I've cooked with Le Creuset for years − is it actually worth the price?

Le Creuset cookware offers the perfect combination of form and function. The biggest drawback is the price, but you could save hundreds in the Cyber Monday sales

A set of pink Le Creuset cookware against a pink background.
(Image credit: Le Creuset)

Some kids get a car for their sweet sixteenth. I wanted a Le Creuset. Maybe it was because I'd spent so much of my childhood cooking with my dad. He'd sit me down on the kitchen counter, where I'd season gravy and roll dough while he worked with a big blue pot. I dreamed of the day that I'd get to cook in a big blue pot of my own.

I later learned that this big blue pot was a Le Creuset Dutch oven, and that it's considered a kitchen staple by home cooks and celebrity chefs alike. I soon discovered that Le Creuset also make baking trays, frying pans, and a whole host of kitchen utensils. I wanted it all, down to the salt shaker. 

These days, I'm lucky enough to have a Le Creuset Dutch oven that's all my own (thanks, Dad). I'd get the whole set, if it weren't so expensive. As a home chef and a product tester, I'm often asked whether Le Creuset cookware is really worth it. 

I think so. I've cooked with some of the best cast iron cookware on the market, and Le Creuset always comes out on top. I'm also a fan of their stoneware sets for quick and even cooking. But this isn't an advert. Le Creuset be forbiddingly expensive, and while you can save hundreds in the Cyber Monday sales, it still may not suit your budget. I've laid out the pros and cons of Le Creuset, and hand-picked the deepest discounts, so that you can shop smart and save big. 

Buy it if: You want the best Dutch oven money can buy

A delicious meal cooked in a Le Creuset Dutch Oven.

(Image credit: Le Creuset)

If you love to cook as much as I do, you'll probably agree that no kitchen is complete without a Dutch oven. This heavy-duty pot comes with a tight-fitting lid that's designed to stop steam from escaping and enrich the natural flavors and aromas of your food. 

Here at H&G, we've tested the best Dutch ovens on the market. Time and again, the Le Creuset tops the list. I put that down to the quality of the craftsmanship. Each Dutch oven is cast in sand, polished and finished by hand, then coated with porcelain enamel for durability and fired for heat resistance. 

I've made a lot of meals in my Le Creuset pot, from simmering stews on the stovetop to baking bread in the oven. It's some of the most versatile kitchenware I own. My only complaint concerns the white enamel coating. Such a light color makes it easy to monitor the progress of your meal, but it means that it shows food stains.

Still, that shouldn't stop you from buying the best Dutch oven around, especially now that you can save big in the Cyber Monday sales. I'd recommend the Signature Dutch Oven: if it's good enough for Stanley Tucci, it's good enough for me.

Le Creuset Signature Dutch Oven | Was $339.95, now $300.00 at Walmart

Le Creuset Signature Dutch Oven | Was $339.95, now $300.00 at Walmart
This isn't a deep discount, but any saving is worth considering if you get a Le Creuset at the end of it. This iconic Dutch oven is a real kitchen workhorse: it's suitable for everything from slow cooking cuts of meat to baking loaves of bread. Despite its cast iron construction, this oven is relatively light and easy to lift, with ergonomic knobs and handles. 

Buy it if: you're just starting out as a home chef

A whole chicken roasted in a Le Creuset Dutch Oven.

(Image credit: Le Creuset)

Maybe you're just starting out as a home chef, and you're looking to get more confident in the kitchen. You might think that cooking and baking in a big Dutch oven is beyond your capabilities, but I reckon you'll get a lot of use out of a little pan.

You can cook almost anything in a skillet, from bacon and eggs to casseroles and crepes. A skillet is much easier to clean than a Dutch oven, thanks to its shallower sides, and you can see what you're cooking while you're cooking it. As kitchen companions go, a skillet brings me real peace of mind. 

Le Creuset has a line of cast iron skillets that are designed with beginners in mind. They come with easy-pour spots to minimize spills and stains, as well as a handle helper to control the passage from hob to plate. 

Like their Dutch ovens, Le Creuset coat their skillets in durable enamel, which enhances the flavor of your food and reduces the need for traditional seasoning. The only downside is that the skillets aren't dishwasher-safe, and you might have to give them a good scrub to get clean. 

Le Creuset 9-Inch Cast Iron Skillet | Was $175.00, now $99.95 at Nordstrom

Le Creuset 9-Inch Cast Iron Skillet | Was $175.00, now $99.95 at Nordstrom
This skillet is selling for just 58% of its listing price, only at Nordstrom. Nine inches wide, it's just the right size for pies, pasta dishes, and even seafood paella. This piece is non-stick for quick and easy food release and oven-safe up to 500°F. It comes in a range of cute colors, from rich cerise to pale oyster, to complement every kitchen color palette. 

Buy it if: You have an eye for presentation

A Le Creuset Dutch Oven in the center of a Christmas table.

(Image credit: Le Creuset)

When I think of Le Creuset, I think of the colors: the classic flame red, the Caribbean blue, the bright nectar, and many more. 

I remember picking out my first Le Creuset and spending hours on the site, just scrolling through the pictures. It's the colors that give Le Creuset cookware its personality and helped to transform cooking from a time-consuming chore into an experience I could savor.  

If you've curated a kitchen color palette of bright whites and metallic hues, you might be hesitant to throw such colorful cookware into the mix. Then again, you might be swayed by some of the more muted shades, such as oyster gray and pale meringue. 

Le Creuset Mini Round Cocotte | Was $32.00, now $21.95 at Amazon

Le Creuset Mini Round Cocotte | Was $32.00, now $21.95 at Amazon
Don't get me wrong: you couldn't cook a casserole in this pint-sized pot. The Mini Round Cocotte is just the right size for single servings of braised meats or sweet treats. You can pick it up at Nordstrom for a little over $20 for as long as stocks last. It's a great way to say, 'I have a Le Creuset,' without forking out hundreds for a Dutch oven or rectangular roaster.

Don't buy it if: You're on a tight budget

Our Place Ultimate Cookware Set on a hob.

(Image credit: Our Place)

Le Creuset cookware can get seriously expensive, especially if you're buying in bulk. A full 157-piece Le Creuset set will cost you an eye-watering $4500 at Costco. Even if you set your sights more modestly, a basic Le Creuset collection with a Dutch oven, a skillet, a cocotte, a casserole dish, and a mixing bowl will set you back hundreds of dollars. 

Just think how much more you could get for your money when you shop at one of the major home stores. You can bag an eight-piece set of non-stick pots and pans for just $8 per piece when you shop at Walmart. If you're set on a skillet, you could pick up a pair of stainless steel All-Clad Fry Pans for the price of one Le Creuset skillet at Amazon. Sure, you won't get the premium feel of cast iron cookware, but you won't get the premium price tag, either.   

With that said, you could make some serious savings on Le Creuset cookware when you shop the Cyber Monday sales. For its versatility and value for money, I'd recommend the Heritage Set of Rectangular Baking Dishes, which includes one large, one medium, and one small tray for less than $45 per dish.

Le Creuset Heritage Set of 3 Rectangular Baking Dishes | Was $195.00, now $134.99 at Nordstrom

Le Creuset Heritage Set of 3 Rectangular Baking Dishes | Was $195.00, now $134.99 at Nordstrom
These stoneware dishes are suitable for everything from marinating meats to roasting vegetables, and even heating up leftovers. Each piece is broiler-, oven- and microwave-safe for versatile cooking and convenient reheating. Technically, they're dishwasher-safe, too, though I always recommend hand-washing Le Creuset pieces to preserve their enamel coating.

But looking at the Heritage Set got me thinking: even at a deep discount, Le Creuset cookware is pretty costly. If you're tight on time and money, and you rarely make meals from scratch, you won't reap the rewards of a Dutch oven. 

If you aren't that fussed about cooking with cast iron, you can pick up an aluminum alternative at Our Place. The Perfect Pot isn't the best Dutch oven by any means, but it's fully functional and coated in non-stick ceramic for quick and easy food release. Safety-conscious cooks will be pleased to hear that the Perfect Pot is non-toxic and totally free from lead, cadmium, and other harmful chemicals.

As for appearance, this Our Place pot looks less premium and more plasticky than most Le Creuset cookware: it's more Gen Z avant-basic than French provincial classic. The Perfect Pot also has a smaller capacity for cooking and serving, and it's only oven-safe up to 425°F. With that said, this pot performs exceptionally well at its price point. 

Our Place Perfect Pot | Was $165.00, now $114.00 at Amazon

Our Place Perfect Pot | Was $165.00, now $114.00 at Amazon
You can pick up the Our Place Perfect Pot for a fraction of the price of a Le Creuset Dutch Oven. This versatile cookware is ideal for steaming, baking, roasting, and braising. It's much lighter than the Le Creuset at just four pounds, which makes this piece more suitable for cooks who struggle with motor control issues. Best of all, it's certified non-toxic, so you know you're breathing cleaner, healthier air as you cook.

Don't buy it if: You hate washing up

Washing up Le Creuset cookware.

(Image credit: Le Creuset)

I'll hold my hands up and admit it: I'm not the cleanest cook. When I'm making a meal, I usually try out a few pots and pans to see which is best suited to the task at hand. I leave lids all over the counter tops and I always spill something. After I've eaten, I like to throw everything in the dishwasher and forget about it. 

You can't really do that with Le Creuset cookware. While many of their pieces are technically dishwasher-safe, it's best to wash each pot and pan by hand to preserve the enamel finish. 

For me, hand-washing my Dutch oven is inconvenient, but it's not the end of the world. If you really hate washing up, I'd recommend shopping elsewhere. A lot of Staub cookware is dishwasher-safe, including this cast iron griddle.

Staub Cast Iron Square Grill Pan | Was $219.99, now $219.95 at Amazon

Staub Cast Iron Square Grill Pan | Was $219.99, now $219.95 at Amazon
With this square pan, you could can sear steak and seafood or make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. It's safe for use on all sorts of heat sources, from gas and electric to induction and oven. Four cents is not a big discount, but you could save $100 if you shop with your Amazon store card.

Cyber Monday Le Creuset deals FAQs

Why is Le Creuset cookware so expensive?

The short answer is: because you get what you pay for. Le Creuset makes some of the best cast iron cookware on the market, including the best Dutch oven money can buy. 

When you buy from Le Creuset, you're paying for high-quality pots and pans that are designed to stand the test of time. Rather than aluminum or stainless steel, Le Creuset craft their pieces from cast iron, which has a much higher heat capacity. That means you can cook at lower temperatures for a shorter amount of time and still make great-tasting food. 

These cast iron pieces are coated in porcelain enamel, which guards against chips and cracks, while their stoneware is fired at super high temperatures for heat resistance. Each piece comes with a lifetime guarantee to protect your purchase.

It's the color, as well as the quality of the craftsmanship, that defines Le Creuset cookware. Where most kitchenware comes in neutral or metallic shades, Le Creuset offers options, such as verdant Bamboo, Caribbean Blue, and a sweet Shell Pink. Whenever I host a dinner party, I always position my Le Creuset pot pride of place in the center of the table: it's the perfect finishing touch to a tablescape.

Which Le Creuset piece should I buy?

It all depends on what you want to cook, and how you want to present it. 

The classic Le Creuset piece is a round Dutch oven, but there are oval ovens, too, which are better suited to cooking larger cuts of meat or baking loaves of bread. There's the Signature Cassadou, which is a cross between a small Dutch oven and a deep saute pan, and is on sale for just 55% of its RRP. 

For serious chefs, there's the Signature Chef's Oven, which features sloped sides to promote continuous movement of sauces and stews. There's also a Traditional Skillet, which is coated in a black satin enamel for higher surface temperature cooking. It's currently on sale for less than $100 on the Le Creuset site. 

There are casseroles and baking dishes, as well as a whole host of kitchen tools, utensils, and gadgets. If you're set on shopping the Le Creuset sales, but you still can't stretch to a Dutch oven or a rectangular roaster, you might be satisfied with a set of tumblers, instead. Each Le Creuset piece is made with form and function in mind, but it won't come cheap. 

Will Le Creuset cookware work on an induction hob?

Yes. Since Le Creuset pieces are fired at such high heats, they are able to withstand extreme of temperature. You can use your Le Creuset on the hob, under the grill, in the microwave, and even store it in the fridge or freezer. 

Is Le Creuset cookware dishwasher-safe?

While Le Creuset stoneware is dishwasher-safe, I'd recommend hand-washing anything made from cast iron, in order to protect and preserve the enamel coating.

Final thoughts

Le Creuset cookware on a dining table.

(Image credit: Nordic Nest)

If you know you want a Dutch oven, but you can't decide between the big brands, you're in luck: we've laid out all the pros and cons of Le Creuset vs Staub to help you decide for yourself. 

We're keeping track of all the best Cyber Monday deals on our live blog. We've seen everything from Le Creuset cookware to KitchenAid stand mixers, mattresses to major appliances listed for less. From the hundreds of thousands of deals that go live every day, we've hand-picked our favorite products and the deepest discounts.