I said  I didn't love love love my Le Creuset dishes.  They really do last a lifetime (my mom has had one....well as long as I can remember).  I bet any of the reputable registry stores (C&B, WS, etc.) could tell you if there really is a difference in quality though. 
  • The reason the LC cast iron is so expensive is because LC casts one pot from each mold and then destroys the mold... so they are all technically "unique."

    That said, as long as it's enameled cast iron it should be basically the same.
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  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Not all enameled cast iron is alike.  There is a huge difference between cheap enameled cast iron and a quality brand enameled cast iron. 



  • From what I read, people seem to love Lodge cast iron and one site rated them as comparable to Le Creuset.  If you look on sites like consumer search, they review and compare different types - some are definitely better than others. 

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_registering-gifts_is-there-a-difference?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:34Discussion:7838477b-fd74-496a-9034-73d211629589Post:da3c3530-d6c2-4b8e-86c8-29d0cf59a25c">Re: Is there a difference?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Not all enameled cast iron is alike.  There is a huge difference between cheap enameled cast iron and a quality brand enameled cast iron. 
    Posted by Viczaesar[/QUOTE]

    <div>Can you recommend a brand other than Le Creuset that would be of high quality?</div><div>
    </div><div>This is the one I'm thinking about:</div><div><a href="http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO-986851/Sur-La-Table-Red-Cast-Iron-Oval-Oven" rel="nofollow">http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO-986851/Sur-La-Table-Red-Cast-Iron-Oval-Oven</a></div>
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  • Staub is on the same level as LC. Sorry if its spelled wrong, on my phone don't want to look it up. Williams Sonoma sells that brand.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_registering-gifts_is-there-a-difference?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:34Discussion:7838477b-fd74-496a-9034-73d211629589Post:a2da76fc-02ce-4f8a-8f78-7d7ed94a0f1d">Re: Is there a difference?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Lodge has the BEST cast iron.  They've been in business for over a hundred years. I recommend against enameled.  Get your basic cast iron. It will outlive you - I'm using the skillet my mother got for a wedding present in 1954!  Enamel wears off and chips over time. Get the basic cast iron. Cast iron never gets ruined. It's worth buying that rusted orange pot you see at a flea market.  Scrub it down with steel wool, and re-season it. The best place to season cast iron is the grill.  Wash the piece (never run through the dishwasher), coat it inside and out with Crisco, and bake it on the grill. Over time it will acquire that lovely blackened sheen.  If it ever rusts, scrub with steel wool and re-season it. I give a cast iron skillet and dutch oven often as a shower gift.
    Posted by RetreadBride[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>My grandmother has a cast iron pan that she got back in her 20s or 30s, and I think she got it from a garage sale or something (I know it wasn't new).  She is now 92, and still using it!

    </div>
  • LCD also has a lifetime warranty on all of their products. If the enamel chips or if anything breaks (like on their stoneware) they will replace it no-questions-asked, forever (even if it was your fault).
    DSC_9275
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_registering-gifts_is-there-a-difference?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:34Discussion:7838477b-fd74-496a-9034-73d211629589Post:a2da76fc-02ce-4f8a-8f78-7d7ed94a0f1d">Re: Is there a difference?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Lodge has the BEST cast iron.  They've been in business for over a hundred years. I recommend against enameled.  Get your basic cast iron. It will outlive you - I'm using the skillet my mother got for a wedding present in 1954!  Enamel wears off and chips over time. Get the basic cast iron. Cast iron never gets ruined. It's worth buying that rusted orange pot you see at a flea market.  Scrub it down with steel wool, and re-season it. The best place to season cast iron is the grill.  Wash the piece (never run through the dishwasher), coat it inside and out with Crisco, and bake it on the grill. Over time it will acquire that lovely blackened sheen.  If it ever rusts, scrub with steel wool and re-season it. I give a cast iron skillet and dutch oven often as a shower gift.
    Posted by RetreadBride[/QUOTE]

    My mom still uses the cast iron her grandmother got at the turn of the last century.
    Proud to be an old married hag!! image
  • I asked this exact question of a friend who has both a Martha Stewart DO from Macy's and a Le Creuset.  She said that while she uses both, the LC is definitely superior in terms of how well it cooks etc.  

    We registered for an open stock Le Creuset set that included a small pot, the enameled skillet, and a 5 quart Dutch Oven.   I absolutely love each piece.  We got the set for what the dutch oven alone would have cost many places.  I too felt like I couldn't register for a $200+ piece of individual cookware, but this proved to be a great value.

    We also have a reasonably priced cast iron skillet we got a year+ ago at Target that has held up beautifully.  I use it all of the time.   



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