Life

The 3 Best Le Creuset Alternatives

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

Amazon
Updated: 

Le Creuset's Dutch oven is beloved, but the price tag might have you looking for another option. The best Le Creuset alternatives are more affordable and give you all the features and functionality that make the classic brand great. Below you’ll find several beautiful and heirloom-worthy Dutch ovens that are ready to be workhorses in your kitchen.

The key feature you're looking for in a Le Creuset alternative is enameled cast iron that withstands high heat in the oven and on any stovetop including induction. Le Creuset is also known for great heat retention and distribution. So, all of my picks have these key features. Next, thanks to that enamel coating, they're also dishwasher safe, if you can fit them. Just know the manufacturer advises hand washing to increase the unit's longevity. So, while being dishwasher safe may be a great perk, it's not crucial to a good alternative.

After those boxes are checked, your decision really revolves around size. A 5.5- to 6-quart size works great for braising meats, roasting chickens, and baking bread. To cook for one to two people or to cook smaller sides like grains and oats, between 3 and 4 quarts is perfect. For shape, I've stuck to the classic, round Dutch oven — it's the most versatile for cooking in both the oven and on the stovetop. Past these two sizes there are a range of sizes and shapes are best for special occasions or dishes.

Keep reading to find your new Le Creuset alternative that won't break the bank.

1
The Best Le Creuset Alternative

Given price and quality, the best Le Creuset alternative comes from Lodge — a family-owned company started in 1896 that's known for making heirloom quality cast iron. It even has superior heat-resistance to Le Creuset — Lodge's 6-quart pot and lid, including its stainless steel knob, are heat resistant up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. In comparison, Le Creuset's Signature line lid can withstand up to 480 degrees Fahrenheit, and its Classic line lid can only withstand up to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Another thing buyers love about the Lodge over Le Creuset is the brand's shape; Le Creuset has a more angular meeting between the side walls and the pot's base. In contrast, Lodge has slightly rounded edges that reportedly make it easier to clean and allow cooking spoons to reach every inch of the pot more easily. You'll also love the Lodge Dutch oven's wide handles, they're not quite as wide as Le Creuset's, but the width makes it easier to handle a hot and heavy pot.

This cast iron pot's interior is coated with three layers of hard, glossy porcelain enamel that resists chipping and cleans easily. And if aesthetics are important to you, the Lodge Dutch oven comes in a range of beautiful colors like sandalwood, oyster white, and storm blue. This pick has a 4.8-star rating with more than 17,000 reviews, and if you'd like to build an enameled cookware collection from Lodge, you can also buy 1.5-, 3-, 4.5-, and 7.5-quart Dutch ovens.

Promising review: “I couldn't afford the $300+ price of the Le Creuset Dutch oven to match the other Le Creuset items in my kitchen. I did some research and one of the consumer sites recommends the Lodge as the top pick for Dutch ovens because of a combination of design, durability, and price. So I tried the Caribbean Blue. It looks fantastic with the Le Creuset Marseille items in my kitchen and it cooks like a charm! I couldn't be happier with it.”

Want to see this side by side with the Le Creuset? We reviewed the Lodge vs. the Le Creuset dutch ovens here.

2
The Runner-Up Le Creuset Alternative

Since the Cuisinart Dutch oven has a slightly higher price tag, smaller handles than the Lodge, and only two color options cardinal red or Provençal blue, this is a runner-up to my first pick. But if you're looking to build a cookware collection beyond a Dutch oven, Cuisinart is your best bet. This collection also has a cast iron enameled lasagna pan, a square grill pan, a lidded chicken fryer, as well as other size dutch ovens.

This pick is made of enameled cast iron (including the knob) with a porcelain enamel interior that you can safely use in the oven up to 350 degrees. So, just note that it doesn't have quite as high a heat resistance as my first pick. Plus, the series boasts a 4.5-star rating after more than 3,200 reviews on Amazon.

Promising review: “I've used several times since purchasing and it works just as good as my Le Creuset. Plus, I love that the lid knob is cast iron so I don't have to worry about taking it off or changing it out like I do with my Le Creuset when I put it the oven at higher temps. Very happy with this purchase."

3
The Best Le Creuset Alternative When Cooking For One To Two People

For a taste of French cookware for a slightly lower price point, the Staub Dutch oven is also made in France and has a few extra attractive features even Le Creuset can't claim. Its black enamel interior is better at hiding stains over time than Le Creuset's white interior, which reviewers love. Also, unique self-basting spikes in the Staub's heavy lid help this Dutch oven produce especially tender and moist food. It's a bit pricier than my first two picks, so to keep it comparable in price, I've gone for the smaller 4-quart size, which is perfect for cooking for one to two people or for small sides.

The nickel steel knob can withstand up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and without the lid, this option can heat up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit, the highest heat resistance in this roundup! Choose from a range of gorgeous colors, including an elegant matte black, white, or turquoise.

Promising review: "I love the matte black inner surface. It is so much easier to cook on than the enamel of my (more expensive) Le Creuset, which has been pushed to the back of the stove and does not see much use now."

4
Also Nice To Have: A Dutch Oven Cookbook

A Dutch oven cookbook can help you make the most of your new favorite cooking tool, and this one from America's Test Kitchen is highly rated with 150 foolproof recipes. Even seasoned owners of Dutch ovens appreciated the "getting started" information inside this book, according to reviewers. You can expect recipes like chicken pot pie, weeknight Bolognese, green shakshuka, and bourbon-pecan bread pudding.

Promising review: "They don’t always get it right with the cookbooks but this is yet another high quality and well presented cook book from the Test Kitchen. Diverse set of recipes and I really like the “why this works” blurb at beginning of each because it is interesting and because if I need to deviate due to ingredient missing or time pressure I am able to better judge what will best work as I proceed or diagnose went wrong if I have a failure."

5
Also Great: A Pair Of Spoons Safe To Use In Your Le Creuset Alternative

One way to protect that enamel interior on your new Le Creuset alternative is by using a wooden cooking spoon that won't scratch the coating, and this pair of extra-long wooden cooking spoons is ideal for stirring in big Dutch ovens with tall sides. They're 22 inches long and made of solid bamboo, which resists bacteria as well as swelling and cracking, an issue with some wooden spoons. These highly rated spoons also have holes in the handles for easy hanging when not in use.

Promising review: “I cook in a 32 qt pot. It is pretty tall and I was burning my finger tips when stirring the pot while cooking. These are long enough to get my fingers out of the pot while stirring. Perfect! Exactly what I was looking for."

This article was originally published on