There are so many shapes, sizes, and styles of Staub Dutch ovens, or Cocottes as they call them, that it can be hard to work out what’s what.
That’s why I’ve spent 15 hours researching the different shapes and sizes, Staub itself, as well as what they mean.
Just want to know which is the best Staub cocotte? I recommend the Staub 5.5 quart Round Dutch oven as a versatile family pot.
Yet what you buy depends on what you are cooking, for how many people, and how fancy you get.
Read my guide to Staub cocotte sizes for more.
Who is Staub?
Staub is a French brand belonging to Zwilling, a cookware company. Zwilling makes all Staub cookware in France where the brand was founded by Francis Staub.
The enameled Staub cocotte is a premium piece of cookware, both in terms of price and quality. Yet many in the market consider them good value as you can usually find a Staub Dutch oven, cheaper than a Le Creuset one. (Le Creuset is the other premium French oven brand.)
Dutch ovens aren’t the only Staub cookware; you can also find Staub cast iron bakeware, skillets and more.
The Le Creuset Dutch oven is the Staub Cocotte’s main competitor. Le Creuset is also based in France and makes quality, pricey cookware.
Cocottes and French Ovens
Cocotte is just a fancy word for an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven; It’s a marketing ploy by Staub. I explain more in my Staub vs Le Creuset Guide, which makes for interesting reading if you are looking for an to the Staub cocotte.
In short: a Staub cast iron cocotte is a Dutch oven.
The term French oven is not used much, but refers to enamel cast iron Dutch ovens. Most people just say “Dutch oven” or “enameled Dutch oven.” Technically a Dutch oven could be, and was traditionally, raw cast iron without the enamel layer.
I explain more in my French oven vs Dutch oven guide.
What all this boils down to is that enameled Dutch ovens by other manufacturers are comparable with Staub cocottes.
Though, Staub is ahead of most manufacturers in terms of quality!
Staub lids are quite possibly the highest quality you can find. Firstly, in my experience, they always use metal knobs which are less likely to break.
But it’s their chistera basting spikes that are especially helpful. These small bumps on the otherwise flat lid help contain moisture, creating a self-basting rainfall effect inside the pot.
I do like a tight-fitting lid, as Staub usually provides. This helps keep moisture inside the pot, and is especially useful when baking bread or slow cooking.
Staub cast iron cocottes are oven-safe. This is important, as one of the uses of a Dutch oven is in the oven.
In terms of temperature, it can vary, but most cocottes are oven safe to 900F (482C), or 500F (260C) with the lid.
500 degrees Fahrenheit is enough for most people!
All the Staub cookware I’ve seen is dishwasher-safe. I wouldn’t worry about occasionally putting Staub cookware in the dishwasher. (As long as there is no exposed cast iron–the enamel protects the cast iron from the water in the dishwasher.)
Yet, since this is such an expensive piece of cookware, it would be better to minimize the amount of time it spends in the dishwasher. Try cleaning by hand as much as possible to extend its life.
What Size do I need?
A very rough rule of thumb is to assign about 1 to 1.5 quarts of capacity per person. Yet, of course, this depends entirely on what you are cooking.
1 quart per person should be enough for soups, stews, and liquids. For other dishes, you may need more capacity.
5-7 quarts are usually enough for a family on this rule. You can prepare more than one dish when you have visitors, so 5-7 quarts can still work with a larger number of participants.
However, you need to be careful not to get a Dutch oven that is too big for you. It’s not only a case of taking up countertop or counter space, but also weight.
Enameled cast-iron Dutch ovens are the heaviest pieces of cookware around. On top of the heavy cast iron, you are adding two layers of porcelain enamel.
And when serving, you need to add food.
So I’ve included the weight of each Staub cocotte in my guide. Pay careful attention and make sure it is comfortable for you!
Staub Cocotte Sizes
Staub products are unfortunately advertised in a range of ways, and not always consistent.
- Diameter in centimeters (cm). This is the diameter of the rim, not the base, which is always smaller. So the cooking surface has a smaller diameter. There are 2.54 cm to the inch.
- Capacity in liters. France uses the metric system so it’s understandable the measurements come out in liters. There are roughly 0.95 liters in 1 quart, so it’s almost the same.
- Capacity in quarts. Sometimes Staub Cocotte capacities are advertised in quarts instead of liters. Just to mix things up?
I’ve been busy with my calculator, trying to ensure I’m giving you consistent ways of measuring and comparing the products.
Just to confuse things even more, sometimes Staub sizes use imperial quarts, instead of US quarts. I have used US quarts in my comparison tables, since hardly anyone actually uses imperial quarts anymore.
Staub Standard Round Cocottes
The standard height round cocottes are the go-to Dutch ovens for most people. If you aren’t sure what to get, then this is a good choice.
Remember, the servings measure below is in theory for full meals, so if you cook something else as well, you can serve more people.
The 24 cm / 4 quart Dutch oven is one of the most popular choices for a cast-iron cocotte. It’s not too heavy to manage and can, just about, serve a family of four.
Personally, though, I recommend the 5.5 quart Cocotte for a family of 4 to 5. This Staub round cocotte is versatile, big, yet not too heavy.
Either one of these would be good for either beginners, or those looking for one pot to meet all, or most of their needs.
|Size (cm)||Capacity Quarts (Litres)||Serves||L / W / H (Inches)||Weight lbs||Check on Amazon|
|Mini||0.3 (0.2)||1 Entrée||L:5.1; W:3.9; H:2.8||2.2||Check Price|
|16||1.3 (1.2)||1||L:8.1; W:6.3; H:3.9||5.1||Check Price|
|18||1.9 (1.8)||1 – 2||L:9.1; W:7.1; H:5.1||6.7||Check Price|
|20||2.3 (2.2)||2||L:10.4; W:7.9; H:5.5||2.2||Check Price|
|22||2.8 (2.6)||2 – 3||L:11.2; W:8.7; H:5.8||9.0||Check Price|
|24||4.0 (3.8)||3 – 4||L:11.9; W:9.5; H:6||11.5||Check Price|
|24*||3.8 (3.5)||3 – 4||L:11.8; W:11; H:5.3||11.1||Check Price|
|24**||3.8 (3.5)||3 – 4||L:11.8; W:11; H:5.3||11.1||Check Price|
|24***||4.0 (3.8)||3 – 4||L:12; W:10.8; H:5.5||10.2||Check Price|
|26||5.5 (5.2)||4 – 6||L:12.9; W:10.2; H:6.6||12.1||Check Price|
|28||7.0 (6.6)||5 – 7||L:13.9; W:11; H:7.2||16.6||Check Price|
|30||8.8 (8.3)||6 – 9||L:15; W:11.8; H:7.5||17.7||Not on Amazon|
|34||13.3 (12.5)||9 – 13||L:16.9; W:13.4; H:8.4||22.4||Check Price|
+ L / W / H = Length / Width / Height in Inches. Length is handle to handle, Width is the upper diameter and height includes the lid. This gives you a good idea of the space you need for the Dutch oven.
*Lid comes with an engraved Rooster Picture
**Lid Comes with an engraved Lilly Pattern
***Comes with a glass lid instead of an enamel lid
Engraved and Glass Lids
The engraved lids look nice but don’t add much. Get them if you like the look.
I like to see my food when I’m cooking, so the glass lid is appealing. However, it’s neither as attractive nor durable as enameled cast iron. What happens when the glass lid breaks?
Well, Staub do sell replacements, but it’s still hassle.
On balance, I would prefer a cast-iron lid, but this is a personal decision!
Very Small Cocottes
What’s the point of the smallest Staub cast iron cocottes? The Mini Staub Cocottes are great for serving entrées. Buy a few of them and serve your guests a delicious starter!
Each 16cm cocotte can be used to serve one person a meal. This does mean buying several of them!
The two downsides of having a cocotte for each serving are:
- It gets expensive quickly
- It doesn’t work well for hot food
If you serve hot food in a cold cast-iron Dutch oven, it will quickly cool the food. Yet if you use a hot cocotte, your guests/family could get burnt.
The difficulty is cast iron’s heat retention. There is probably a trick to getting the temperature just right here, but it sounds like a lot of work!
Most of the standard Staub cocottes are available in a wide range of colors; these include:
- Cherry Red
- Aubergine Purple
- Basil Green
- Dark Blue
- Burnt Orange
- White Truffle
- Graphite Grey
Not every color is available for every size, and the most limited selections are for the special lids (engraved or glass) and the biggest / smallest sized cocottes.
Tall cocottes really come into their own on the stovetop. They take up less space, making it easier to cook other food, but still let you cook big batches.
Potentially, depending on the configuration of your cupboards, they can be easier or harder to store. Check the dimensions below versus your kitchen measurements if you are uncertain.
Technically the cocotte with steamer insert is a standard cocotte; it’s the added height of the steamer insert that makes it special.
The others are more likely to be used in the oven to create individual dishes (i.e. one mini Cocotte per guest.)
|Capacity Quarts (Litres)||Serves||cm||L / W / H (Inches)||Weight lbs||Comment||Color||Check on Amazon|
|0.8 (0.7)||1||Mini||L:6.4; W:3.2; H:4.7||4.0||Round Base||Grey and White||Check Price|
|0.8 (0.8)||1||14||L:6.6; W:5.1; H:4.7||4.4||Many Colors||Check Price|
|1.5 (1.4)||1 – 2||16||L:8.3; W:6.3; H:6.1||7.5||Round Base||White, black, grey & purple||Check Price|
|5.0 (4.7)||3 – 5||24||L:11.9; W:9.5; H:7.2||11.5||Ideal for Stovetop||Red and White||Check Price|
|5.5 (5.2)||4 – 5||26||L:13; W:10.2; H:7.5||15.8||Steamer insert||Blue, light grey, dark grey||Check Price|
I’m not a big fan of any of the tall cast-iron cocottes. You can get more affordable bakeware/pots/steamers to do much the same thing.
Still, if you already have a Staub Dutch oven, really love it, and would use one of these cocottes–go for it. They make for good quality, attractive cookware.
Shallow Cocottes: Staub Casseroles and Braisers
Staub like to call their shallow cocottes braisers or bouillabaisses. They’re not wrong, but I think of them as casserole dishes.
I’ve compared Dutch ovens with braisers before; in short, while there is a lot of crossover, braisers are ideal for braising meat, or where you need more surface area (eg if making a stew or reducing sauces.)
The wider shape of the braiser makes it much easier to turn meat periodically and means water evaporates faster.
A bouillabaisse is a type of French fish stew; in this case, it also serves as the pan’s name. As a nice touch, Staub’s 5 quart Bouillabaisse comes with a fish handle.
The bouillabaisse is an excellent pan for cooking fish dishes, but nothing is stopping you from using it for other things. If you need a casserole or braiser, it’s worth considering.
|Capacity Quarts (Litres)||Serves||L / W / H (Inches)||Weight lbs||Special||Color||Check on Amazon|
|2.8 (2.6)||2 – 3||L:12.5; W:9.8; H:4||9.0||Many Colors||Check Price|
|3.5 (3.3)||2 – 4||L:15.3; W:11.8; H:5.3||10.0||Glass lid||Many Colors||Check Price|
|3.9 (3.7)||3 – 4||L:14.2; W:8.7; H:3||11.9||Black or Orange||Check Price|
|5.0 (1.0)||3 – 5||L:14.2; W:11.3; H:6.1||10.9||Fish Handle||Blue||Check Price|
|6.3 (6.0)||4 – 6||L:14.2; W:11; H:6.1||16.3||Pig Handle||Many Colors||Check Price|
Staub Casserole Colors
Like the standard height cocottes, most shallow Staub Cocottes come in many colors. These include:
- Cherry Red
- Grenadine Red
- Basil Green
- Dark Blue
- Matte Black
- Graphite Grey
Oval cocottes can be really helpful when cooking chicken or turkey as they are more likely to fit the entire bird.
They are also great for casseroles and vegetables.
They aren’t so great on the stovetop due to their shape.
I discuss this more in my guide Oval vs Round Dutch ovens.
Staub, helpfully, does have a series of oval cocottes. I recommend these for those who already have a round Dutch oven or really know what they are doing. Oval Dutch ovens can be super-helpful, but they are more advanced.
|Size (cm)||Capacity Quarts (Litres)||Serves||L / W / H (Inches)||Weight lbs||Check on Amazon|
|11||0.3 (0.3)||1 entrée||L:4.6; W:3.9; H:2.8||1.8||Check Price|
|15||1.1 (1.0)||1||L:7.6; W:5.6; H:3.6||2.9||Check Price|
|27||3.0 (2.8)||2 – 3||L:13.2; W:10.6; H:5.2||9.9||Check Price|
|31*||5.8 (5.5)||4 – 6||L:14.8; W:12.2; H:6.6||13.2||Check Price|
|31||5.8 (5.5)||4 – 6||L:14.8; W:12.2; H:6.6||13.2||Check Price|
|33||7.0 (6.6)||5 – 7||L:15.8; W:13; H:6.8||15.7||Check Price|
|37||8.5 (8.0)||6 – 9||L:16.9; W:14.6; H:7.1||18.8||Check Price|
*Coq au Vin Steel Knob
All of Staub’s oval Dutch ovens come in a wide selection of colors (see the list under standard cocottes.)
Special Staub Cocotte Shapes and Sizes
My absolute favorite cocottes are the ones I’m least likely to buy–the special shape ones!
I love them because they are so cool and so fancy. Imagine serving your guests a tomato dish in the tomato cocotte!
Or how about preparing a Valentine’s day dish for two in the Heart Cocotte?
Yet it’s hard for me to see myself buying them. They just aren’t that practical:
- They are expensive for something less likely to be used as often as a standard cocotte
- They take up more room than round or oval cocottes for the same capacity due to their shape
So I could see myself buying one of these if I had money to spare and extra space in my kitchen. At the moment I have neither!
If you have the cash and the room, then check them out:
|Shape||Capacity Quarts (Litres)||Serves||L / W / H (Inches)||Weight lbs||Colors||Check on Amazon|
|Pig||1.0 (0.9)||1||L:5.9; W:4.7; H:9.8||6.2||Grey||Check Price|
|Pumpkin||3.5 (3.3)||2 – 4||L:11.3; W:8.74; H:5.71||11.8||Orange & White||Check Price|
|Artichoke||3.0 (2.8)||2 – 3||L:8.75; W:8; H:11.6||11.2||Basil Green||Check Price|
|Tomato||3.0 (2.8)||2 – 3||L:12.8; W:8.23; H:3.74||11.7||Red, Black, White||Check Price|
|Heart||1.8 (1.8)||1 – 2||L:8.58; W:5.55; H:3.74||7.1||Dark Red||Check Price|
Which Staub Dutch oven is for you?
After reading about all the different Staub cocotte sizes and shapes, which one do you want?
If you have no idea what to get, I recommend the 26 cm, round, standard height 5.5 quart cocotte. This will easily serve a family of four, and is both a workhorse and an elegant serving dish. Even if you are tempted by others, this makes a good first Staub cocotte.
Its tight-fitting lid makes this round cocotte ideal for slow cooking, baking bread, and dishes that need self-basting. Or you could prepare a stew, reduce some sauce or even sear meat with the lid off.
It’s one of the most versatile cocotte sizes and shapes and if you had only one pot in your kitchen, it could be this one.
Otherwise, it depends on what you want. Have money and space to spare? The Tomato shaped cocotte looks amazing.
Planning on cooking large birds whole? Then consider the 8.5 quart oval Dutch oven. Be careful though, this Staub cocotte is big and heavy.
Keen on serving guests individual entrées? Then I would go for a few Mini Cocottes.
With a selection like this, there’s nothing stopping you building a nice collection, wallet, and kitchen permitting!
Or, feel free to check out the competition. Le Creuset also has a range of shapes and sizes; I explain some of them here.
If you’re not convinced by Staub then you might want to check out Le Creuset. My Staub or Le Creuset guide compares the two premium French enameled cast iron brands.