I am by no means a professional cook, I, much like thousands of others, just enjoy creating food for the people I love. I’ve enjoyed it since before I can remember. That being said, in the many (won’t tell you how many) years I’ve been dabbling in the kitchen I’ve come across tools, gadgets, pots, pans, etc. that I love and some that I don’t. Dutch ovens (don’t get me started on Dutch vs. French ovens)….love them. I bought my first Le Creuset from Costco, 9 1/2 quart oval in flame. I loved it and was hooked. How could I have been cooking without this? How you ask? Well, when you are in your 20’s and not making enough money to where you have an extra few hundred dollars for a pan you go without. After using my beloved Dutch oven I knew I needed more, but without the Le Creuset budget I decided to try less expensive ovens. And here is where a tale of two ovens begins…
During the holidays everything seems to go on sale, this includes Dutch ovens from less expensive manufacturers. I thought, what the heck, I’ll give one a try. While strolling Macy’s, I spied some Martha Stewart pieces that really looked similar to the Le Creuset. They were heavy, had some very attractive colors and an even more attractive price tag. I honestly don’t remember exactly how much they were, but I vaguely remember them being over something like 60% off of their sale price. There are a few other Le Creuset type ovens, but since I haven’t tried them I won’t be commenting on them.
Both brands were very heavy, VERY heavy, some state this a con, but how do you have a nice oven that works well without it being extremely heavy? The Le Creuset was heavier, but not a significant difference. Both come in round and oval. Both have really nice colors, I tend to not stay with one color, I like having a variety so they both provided that. Both work in the oven and stove top. The one difference I saw pretty early on was in the chipping of the coating.
These are the Martha Stewart handles. They started chipping first, with other chips around the oven following.
This is the chipping on the Le Creuset oven.
Would I say not to buy the Martha Stewart brand, no. Would I say go for the Le Creuset if it’s in the budget, most definitely. Overall, I think the Le Creuset you will have for a lifetime, and beyond. The Martha Stewart, well, probably not as long, but it does get the job done. Having a Dutch oven to use rather than say a regular heavy metal pot will still give you better results, be it Martha Stewart or Le Creuset.
I’m sure this holiday season I’ll try out other Dutch ovens to test their quality, but for now, these two brands will do.