As a whole, a Dutch oven is a highly useful kitchen staple that offers up the best of both worlds and then some. Its ability to cook food both on the stovetop and in the oven is a characteristic that should be highly coveted. Altogether, this is one of the most versatile pieces of cookware that anyone could own. For that reason, among others, it is important to really vet the option you go for. Whether you are already a seasoned user or are just stepping into the world of Dutch ovens, it is important to make an informed purchase. New and viable products are popping up every day and while some may confuse you, the others will make life a lot easier. In that vein, take a look at some of the best Dutch oven options available on the market.
The Best Dutch Oven
It is not often that you find a product so balanced when it comes to form and function. This 6 qt Dutch oven has this and so much more covered. With its porcelain enamel and cast iron construction, the Lodge 6 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven is just what every kitchen needs for a wide range of cooking techniques.
There are a wide range of actions that can easily be carried out by this functional cookware. And if you are looking for a good dish to marinate and even refrigerate your food items, this is a great option with its superior temperature regulation properties. It can equally be used to braise, boil, fry and even bake while maintaining the integrity of the condiments within. There’s no losing with this handy piece of cooking equipment.
Has a smooth glass surface
Can withstand temperatures up to 500°F
Offers up even heating capabilities
Can also be used to serve or store food
- Weight 14.75 pounds
Here is another 6 qt cast iron Dutch oven that will blow your socks out with its all-around efficiency. With the AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, users can do everything from baking to roasting. Even better is the fact that this option is nice and roomy to accommodate enough food for quite a few people. So, you can enjoy your one-pot meals in the company of friends and loved ones, while showing off your stellar cooking skills.
Even better is the fact that this works well in both hot and cold temperatures, so it can be alternated between the fridge, stove top, and oven. And thanks to its enamel finish, this cast-iron Dutch oven will in no way react to the food, everything will come out as tasty as can be. What’s more, you can equally opt to use it as a serving dish and as such, that’s one less dish to wash.
Made from enameled cast iron
Fitted with loop side handles
Comes with a tight-fitting lid
Can withstand temperatures up to 400°F
- Model SX-6QTB
- Weight 13.06 pounds
Taking it up a notch, this is a 7 qt cast iron Dutch oven with a difference. It comes in a simple classic design that is evidence of great things to come in terms of taste, durability, and quality. The Lodge 7 Quart Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven is the secret to a lot of tasty homemade meals.
As it is highlighted in the title, this Dutch oven pot is pre-seasoned and this goes a long way to make it stand out. There are no harmful chemicals used here, just pure vegetable oil that will only make the pot get better with time. Of course, that signature Lodge Dutch oven versatility is brought to the table here. It can be used on the stovetop, over an open fire, on the grill, and even in the oven.
Seasoned with pure vegetable oil
Equipped with high sides
Stellar heat retention
- Weight 15.16 pounds
There is no doubt that everyone has been waiting to see what the Cuisinart Dutch oven has up its sleeves. Best believe that it does not disappoint in any way. With a sturdy porcelain enamel exterior and the usual cast iron construction, the Cuisinart CI670-30CR Chef’s Classic Enameled Cast Iron is a force to be reckoned with.
Thanks to its general makeup, it offers advanced heat retention and distribution, while also being as versatile as they come. So, whether you want to use it in the fridge or the stovetop, this is a highly viable choice. This option is equally fitted with very wide cast iron handles which will come in handy when moving it from one point to another. For even more convenience, it is dishwasher friendly.
Has a porcelain enamel exterior
Safe for stovetop, oven, and broiler
Two sturdy side handles
Stellar heat retention and distribution
- Model CI670-30CR
- Weight 1 pounds
You won’t get a better bang for the buck from any other product than you will with this baby. It takes the concept of versatility to a whole other level and really does make for a fun, yet efficient cooking experience. It really brings Dutch ovens into the 21st century while staying through to all the things that traditionally make it great.
For one, the Utopia Kitchen Pre Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven is quite large, allowing users to cook up all sorts of feasts for family members and friends. When it comes to its functionality, users are bound to be incredibly impressed. Apart from the incredibly sturdy handles, the lid is a winner here. Not only is it a tight fit, but it equally helps with heat retention and distribution. Altogether, the entire pot is quite easy to clean, so it’s a win-win.
Two integrated side handles
Durable cast-iron construction
Easy to clean
- BrandUtopia Kitchen
- Model UK0026
- Weight 7.01 pounds
You have to eat when in the great outdoors and what better camping Dutch oven to use that this beautiful contraption right here. When it comes to form and functionality, this is a highly viable choice. With the Lodge L12DCO3 Deep Camp Dutch Oven, cooking under the stars is sure to become a highly enriched experience.
And to ensure that they have all grounds covered, there is even a handy Camp Dutch Oven Cooking 101 cookbook included in the package, so you are not on your own. Apart from that, a highly functional fixture here is the lid itself. It is designed in such a way that it can hold hot coal and be flipped over to be used as a griddle. So, the only limit to the food you can enjoy out there is your imagination. There’s also the addition of three legs which ensure that the pot can perch perfectly on the campfire. Even better is the fact that users can easily manipulate the coals underneath for better heat distribution.
Seasoned using soy-based vegetable oil
Stellar heat retention and distribution
Fitted with three legs
- Weight 20 pounds
Here is an option that looks just like a regular nonstick pot, but offers up a whole lot more. Made from aluminum, the Simply Calphalon Nonstick 7-qt. Dutch Oven is as sturdy as they come. Coupled with its domed tempered glass cover, this is a great pot to use for all sorts of cooking and it does wonders both on the stovetop and oven and can even be used as a serving dish.
Furthermore, it combines this sturdiness and versatility with an array of functional features that make it one of the best out there. The silicone handles here are quite useful seeing as they remain cool while the rest of the pot stays hot. All in all, this is a really great stovetop/oven to table top option.
Has a non-stick interior
Fitted with silicone handles
Can withstand temperatures up to 400°F
Made with an impact-bonded aluminum base
- Weight 3.1 pounds
Here’s a solid cast iron option that is a thrill to get behind. There’s a lot that can be said about other Dutch ovens out there, but then it comes to the Bruntmor, Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, one of its major selling points is its state of the art heat retention and distribution. There’s also the fact that it is incredibly safe to use; it happens to be both PFOA- and PTFE-free.
As such, condiments are highly unlikely to react to its surface. In terms of functionality, there’s the addition of self-basting condensation ridges present on the lid. These go a long way to evenly collect and redirect all the vapor produced during the cooking process. The end result is moist and well-cooked meal that will not disappoint on any front. There’s also a tight-fitting lid that contributed to the wholesomeness of the meals.
It is PFOA and PTFE-free
Equipped with self-basting condensation ridges
Comes with a tight-fitted lid
Stellar heat retention and distribution
- Weight 16.09 pounds
This is one product that is a complete breeze to use. There’s nothing like cooking with ease and just knowing that the end result will come out perfectly. This and a lot more is what the Crock Pot Artisan 7 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Round Dutch Oven has to offer.
It is a beaut when it comes to evenly distributing and retaining all the heat needed. It is equally fitted with a self-basting lid that makes for a succulent and cooked-through meal. When you take into account the addition of nice, wide handles as well as the non-stick surface, this is a highly functional product and with efficiency at its core.
Distributes and retains heat evenly
Easy to clean
- BrandCrock Pot
- Model 69145.02
- Weight 16.2 pounds
This sturdy option is a great product altogether and it offers up an enhanced cooking experience. There’s nothing more efficient than a well-thought-out product and the Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron is one of such. Users or prospective users will be pleased to know that it offers the lightest weight per quart in terms of cast iron cookware as a whole.
This goes a long way to ensure that it is easy to use and great at what it does. This crockpot also offers up stellar heat retention and distribution as well as an advanced resistance to wear. The accompanying lid is quite heavy and tight-fitting and this makes for an even better cook on whatever condiments are placed within. All in all, this is undoubtedly one of the best out there.
Made of enameled cast iron
Chip and crack-resistant
Fitted with oversized handles
Has built-in lid stabilizers
- BrandLe Creuset
- Model LS2501-2667
- Weight 12.7 pounds
Best Dutch Oven Buying Guide & FAQ
By now it should be obvious that Dutch ovens open up a new world of cooking methods and flavors. It should equally be obvious that there are different models and types out there. The decision to get you one of these is a much-layered one and as such should not be random. Like it is with most processes, there’s a method to this madness and once you have it figured out you are well on your way to getting yourself a great Dutch oven pot. In that vein, here is some much-needed information to streamline the process.
What is a Dutch Oven?
In a nutshell, it is one of the sturdiest pots out there. Typically, they are quite heavy, thick and equipped with a tight-fitting lid. These are not just regular pots; most of them can be used for a range of functions. Everything from slow cooking to braising and even braising is on the table with this handy cookware.
Things To Consider Before Buying a Dutch Oven
When it comes to items like this size really does matter. Take into consideration the amount of food that will be cooked in it and that should help you narrow down the size. Once that is out of the way, also consider the fact that you may pop it in the oven from time to time. Be sure that you get a size that will fit perfectly on the rack. It’s not just in terms of height, but also the width. If your oven is a bit on the smaller side, then approach this purchase with much-needed caution.
When it comes to traditional cookware, the handles don't make much of a difference. That is not the case when it comes to Dutch ovens. The handles need to be sturdier because of the build of these kinds of pots. They equally need to be quite large so that users can get a firm grip with oven mitts. For the best results, check if you're able to fit all your fingers in the loop of the handle. Even the handle on the lid needs to be large and sturdy.
At first glance, a Dutch oven is just that, a Dutch oven. But there are differences here and there when it comes to the shape. Some may be a bit more on the tall and narrow side, while others are the complete opposite. Just keep in mind that a shallow and wide pot has more space within. Though it will be able to hold more food, think about the big base and whether it will fit well on your stovetop. In that case, go for the tall and narrow.
- Interior Color
Now, this may be about personal preference, but there's also a practical reason for this. When it comes to enamel cast Dutch ovens, there are light and dark interiors. A lighter interior enables users to keep an eye on browning. On the other hand, it makes it easier to see stains and signs of deterioration. So, a darker interior looks better over time.
Types of Dutch Ovens
- Cast Iron Dutch Oven
This type of Dutch oven often comes pre-seasoned from the factory. Some are not, but one sure thing is the fact that they are as sturdy and durable as they come. They are easy to maintain and increasingly versatile. Even better is the fact that some models come with legs in case the user intends to cook with it over an open fire. This makes it a lot easier to manipulate the coals underneath.
- Enamel Coated Dutch Oven
If heat retention and distribution is a big deal, then this is the option to go for. It is also the most aesthetically pleasing of the bunch. This is a great option for anyone easing into cooking with a Dutch oven. This option is fitted with knobs and handles that are great when it comes to temperature regulation. So, you're less likely to get burnt with this type of Dutch oven pot as opposed to a cast-iron option.
- Aluminum Dutch Oven
More modern versions of this sturdy cookware are made of anodized aluminum and further equipped with non-stick coating. This makes them incredibly easy to clean, both by hand and in the dishwasher. Note that these also happen to be lighter than the other two options and are usually accompanied by transparent lids further equipped with heat-resistant handles. You can also opt for a stainless steel dutch oven or a ceramic dutch oven.
Best Dutch Oven FAQ:
Q: Why do I need a Dutch oven pot in my kitchen arsenal?
A: As aforementioned, this is a versatile piece of cooking equipment. Not only can it be used on the stovetop, but it is also suitable for oven and open fire use. Even better is the fact that it steams, slow cooks, braise and bakes perfectly. The possibilities are truly endless.
Q: What size Dutch oven should I buy?
A: There are large Dutch ovens and really small ones too, so at times it is quite a hassle to find the right one. As much as this is contingent on what you plan to use it for, there is an optimum size that should allow users to hang between the balance. It is advisable to get something that is at least 6-quartz, this way you can really enjoy all it has to offer in terms of slow-cooking and baking.
Q: What should I know about cast iron Dutch oven care?
A: Be sure to occasionally coat the insides with vegetable oil in order to season it. But before this use a paper towel to wipe away any debris or remnants. This should only be done if it is not all that dirty. If it is, employ the use of warm water, mild soap, and a sponge. Some of these are equally dishwasher safe, simply rinse them out and put them in the wash.
Q: Does a Dutch oven need to be seasoned?
A: Yes, it is much-needed; this is because without seasoning it is more susceptible to rust. It is equally harder to clean it up after cooking. The worst part of it all is the fact that it will have an adverse effect on the taste of any food cooked within.
Our Top Pick
This Lodge Dutch oven truly lives up to the expectations set by the brand as a whole. There is really no going wrong with it. This perfect blend of porcelain enamel and cast iron is just what the doctor ordered for all your cooking needs. Not only does it produce incredibly tasty meals, but it is also fitted with a number of highly functional parts. To top it all off, heat retention and distribution is on point. Also, its versatility is unparalleled to any other product out there. Altogether, it is a highly viable choice.