It’s quite simply a higher standard of cookware! Having originated in 1920’s France, they’ve been crafting truly beautiful pots, pans, utensils and more for over a century now. That’s a long time to cement your reputation as the best and brightest.
According to insider information, every single piece created at their factory in Fresnoy-le-Grand, a small commune in northern France, is inspected by at least 15 individuals before it can be sold. A huge 30% of the cookware that this brand makes gets destroyed due to imperfections (that’s what we call quality control!).
Any of the products you purchase from Le Creuset comes with a lifetime warranty: if you find a problem with it or it somehow breaks, you can get it replaced without hassle.
It costs so much because the process of making each item is so intricate that they guarantee it will last you forever. If it doesn’t, you can get it traded out for a replacement.
So you’re not really paying for that single piece of cookware, but a lifetime of service!
Is A Le Creuset Worth It?
Definitely, if you’ve got the money to spend.
Every single pot manufactured by Le Creuset has been designed to be essentially indestructible. Molten iron is used to craft each one—it’s called volcanique (volcano lava), inspiring their original bright orange color.
Heated past boiling point, approximately 5,184°F, it is poured into single use molds made from black sand, gently carried by hand to cool further down the production line.
The entire process takes approximately ten hours… per pan!
Once this part is done, they are released from their molds and machine sanded, then further smoothed out by hand, then inspected by at LEAST 15 other workers before continuing to the next stage.
If it’s not perfectly produced, it doesn’t make the cut.
Once everything is sanded down and ready to go, it’s time for the enamel to be added—another stage that takes multiple steps and multiple hours. The three layers of clear or colored enamel ensure that each pot is not only brightly colored, but also virtually indestructible.
Around 50 colors are now utilized in their color palette, though everybody has their favorites, from the burnt orange of that original Volcanique color to the saccharine sweet pastel pinks, there is a shade to suit any chef or seasoned home cook, no matter their personal preference.
What Is Comparable to Le Creuset?
Several brands offer cookware you might liken to Le Creuset, but none of them will be made with the same care, concern or quality. You might think their prices are ridiculous, but there’s a reason they are so high!
For instance, grocery store chain Aldi recently released an entire line of cast iron cookware as a dupe for Le Creuset’s collection. It looks absolutely gorgeous for sure, but it’s nothing like the days of work that go into producing just one of their items.
Mimicking everything from Le Creuset’s trademark casserole dish to mugs, skillets and frying pans, they are designed to be used with any source of heat, and safe to go in the oven (although should not be exposed to higher than 482°F).
Though they have had rave reviews for their similarity in appearance, they don’t come with the same level of quality; you also won’t receive a lifetime warranty guarantee with their purchase in the same way you would with an Le Creuset product.
That being said, they are certainly hundreds of dollars cheaper than a Le Creuset pot or pan would set you back. For home cooks on a budget, there’s absolutely no shame in trying a dupe.
It’s about your skills, not just your cooking tools, at the end of the day!
Suggested brands to try out from those who can’t afford Le Creuset (but want quality cookware) include:
Lodge. This family-owned company has been running since the 1890s (longer than Le Creuset!) in the USA.
Their products are more affordable and more heat resistant than LC’s, able to withstand up to 500°F in comparison to their 480°F respectively. Customers also rave about their slightly wider, rounded shape, which makes not just cleaning, but handling and carrying the heavy pots, way easier.
Staub and Cuisinart are both also worth considering, though as brands they tend to have slightly higher price tags.
They are well known and reputable manufacturers. Though there are many others around, these two just so happen to have produced their own line of cookware items that look very similar to Le Creuset products but of course, are not marketed as dupes.
That being said, neither are family-run companies, nor do they have anywhere near as good a warranty.
You know what they say: if you want the best, then you have to pay for it!
What Is So Special About Le Creuset?
Their hundred years of carrying such a stellar reputation, probably!
Each pot is seen by dozens of people before it even MAKES IT to the store; it is designed to be used daily for the rest of your life, so every single one has to be perfect.
Not only are they gorgeous to cook with, achieving fantastic results, but they also make your kitchen look gorgeous too! Anyone could proudly display a collection of Le Creuset cookware and be the envy of all of their visitors – it’s exquisite to look at.
Whether you’re a fan of the traditional country kitchen aesthetic, or more of a minimal monochromatic fan, Le Creuset looks stunning on your wall or counter and comes in over 50 colors so you can pick your favorite.
Given their lifetime warranty, you can essentially replace a pot you have had for more than a decade – absolutely free. If you buy one Le Creuset pot, that’s it – you can continue to replace it with them, via their warranty program, with no limit.
That isn’t to say you can take advantage and trade out perfectly good cookware because you fancy a new one. If you have a real issue, they will rectify it for you with no questions asked. There’s a reason they’re known as one of the best brands in the business.