Wondering whether the hype over the Le Creuset Signature Dutch Oven is worth it or not? Look no further. Apart form talking about Le Creuset as a whole, here is an easy guide comparing two types of their cookware: Le Creuset Signature vs Classic dutch ovens. I’ve listed some differences and similarities to ensure you’re choosing the best equipment, and bringing your cooking to the next level!
Firstly, why Le Creuset?
Le Creuset makes one of the most iconic enamel, and now stainless-steel, cookware products. Le Creuset began making kitchenware in 1925 in Fresnoy-Le-Grand, France.
Almost 100 years on, the cookware from northern France is world-renowned for using the highest-quality materials. They are highly versatile, easy to clean and play a huge role in cooking amazing dishes.
Is Le Creuset worth the expense?
Le Creuset cookware also comes with a lifetime warranty. The enameled cast iron products have a luxurious, sleek design which have been the hallmark of a beautiful family kitchen.
You can explore more of the pros of investing in a Le Creuset product in our blog post, Why Is Le Creuset So Expensive.
List of Le Creuset Classic standard features
- Made from enameled cast iron
- Enamel exterior is easily cleaned from baked-on food
- Is highly functional and can be used in the grill, oven, hob or induction
- Has a tight-fitting lid to boost moisture and enhance flavors
- The cast iron material retains heat for cooking and browning
- Doubling as a stylish serving dish, this keeps your tasty creation warmer at the table for longer
- Dishwasher safe
Le Creuset Signature vs. Classic: Is there a difference?
Summary of main differences
Below I have listed all of the differences between Le Creuset Signature vs Classic range dutch ovens:
|Handles||Standard Le Creuset handles||45% larger handles, better for grip with oven gloves||Different|
|Knob handle||Standard||Larger range of finishes – Gold, Stainless-steel, Phenolic||Different|
|Oven temperature||375 degrees Farenheit||500 degrees Farenheit||Different|
|Lid fitment||Standard lid fitment||Improved lid fitment – tighter than Classic||Different|
|Design||Standard design||Larger raised rims, more defined Le Creuset logo||Different|
|Materials used||Highly resistant to thermal shock, chips and cracks||Highly resistant to thermal shock, chips and cracks|
Also offered in a Stainless-steel model
Video: Difference Between Le Creuset Signature vs Classic Casserole Dishes
Signature vs Classic: More on their Key Differences
Le Creuset’s Signature line has larger handles than that of the Classic range. It is much more accessible to fit your four fingers into the handles, making it much safer.
This is particularly useful when wearing oven gloves. The Signature range handle is 45% larger than the Classic one, leaving lots of finger room.
Le Creuset’s Signature model offers a larger heat resistant knob which ranges from gold, stainless-steel and copper-finish knobs.
The knob handle is both taller and larger than the Classic black phenolic knobs and provides better grip, especially when wearing oven gloves.
The Signature range knob handle can also be purchased separately. With only one screw, it could potentially replace the knob handle on your existing dutch oven. This would allow you to cook at higher temperatures. Without breaking the bank, you can elevate your cooking!
Replacing the knob handle
If you are thinking or replacing the knob handle on your existing dutch oven, make sure that it definitely matches the dimensions of your own dutch oven. The Signature large knob handle is 2.5″, and can fit dutch ovens of the following size, depending on shape:
- Round dutch oven: 4.5 qt. – 13.25 qt.
- Oval dutch oven: 5 qt. – 15.5 qt.
- Braiser: 2.25 qt. – 5 qt.
This knob handle can withstand temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It also allows for easier grip and really enhances the look of your expensive cookware, particularly when compared to the Le Creuset Classic black phenolic knob.
As previously stated, the Le Creuset Signature line can withstand higher heat due to the knob handle. With a maximum temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit, this totally surpasses Le Creuset’s Classic line handles, whose maximum oven temperature is 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
This higher temperature range will allow you to improve your cooking further, making foods like no knead bread which requires very a high temperature.
Lid fitment design
The signature model boasts better lid fitment than the Classic Le Creuset range, which helps lock in all the moisture from the food into the dish. This will result in juicier, more delicious meals, or if you’re using your dutch oven for baking moist doughy bread.
The design of the Signature range also has a more pronounced logo, with larger raised rims than the older version. This, of course is purely cosmetic but definitely provides a more expensive finish to the cast iron Le Creuset products.
The Signature cookware also comes in a vast range of colours, while some of the Classic colours have even been discontinued.
Even if the color of your existing Le Creuset products is no longer being made, the Signature dutch oven comes in many colors that will complement your pieces.
While there is debate on whether the Signature range comes with a higher quality enamel than the Le Creuset Classic line, it is actually the same.
The enamel on the classic line is already oven safe and highly resistant to thermal shock, cracks and chipping, so it would be hard to get a better enamel!
Le Creuset’s Signature line also comes in a stainless steel exterior. This model would look stunning in a kitchen with a stainless steel surfaces such as the fridge, drawers, microwave or coffee machine. A beautifully finished kitchen can be found in the detail!
You can! If you already have the classic Le Creuset dutch oven, it might be worth refreshing the look of your classic dutch oven with a Signature knob handle.
The improved version has more stylish knob handles to choose from, remodeling the look of your existing dutch oven without emptying your wallet!
It is worth checking the dimensions of your knob handle and ensuring it will fit correctly before purchasing.
The earliest Le Creuset pieces were enameled in the orange-red color, which was inspired by the color of molten rock and suitably named ‘volcanique’ in French. Now sold in America, the signature color is referred to as ‘fire’.
Le Creuset’s cast iron products are produced by the originator foundry in Fresnoy-Le-Grand, Northern France.
While some of its raw materials such as stainless-steel originates from Portugal and their stoneware comes from Thailand. Smaller accessories do come from China.
When purchasing Le Creuset products, make sure you are purchasing from a reputable vendor.
Le Creuset Signature vs Classic: The Verdict
While some of the improved features are subtle, the Signature range is definitely more ergonomic and user friendly. The product has been improved cosmetically and comes in more colors to suit all kitchens.
If you already have Le Creuset’s Classic dutch oven, it might be worth replacing the knob handle. The Signature knob handle will enable cooking at higher temperatures and really level up skills in the kitchen – without breaking the bank!