10 Reasons Why Le Creuset Is So Expensive

Ellyn Eddy
Ellyn Eddy

Ellyn Eddy

Ellyn is a seasoned writer and editor with profound experience in covering culinary topics. She covers cookware guides and writes hands-on product reviews for The Skillful Cook.

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Why is Le Creuset So Expensive

Le Creuset is known for its bright, beautiful French ovens with a price tag that will make your eyes bulge. 

Like you, I totally wondered why Le Creuset is so expensive and whether it was actually worth it. 

But after lots of research and hands-on testing of several brands of enameled Dutch ovens, here are ten reasons that I believe Le Creuset products might deserve to cost so much.

1. Materials Matter

Le Creuset cast iron pots are made using a carefully formulated metal alloy. Le Creuset combines higher-carbon pig iron with recycled steel from the auto industry to create its unique blend. The resulting product can be cast thinner than typical cast iron while maintaining strength and heat retention. 

Le Creuset dutch ovens are carefully crafted

Le Creuset coats its stoneware and cast iron products in 2-3 layers of enamel. This helps protect it from chipping, cracking, and other damage. Unlike cheaper brands, even the edges of Le Creuset cast iron products are coated with a primer to enhance the piece’s lifespan and rust resistance.

2. Brand Recognition & Hype

Le Creuset has been around since 1925, producing the same quality products that have been enjoyed by stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Julia Child. Le Creuset’s popularity soared to higher heights when the movie “Julia & Julia” came out, along with Child’s cookbooks. 

A photograph of Taylor Swift with a Le Creuset kettle in her kitchen caused a stir across the internet. TikTok has exploded with videos of users raving about the beloved cookware. With such love for the products, it’s no wonder Le Creuset comes at a premium price. Everyone wants to own what everyone else is raving about!  

A photograph of Taylor Swift with a Le Creuset kettle – 📸 Jack Antonoff

3. Manufactured in France 

All Le Creuset cast iron pieces are made in LC’s original French foundry. In contrast, most enameled Dutch ovens are made in China.

Le Creuset is crafted by French artisans

China is one of the cheapest places in the world to manufacture items, which is why Le Creuset cast iron dupes can be found for such low prices. Put in US dollars, the average worker in France makes nearly 4 times as much as the average worker in China.

The manufacturing process for a Le Creuset piece takes ten hours from start to finish.  Le Creuset uses sand cast molds that are broken back down into sand after each pot. This sand method allows gasses to escape, which reduces the instances of defects. They also use a mix of machining and hand smoothing on each cocotte. It’s this hand smoothing that sets them apart even from their high-end competitors

4. Quality Control 

Did you know Le Creuset has a strict “No Flaw” rule?  Each piece is handled by at least 15 people in the factory, and products are inspected at every stage of manufacturing.  

A whopping 30% of cast iron pieces are rejected due to flaws before they are enameled. Thankfully, the rejected iron is melted down and reused to create flawless pieces. 

Knowing that each piece is highly inspected and the best product it can be gives consumers confidence in spending more money on the products. 

Occasionally Le Creuset will sell “seconds”. (And, here’s a tip: they often appear at TJ Maxx and Home Goods.) These products have slight cosmetic issues, but they are guaranteed against defects that would affect their use or longevity. 

5. Design and Aesthetics

Le Creuset adds a pop of beauty to your kitchen, and with a ton of colors available there is something for everyone!  Competitors like Lodge may be cheaper but have only a fraction of the colors available. Le Creuset products are more than just a pretty pot, however.

As Le Creuset writes on their website: “Over the years, our design innovations have included optimized heat retention, improved enamel, optimal lid closure angles, better moisture retention and ergonomic handles — thoughtful details that make the process and the final result better.”  

Truly, I find my nearly twenty-year-old Le Creuset Dutch oven to have more comfortably shaped handles than my cheaper Dutch oven. CNN’s comparison of Le Creuset vs. Lodge gives Le Creuset top marks for comfort. 

6. Limited Editions

In addition to the gorgeous color options, Le Creuset also offers limited edition pieces in conjunction with other beloved brands, such as Disney. Where else can you find cookware with a lifetime warranty that also features your favorite Disney princess? As consumers are looking to show off their personalities in everyday home items, Le Creuset caters to a range of styles and interests.

7. Innovation

The Le Creuset team isn’t content with the standard of perfection they have set for themselves. Their product is always changing in response to consumer needs. 

For instance, when a popular no-knead bread recipe led to melted Dutch oven lid knobs, Le Creuset switched to all-metal knobs.

These small changes to beloved products help keep them relevant. When you also consider how the line of products and accessories have expanded over the years, along with the beautiful new colors (in addition to our tried and true favorites), Le Creuset has shown they know how to keep things fresh and interesting for the consumer. 

8. Commitment to Safety

In the 1970s, the FDA began to test dinnerware for safety, and the agency continues to update its safety guidelines. Before 1970, toxic materials like cadmium or lead may have been used in paints or glazes. Today products are held to more rigorous testing standards than ever. 

Le Creuset is one of the brands that has been tested under California Proposition 65 and passed. See the research in our article, “Is Le Creuset Non-Toxic?”

9. Longevity

Le Creuset believes that cookware should be passed from generation to generation. You don’t have to search long to find instances of customers who have had their Le Creuset for decades. My favorite Dutch oven was a gift in 2006. Le Creuset leaves no raw iron edges, coating everything in enamel. I expect it to outlast my cheaper, raw-edged Dutch oven by decades. 

10. Lifetime Warranty 

Le Creuset offers a limited lifetime warranty on most of their products. The limited warranty covers flaws in the material or manufacturing. It does not cover commercial use, abuse, neglect, or use against their care instructions. Make sure to check your warranty carefully, so you fully understand what it entails. 

Conclusion – Is it Worth it to Buy Le Creuset? 

As Le Creuset says on their website, “Our focus on the finest quality and design has prompted culinary leaders such America’s Test Kitchen, Cooking Light, Epicurious and hundreds of renowned chefs to use Le Creuset cookware for a performance they can trust…”  

Le Creuset is a top pick here at The Skillful Cook as well, as it is truly a superior product, even if it comes at a high price.

Le Creuset is an investment product, something that you can use for decades and then hand down to your children for their kitchens. It receives rave reviews for comfort and performance time and time again. 

However, if you expect to use your enameled cast iron only a few times a year, don’t have a place to display it in your kitchen, or would just like a solid product at a much more affordable price, Lodge is a strong runner-up.

Does Le Creuset have a special place in your kitchen and your heart? Let us know if it’s worth the price tag in the comments!

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Ellyn Eddy
About The Author
Ellyn is a professional writer and a short-order cook for her family of four. As a mother, her spare time is filled with investigating all things food and wellness. Equipped with a pantry of exotic ingredients, a shelf full of nutrition books, and a bit of international travel experience, she loves creating healthy and beautiful meals.

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