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Old 11-20-2004, 09:29 AM   #1
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French Ovens: Staub vs. Le Creuset

Just wondering if anyone had a preference between these two. I learned of Staub on a Fine Living show called "The Genuine Article," which suggested it is the best of the best, though I found that comparable sizes of both brands are priced pretty close. Staub apparently has "dimples" on the lid which help to baste the food. Make any sense? Am interested in braising mostly on stove but occasionally in oven. Particular concerns include:

Ability to maintain low heat.

Ceramic coating on inside (bottom and sides): likelihood of food sticking.

Ease of cleanup and maintenance.

Any advice? Thanks in advance.

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Old 11-20-2004, 10:29 AM   #2
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I have no experience with Staub and only just recently got my first piece of Le Creuset so I have very limited knowledge on this. That being said...I love my Le Creuset and I have also heard great things about Staub.

As for the ability to maintain low heat, since they are both cast iron they will both work very well at doing this. The heavier it is the better it will be (more mass) so if you can weigh each piece this should give you your answer as to which would do a better job. I have a feeling though that one might do an excellent job while the other might do a hair better than excellent. Basically both will be fantastic at holding and maintaining low temps.

Food should not really stick to either of them since they both have a ceramic coating. This will also enable them both to clean up very easily.

I have no idea about the durability of the ceramic coatings though. The literature that came with my Le Creuset french oven makes it seem like you have to be careful not to chip the coating, but I am guessing it is quite a bit hardier then they lead you to believe. I have no idea about Staub, but I would guess it is close to the same.

The dimples are a good idea in my opinion. The help the condensation fall in a more even pattern, but I would guess that is just an added bonus and not a necessary feature.

Again I have very limited knowledge in this, but I would think both brands would be very good and if you are not buying based on the name then get the less expensive one as I bet they are both pretty comparable.
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Old 11-20-2004, 10:42 AM   #3
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From what I hear on the net, Staub's porcelain enamel is a little less carefully applied than Le Creuset, and the cast iron might be a tad thinner.

In my mind, the best enameled cast iron was the Copco brand. The cast iron is much thicker, and the pans have cast iron, rather than porcelain bottoms which make for better conductivity.

Copco is no longer made, but I have found it in thrift shops and on Ebay -- much cheaper than Le Creuset as a rule.

I like getting better quality at better prices!
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