My family has been a Le Creuset family for as long as I can remember. It’s just something that we all have had on sitting on the range and gifted one another for years and years. I recently got my first Staub dutch oven (after finding a great deal on it) and wanted to put down my thoughts about it.
Staub Dutch Oven Sizes
The most common Staub is the 4 quart round cocotte. This is good for small soups and beans, plus some sautéing. It’s small enough to work for boiling eggs or making hot chocolate, but too small for boiling pasta.
If sizes makes a difference for you, here are the size specifications…
- 4 quart: 9.5 inches in diameter, 12 inches wide with handles, 6 inches tall
- 5 quart: 10.2 inches in diameter, 13 inches wide with handles, 6.5 inches tall
- 7 quart: 13 inches in diameter, 15.5 inches wide with handles, 7 inches tall
Why Buy A Staub
There are so many good enamel-coated cast iron pots and cocottes on the market, so why go with a Staub? The Staub design does have a few clear advantages.
First of all, the Staub is made in French and owned by the German Zwilling Group. Both brands are known for their quality and excellent standards. You are starting off from a very good point with these.
Next, the Staub design has a very tight-fitting lid. This means liquid loss is minimized and you won’t be left with burnt rice or dried-out stew. The tight lid is capitalized on the little spiked stalactites that hang from the top of the lid. These get condensation and have it drop down, equally distributed over your whole dish. No other brand does this.
A major advantage of Staub (but that isn’t unique to Staub) is that the interior of their enamel goods are a tough black enamel. This matte enamel is less prone damage, scratches are not visible (the way they are on Le Creuset), and it’s better at browning than a lighter color.
Staub items are known for going on big sales around the holidays so while the price seems high, you can get great deals on them. Sometimes the price of a small Staub, like the 4 qt. round will drop down to $99 for a special deal.
And, finally, there is the rooster knob. No other cookware brand can match the this wonderful little ornament. You might want to get one for this feature alone.
Why Not To Buy A Staub
While Staubs are great, they aren’t for everyone. First of all, they do go on sale, but they are expensive. If you are price sensitive or on a budget, or simply don’t care to spend a lot on cookware then you can find much cheaper (and still very good) cookware from a brand like Lodge.
It might seem minor, but Staub’s color selection isn’t as strong as Le Creuset’s. The Le Creuset brand makes excellent cookware plus, let’s face it, their color game is strong. Staub has a really good looking matte black and handsome red, but nothing to match Le Creuset’s iconic flame color or its time-limited colors.
Staub pots are also heavier than their competition. The squared-off shoulders of the lid and heavy-duty based are great for looks and sturdiness, but expect a extra half-pound or so with a Staub. It might not seem like a lot, but it adds up when you are handwashing. It’s especially true when you are trying to wash around each and every one of the little spikes on the underside of that hefty lid.
The Black Interior
One of the defining features of the Staub is the black enamel on the inside of the pot. This makes it better at browning meat and it makes the the inside less prone to scratching when you accidentally use metal utensil with your enamel (don’t do that!), but there are downsides too.
The rough inside enamel is harder to clean than the glass-smooth enamel of a Lodge or Le Creuset. The roughness gives cook-on milk and other foods something to grab on to, so you really need to soak things before you clean.
Also the black interior means seeing food get color is that much harder. It’s easy to contrast the color of a perfectly cooked chicken or pork to the light tan of a typical enamel cocotte, but much harder against the pitch black of the Staub.
Staub cast iron enamel pots carry a 30-year warranty for home use. It’s basically a lifetime warranty so long as you properly use the item and you follow the rules of how to properly use enamel cookware. The warranty is fair and more than sufficient, but it’s not as good as some of the competition.
Despite decades of Le Creseut use, I’ve become a big fan of my Staub pots. I always avoided mixed sets, but now I’ve embraced that I prefer my Le Creuset for some dishes, but my Staub for as many, if no more. Highly recommended.