We select our brands for a reason, because we want to provide you with the longest lasting and best quality cookware that we can. Le Creuset, Staub and ZWILLING are high profile names for a reason, and with other names like Emile Henry, Ballarini, and more, we are stocking our shelves with investment pieces that you can rely on to last a very long time.
"Un-named Well Known Brand" is usually a quarter to a third the cost of a Le Creuset or Staub cooker, so let's say $125 for a dutch oven.
Multiple reviews have noted substantial chipping or cracking. Once that happens the integrity of your cookware is gone and eventually the piece will be unusable. Cracking and chipping allows for the cast iron inside the ceramic to rust.
Multiple reviews and articles have noted that the colour and finish fade quickly, and to expect to have your cookware looking worse for wear as they are used. The finish is bleaching out.
Top temperature noted is 350F, and the handles are very small, to where it is difficult to handle a hot, heavy pot out of the oven. Overall cooking performance has been decent with these pots when they are new and have not started cracking or chipping.
I'm thinking these last on average 8 to 10 years over 50 years = potentially $625 over your lifetime for a piece that may be cracked, chipped and faded in appearance, is limited in temperatures that it can handle, and may result in burns due to potential difficulty handling. I am real klutz in the kitchen and I don't like my cookware's appearance fading.
Le Creuset Dutch Oven:
I'm averaging $375 for this one due to the range in sizes.
These are products that become heirlooms, passed down through the generations, and this is why their names carry such weight for cookware. Multiple articles I've sourced note their Le Creuset pieces are on average 50 years old and look fabulous as they are not fading. And they are still working wonderfully with beautiful cooking performance.
My Mom's daily use cookware is her ceramic coated cast iron Le Creuset pot set that she bought in the early 1970's. No cracking, no chipping, no fading, no burning food and is still easy to clean.
These dutch ovens are noted as handling up to 500F (Le Creuset website) and multiple reviewers noted that the handles are nicely sized for handling.
So let's value your once in a lifetime purchase for a Le Creuset dutch oven at $375 for all the fabulousness noted above. Why wouldn't you choose to invest in this when overall, you really are not saving any money in the long run.
Where does Earth Day and helping the planet come in?
With choosing to purchase items of high quality, you are investing in the planet's future with not purchasing disposable items. By reducing how often you need to replace your cookware you are actively reducing your household waste. And honestly, how cool would it be for your grandkids to be able to inherit pieces of family history.