If you spend a lot of time cooking at home, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start investing in your kitchenware. One of the best things you can spend (or rather splurge) on is a cast iron dutch oven. Yes, they’re not exactly cheap but they certainly make the lives of home cooks so much easier. You can do practically anything with them, whether it be boiling, deep-frying, braising, or baking. To boot, they’re so much easier to clean than regular pots and pans. If you want one for yourself, consider looking into these two brands: Le Creuset and Lodge. They’re the best in the business and would serve as a great addition to your kitchen.
It’s not an easy feat to choose between these two brands, however, as they each have their own pros and cons. To help you decide which one’s better for you, here’s an in-depth comparison of Le Creuset and Lodge dutch ovens.
Le Creuset vs Lodge Comparison Chart
|Size||They have 9, 13.25, and 15.5 quarts, all good enough to serve more than 10 people||The biggest size is 7.5 quarts which is only good for 7 people|
|Colors||Has a wider range of colors that tend to be more vibrant and cheerful||Has a smaller ranger of colors which tend to be darker|
|Shape||Sides are straight and connect to the bottom at an angle||Sides are more curved and they taper towards the bottom|
|Lids||Has a flatter lid which makes for easier storage||Has a taller, dome-shaped lid which can cover food that goes beyond the rim of the pot|
|Lid Knobs||Made of composite material that can withstand up to 500 degrees||Made of stainless steel which can withstand up to 500 degrees|
|Handles||Slightly roomier handles which can fit bulky oven mitts||Handles are roomy but not as big|
|Finish||Has a smooth and even finish||Has slightly uneven coating|
|Cooking Performance||Able to heat up evenly at low temperatures and doesn’t let moisture out||Needs higher temperatures to heat up and lets a little bit of moisture out|
Le Creuset has the upper hand over Lodge when it comes to design.
When it comes to size, Le Creuset has a nice range to choose from. Even if have you have a big household or you have guests over all the time, you don’t have to worry because they have 9, 13.25, and 15.5-quart dutch ovens, all of which can serve more than 10 people. As for Lodge, they’re a bit more limited in size, its biggest dutch oven measuring in at 7.5 quarts which is only good for 7 people. As for color range, Le Creuset again has the wider range compared to Lodge. Also, the latter has darker colors while the former offers variants that are more vibrant and cheerful. While colors may not matter much to some people, it could be the tie-breaker for others and it looks like Le Creuset is more pleasing to the eyes.
Aside from size and color, another thing you need to consider is shape. The Lodge dutch oven has more of a curved shape that gets narrower towards the bottom while the Le Creuset has straighter sides that connect to the bottom at an angle. While these are small things, they do make a difference. For one, the Le Creuset will give you a wider base to work with while cooking with the Lodge might feel a bit more cramped (you probably have to cook in batches). The shape of the Lodge does have an advantage, however, as it’s much easier to scoop food up from a curved base than an angled one.
It’s important to take note of the little details as well such as their lids, lid knobs, and handles. The Le Creuset has a flatter lid while the Lodge has a taller, dome-shaped one. The Le Creuset would be a lot easier to store, but the Lodge would do a much better job of covering food that goes beyond the rim of the pot (eg: a whole chicken). As for their lid knobs, the Lodge’s is made of stainless steel and can withstand up to 500 degrees in the oven. Le Creuset’s is made of composite material and while they say it can withstand up to 500 degrees as well, you probably shouldn’t expose it to such high temperatures. You can have it swapped out for a stainless steel one but that’s going to cost you another $20. As for handles, they both have pretty roomy ones that allow you to get a firm grip. Le Creuset’s are slightly bigger though so it wouldn’t be a problem if you’re wearing bulky oven mitts.
Another design aspect you need to look into is quality of finish. It looks like Le Creuset has the upper hand when it comes to this area, boasting a smooth finish while Lodge has slightly uneven coating. This shouldn’t come as a surprise though because Le Creuset is made by French artisans who have perfected their craft. They’ve been doing this for almost a century now and they’ve always been a stickler for excellence. As for Lodge, they’re an American brand but their kitchenware is actually manufactured in China which comes as a disappointment to many customers. That said, you probably have a higher chance of passing down a Le Creuset than a Lodge.
Le Creuset has a slight edge over Lodge when it comes to cooking performance.
When it comes to cooking performance, you can expect both dutch oven brands to be reliable in the kitchen. There are a couple of differences, however, and it seems like Le Creuset has a slight edge. For one, the Lodge takes a longer time to heat up and requires a higher temperature to do so. The thing with cast iron dutch ovens is that you’re not supposed to crank up the heat and should instead wait for the pot to heat up in its own time. With the Lodge, however, it does seem like it needs a bit of a boost. This could be because the material it’s made of isn’t conducting heat as efficiently as cast iron dutch ovens are supposed to. As for Le Creuset, it has no problem heating up even at lower temperatures. It’s also important to note that Lodge lets a little bit of moisture out while Le Creuset is able to provide a much tighter seal.
That said, you shouldn’t completely dismiss Lodge because it still does a fine job of cooking food and you can most certainly whip up plenty of tasty meals with it. Your meat will still end up juicy and your stews will still come out flavorful. So if you’re not a professional chef who needs to have the best brands in your kitchen and you just want to have an everyday cast iron dutch oven, Lodge should be more than enough for you. Besides, you get to enjoy all the functionalities of a cast iron dutch oven for a fraction of the price if you decide to go with Lodge (more on this in the next section).
Lodge is way more affordable than Le Creuset.
Cast iron dutch ovens are definitely not cheap but Le Creuset in on a different level when we say this, coming in at the $300 price range. They’re not expensive without reason though. Their dutch ovens are beautifully crafted in France and it’s obvious how much attention to detail is put into them. A Le Creuset dutch oven will last you years and years and you can probably even hand it down to your children if you take good care of it. If you do decide to invest in a Le Creuset, and there are many out there who already have, it’s an expensive purchase that you won’t regret.
As for the Lodge dutch oven, priced at the $90 range, you can easily call it affordable if you were to compare it to Le Creuset. That said, you can’t expect it to have the same kind of quality and craftsmanship as its French counterpart. It is, after all, made in China which probably explains the much cheaper price tag. While it probably won’t last until the next generation, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get plenty of use out of it now.
Go for Le Creuset if you don’t mind making an investment but choose Lodge if you’re sticking to a budget.
When you’re deciding between the Le Creuset and Lodge dutch oven, there are a couple of things you have to consider. If quality is the most important thing to and you don’t mind investing quite a bit of money, go for Le Creuset. It’s considered one of the best in the industry and it’s sure to last you an impressive amount of time. But if you have a tighter budget to stick to, Lodge would be the more affordable option. You do, however, have to keep in mind that it doesn’t quite have the same level of quality as Le Creuset and that it’s more prone to scratches and cracks down the road. You can do the same things with it though so you still get your money’s worth.
If you don’t mind spending quite a big sum of money, Le Creuset is a good investment. The craftsmanship is great and they’re able to resist scratches and cracks. If you’re sticking to a budget, however, Lodge is the better option. It’s a fraction of the price plus it does everything a dutch oven should.
While they may be pricey, Le Creuset dutch ovens are crafted with great attention to detail and they’re sure to last until the next generation if you take good care of them. This makes them a worthwhile investment.
You can do pretty much everything with the Le Creuset and Lodge dutch ovens. You can deep-fry, boil, braise, and bake with them.
Le Creuset dutch ovens are made individually by French artisans. They are beautifully crafted and will last you a long time, explaining their hefty price tags.
Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API