“Dutch ovens”, is that not primitive kitchenware? Why do we need such a cooking utensil even at this modern time when we have access to an electric oven, microwaves, non-stick pans, and whatnot! The reason behind this is that this thick cooking pot which is generally made of cast iron (also made out of aluminum and ceramic), comes with a lid that does not break the flavors and helps keep the moisture inside, making your cooking highly enriched.
As you make sure your food fits in your oven, we bake our ideas in the search for some of the best dutch ovens to ensure excellent baking and braising experience. We turned both sides of the coin to find the most convenient dutch ovens for you since everything has pros and cons. As you move on, you will have a closer insight into the kitchenware and find out which one blends with your kitchen perfectly.
Things To Know and Consider Before Buying The Best Dutch Oven
Whether you are buying one for yourself or your family, planning to buy one for camping, or simply buying it as a gift, you need to know what size you want to buy. Dutch ovens are mostly used for cooking dishes that take a lot of time, like stews, soups, gravy, etc. Because of that, it is essential to consider the size of the Dutch oven that you will buy. For our case, we think that 6 quarts is enough for the family-style.
However, dutch ovens are offered in many sizes in the market starting from a size as small as ¼ quarts to as large as 13 quarts depending on your use.
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Enamel or Cast Iron?
As already discussed and mentioned before, you can find dutch ovens in two varieties, one that is made from Full Cast iron with no enamel and another which comes with an enamel finish. Both have their perks. The former type has a more sturdy construction, requires seasoning, and is ideal for outdoor use, but the latter, on the other hand, does not require seasoning and is fit for indoor cooking.
In terms of durability, the entire cast iron dutch ovens take the trophy as they are built to last and are capable of withstanding harsh conditions. On the contrary, dutch ovens with an enamel finish need safe handling as they can crack if exposed to a temperature higher than their threshold.
And if you talk about the outlook, enamel dutch ovens are the winner as they come with a polished surface that gives out a premium vibe and takes the standard of your kitchen to a new level. Even though they are not as durable as the full cast iron ones, they surely do not break the flavors or disrupt the color and texture of the food you are cooking.
Generally, there are two common shapes of dutch ovens available in the market- round and oval. Among these two, the most sold is the round one. It has its perks, including being perfect for sitting on a single burner and having the ideal depth. Not only that, but this shape is also capable of offering smooth and comfortable stirring.
On the other hand, oval shapes are shallower and broader compared to round ones. This shape is perfect for cooking long meat cuts. However, the downside of this shape is that it is unable to maintain even heat distribution.
Nevertheless, both the shapes will work the same way if you pre-heat them before using them.
You should always go for Dutch ovens that come with a tight lid. A well-fitting lid will help retain the food's moisture, preventing it from drying out or causing water to evaporate too quickly. Moreover, generally, the lids are made up of the same material as the pot. However, some may be made up of tempered glass that allows you to monitor the state of your food. Not only that, but the lids may also be of a different shape. The best is the dome shape which reflects the moisture to the food, which the flatter ones cannot.
It is always good to go for Dutch ovens that feature handles made of different materials and not from the same one as the pot. This is beneficial because you would not want to burn your hands as they can heat up quite quickly. The handles should also offer a comfortable grip and must allow the ease of transportation. However, to be on the safe side, you should use pot holders or mitts at all times.
Additional features that you need to consider before buying your desired Dutch oven include the knob of the lid and whether the product is dishwasher-friendly or not.
The knob should withstand just as high a temperature as the lid and the pot can. A non-metal material used for this purpose may be an unfit option as it can easily crack when subject to high temperatures. Therefore it is wise to go for the ones that are made from metal. Stainless steel is a good option as it will also prevent rusting and withstand high temperatures.
Even though dishwasher-friendly features are not an absolute necessity, it is sought by many users. This can be because many of us do not get the time to wash our cookware or do not want to lose our energy for this tiresome chore. For those users, it is wise to pick the one that is dishwasher-proof.
Top 13 Best Dutch Ovens
|Product Name||Holding Capacity||Dishwasher||Grade|
|Lodge EC6D43 Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven||6 quarts||Yes||A+|
|AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven||6 quarts||No||A+|
|Lodge L8DOL3 Cast Iron Dutch Oven||5 quarts||No||B+|
|Lodge L8DD3 Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven||5 quarts||No||B+|
|Calphalon 1932450 Classic Dutch Oven||5 quarts||Yes||A+|
|Crock-Pot 69146.02 Artisan Dutch Oven||7 quarts||No||B+|
|IMUSACHI-00071R Ceramic Dutch Oven||3.2 quarts||A|
|Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Deep Camp Dutch Oven||8 quarts||No||A|
|Tramontina 80131/037DS Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven||5.5 quarts||No||B+|
|Cuisinel Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron 2-In-1 Multi Dutch Oven||3 quarts||No||A+|
|Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven||5.5 quarts||Yes||A|
|Cuisinart CI670-30CR Dutch Oven||7 quarts||Yes||A|
|Utopia Kitchen Pre Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven||5 quarts||No||A|
The pioneer name when it comes to dutch ovens is undoubtedly Lodge. The lodge dutch oven with model number EC6D43 features a cast iron body. What is different is that the pot's exterior and interior are coated with chip-resistant porcelain enamel, making it durable. Not only that, but the porcelain-enamel finish ensures that it is scratch and crack-proof.
The pot has versatile use and can be used to roast, braise, and even store pot. It is safe to be used in a refrigerator as well. The pot can withstand a temperature as high as 500 degrees Fahrenheit without showing any visible damage. In addition to this, the handles and the lid knob can also support high temperatures and are highly durable.
The feature that we found the most unique in this product is that the rim and the lid of the pot are coated with a black matte enamel, but on the other hand, the inside of the oven, i.e., the cooking surface, comes with an off-white enamel finish. This contrast in the color tones gives a superior vibe to the dutch oven.
Furthermore, the dutch oven effectively maintains an even heat distribution, which helps you prepare your recipe to perfection. Also, the compatibility of this one is commendable as you can use it on any cooktop, starting from a gas stove to an electric one to an induction one.
Lastly, the product is dishwasher safe, so you do not have to waste your valuable time or energy washing this with your hands. However, hand washing is recommended for this one by the manufacturers for prolonged use.
2. AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
The dutch oven from AmazonBasics is known for giving the best value of money as it has all the premium features but will also take care of your pocket. The 6-quart Dutch oven comes in two different colors- red and blue.
The enamel coating gives it a sleek and shiny look and will not distort the flavor of the food you are cooking. The cast iron body makes it oven-proof and can withstand a temperature as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
It further features a fitted lid that helps retain the moisture in the food, and the side handles facilitate handling and transportation. Moreover, it can control and distribute heat evenly and precisely, allowing you to cook your food to perfection. Unfortunately, though this Dutch oven is not dishwasher safe, you need to clean it with your own hands.
3. Lodge L8DOL3 Cast Iron Dutch Oven
The following product we have chosen to review is another excellent choice from Lodge, which features a large holding capacity of 5 quarts. This one is quite different from the former two as it does not come with any ceramic enamel coating. The body is made with total cast iron.
The significant difference between a cast iron-coated and uncoated pot is that you have the luxury to deep fry your food with an uncoated one. There are some more advantages to owning a cast iron pot without enamel, such as usually enamel ones cannot withstand high temperatures. They will crack when subjected to extreme temperatures. Full cast iron pots are more fit for rough and tough use and are perfect for camping.
However, there is one issue with full cast iron pots: since there is no enamel coating, you are required to season it before you start cooking in them. You can do it by brushing vegetable or mustard oil in it. This will prevent your food from sticking to the pot, and a non-stick nature will be seen.
Even though it is the only downside of full cast iron pots, fortunate enough for you, this dutch oven from Lodge comes pre-seasoned. This means they are ready to be used right out of the box. Moreover, this product is compatible with all types of stoves and is oven safe.
Moreover, the loop handles help you carry it with more ease and comfort. The material used in its body is responsible for even heat conduction, a significant feature in any cookware. The absence of this will result in overcooked-undercooked areas.
Last but not least, you need to be careful not to wash it in a dishwasher or with harsh detergent or soap as it may damage the in-built features. You should hand scrub it with a nylon brush to maintain its service life; you should dry it with a towel and apply natural oil on its surface while still warm.
4. Lodge L8DD3 Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven
A great pot with versatility! Immediately you can see that it doesn't have a knob on the lid, and that is because the lid can also be used as a skillet.
Another Full Cast Iron Dutch oven is of 5 quarts size and doubles down when cooking. Because of the lid's weight and design, ensure that no moisture or flavor leaves the pot when used as a cover.
Because of the domed shape cover, you have enough space to roast your meat with ease.
With this Dutch oven, you can take complete control of your cooking as the heat spreads evenly from the bottom, whether baking, frying, searing, or even roasting. It comes pre-seasoned, so you don’t have to worry about preparing your pot right after buying it.
5. Calphalon 1932450 Classic Dutch Oven
Made from hard-anodized aluminum, the dutch oven from Calphalon outlasts most of its competitors. The double-layer non-stick surface prevents the food from sticking to the walls and helps quickly release food. Not only that, but the layer also facilitates easy clean-up as no residues are left behind that might require aggressive cleaning.
Moreover, the ceramic coating is PFOA-free, which does not pose any health risk as it will not contaminate your food with any harmful toxins. The dutch oven also comes with a tempered glass lid that allows you to monitor the doneness of the food and helps retain the moisture and heat inside. The pot, on the other hand, has a pour spout that helps you drain excess liquids.
The product is compatible with almost all cooktops, including gas, electric, glass, and halogen. Even though it is dishwasher-safe, you are advised to hand wash it to extend its lifetime.
6. Crock-Pot 69146.02 Artisan Dutch Oven
This stylish slate gray Dutch oven has a large 7-quart capacity, making it ideal for those more extensive cooking sessions. Made from Cast Iron with a non-stick surface for easy hand washing, this also has a self-basting lid to keep your recipes tender.
Suitable for searing, frying, basting, roasting, stewing, and more, this traditional Cast Iron Dutch oven will work on any cooktop, including induction, and is suitable for oven cooking up to 500°F.
The oversized handles on this will make it easier for you to grip this larger Dutch oven, especially if you have your oven mitts on. In addition to these fantastic features, the dutch oven also ensures even heat distribution which will not result in hot-cold spots and help you cook your food to perfection.
7. IMUSACHI-00071R Ceramic Dutch Oven
Made from aluminum with a white ceramic non-stick interior and a bold red exterior, this ceramic Dutch oven has a 3.2-quart capacity. In the style of a ‘caldero’ (or cauldron), this is ideal for braising meats or cooking rice, beans, soups, and stews.
The vented glass lid on this means you can keep an eye on your cooking without needing to remove the top and the red silicon rim of the lid provides a tight seal to keep flavors in. The Bakelite knob is red to match the ceramic exterior and will also stay cool during cooking.
The benefit of the non-stick interior surface is that you can prepare your food with minimum use of oil, which makes this a super-healthy option. Moreover, it can be used as a kitchen-to-table utensil as its attractive outlook makes it ideal to be used as a serving dish.
8. Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Deep Camp Dutch Oven
Are you heading to the lodge this weekend? Perhaps thinking of camping with family and friends? Well, then this Cast Iron deep camp Dutch Oven is just right for you. The name gives away the purpose, but you don’t realize the other benefits of having it.
This 8 quarts big black Dutch oven was meant for heavy-duty. It comes with legs at the bottom, making it possible to place the oven over firewood or charcoal. The lid is also flanged, so you can put coal if your dish requires it.
With the Lodge Cast Iron deep camp Dutch oven, you also get a cooking book to ensure you a head start if you are confused about what to cook in it. The bail handle can be used with a tripod for your stability when cooking. And the lid can also be used as a griddle. It’s made of full Cast Iron so it can endure high heat. And it also comes as pre-seasoned so that just when you buy it, you can take it straight to your campsite for use.
Moreover, the dutch oven offers precise heat conduction that helps your food be cooked perfectly and evenly. The material used also helps retain the heat, which helps keep the food warm for a long time. It also features a super-tough body and is virtually non-stick, making it super long-lasting.
To properly maintain and use it for several years, you are suggested to rub oil on its surface after you are done washing them by hand.
9. Tramontina 80131/037DS Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
This dutch oven from Tramontina is made up of cast iron which features a rich enameled finish suitable for both cooking and serving purposes. Moreover, the knob on the lid is made up of stainless steel, which makes them rust-free. The very build of the product makes it long-lasting and oven-proof up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
The dutch oven offers kitchen-to-table serving as it comes with a beautiful and elegant outlook. It is ideal for modern baking as well as traditional slow simmering of your favorite recipes to perfection. It also has a multipurpose use as it comes in a variety of sizes and shapes.
10. Cuisinel Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron 2-In-1 Multi Dutch Oven
Cuisinel offers a great value deal that includes 2 dutch ovens in 1 pack. Why buy one when you can get two? The dutch ovens each have a capacity of 3 quarts and can be used for various uses, starting from frying to baking to broiling to braising to what not! The versatility with this is fantastic as this is compatible to be used on grills, stoves, and induction cooktops.
The dutch oven also features a smooth finish that facilitates even and precise heat distribution that does not leave you with hot-cold spots that can cause uneven cooking or frying. Moreover, this cast iron cookware comes seasoned, so you do not have to go through the hassle of seasoning it.
You must hand wash the product with warm water and extend its service life; you are advised to restore it with natural oil. Also, be careful not to use harsh soaps for cleaning purposes.
11. Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Since 1925, Le Creuset has been a reputable brand for making cast iron kitchenware for its strength and durability.
If you want a good-looking dutch oven that will not break the flavors of the food you are cooking and cook them to perfection, then this one from Le Creuset should be at the top of your priority list.
Offering you the luxury to choose from various color options, including Marseille, Flame, and Oyster, the dutch oven features a sand-colored enamel on the interior cooking surface, giving a fantastic color contrast to the pot. The enamel helps prevent burning and sticking to the surface of it.
The handles are 45 percent larger, making it easier to hold the Dutch oven while giving you the space to carry it with a firm grip. With that much space, you can also use an oven mitt, which means that this Dutch oven can be used on any type of stove and even an oven. The Dutch oven is also dishwashing safe, so you can easily clean it with no hassle.
12. Cuisinart CI670-30CR
The 7-quart Dutch oven from Cuisinart is constructed from Cast Iron. And both the exterior and interior are made from porcelain enamel giving it a smooth and stylish look. The porcelain enamel finishes off with a durable look with deep rich colors, which is an excellent addition to your already great kitchen.
Cuisinart dutch oven comes with a porcelain finish on the inside that helps prevent the flavors of your food from breaking. Moreover, the interior cooking surface will not absorb the flavors from the food, keeping it undistorted in terms of both the taste and the texture. The wide grip handles of the pot make it easier and convenient for you to handle as there is enough room for your fingers to get a good grip.
The multipurpose nature of the dutch oven makes it suitable to be used on any type of stove, including an induction stove or an oven. In addition to these fantastic features, the pot is also dishwasher safe. This means that you can now clean them without any trouble if you have used them to cook greasy food.
13. Utopia Kitchen Pre Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Utopia Kitchen’s Dutch oven comes in Full Cast Iron, which is pre-seasoned, so you don’t have to worry about getting it ready after purchase. This is a 5-quart oven with a dual handle on the sides and a lid with a holder. It is Full Cast Iron so, it is very durable and can be used for slow cooking, frying, etc.
One thing that is very different and unique is that we know that Iron deficiency is a problem in our world, especially for women.
So when cooking food with iron cast ovens, you are sure to increase your iron content by 20 percent on the food you are cooking, making your food delicious and healthy. This Dutch oven can be used on a stove or oven and take up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
To clean the dutch oven after use, you are required to allow it to cool down first. Then you can use warm soapy water to hand wash it with your regular dishwashing soap.
Dutch ovens are not just kitchenware but also part of a family because of the way it was designed. When it comes to family and friends, the best way to get to them is through food. And when it comes to large numbers, Dutch ovens have the upper hand when cooking. With the ability to cook almost anything, you can whip up something delicious and gourmet, giving you an edge when it comes to cooking and keeping bonds alive.
Our article has picked some of the best Dutch ovens out there and gave you reviews about them. Hopefully, now by reading this, you've gathered some information and knowledge of what it is that you want and can start cooking for your friends and families.