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I've been haunting the discount cookware sites looking for Le Creuset pieces that won't put me in the poorhouse. I found two pieces that are similar size and price - one is a French oven and the other is a Dutch oven. There's nothing in the descriptions of them that tell me what the difference is between the two. Can anyone clarify?

Edited to add specific pieces

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Amazing! The Dutch have managed to get 25% more space in a pot that's barely half the size! – JYelton Aug 29 '11 at 17:54
The Dutch oven self-shrinks when it is not used. – kiamlaluno Sep 9 '11 at 15:58

4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Ok, so the "Smart XXX Alec" in me wanted to start out by saying: "The French oven is more arrogant and less useful." But I refrained until I learned I was right.

Looking at these two similar products Dutch Oven vs. French Oven I notice that there is not much difference except that the "French Oven" is 4 times the price & only good to 350 degrees in the oven where the Dutch Oven is rated for 400 degrees (F).

So I think I have to stand by my original thought.

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Well, there's one big difference - the brand. Lodge is known for low-priced cookware; Le Creuset is a status brand. I'll take a look at the Lodge one, though - I have some of their cast iron pans and really like them. I probably don't cook enough to notice a difference in quality. – EmmyS Aug 25 '11 at 17:35
@EmmyS - see… – rfusca Aug 25 '11 at 17:38
My Lodge brand cast iron has never failed me. I wouldn't call them cheap, just 'right priced'. – Cos Callis Aug 25 '11 at 17:47
@rfusca - thanks for that link. It confirms Cos Callis's endorsement of Lodge. – EmmyS Aug 25 '11 at 17:53
I own both Le Creuset and Lodge, although I don't have any Lodge enameled pots. Note that while Lodge cast iron is still made in the US, it outsourced its enamel line to a foundry in China. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing; just be aware that the quality of Lodge's original cast iron line may be different than the quality of its enamel line. Nonetheless, I have heard good things about them. – ESultanik Jul 13 at 18:39

I've Gooooogled it and found there is no difference. According to these opinions the cookware is the same. The name 'dutch oven' is because of the dutch cookware in early US history. The French just named it French oven for marketing purposes.

This is confirmed by the Wikipedia.

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This is pretty much it. All french ovens are really just enameled dutch ovens, so they are considered higher-end. The Kitchn covered this recently, actually:… – franko Jul 13 at 0:15

It is really just marketing by Le Creuset and Le Chasseur (who has been known to do it also) - they're just trying to capitalize on the positive association between 'French' and 'cookery'.

There is no difference in the actual product (in terms of the name, I don't know about the particular pieces you're looking at).

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Thanks. If it makes a difference, I'm updating the original post with the specific pieces. – EmmyS Aug 25 '11 at 17:37
@EmmyS - Apart from the shape and size difference, they should be functionally the same (the two pieces you linked). If you look, there's two different marketing strategies there to try to capture different market segments with similar products. One is supposed to be a throwback to 'earlier' times, and the other is a more modern take. Its just all marketing differences really. – rfusca Aug 25 '11 at 17:44
I'm a Lodge fan myself. – rfusca Aug 25 '11 at 17:45
I like the lid better on the larger 'Dutch' oven though. – rfusca Aug 25 '11 at 17:48

I think the French oven might be enamel coated, while the Dutch oven isn't.

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This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post - you can always comment on your own posts, and once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post. – Stephie Jul 12 at 19:38
I changed it to a statement instead of a question, else I'd have had to delete it. I still don't think it's true though - just because the average Le Creuset cast iron pot is enamel coated and the average Lodge cast iron pot sold under a "Dutch oven" label isn't, this does not mean that all enameled ones are called French and all unenameled ones are called Dutch. – rumtscho Jul 12 at 20:29

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