From your favorite slow-cooked recipes, braised meats, one-pot meals, soups and stews, these dutch ovens are the best iron-cast pots to cook them in.
The best part? Aside from being able to cook with the same cast-iron pot over and over again - for the rest of your life - you will likely be able to pass it on to multiple generations of home cooks after you. This is why my goal is to help you get the best dutch oven you can get at the best price possible.
With the detailed Dutch Oven Review below, you will know exactly what to look for when choosing "the Dutchess" that is right for you.
Cast Iron Dutch Oven Reviews
We have narrowed down the best five Dutch ovens sold in the market. Comparisons are based on even heat distribution, heat retention, special features, durability, versatility and style.
Best Cast Iron Cookware Comparison Chart
|Le Creuset Signature Enameled Dutch Oven
|Staub Round Cocotte
|Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
|Tramontina Covered Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
|Uno Casa Enameled Dutch Oven
|Marquette Castings Dutch Oven
*Ratings are our own /5 (out of five) rating
Here is a more in-depth breakdown of each of the five Dutch ovens listed above.
Top Dutch Ovens Reviewed in Detail:
Le Creuset Cast Iron Dutch Oven Review
"You get what you pay for" certainly holds true when it comes to dutch ovens. Although Le Creuset cast iron cookware sits at the top end of the price range, their dutch ovens also outshine with many quality features.
The Le Creuset 7.25 Qt Dutch oven stands out with superior heat distribution and retention, 45% larger handles that provide a sure grip, especially with oven mitts. They also have an advanced sand-colored interior enamel with even more resistance to wear. For this reason, they often get passed down generation after generation.
Furthermore, the tight-fitting lid features a larger composite knob that withstands temperatures up to 500ºF, and the long-lasting exterior enamel resists chipping and cracking more than any other Dutch oven brand. The fun color options include cherry, caribbean, indigo, palm, soleil, flame and hibiscus.
Staub Dutch Oven Review - Round Cocotte
Staub cast iron Dutch ovens are called Cocottes. Several features set Staub apart as a top rated Dutch oven brand.
They are made in France and come with standard issue stainless-steel knobs, which have to be ordered separately with other brands. The interior black matte enamel finish is non-stick surface, more resistant to scratches and chips, and most distinguishingly, it won't discolor!
The lid's underside features spikes that have a self-basting effect, as the evaporating cooking juices will drip back and evenly distribute during the cooking process. So whether you're cooking chicken thighs, beef stews, or baking a bread loaf, there is comfort in knowing that this piece of cookware sees to it that your dish is cooked evenly.
Finally, the even bottom makes the Staub enameled cast iron dutch oven suitable for any cooking surface, be it on open fire, gas burner, or induction cooktops.
Uno Casa Dutch Oven Review
Uno Casa Enameled Dutch ovens are a top pick for broiling, braising, baking, and roasting. The inside is coated with a black enamel that over time creates a natural non-stick surface.
The exterior is in an elegant red color with darker shading towards the bottom of the pot and the outside rim of the lid. The inside of the lid has small bumps that were added with the purpose if creating a rainfall effect inside the pot. It ensures that any evaporating steam moisture gets caught and condenses; essentially basting your food continuously.
Their enameled cast iron Dutch oven gets shipped with a silicone mat and handle covers.
The Uno Casa Dutch oven is currently listed at a $65.95 price tag on their website with free US shipping. Furthermore, I was able to arrange a special 10% discount for my readers. So be sure to enter code LEELA10 at checkout!
Lodge Dutch Oven Reviews
Lodge cast iron Dutch ovens feature two coats of chip-resistant porcelain-enamel finish; cream-coloured on the interior and the exterior in colourful choices including Island Spice Red, Caribbean Blue, Emerald Green, Lagoon, Pumpkin and Purple.
Lodge enamel Dutch ovens are very affordable - in comparison, retain heat superbly, and perform many cooking tasks extremely well. However, after reading many Lodge enamel Dutch oven reviews it appears that the interior enamel may not be as durable as in higher priced competitors. This 6 quart round dutch oven may not become a family heirloom - but at this price point your successors can easily afford their own Dutch oven, hah!
Further, although hand-washing is recommended, Lodge enameled cast iron dutch ovens are dishwasher safe and come with a lifetime warranty.
Tramontina Dutch Oven Reviews
If you are looking for a very affordable Dutch oven, Tramontina enameled cast iron cookware is your way to go.
From reading many enameled cast iron reviews it seems a Tramontina cast iron Dutch oven may not be as heat resistant (oven safe only up to 450°F) or durable, as its 5-10 times more expensive counterparts, but it is a great option to get your hands on a cheap Dutch oven even with the smallest budget.
Especially, if you just want to try out Dutch oven cooking for the first time, or only want to try out that fantastic crusty, no-knead bread recipe.
Marquette Castings Dutch Oven Review
Marquette Castings is a new name in the Dutch oven and cast iron cookware market.
After the start-up's successful crowdfunding campaign, Marquette Dutch Ovens are now being sold on Amazon at prices that won't break the bank, while also receiving excellent reviews across the board.
It sounds like the makers really did their research in order to manufacture a better product with the Investment casting technique. No wonder they are already favored by top chefs and featured among the top Dutch ovens.
Their beautiful Dutch ovens come in Iron Red, Matte White, Superior Blue, Petoskey Grey, and Shipwreck Navy. I love the gorgeous metal handle in the shape of their logo. And last, but certainly not least, Marquette Castings offers a Lifetime Warranty!
When considering both price and quality, in terms of value Marquette Castings truly seem to be making the best cast iron dutch ovens.
Truth About Dutch Ovens
Some people are hesitant about cast-iron dutch ovens because they’re large and heavy - even when empty. They can also be a bit of an upfront investment. But here's the thing: they are worth every penny. At least the ones listed on this page.
So, if you love gatherings and celebrations where food is involved, or if you simply love to cook and serve your family and friends home cooked meals, it is high time for you to get a one of these best enameled cast iron dutch ovens. With all the great options available to you, why wouldn't you?
Best Dutch Oven Recipes
There are many delicious cast iron dutch oven recipes. Here are some of our favorite things to make using a Dutch oven:
- Roast a chicken! Dutch ovens cooking lock in moisture and evenly roast a whole bird nice and tender without drying out any of the parts.
- Have you heard of “no knead” bread? No knead bread is easy and delicious and it bakes up perfectly crusty in a Dutch oven. Try it at home or for a baked treat while camping.
- Pop some popcorn! That's right, it can replace or even eliminate the need for a popcorn popper. All you need is oil and popcorn kernels in your versatile Dutch oven, and snacks for movie night is solved.
- Poach salmon or chicken breast in your Dutch oven. Try this One Pot Poached Salmon recipe.
- Going camping? Make delicious Campfire Chili in a Dutch Oven recipe. Along with Campfire Popcorn.
What is a Dutch oven?
In case you've read this far and still have no idea what a Dutch oven is, here is a quick break down for you: It's a heavy, thick-walled cooking pot with a tightly fitting lid. It is good for braising, excellent for cooking soup, fantastic for slow-cooking a stew or sauce, and can also be used as a grill pan. It is usually made of cast iron and needs to be seasoned before using.
Cast iron dutch ovens can withstand extremely high heat and can be used for deep-frying. Even though they are nearly indestructible, some special care is required. If not taken care of properly, cast iron can rust.
Enameled cast iron dutch ovens are easier to clean, but the white or cream coloured enamel on the inside can become discoloured with use. Once stained, it’s nearly impossible to return to its original condition.
Another great thing about a cast iron enamel dutch oven is that it retains heat longer than cooking vessels made from other materials. This makes it ideal for braising meat.
Having a heavy lid means you do not lose liquid to evaporation and the steam generated inside the pot remains to keep food moist and succulent.
Because they are heavy, especially when full, and can become extremely hot to the touch, safety is an important issue when using a Dutch oven. Always use high-quality oven mitts/pads and ask for help moving the oven if needed.
There are camping dutch ovens that are rugged and ideal for outdoor cooking. Some are made with legs to raise them above the embers of your campfire or steel handles so you can hang them above the fire.
Uses and Benefits of Enameled Cast Iron Cookware
An enameled cast iron pot can be used either on the stovetop or in the oven. Cast iron has been used as to make cooking vessels for hundreds of years.
They hold heat for a very long time, giving assurance that the food you are preparing will cook at an even temperature.
Dutch ovens have high sides, making them useful for preparing soups, stews and large cuts of meat. Stews work wonderfully in a Dutch oven as you can start by searing the meat on the stovetop and finish them either in the oven or stove top without having to change pans.
An enamel dutch oven is naturally non-stick. This non-stick feature is much longer lasting than most other teflon or otherwise coated cookware. Those will often start flaking after a relatively short while and there opinions of the negative health impacts of ingested non-stick coating.
So in short, cooking with a dutch oven is actually healthy!
Frequently Asked Questions
The size of the Dutch oven you choose depends on your cooking needs and the number of people you usually cook for. A 5-6 quart Dutch oven is a versatile size that can accommodate most recipes and feed a small family. If you often cook for larger groups or like to make big batches of soups or stews, a 7-8 quart Dutch oven may be more suitable.
Yes, most Dutch ovens, especially those made of enameled cast iron, are suitable for use on various stovetops, including gas, electric, ceramic, and induction cooktops. However, it's important to check the manufacturer's specifications to ensure compatibility with your specific stovetop.
Unlike bare cast iron cookware, enameled cast iron Dutch ovens do not require seasoning. The enamel coating provides a protective layer, eliminating the need for seasoning. Simply wash the Dutch oven with mild soap and water before using it for the first time.
Yes, Dutch ovens are oven-safe and can withstand high temperatures. Most Dutch ovens can be used in the oven up to 500°F (260°C), but it's essential to refer to the manufacturer's guidelines for specific temperature limits.
Enameled cast iron Dutch ovens are generally easy to clean. Allow the Dutch oven to cool before washing it with warm, soapy water. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or metal utensils that can scratch the enamel surface. For stubborn stains, you can soak the Dutch oven in a mixture of water and baking soda before scrubbing gently with a non-abrasive sponge or brush.
Yes, cast iron Dutch ovens are excellent for deep-frying due to their ability to maintain and distribute heat evenly. However, ensure that the Dutch oven is filled with an appropriate amount of oil, leaving enough space for the food to expand while frying. Always exercise caution when deep-frying and follow safety guidelines.
Yes, there are specifically designed camping Dutch ovens available with features like legs or steel handles for outdoor cooking. These Dutch ovens are rugged and can be used over a campfire or charcoal. They are great for preparing meals while camping or enjoying outdoor activities.
Yes, Dutch ovens can be used on grills, both charcoal and gas. They are versatile cooking vessels that can handle different heat sources. When using a Dutch oven on a grill, ensure proper heat distribution and control to prevent uneven cooking or burning.
Yes, when using a Dutch oven, especially when it's hot and heavy, take the following safety precautions:
- Always use high-quality oven mitts or pads to protect your hands from heat.
- Be cautious while lifting or moving the Dutch oven, as it can be heavy, especially when full.
- Avoid placing a hot Dutch oven directly on a countertop or other surfaces that.
Le Creuset Dutch ovens are considered top-tier due to their exceptional quality and features. They excel in several aspects:
- Superior Heat Distribution and Retention: Le Creuset Dutch ovens distribute heat evenly, preventing hot spots and ensuring consistent cooking results.
- Large Handles: With 45% larger handles, Le Creuset provides a secure grip, even when wearing oven mitts.
- Durable Construction: These Dutch ovens are built to last for generations. The advanced sand-colored interior enamel is highly resistant to wear, and the exterior enamel resists chipping and cracking.
- High-Temperature Resistance: The knob on the lid can withstand temperatures up to 500ºF, allowing versatile cooking options.
- Variety of Colors: Le Creuset offers a range of attractive color options, allowing you to choose a Dutch oven that matches your kitchen decor.
- Passing Down Tradition: Le Creuset Dutch ovens are often passed down through generations of home cooks, making them a long-lasting investment.
Several brands manufacture excellent enameled cast iron Dutch ovens, and the "best" one depends on your specific preferences and needs. Some top-rated brands known for their quality include Le Creuset, Staub, Lodge, Tramontina, Uno Casa, and Marquette Castings. Each brand offers unique features, so it's essential to consider factors like price, size, and special features when choosing the best Dutch oven for your cooking style.
Dutch ovens are incredibly versatile and suitable for various cooking methods and dishes, making them a kitchen essential. They excel at:
- Braising: Dutch ovens are perfect for slow-cooking meats and vegetables in flavorful liquids, resulting in tender, succulent dishes.
- Soups and Stews: They are ideal for preparing hearty soups, stews, and chili, as their even heat distribution ensures even cooking.
- Roasting: Dutch ovens can roast poultry, whole chickens, and even bread with a perfectly crispy crust.
- One-Pot Meals: You can create one-pot wonders, such as casseroles, risottos, and pasta dishes, in a Dutch oven.
- Deep-Frying: Due to their ability to maintain and distribute heat evenly, Dutch ovens are excellent for deep-frying.
- Baking: They are great for baking bread, cobblers, and desserts, thanks to their heat retention properties.
- Versatile Cooking: Dutch ovens can be used on various stovetops, ovens, grills, and even for outdoor cooking while camping.
Le Creuset is often considered one of the most luxurious and fancy brands of Dutch ovens. Their Dutch ovens are known for their exquisite design, vibrant colors, and exceptional craftsmanship. Le Creuset is a premium brand that combines style and functionality, making it a favorite among home cooks and professional chefs. While it comes with a higher price tag, many consider it worth the investment due to its outstanding quality and longevity.