Lodge and Le Creuset are both historic cookware brands. Le Creuset made its name creating high-end enameled cast iron cookware. Lodge is famous for its utilitarian, raw cast iron goods and has only recently added enameled cast iron to its repertoire.
In this Lodge vs Le Creuset showdown we’ll see if Lodge’s new Dutch Oven offering can hold its own against Le Creuset’s iconic and proven industry standard. We’ll look at how each brand’s key features compare and how they might serve you in day to day use.
Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Lodge is one of the oldest cast iron manufacturers in America. They have been producing cast iron cookware in South Pittsburg, Tennessee since 1896.
Lodge cast iron is known for its no-frills raw cast iron cookware. Their products claimed almost half of our top 9 picks for best cast iron skillet this year.
Lodge products are generally very affordable and offer incredible value for the price. Even as a budget cookware brand, the cast iron pieces that they create are as durable as they come, and can be passed from generation to generation.
In 2005, Lodge introduced its first line of enamel coated cast iron cookware. The new line is available in a handful of sizes and features a round, oval, and shallow-wide dutch oven.
All of Lodge’s raw cast iron cookware is made in one of two foundries in Tennessee. The production of their enameled cast iron was sent overseas and is made in China.
Marseille Signature Round Dutch Oven
Le Creuset has specialized in enameled cast iron cookware since the company was started in 1925. Their cast iron products are still made in the original foundry in Fresnoy le Grand, France.
Over the last 90 plus years, Le Creuset has expanded their offerings to include a variety of cookware options. In addition to enameled cast iron, they now make stoneware, glasses, baking products, as well as stainless steel and nonstick cookware.
Even as the company has expanded, they remain known for their top of the line enamel coated cast iron. The enameled Dutch oven is their most iconic piece and is known for its versatility and generational durability.
Head to Head Comparison: Lodge Vs Le Creuset
The round Dutch oven is often considered the most versatile and widely used shape. For that reason we will be comparing the round Dutch ovens offered by each brand.
Lodge offers their round Dutch oven in five different sizes. Their selection of sizes will fit most people’s needs, but they don’t have options for feeding the largest crowds. If you regularly host social gatherings or need to feed a dozen people for the holidays, then Lodge’s sizes may not fit the bill.
Le Creuset on the other hand has a size for any and all occasions. They have nine different sizes available ranging from single servings to feeding ten or more people.
|Lodge Round Dutch Oven|
|Capacity in Quarts||Approximate Servings||Height in Inches w/lid||Diameter in inches|
|Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven|
|Capacity in Quarts||Approximate Servings||Height in Inches||Diameter in inches|
Winner: Le Creuset
The limited number of sizes offered by Lodge makes this round an easy win for Le Creuset and their multitude of sizes available.
Cast iron cookware should be heavy, it’s weight is one factor that helps with heat retention and distribution. If you are able to achieve the same benefits and shave weight, that’s a welcome bonus.
You might not notice just how heavy the Lodge cast iron is unless you are also holding a similar size piece from Le Creuset; the lightest on the market.
|Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven||Lodge Round Dutch Oven|
|Capacity in Quarts||Weight in lbs w/lid||Capacity in Quarts||Weight in lbs w/lid|
Winner: Le Creuset
When you’re moving around a small Dutch oven, a pound or two might not make a big difference. But, if you have a large Dutch oven full of soup or a large roast, then a few pounds of weight savings can make a big difference. For that reason, Le Creuset gets the win.
Both brands use the same style of glass enamel for their Dutch ovens. The coating results in a smooth glossy surface and a light, sandy color.
With both options, the cast iron is completely encased in enamel. That means you can store or marinate foods for extended periods of time, and never need to worry about rust or corrosion.
The enamel cooking surface is not nonstick by any means, but with a bit of oil and temperature control, the smooth surface is pretty forgiving. The impermeable coating allows you to soak the cookware, which is generally all you need to release any stuck-on food.
Some owners of the Lodge Dutch oven have reported their enamel chipping during regular use. Several others have had the item arrive with imperfections and/or pits in the enamel. The rim of the Lodge Dutch oven is also supposed to be coated in a matte enamel, but there have been several reports of rust developing along that surface.
Lodge does offer a limited lifetime guarantee against manufacturer’s defects that affect performance. Hopefully many of those instances would be covered, but shipping such a heavy item can be somewhat of a hassle.
Le Creuset Dutch ovens go through an extensive quality control process and pass through up to 20 sets of hands before they leave production. The laborious process contributes to their high prices, but it also makes it rare to find pieces that are substandard.
In the event that you do receive an item with defects it should also be covered by the companies limited lifetime warranty.
Winner: Le Creuset
Both brands use a similar glass enamel in their cookware but Le Creuset has perfected the recipe and application. Dutch ovens are known and loved for their durability, and Le Creuset’s enamel gives owners confidence in a very long-lasting product.
Le Creuset introduced brightly colored cookware when they were established in 1925. Since then companies around the world have continued and tried to emulate that tradition. With 24 different colors available (at the time of this writing), it’s no surprise that they continue to lead the way in this regard.
Aside from the wide variety of colors offered, Le Creuset is notorious for its high-quality color pigments that are exceptionally vivid and long-lasting. They are known to maintain their brilliance without fading for the life of the cookware.
Lodge has a solid set of eight colors available and they appear to be deep and brightly hued. Some owners have noted that the images available online are not always great representations of the color in person. The lasting quality of the colors is yet to be determined as these pots have only been on the market for a relatively short period of time.
Winner: Le Creuset
Le Creuset does offer a much larger variety of colors, but they win this round for the quality and brilliance of the colors they use.
Both brands feature a classic domed lid that fits snuggly and allows minimal heat and moisture to escape.
Lodge lids come standard with a stainless steel knob that can handle oven temperatures up to 500F, the same as the rest of the Dutch oven.
Le Creuset lids were previously sold with a black phenolic (heat resistant plastic) knob. A stainless steel option was also available, but for an additional cost. The phenolic knob is oven safe to 500F while the stainless steel option has no temperature restrictions. The Dutch oven itself is safe to use up to 500F.
Today, Le Creuset is moving toward using all stainless steel knobs. It’s still a good idea to keep an eye out for colors that may still be shipping with the old black phenolic option.
Both Lids function very well and seal in moisture and heat. The knobs can all be used up to either Dutch oven’s maximum temperature of 500F, and are both easily replaced if necessary.
Handles are very important on cookware of this weight. A secure grip will give much-needed confidence and support when maneuvering a hot dish that’s easily over 20 pounds.
Both brands have very sturdy and robust handles. The handles are cast in the same mold as the base of the pot, making them a permanent part of the Dutch oven.
The Lodge handles are very wide and are easy to grip. If using very thick oven mitts it may be difficult to get your hand all the way through the loops, but most would be just fine.
Le Creuset handles are not quite as wide as Lodge, but they extend further from the pot making the loop larger. That bigger area makes holding the handles easier and more secure, regardless of what kind of potholder you may be using.
Winner: Le Creuset
The large looped handles from Le Creuset give you ample room to comfortably hold the heavy Dutch oven, even if using very thick oven mitts. The extra space also makes it less likely that your fingers will come in contact with the pot as you hold it. The handles from Lodge are nice and wide but set a little close to the Dutch oven itself.
Each of these brands are known for making durable and functional cookware, but they also live at different ends of the price spectrum.
Lodge has built a reputation for no-frills cookware that will last. Their enameled cast iron is more expensive than their raw cast iron offerings, but still three or four times less than Le Creuset.
Le Creuset is a luxury brand and their cookware is priced at the highest end of the category. With the high price tag you do get exceptional quality and durability. Their Dutch ovens go through a lengthy production process and a lot of human interaction, resulting in fit and finish that is second to none.
Lodge’s enamel Dutch oven is not the cheapest on the market, but it is quite affordable. Just like their raw cast iron cookware, you get a lot of bang for your buck. The craftsmanship is not at the same level as Le Creuset, but it will get the job done in many situations.
Lodge and Le Creuset operate at opposite ends of the price spectrum. Le Creuset is a luxury brand and their prices reflect that. Lodge is a budget brand that offers great value with its line of products.
Choose Le Creuset if:
- It’s in your budget to do so
- You want the largest selection of colors
- Durability and longevity are important to you
- You will be using your Dutch oven frequently
Choose Lodge if:
- You have a limited budget
- You want to try using enameled cast iron for the first time