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Le Creuset Black Knob vs Silver Knob (2021): Choosing Between Phenolic and Stainless Steel Handles

You’d hear—or in most cases, read online—people talking about Le Creuset black and silver knobs. It usually refers to the its phenolic knobs such as the Classic Phenolic Knob and stainless steel knobs such as the Signature Stainless Steel Knob, respectively.

This might not seem like much of a big deal. After all, you could always use a pot holder if your main concern is whether it becomes too hot to handle or not. But it’s not as simple as that.

Le Creuset Black Knob vs Silver Knob Comparison Chart

ModelLe Creuset Classic Phenolic KnobLe Creuset Signature Stainless Steel Knob
 
Price
MaterialPhenolicStainless Steel
SizesSmall, largeSmall, medium, large
Maximum Oven Temperature390°FAny
Dishwasher SafeYesYes
WarrantyLifetimeLifetime

Maximum Temperature

Both are oven safe, but the Le Creuset Signature Stainless Steel Knob can withstand heat better.

Le Creuset Black Knob vs Silver Knob Maximum Temperature
The Le Creuset Classic Phenolic Knob (in photo) won’t survive temperatures above 390°F in the oven.

This is where the difference between the two really becomes apparent. While the Le Creuset Classic Phenolic Knob can’t go beyond 390°F in the oven, the Signature Stainless Steel Knob is safe at any temperature.

It goes without saying that the black knob will have some limitations in this regard. For instance, no-knead breads baked in a Dutch oven is usually set at 450°F.

Usage

The Le Creuset Signature Stainless Steel Knob is the better pick if you use ovens often.

Le Creuset Black Knob vs Silver Knob Usage
The material of the Le Creuset Classic Phenolic Knob (left) doesn’t conduct heat as much as the Signature Stainless Steel Knob’s (right).

In terms of usage, the Le Creuset Classic Phenolic Knob will serve you better if you mainly use the stovetop. That’s because it’ll be less hot to the touch compared to handles made with metal.

On the other hand, you’ll be better off with the Signature Stainless Steel Knob if you use ovens a lot. That’s thanks to its aforementioned resistance to heat. The downside here is it’ll be hotter when used on the stovetop than knobs made with phenolic material.

At any rate, a pot holder is still recommended for either one.

Compatibility

The Le Creuset Classic Phenolic Knob comes in small and large, while the Signature Stainless Steel Knob has small, medium, and large sizes.

Le Creuset Black Knob vs Silver Knob Compatibility
The Le Creuset Signature Stainless Steel Knob (in photo) is compatible with more cookware.

Straight from the horse’s mouth, the small Le Creuset Classic Phenolic Knob measures 1 ¾” and the large variant 2 ¼”. The former is compatible with the Round Dutch Oven (1 qt., 2 qt., 3 ½ qt.), Oval Dutch Oven (1 qt., 3 ½ qt.), Saucier (2 ¼ qt.), and Chef’s Oven (1 ½ qt., 3 ½ qt.). The larger can fit the Round Dutch Oven (4 ½ qt., 5 ½ qt., 7 ¼ qt., 9 qt., 13 ¼ qt.) and Oval Dutch Oven (5 qt., 6 ¾ qt., 9 ½ qt., 15 ½ qt.).

Meanwhile, the Signature Stainless Steel Knob has three sizes: small (1 ½”), medium (2”), and large (2 ¼”). The small one can be used for the Round Dutch Oven (1 qt.), Oval Dutch Oven (1 qt.), Braiser (1 ½ qt.), and Signature Saucepan (1 ¾ qt.), while the medium one can fit the Round Dutch Oven (2 qt., 3 ½ qt.), Oval Dutch Oven (2 ¾ qt., 3 ½ qt.), and Signature Saucepan (2 ¼ qt., 3 ¼ qt.).

Lastly, the large one is compatible with the Round Dutch Oven (4 ½ qt., 5 ½ qt., 7 ¼ qt., 9 qt., 13 ¼ qt.), Oval Dutch Oven (5 qt., 6 ¾ qt., 8 qt., 9 ½ qt., 15 ½ qt.), Braiser (2 ¼ qt., 3 ½ qt., 5 qt.), and Wok (5 qt.).

Needless to say, you can use the silver knob with many more cookware because it’s available in more sizes.

Variants

Le Creuset has more knobs other than these two.

Le Creuset Black Knob vs Silver Knob Variants
You can use the Stainless Steel Flower Knob (in photo) to spruce up your Dutch oven.

Besides the black and silver knobs, there are also gold and copper ones too. But that’s another story for another time.

On an interesting note, Le Creuset has a flower-shaped stainless steel knob. It’s more or less the same as the Signature Stainless Steel Knob, except for its, well, flower shape.

There’s also a Signature Phenolic Knob that builds on the Classic Phenolic Knob with a higher temperature resistance of up to 500°F.

Verdict

Each knob has its own unique benefits to offer.

Put simply, the Le Creuset Classic Phenolic Knob is better for stovetop cooking in a way. The Signature Stainless Steel Knob is better suited for ovens because of how it can handle high temperatures.

To boil things down, picking between the black and silver knobs is really a matter of your cooking habits.

FAQs

📌 What’s the difference between Le Creuset’s black and silver knobs?

Le Creuset black knobs are typically made of phenolic material, while the silver ones are made of stainless steel.

📌 How long is the warranty on Le Creuset’s black and silver knobs?

Le Creuset offers lifetime warranty on its knobs such as the Classic Phenolic Knob and Signature Stainless Steel Knob.

📌 Are Le Creuset knobs dishwasher safe?

Yes, knobs such as the Classic Phenolic Knob and Signature Stainless Steel Knob are dishwasher safe.

📌 Are Le Creuset black and silver knobs oven safe?

Yes, but Le Creuset’s black knobs are made with phenolic material, meaning it has a limit. For example, the Classic Phenolic Knob can’t withstand temperatures above 390°F. Meanwhile, the Signature Stainless Steel Knob is fine at any temperature.

Last update on 2022-06-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.