Dutch Ovens: The Difference between Cheap and Expensive

Dutch ovens have been around for a very long time, and have gained in popularity for their versatility and ability to retain and distribute heat evenly during the cooking process.

Introduced in the early 1700’s as a cheaper kitchen tool than that of the copper and brass cookware, Dutch ovens made a successful breakthrough as the more affordable choice.

Through the years the popularity and demand for this dynamic pot increased its value, making it one of the most expensive utensils to acquire.  There are cheaper and more expensive makes available, so here is a detailed explanation as to the differences between them.

What is a Dutch Oven?

A Dutch oven is a cleverly made classical kitchen tool that has many uses. It is an asset to have around the kitchen, as it can be used in both stovetop and oven cooking as well as outdoor and open fire cooking.

Its ability to retain and distribute heat is remarkable, making it a sought after cookware. Dutch ovens have held their 5 star rating for centuries, as they are versatile kitchen tools that stand up to their abilities.

What Can You Make with a Dutch Oven?

There are thousands of stovetop, oven and open fire recipes that can be made in a Dutch oven. Whether it is your favourite chicken casserole or that pot roasted beef, or maybe that delicious aromatic freshly baked bread, or grandma’s fruit cake recipe, this multi-tasker can do it all.

What to Look for When Buying a Dutch Oven

When purchasing a Dutch oven, there are a few things to consider in order to make the best buy that is suited to you. Here are a few things to take into account before your purchase.

Do you prefer a bare cast iron or enamelled cast iron finish Dutch oven? 

  • A cast iron Dutch oven is an excellent buy as it is durable and versatile, however, it does need extra special care to keep it in top form, so keeping it well seasoned is priority.
Cast Iron Dutch Oven
  •  An enamelled cast iron Dutch oven comes in a variety of colours giving you different options as to the colour that you would prefer. It is lighter in weight but seems to emit the same capabilities. The only downside of this beautiful piece is that it is said to be easily flawed. The surface apparently attracts scratches and chips quite easily, so this pot has to be carefully nurtured.

Size and weight does matter

  • Choose the size of Dutch oven that is most convenient to you. Although a bigger Dutch oven may seem like extra value but if you cook smaller quantities then a smaller pot would be ideal. Also consider the storage space that you have available to store it.
  • If you are an outdoor person then the lighter stainless steel Dutch oven would be ideal. Although it is not as durable as cast iron, it does however lighten the load.

What Shape and Weight Should a Dutch Oven be?

Dutch ovens come in different shapes, weight, and sizes, with different materials used to make them. The original Dutch oven is made from cast iron, and it is said to be the most durable material compared to enamel and stainless steel.

The shape is usually round or oval, and the weight of your Dutch oven would depend on the materials it is made from, and the size that you choose.

Why is Le Crueset Dutch Oven so Expensive?

The Le Creuset Dutch ovens are expensive because of the time, care and quality of materials used in the manufacturing process. Unlike the cheaper makes, Le Creuset uses the highest quality materials and recycled materials are never considered for their product.

They discard any flawed cookware in their production, making sure to always dispatch the best. They hold their expensive pricing as their quality is in high demand.

How Much More Expensive Are Le Creuset Dutch Ovens In Comparison?

You would have to have very deep pockets to purchase the Le Creuset Dutch oven brand, as it is the trending name that has made an impact on the market, however, knowing that there are other available brands, with a cheaper price range, the question that we all want answers to is, how much more expensive is Le Creuset compared to the rest?

I have found there to be a shocking price difference with other brands. Le Creuset is more than 10 times the cost of other brands, making their price range exorbitant.

What Market Position Does Le Creuset Occupy?

It’s no surprise that Le Creuset is the front runner in this race, as it ranks first on the market. They have continued to hold this position as they have never faltered in the quality of their cookware. They produce superior quality and therefore their cookware is priced accordingly, securing their positing year after year. They are rooted in this position because although they are highly priced, the great demand for their cookware is because of the outstanding quality and durability.

What Are The Reasons That Make Le Creuset So Expensive?

Le Creuset cookware is expensive because of the pride and consideration taken during the manufacturing process of their cookware. They guarantee durable, long lasting cookware that will not warp, scratch or chip, as they use the best materials to manufacture them. They pride themselves on producing the highest quality cookware that can stand the test of time. They use virgin materials of the highest quality, so you would never have to worry about recycled materials being used in their manufacturing. They are a transparent manufacturing plant that has stood up to their name allowing them the freedom to demand their expensive prices.

Alternatives To Le Creuset Cookware

There are many other alternatives to the Le Creuset cookware, however, not all of them will afford you the same quality and durability. Here are a few alternatives that I think are worth a mention.

  1. The Lodge brand enamelled cast iron Dutch oven – This Dutch oven is quite the cutie with its enamel and cast iron combination, sporting different colours and a featured stainless steel handle. It is a cheaper alternative as it is manufactured in china and said to be made with recycled materials.
  2. The Staub brand Dutch oven – This brand is a competitor to Le Creuset as it is known to produce some of the best cookware. Not stingy in the manufacturing process, Staub is known to pull out all the stops when making their cookware, guaranteeing exceptional quality. They are the best cheaper priced option to Le Creuset.