Le Creuset cookware is pricey, but its cast iron and stoneware pieces can last for years, if not decades – here’s why they’re worth the investment

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  • Le Creuset is known for its beautiful, well-crafted, and versatile enamel Dutch ovens. It created its first one in 1925, and still makes all of its Dutch ovens in the same foundry in France. 
  • Its cookware is expensive, but not without reason. Le Creuset’s products last for years (if not generations), are made with distinct attention to detail, and come in many eye-catching colors. 
  • We tested seven of its products, including its signature enamel cast iron Dutch oven, oven-ready stoneware, and non-stick cookware. 
  • Below, you’ll find our reviews of a variety of Le Creuset products, along with a history of the company and how it became one of the most coveted cookware brands in the world.
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Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Though startups like Made In are making headway against traditional kitchen brands, there are some decades-old names that home cooks may never let go of.

Topping registry and gift lists everywhere, these legacy brands have been wished for, raved about, and passed down from generation to generation. For good reason – their products help to make your grandmother’s famous chocolate chip cookies as well as your newfangled (her words, not yours) quinoa cacao bites.

French cookware company Le Creuset is one such name, representing the height of craftsmanship and style, and accordingly, price. Its enamel cast iron Dutch ovens are widely considered the best in the industry, which is why many people are willing to commit to the $200+ investment and few ever regret it.

You can’t miss them in a kitchen. They’re the smooth and glossy, weighty and substantial, brightly colored centerpiece of a shelf, stove, or countertop, and after cooking with them, you’re unlikely to ever forget them.

Basically, Le Creuset is the rare brand that’s really as good as everyone says it is. The experience is kind of like going to your first SoulCycle class – you enter a cynic, but you emerge (hopefully less sweaty) a zealous convert. 

A brief history of Le Creuset – then and now

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Le Creuset was created in 1925 by two Belgian industrialists, one who specialized in casting and the other in enameling. After meeting at the Brussels Fair, they created a foundry in Fresnoy-le-Grand, an area in northern France located along a major trade route. 

The cast iron cocotte, also known as a French oven or an enameled Dutch oven, was their first product. Its Flame color, a Le Creuset signature, is said to have been modeled after the vibrant orange hue of molten cast iron inside a crucible (“le creuset” in French). 

The cocotte was a groundbreaking product at the time because it made the kitchen staple of cast iron cookware both more functional and beautiful. It was something that home cooks could rely on every time to perform at high levels, but also an aesthetically pleasing piece that looked good on stovetops and dining tables alike. Based on Le Creuset’s enduring success, it looks like our tastes haven’t changed much. 

After World War II, as competitors flocked to steel and aluminum to make their cookware, Le Creuset doubled down on its enameled cast iron efforts, expanding into a range of other pieces and experimenting with exciting new colors. Today, you can shop its iconic Dutch oven alongside specialty cookware like woks and Moroccan tagines, bakeware like casserole dishes, and dinnerware

How to shop Le Creuset cookware and what to buy

Le Crueset

Enameled cast iron was and will remain Le Creuset’s specialty. Its slow heat distribution and strong heat retention make it great for medium and low-heat cooking, from slow-cooking meats to roasting vegetables to baking rich desserts. The smooth interior encourages beautiful, delicious caramelization, plus it prevents sticking and is easy to clean. This material is safe to use on all heat sources, including electric, gas, induction, outdoor grill, and oven. Whether you’re a first-time Le Creuset buyer or expanding a decades-old collection, this versatile, high-performing cookware is the main one to shop. All cast iron pieces are made in the original French foundry and each is hand-inspected by 15 people. They come with a limited lifetime warranty. 

Stoneware is best for baking tasks. It heats uniformly to create that coveted golden-brown crust while making sure that everything inside is cooked evenly, and it releases food easily. All stoneware pieces come with a limited 10-year warranty. 

Nonstick is a newer venture for Le Creuset and a nicer-quality upgrade from the nonstick stuff you’ve used before. Compared to cast iron, these aluminum-core products heat up quickly. All nonstick pieces come with a limited lifetime warranty. 

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Where to shop Le Creuset

Le Creuset’s full lineup of products is available on its website, where you can get free shipping on all orders, find recipes and events, and start a gift registry (through MyRegistry.com). It’s easiest to shop all of Le Creuset’s gorgeous colors and special limited-stock or limited-edition collections on the company’s website. 

However, you can also find sales and exclusive colors at specialty retailers like Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table (the “Artichoke” shade looks as delicious as the real thing), and Crate & Barrel, and department stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s. It’s available at Amazon as well, but it might be more convenient to buy Le Creuset at those places if you shop there frequently. 

Review of Le Creuset cookware 

Three of us tested the cookware types I mentioned above – enameled cast iron, stoneware, and nonstick – and put the nearly 100-year-old company to the work. While this was my first experience cooking with Le Creuset, some of my colleagues have been using their pieces for years and can attest to the durability and wear of their cookware. 

Below, learn more about what it’s like to cook with Le Creuset, from the classic Dutch Oven to the lesser-known Grill Pan. 

Shop Le Creuset cookware here:

Amazon, Sur La Table, Crate & Barrel, NordstromMacy’s, Le Creuset, Williams-Sonoma

Round Dutch Oven

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Ellen’s beef stroganoff

Round Dutch Oven (5.5-Quart), around $360, available at: Le Creuset | Williams-Sonoma 

We used it to cook: beef stroganoff, broccoli and sausage orzo skillet, chicken pot hotdish, and so much more. 

Why we love it: The 5.5-quart version of the popular Le Creuset Dutch oven isn’t cheap at $350, but it’s the cornerstone of my kitchen; it offers a lot of versatility, a durable design, and crucially, even heat distribution. I use it to cook easy, one-pot meals on most weeknights — everything from beef stroganoff to spring peas and asparagus risotto to a broccoli and sausage orzo skillet. —Ellen Hoffman, Executive Editor

I use a 4.5-quart version of this Dutch Oven, the same one that had previously belonged to my former boss’ wife. She and I would swap recipes through her husband, delivering muffins and breakfast bars and favorite recipes to each other via his briefcase. At a holiday party at their home a few years ago, she gifted me one of her Le Creuset pots along with her matching frying pan. She gave it to me because she was growing partial to her Staub Dutch oven and didn’t need so many in the house, but it was still one of the kindest gifts I’ve ever received. I love cooking in it and especially using it to serve stews, sauces, and orzo during dinner parties. —Sally Kaplan, Senior Editor

Signature Lite Grill Pan

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Sally’s grilled zucchini

Signature Lite Grill Pan, $180, available at: Le Creuset

We used it to cook: grilled summer squash phyllo pie, Beyond Meat sausages

Why we love it: When I’m too lazy to fire up the grill on our rooftop (so, most of the time), I opt for this stovetop grill pan. It gives my veggies and meat substitutes the perfect grill marks, and it’s easy to move around on the burner if there’s a hot or cool spot (which happens with square-shaped pans). When I grill things like summer squash on it, and there’s something so satisfying about turning it over to see those little charred and caramelized bits. The surface is relatively non-stick, so food comes up cleanly as you’re flipping it, and the pan wipes down easily.  —Sally Kaplan 

Mini Cocottes

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Connie’s mini mac and cheese and veggies

Mini Cocottes, $100, available at: AmazonLe Creuset 

We used it to cook: single-serving/app-sized mac and cheese, veggies, baked eggs, apple pie

Why we love it: These are hands down the most adorable pieces of cookware I own. The mini versions of the brand’s classic cocotte are perfect for serving personal desserts, side dishes, and snacks like nuts or candy. They’re made from stoneware, so they’re best used in the oven on a baking tray and uncovered. The set I got came with a cookbook filled with recipes optimized for tiny portions, but if you’re comfortable with experimentation, I can see the potential to get really creative (and cute) with these mini cocottes. —Connie Chen, Senior Reporter

Square Dish

Le Creuset stoneware
Sally’s fudgy vegan brownies

Square Dish, $50, available at: Le Creuset |Bed Bath & Beyond

We used it to cook: fudgy vegan brownies, roasted apricots with coconut sugar, cornbread, and a million other things

Why we love it: I’ve had this square dish for about three years now, and it’s one of the most-used dishes in my kitchen. I bake quick-breads and brownies in it, use it to roast veggies at high temperatures, and even make pot pies with fluffy, crispy drop biscuit crust. The coating on the stoneware is so glossy and smooth that it’s always easy to clean — mine has been through hell and back, and still looks as new as it did the very first day I got it. —Sally Kaplan

Nonstick Saute Pan

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Sally’s vegetarian “meat” sauce

Nonstick Saute Pan, $145, available at: Crate & Barrel | Le Creuset

We used it to cook: vegetarian “meat” sauce, garlicky zucchini noodles

Why we love it: I have a lot of nonstick pans, but I threw two of them out after I cooked with this one for the first time. The nonstick coating is above and beyond what I’ve experienced before. It took about three seconds to wash the pot I cooked this sauce in because there was absolutely nothing sticking to it. Not only that, but it provided fast, even heat throughout, and the walls of the pan are just high enough that you can use it as a saucepan and saute pan interchangeably. It’s an excellent value for $145 — I use it all the time. —Sally Kaplan

Braiser

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Ellen’s “sophisticated hamburger helper”

Braiser, $200, available at: Le Creuset 

We used it to cook: lemon thyme chicken thighs, rigatoni and chicken with vodka sauce (family recipe), and lots of other bigger, saucy pasta dishes

Why we love it: This pan is the perfect size for the kinds of one-pot, saucy pasta dishes I make all the time. It’s super wide and deep enough that I don’t have to worry about adding too much liquid and having the contents spill over the sides. It’s also great for cooking meats and veggies since, like I said, there’s plenty of surface area so everything has room to get nice and crispy.—Ellen Hoffman

Rectangular Casserole

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Rectangular Casserole, $115, available at: Amazon | Le Creuset

We used it to cook: Enchiladas, lasagna, pasta casseroles

Why we love it: The depth of this 3.5-quart casserole dish is ideal for recipes that call for layering, and the stoneware construction ensures every layer, whether sweet or savory, heats evenly and comes out of the oven piping hot. Though you might think the enamel would be too delicate to touch with a knife, rest assured you can slice into your casserole worry-free. I do wish the handles were slotted so I’d feel safer carrying it out of the oven, so just be extra careful about not dropping your hard work on the ground. —Connie Chen

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This air fryer is one of my favorites after testing more than a dozen of them – but its smart features aren’t as useful as they could be

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Cosori Smart WiFi air fryer use
The Cosori Smart WiFi air fryer connects with an app.

An air fryer is essentially an energy-efficient, fast-cooking convection oven that fits on your counter. They’re relatively affordable and convenient to use, making them especially helpful in apartments and small spaces. They use heated air to produce the Maillard reaction that gives deep-fried food its distinct browned exterior while keeping the insides moist. Air fryers do this with a fraction of the oil, making them a healthier alternative to the deep fryer.

Though air fryers have been on the market for a decade, they still require you to manually set the cook time. I tested the Cosori Smart WiFi Air Fryer, which has Wi-Fi connectivity for a more convenient way to cook. 

Specs

cosori air fryer

The Cosori Smart WiFi Air Fryer is Alexa- and Wi-Fi-enabled through the VeSync app available from Google Play and the App Store. This gives you remote control of the appliance, intelligent monitoring, delayed start, and access to more than 100 recipes.

Though it has a relatively large footprint – 13 inches high by 11 inches deep by 11 inches wide with a drawer handle that juts out two inches – the Cosori WiFi-enabled air fryer has a spacious 5.8-quart interior that can fit up to 6 pounds of food. Plus, the unit fits easily under most cupboards.

The air fryer has a temperature range of 170 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and features 11 presets for cooking seafood, desserts, bacon, frozen foods, and more. The timer runs for up to 60 minutes, which should be more than enough for most uses. About halfway through cooking, a light pops on to remind you to shake the food in the basket for even cooking. Or, you can choose to receive a notification on your phone.

Set-up process

Within 10 minutes of opening the box, I was making tater tots using my phone. The set-up process is painless and intuitive. You just remove the packaging, wash the drawer and basket, plug the unit in, download the VeSync app, and connect to the air fryer. The whole process was seamless, and I didn’t hit any hitches, which is impressive since smart devices occasionally have trouble connecting or require lengthy firmware updates. 

What makes the air fryer stand out

As you’ve gathered by now, the Cosori Smart WiFi Air Fryer is unique in that it’s supported by the VeSync app that connects to the appliance over Wi-Fi. The app has dozens of recipes for breakfast foods, appetizers, entrees, sides, and desserts. Once you select a recipe, the app gives you step by step instructions for making the meal, including controlling the air fryer when appropriate. 

Within the app, you can access the history of recipes you’ve made and save your favorites. When your meal is done cooking, the VeSync app sends your smart device notifications to let you know.

Another smart feature is the ability to plan your meal up to four hours in advance. So, provided the ingredients remain safe at room temperature, you can load your creation into the basket and set the air fryer to cook at a later time.

There are a few recipes I use to test how well an air fryer works. First, the toast test tells me how evenly and quickly the air fryer cooks. I simply place a slice of bread in the air fryer and check on it every minute. In this test, the bread was evenly toasted and ready to eat after four minutes, which is very good.

Next, I made two pounds of French fries from scratch using Yukon gold potatoes. After 30 minutes of cooking, the fries were crispy and golden. My kindergartener couldn’t get enough of them. 

The third recipe is blackened chicken. I rub Cajun seasoning on two pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and air fry them. I keep wireless probe thermometers in the breasts so I immediately know when they’re done. After 25 minutes, the internal temperature was safe. And, the chicken was moist and juicy. 

Another sign that an air fryer works efficiently is that the exterior stays cool to the touch while cooking. This was certainly the case with the Cosori air fryer. The only spot that felt hot was by the vent in the back. Other than that, the appliance appeared to be using all of the heat it produced to cook my meal.

Though I generally handwash kitchen items to increase their lifespan, I just don’t have the time and energy sometimes. I like that I can pop the basket and drawer of the Cosori Smart WiFi Air Fryer into the dishwasher. And, when I’m inspired, washing these components by hand is also a breeze.

Cons to consider

Call me a Luddite, but I found the voice control to be overkill. It’s kind of fun to command my smart thermostat to tell my air fryer to start/stop cooking, but in my time testing the Cosori unit, I never felt the need to control it vocally.

While the app had useful recipes and the remote functions worked as advertised, I didn’t find the remote cooking features all that useful. Still, it doesn’t hurt to have these features at your disposal for those rare circumstances when they might help, especially considering the virtually identical “non-smart” Cosori Air Fryer costs just as much. If you happen to see that that non-smart version is less expensive, I’d recommend that one instead.

Manually setting the time and temperature on the Cosori could be a pain. I don’t like that there’s a button for toggling between time and temperature. This was done so that the same plus and minus buttons could be used to adjust both settings, but I found it to be an inconvenience.

The bottom line

Cosori Smart WiFi air fryer tray handle
Cosori Smart WiFi air fryer tray handle is easy to grip.

Despite these negatives, we think the Cosori Smart WiFi Air Fryer is an excellent appliance for fast, efficient cooking of healthy meals. The middle-of-the-pack price tag is more than worth it for the capacity and high-end features.

Should you buy it?

Unless you are a major techie and need to have the latest smart home gadgets, I wouldn’t recommend buying this exclusively for the Wi-Fi connectivity. I see limited use-cases for smart features. However, this is still an outstanding air fryer at a reasonable price and I would recommend it to anyone interested in trying a healthier alternative to deep-frying.

What are your alternatives?

I’ve tested more than a dozen air fryers over the years and the Cosori air fryer is one of my favorites. Here are a few others I highly recommend:

  • Philips Twin TurboStar XXL Airfryer ($379.95): This is one of the most expensive air fryers you will find, but it is the best. From the makers of the first air fryer, the Twin TurboStar XXL has a large capacity basket but still cooks food quickly thanks to its starfish-shaped pan that allows for maximum airflow. It’s dishwasher safe and comes with a full-color recipe book. The biggest negative is accessories aren’t included.
  • Secura 4.2-Qt Air Fryer ($78.43): If you’re new to air frying and just want a basic, affordable unit, the Secura Air Fryer is an excellent solution. It runs quietly, has a 4.2-quart basket, and does a spectacular job of toasting bread. This model also makes juicy chicken breasts in a hurry. The main negatives are that the exterior of the unit can get pretty hot and the pan releases from the basket easily, which could lead to severe burns.
  • Ninja Foodi Deluxe XL Cooker & Air Fryer ($219.99): Can’t decide whether you want an air fryer or an electric pressure cooker? Why not get both in one appliance? The Ninja Foodi holds up to five quarts of food for air frying, comes with several useful accessories, and has many of the same functions you find in the wildly popular Instant Pot. However, it does have a learning curve and takes up a fair amount of counter space.

Pros: Wi-Fi-connected, Alexa-enabled, dishwasher-safe, large capacity, many safety features, cooks quickly

Cons: Manual operation is sometimes a pain

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