An Expert Guide to Staub Cookware

Published on 01/03/2024 · 13 min readExperience culinary brilliance! Our expert guide to Staub cookware delves into its exceptional durability, heat retention, and timeless style.
Di Doherty, Kitchen Expert
By Kitchen Expert Di Doherty

Photo by Cathal Mac An Bheatha

TL;DR: Staub is a high-end French cast iron cookware maker. When looking for cookware from Staub, consider whether you want a pan or a cocotte, a glass lid or a cast iron one, and the desired size.

I’ve been a passionate home cook for over a decade. I grew up learning to cook from my mom, and I’ve been cooking ever since I was old enough to work a stove safely.

I’ve been a fan of cast iron cookware ever since I picked up my first Lodge skillet. Since then, I’ve acquired a collection of seasoned and enameled cast iron, including skillets, grill pans, griddle pans, and Dutch ovens. They're my everyday cookware, and I have a limited number of other types of pots or pans.

Since I’ve realized how much of a difference having the right tool for the job can make, I’ve worked to help others get the right products to make their lives easier. Staub’s cookware is high-quality, meaning it can make a huge difference in your cooking results.

Who Is Staub?

Staub is a high-end cast cookware brand that primarily makes enameled cast iron. They also make ceramic bakeware and mini cocottes, but all their cookware is cast iron. Despite being less well known, its cookware rivals Le Creuset, which is considered the gold standard for Dutch ovens. Therefore, Staub is one of the best Dutch oven manufacturers out there.

Staub was founded in Alsace, France, in 1974 by Francis Staub. At first, the company only manufactured cocottes, but they’ve since expanded into other types of cast iron cookware, such as skillets and braisers. Zwilling Henckels bought Staub in 2008, but the company still operates more or less independently. Staub’s website is a part of Zwilling’s, but all their products are listed separately. The Staub foundry is still in Northern France, where their cast iron products are made.

What to Consider when Buying Staub Cookware

Staub products are premium, meaning that each is expensive. While you’re sure to get a lot of use out of their products, it’s still a good idea to know what you’re looking for before making a purchase. Here are some questions to ask yourself to ensure you end up with a piece of cookware you’ll love.

1. Why choose Staub?

As mentioned, Staub is a high-end cast iron cookware maker with a foundry in France. Their cast iron is built to last and covered with multiple layers of enamel to ensure it will. If you’re looking for a high-end Dutch oven or skillet, it’s an excellent choice.

2. What size do I want?

What size you want your cookware will depend on how many people you usually cook for. The two items with many different sizes are skillets and Dutch ovens, so let’s focus on those. Keep in mind Staub calls their Dutch ovens “cocottes,” so the terms are used interchangeably.

Cocottes:

Staub’s round cocotte in lilac. Photo courtesy of Staub

  • Mini: Staub makes mini cocottes in both enameled cast iron and stoneware with a porcelain finish, though the stoneware can’t be used on the stove, so they’re more bakeware than cookware. Both kinds are great for making single servings or to use as serving dishes.
  • 2.75-quart: This is around the size of most specialty cocottes, though the round cocotte also comes in 2.75 quarts. This is on the smaller side for a Dutch oven but is good for two to three people.
  • 4-quart: This is one of the standard cocotte sizes but on the lower end. Most companies make a 4-quart Dutch oven, and it’s excellent for three to four people or if you live alone and don’t want loads of leftovers.
  • 5-quart: Staub offers a tall Cocotte in this size. It’s between a 4-quart and 6-quart, which are common sizes in terms of recipes, so you may need to make some alterations to make it work.
  • 5.5-quart: Another standard Dutch oven size is 5.5-quart or 6-quart. The latter is a popular size for stockpots, and many soup and chili recipes call for a pot this size.
  • 7-quart: This Dutch oven size is common for oval Dutch ovens. It's good for large cuts of meat or recipes, but a pot this big made of cast iron will be heavy. It may be too difficult to lift when full for some people.
  • 8.75-quart: Staub makes an 8.75-quart cocotte, but this will be quite heavy. It’s only good for very large recipes or roasts, meaning you either need to love to host or want a lot of leftovers.

Skillets:

  • 10-inch: This medium-sized skillet is good for two to four people, depending on what you’re making. It’s also an ideal size for skillet cornbread and cobblers.
  • 11-inch: This size is unusual for most fry pans, which tend to go up by two inches. But Staub’s traditional skillet is an 11-inch, so it can handle any recipes that a 10-inch can with room to spare.
  • 12-inch: Larger skillets this size are better for large families or hosting because they can make large recipes, like about six chicken thighs. While they can even be used for roasts, using an enameled skillet under the broiler isn't a good idea.

3. How do I care for enameled cast iron?

An enamel coating on cast iron makes it easier to care for and adds a nonstick layer. However, to take care of your Staub cookware so it stays like new for years and years, here are some tips you will need to follow:

  • Hand-wash: While Staub’s cookware is dishwasher-safe, washing it by hand is recommended. The harsh cleaners in dishwasher detergent are hard on enamel, and exposed cast iron will likely begin to rust.
  • Don’t put a hot pan in cold water: This is good advice, no matter what kind of pan you use, as sudden temperature changes can warp metal cookware. With enamel, as it’s ceramic, it can even shatter it, causing it to crack.
  • Use non-abrasive scrubbers: Enamel is tough, but it isn’t invincible. Abrasive scrubbers like steel wool or even hard scrubbing can end up rubbing the enamel off the cast iron. Unfortunately, it’s not really reasonable to repair enamel yourself, so be sure to take care of it.
  • Soak to remove stuck-on food: To avoid over-scrubbing your Dutch oven or skillet, soak it to soften anything stuck on it. Watch out for any exposed cast iron: most Dutch ovens aren’t enameled where the lid sits to avoid chipping. That area can rust if exposed to water for too long.

Different Types of Staub Cookware

Staub makes a variety of cookware for different cooking needs. Each item is designed for a particular purpose, though many are multi-use, adding to their value.

1. Fry Pans

The Staub 10-inch Fry Pan. Photo courtesy of Staub

Staub makes a few varieties of enameled cast iron fry pans. The enamel coating makes them easier to clean than standard cast iron, as you can use soap and water.

Benefits:

  • Excellent for frying, sauteing, and searing
  • Oven-safe for skillet cookies or cornbread

Keep in Mind:

  • Enamel is heat-sensitive, meaning that it isn’t broiler-safe

Examples:

2. Cocottes

The Staub Cast Iron Round Cocotte. Photo courtesy of Staub

Dutch ovens are the most versatile cooking equipment you can own. They can be used in the oven or on the stovetop to make anything from soups to bread.

Benefits:

  • Highly versatile and ideal for stews, soups, and chilis
  • Oven-safe and can be used for roasting or braising

Keep in Mind:

  • Dutch ovens are heavy, which can be hard to maneuver, especially when full
  • A dark interior can make it difficult to tell if it’s clean

Examples:

3. Braisers

The Staub Braiser with Glass Lid. Photo courtesy of Staub

A braiser is a type of cookware specializing in braising, as the name implies. Braising is a cooking process that’s better for tougher cuts of meat, as it involves searing it and then slow-cooking it in liquid in the oven afterward to make it tender.

Benefits:

  • Works great for dishes that are seared and then finished in the oven
  • Bottom can be used in place of a skillet

Keep in Mind:

  • Is shallow, so it isn’t good for liquid dishes like stews

Examples:

4. Grill Pans

The Cast Iron 10-Inch Pure Grill. Photo courtesy of Staub

A grill pan resembles a square skillet (although round grill pans exist, too), but it has raised grill lines on the bottom. It adds tasty grill lines to your food, making it perfect for sausages, steak, chicken breasts, and pork chops.

Benefits:

  • Keeps your food away from excess fat
  • Allows you to grill when using an outdoor grill isn’t possible

Keep in Mind:

  • Grill lines can make it difficult to clean

Examples:

5. Woks

The Staub Cast Iron Wok. Photo courtesy of Staub

A pan of Asian design, woks resemble deep skillets with sloped sides. While they’re known for stir-fries, they can also be used for deep frying and steaming.

Benefits:

  • Excellent for stir-fries and searing
  • Depth makes them excel at deep frying and steaming

Keep in Mind:

  • Has a glass rather than cast iron lid, meaning it’s more delicate

Examples:

6. French Ovens

Staub also makes Dutch ovens with a more traditional rounded lid design. They are labeled French ovens, though they aren’t really any different than Dutch ovens.

Benefits:

  • Has a rounded lid to aid in braising and moisture retention

Keep in Mind:

  • Only comes in a 3.75-quart size

Examples:

7. Mini

The Staub Cast Iron Baby Wok. Photo courtesy of Staub

Staub also makes mini cookware, like mini woks, mini cocottes, and mini saucepans. These would primarily be specialty items to make single-serve dishes or serve in.

Benefits:

  • Adorable serving vessels
  • Are cast iron and able to be used to cook

Keep in Mind:

  • Highly specialized and generally only useful for serving or making small amounts of sauce

Examples:

Features to Look for in Staub Cookware

A collection of Staub cookware. Photo courtesy of Staub

Staub cookware has a number of desirable features. When picking out the right piece of cookware for you, consider the following:

  • Lid: Not everything Staub makes has a lid, like their fry and grill pans. But for the Dutch ovens, braisers, and woks, they’re a good feature to look for. Most have a choice of glass or cast iron. I prefer the latter because they’re more durable, match the cookware, and are safe to the same temperature as the bottom part of the cookware. But glass lids are lighter and less expensive and allow you to see how things look without removing them.
  • Handles: Consider the weight of the cookware and look for comfortable and practical handles. A helper handle should be opposite the handle for larger skillets to help take them out of the oven.
  • Knobs: Staub has a variety of knob options on their cast iron cookware. Most of them are standard but have ornate ones shaped like a rooster or pig.

How to Choose the Best Staub Cookware for You

Picking out the right piece of cookware can be daunting, especially one with a high price tag. To help narrow down your choices, I will describe three different people and what cookware I’d recommend for each of them.

Chloe: Adventurous Cook Looking for New Types of Cookware

Cooking and baking are two of Chloe’s primary hobbies, and she’s looking to invest in them. She has all the basic cookware, like skillets, stockpots, and a Dutch oven, but she’s looking for something a bit more unusual to try different recipes with.

Features to look for:

  • Specialized cookware that allows for a wider range of recipes

Recommended products:

  • Staub 3.5-quart Braiser with Glass Lid: This braiser has a glass lid, allowing you to watch the food’s progress without opening it. Braisers can also be used like a skillet and utilized to make casseroles like baked pasta dishes.
  • Staub Cast Iron 12-inch Wok: This pan comes with a semicircular rack that you can hang on the edge, too, that can be used for warming or draining. The glass lid allows you to monitor the progress of what you’re cooking easily.

Rishi: Young Professional Looking for His First Piece of “Grownup” Cookware

Rishi got his first full-time job and is ready to spend some money to celebrate it. He loves to cook and wants to start buying good cookware that he can have for a long time. Rishi would like something that can be used in multiple ways, as he has to share cabinet space with his roommate.

Features to look for:

  • Multipurpose cookware

Recommended products:

  • Staub Cast Iron Round Cocotte: This Dutch oven has a lid with bumps on the bottom to help return moisture to what you cook, making it excellent for roasting, braising, and baking bread. It can also be used on the stove in place of a stockpot, making it an all-rounder.
  • Staub Cast Iron 11-inch Traditional Skillet: If anything comes close to a Dutch oven in versatility, it’s a skillet. Staub’s enameled skillet is easy to clean, oven-safe, and works on induction cooktops.

Opal: A Grandmother Who Wants Something She Can Pass Down

Opal would like to get some high-quality cookware that she can use in her own kitchen and then pass on to her grandchildren to help start their cookware collection. She wants something that will last and will help deliver good results.

Features to look for:

  • Cookware that’ll be useful long into the future. Enameled cast iron is induction-compatible and will last for decades, so long as the enamel is cared for properly.

Recommended products:

  • Staub 5-quart Cast Iron Round Tall Cocotte: This cocotte is shaped more like a standard stockpot, making it able to substitute for one not just for soups but also for boiling pasta and corn. A 5-quart is manageable, meaning it won’t be too heavy but will serve more than one person.
  • Staub Cast Iron Pure Grill: A grill pan has a lot of uses, ranging from searing to baking to frying. As noted, it creates grill lines while also keeping your food away from excess fat. This pan can go in the oven and works on all types of stoves, making it practical and durable.

Let Us Help You Find the Right Staub Cookware for You

Popcorn in a Staub pan. Photo courtesy of Staub

As cookware is something that you’ll use a lot over its lifetime, don’t be afraid to take your time. If you feel you need more information or advice, reach out to one of our Curated Kitchen Experts! Any of our Kitchen Experts would be more than happy to help you find the Staub cookware set that’s just right for you.

Curated experts can help

Have a question about the article you just read or want personal recommendations? Connect with a Curated expert and get free recommendations for whatever you’re looking for!

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