Gen Z, Le Creuset and “aesthetic adulthood”: Why young people are investing in this expensive cookware

It takes a certain type of cookware to be considered both an heirloom and a TikTok favorite. It won’t be your standard Circulon, Farberware or Hamilton Beach – but something that is both timelessly durable and reflects the current aesthetic of adulthood.

I’m talking of course about Le Creuset, the famous one Instagram friendly brand made of colorful pots, pans and sturdy Dutch ovens.

Sure, the price tag attached to each signature item makes many cringe (the Dutch oven in question in a 7.25-quart size costs about $368.99), but there’s no denying that Le Creuset is sought after and loved by many. Finally, the French enamel cookware manufacturer has managed to effortlessly blur the line between functional cookware and home decor. Some are in it for efficiency reasons. Others, mainly for the look and design.

This is what makes the brand so fascinating. In recent years we have seen similar trendy brands pop up, both online and in major retail chains. There is the minimalist theme Our placethe manufacturer of the cult all-in-one non-stick coating Always pan. There is the simplified Phantom Chefthe eclectic Great Jones and the simple and chic Material kitchen.

But none of them have managed to achieve the following or cultural prominence that Le Creuset continues to enjoy—but that doesn’t just apply to veteran home cooks or established homeowners.

Le Creuset is hugely popular with Gen Z, thanks in part to the online cottagecore trend that moved away from Pinterest and found a new home on TikTok amid the pandemic. Meanwhile, the hashtag #LeCreuSlay occasionally trends on the platform, as videos showing young influencers and chefs promoting Le Creuset have garnered over 84.2 million views; The The brand itself has 2.1 million likes and over 200,000 followers.

So what exactly is the appeal?

Some may consider the brand’s reputation a wise investment if you want to make cooking a habit. In fact, it is this classic Dutch oven that has received the greatest acclaim from chefs, critics and home cooks. Take it from Insider’s Connie Chenwho explained: “Basically, Le Creuset is the rare brand that is really as good as everyone says. The experience is like going to your first SoulCycle class—you enter a cynic, but come out (hopefully less sweaty) an eager convert.

That’s why so many cooking enthusiasts are willing to spend between $260 and $625 just to get their hands on it a Dutch oven – and honestly, any type of cookware from the brand. The quality is first class. The longevity is outstanding. And yes, the excellent craftsmanship is an added advantage.

As Mary Claire Lagroue of Food & Wine wrote: “What sets Le Creuset apart is quality, performance (more on that later) and durability. The pieces are handcrafted using machines for smoothing and multiple people check each one during production to ensure it is as close to perfection as possible.

Lagroue added that she cooked with her own Le Creuset 7.25 liter round Dutch oven for an amazing four years. Her pots — one that belonged to her mother and one that she bought for herself — withstood high heat, scrubbing off stuck-on food, the dishwasher, and even a cross-country move. This is also helped by the fact that the pots are incredibly easy to clean and, despite the white inside, are not prone to stains.

“The Le Creuset 7.25-Quart Round Dutch Oven is the only piece of cookware I would recommend to anyone serious about cooking, regardless of experience,” Lagroue continued in her review. “Although the initial investment is higher, a well-made casserole like this can last a lifetime if treated well.”

Le Creuset’s fan base also includes its avid super-collectors, who drop hundreds (even thousands) to stock up on items. That means spending hours scouring the internet for online deals, scouring discount stores, and searching for vintage cookware. “It can be a complex, expensive and deeply personal hobby. For the possessed, there is always another piece calling their name,” he wrote The Guardian’s Jill Schildhouse. “Every recipe requires a specific vessel, every season a suitable color, and every dinner party a special decorative detail.”

However, it is important to remember that many members of Generation Z do not live alone. They also don’t necessarily cook or host in the same way as Millennials or Gen-Xers, so nostalgia is another key factor in Le Creuset’s appeal.

The brand’s chip-resistant enameled cast iron means it can last for years (we’re talking). more than 40 yearsin some cases) as long as it is handled properly and carefully.

This does not apply to many conventional brands of cookware, which are more likely to rust and scratch with prolonged use. However, Le Creuset is a brand that can be passed down from generation to generation. And what could be better than making your favorite meal with a pan from your mother’s kitchen and even your grandmother’s?

But ultimately, Generation Z is drawn to Le Creuset for the same reasons as their parents her parents, were. The nostalgia-inducing Dutch ovens, posts and pans are symbols of adulthood. Historically, they belong in the kitchen of someone who has their life under control enough to host actual dinner parties—or at least on the wedding registry of a couple who wants to entertain guests once they’re finally settled.

What does it look like to settle in a country facing crippling inflation, widespread housing crises and the looming threat of another global pandemic? Who really knows?

While some of the realities of adulthood have changed, Le Creuset has not. And as the saying goes, “Old is new again” – the fashion world’s latest obsession with “quiet luxury“is a prime example of this.

So how did Le Creuset, the self-described Heirloom quality cookware, become a new Gen Z icon? The brand has managed to create something that is practical but also classically beautiful. Each piece is a blend of cooking and art, which is crucial to success in a “camera eats first” food world. If you want your cookware to be able to make your favorite stew at home, Le Creuset has you covered. And if you just want your cookware to sit beautifully on your kitchen countertop, Le Creuset has just the thing for you too. It’s a versatile brand that essentially appeals to the pragmatic chef, art curator or Instagram influencer.

Maybe they will become collectors of a new generation.

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Tom Vazquez

Tom Vazquez is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Tom Vazquez joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with Tom Vazquez by emailing

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