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

  • 6
    Amazing! The Dutch have managed to get 25% more space in a pot that's barely half the size!
    – JYelton
    Aug 29, 2011 at 17:54
  • 1
    The Dutch oven self-shrinks when it is not used.
    – apaderno
    Sep 9, 2011 at 15:58

4 Answers 4


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.

  • 1
    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, 2011 at 17:35
  • 1
    @EmmyS - see cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/9903/…
    – rfusca
    Aug 25, 2011 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, 2011 at 17:47
  • 2
    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, 2015 at 18:39
  • 1
    Also, the reason why the French oven has a lower maximum temperature is because of the standard knob, which is some sort of composite that is cooler to the touch when heated, but can't withstand very high heat. You can buy a replacement stainless steel knob that is good up to 425°F. The only reason I can think of why you'd need that is if you were baking bread. I have two vintage Le Creuset pots that I inherited from my grandmother (who received them as wedding gifts), and they appear to have cast iron handles.
    – ESultanik
    Jul 13, 2015 at 18:43

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.

  • 2
    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: thekitchn.com/…
    – franko
    Jul 13, 2015 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).

  • Thanks. If it makes a difference, I'm updating the original post with the specific pieces.
    – EmmyS
    Aug 25, 2011 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, 2011 at 17:44
  • I'm a Lodge fan myself.
    – rfusca
    Aug 25, 2011 at 17:45
  • I like the lid better on the larger 'Dutch' oven though.
    – rfusca
    Aug 25, 2011 at 17:48

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

  • 3
    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, 2015 at 20:29

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