The Dutch oven is a cast-iron cooking pot with a heavy lid and a long handle. It has been around for centuries, but it’s popularity reached its peak in the 1800s when it became the preferred method of baking bread.
The dutch oven costco is a Dutch oven that is made by the company of the same name. It has been around for decades and was originally designed in France.
The traditional Dutch oven may be the ultimate multitasker in the kitchen. This versatile equipment can handle a wide variety of culinary tasks on the stovetop, in the oven, or even over a campfire, from preparing rice to simmering sauces and stews, baking bread, and braising meat.
With so many choices, we set out to see which ones were the best, putting 13 highly rated and best-selling models through a battery of tests. While the pans all performed similarly when it came to cooking, we focused on details that matter in everyday use, such as handles, lids, weight, and heat distribution, to come up with our final picks: one that’s perfect for a budget-conscious buyer, one that’s sure to be a treasured heirloom to pass down for generations, and another that’s perfect for the great outdoors.
Overall, the best Dutch oven
The Lodge 6-quart enameled cast iron Dutch oven looks excellent and performed well in all of our tests, outperforming most of its more costly rivals. Large handles and a spatula-friendly design make switching from oven to cooktop a pleasure, and the finish is easy to clean.
The best extravagance is a Dutch oven.
For almost a century, Le Creuset’s distinctive multicolored dutch oven has been a go-to. While it is much more costly than the majority of the models we examined, its excellent heat distribution, ease of use, high performance, and longevity make it an heirloom item that you will pass down to your children.
Camping’s best Dutch oven
The Camp Chef deluxe dutch oven did a fantastic job cooking campfire classics like chili and cornbread, and the lid serves as a griddle for added flexibility. Even when buried with hot coals, the bail handle, lid lifter, and thermometer notch make it simple to handle.
Lodge Dutch Oven, Enameled Cast Iron
We knew there was something unique about Lodge’s enameled Dutch oven right out of the box. The ombre blue color was just lovely, and the glossy, flawless surface had no faults. Plus, the 6-quart capacity seemed to be ideal for a variety of chores, including boiling water for pasta or corn on the cob, slow-cooking braises and stews, and even baking a simple no-knead loaf for a fresh, hot, and crispy loaf at dinnertime.
When we compared its features to those of the other pans we examined, Lodge’s enameled version consistently came out on top. We liked the big handles and the large metal knob on the lid, both of which make holding a hefty pan simpler — particularly when wearing oven gloves or using a kitchen towel, which is required since these pans get hot, handles and all.
True, the Le Creuset won top ratings for comfort, but the Lodge was a close second at less than a sixth the price of that high-end model. The Lodge was in the center of the pack in terms of weight, but it was easier to operate than most lighter versions. Its gently slanted sides made it easy to scrape up anything around the borders using a spatula.
In terms of performance, there wasn’t much of a difference between the several Dutch ovens we tried. Although the grains clung to the edges of most pans, they all produced light, fluffy rice with no scorching. There was some sticking from the Lodge, but not a lot. The Lodge came in third quickest when we tested how soon each pan could raise water to a rolling boil. It delivered a delicious braised pork shoulder that had been slow-cooked for more than three hours. Our no-knead boule bread loaf came out crispy and golden, with just a little more color on the bottom than the Le Creuset, as it did with all the pans tested.
After a quick soaking in sudsy water to clean it after each round of testing, the Lodge, which comes in over a dozen colors, appeared as good as new, with no apparent stains, chips, or cracks. (All models are dishwasher safe, but we opted to hand-wash them.) This was comparable to the other enameled Dutch ovens we examined, which were all easier to clean than the preseasoned cast-iron models.
Now, if you go through the pan’s 26,000 Amazon reviews (which we did), you’ll see several concerns from customers who discovered chips in the enamel both when they unboxed it and when they used it. We’re not worried, however, since 87 percent of the reviews are five stars, and the business provides a lifetime warranty. It’s also reassuring to know that Lodge has been making cookware in the United States since 1896. The Le Creuset, our splurge selection, is a more well-known top-of-the-market Dutch oven, but the Lodge’s comparable performance and price make it a great choice for the typical home chef.
Round Dutch Oven by Le Creuset
While we suggest the Lodge Enameled Dutch Oven to individuals on a budget or who aren’t interested in passing down cookware to their children, the original Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven is undeniably remarkable.
This gorgeous, sturdy piece of cookware is designed to endure and aced all of the tests we threw at it, whether you’re a veteran Dutch oven user looking for an heirloom-quality upgrade or simply want to splurge. To begin with, it quickly brought water to a boil, and although all of the recipes we tried came out good, Le Creuset’s outcomes were always just a little bit better. When we tested different areas of the Dutch oven with an infrared thermometer, we found that all of the pans produced fluffy, light rice, but while the others left at least some of the grains sticking to the pan and had variances in heat distribution, Le Creuset left no trace of rice behind and displayed perfect heat distribution.
So, what makes it so expensive at $370? The majority of the time, the devil is in the details. The enameled cast-iron pot, designed by French craftsmen and manufactured by a firm that has been in business since 1925, has outstanding heat retention and distribution and, due to its tight-fitting cover, seals in moisture. This model received the best ratings for its broad and spacious handles, as well as the comfort of the lid’s knob, which is big enough and positioned high enough that grasping the lid while wearing oven gloves was difficult. It was the third lightest roast, weighing 11.5 pounds, which makes a big difference when lifting a hefty — and boiling hot — roast out of the oven.
The famous Le Creuset Dutch oven comes in capacities ranging from 1- to 13 1/4 quarts, but the 5.5-quart model we tested is one of the brand’s most popular. It’s also dishwasher safe, like are many enameled versions, and it came out looking brand new even after cooking red sauce and a multi-hour slow-cook braise (we chose to hand-wash it). Of course, any enameled pan may crack or flake, but we’ve had a Le Creuset model identical to this one for 15 years and it hasn’t. In the event of any damage, a lifetime guarantee is available.
Still not ready to part with your cash? Because of its extended lifespan, secondhand Le Creuset Dutch ovens may be found at estate or garage sales, and if you’re fortunate enough to find one, we highly advise you to buy one. Trust us when we say that your children, and perhaps their children, will thank you for it someday.
6-Quart Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven by Camp Chef
Camp cooking doesn’t have to be limited to canned baked beans and roasted hot dogs on a stick. Over a fire or hot coals, a cast-iron Dutch oven may be used to cook anything from glazed pork chops to peach cobbler. We were blown away by how nicely this 6-quart preseasoned version baked corn bread, leaving it gorgeously golden on top and lifting a slice out of the pan clean.
We put our favorite chili recipe to the test in the Camp Chef, becoming more hungry as the onions, garlic, peppers, ground beef, and spices started to brown before being slow-cooked over hot coals with beans and chopped tomatoes. We were ready to taste the substantial chili that had been evenly cooked and full of flavor after a couple of hours.
We praised this model for its unique features in addition to its performance. You can check the temperature without having to raise the coal-covered lid thanks to a built-in thermometer notch. The heat is managed with the assistance of tripod feet. The pan’s metal bail handle remained securely in place and never became too hot to handle. It includes a convenient lid lifter, which eliminates the need to buy the item separately. The lid is maybe the greatest feature: it has tiny tripod feet on top, enabling you to turn it over and use it as a griddle or skillet for breakfast pancakes, bacon, and eggs.
It also cleaned up well, but it was obvious that another layer of seasoning would be required before it could be used again. A few minor quibbles: The Camp Chef is the only model we tested that does not come with a lifetime guarantee and takes some strength to move around. It weighs approximately 19 pounds and is the only model we tested that does not come with a lifetime warranty. But at $62, is it worth it? That’s OK with us.
While some cast-iron pans were included, the bulk of the Dutch ovens we evaluated were enameled cast iron, which has a smooth, light-colored surface that is virtually nonstick, stain-free, and doesn’t retain smells or tastes. Meanwhile, we discovered that cast-iron pans work great for slow-cooking meat or stews, but are less flexible when it comes to creating, example, a long-simmering red sauce, since they may impart a sour metallic flavor to your meal. (This is considered a myth by some, but we discovered it after preparing a basic red sauce that took 30 minutes to simmer.)
Acidic meals don’t alter the taste of an enameled dutch oven, and it’s simple to clean.
Although oval Dutch ovens are available, we examined mainly round variants and generally 5- to 7-quart units, with one camp version measuring 9 quarts. These portions are ideal for feeding a four-person household (or leaving you with plenty of leftovers).
In terms of cleaning Dutch ovens, after a quick soak in soapy water, all of the enameled pans, no matter how coated in red sauce or browned braising residue, came clean wonderfully. We decided to hand-wash them despite the fact that almost all of them are dishwasher safe.
With only a drop or two of detergent and some scrubbing, the preseasoned cast-iron models also cleaned up beautifully. There’s no need to over-season cast iron; it’s easy to maintain and recover seasoning. We’ve compiled a list of helpful hints for caring for cast-iron cookware.
Cast-iron cookware is designed to last a lifetime. It is very tough to ruin an enamel finish, and it takes a lot of effort to do it. If you’re still concerned, remember that all but one of the Dutch ovens we evaluated come with a lifetime warranty.
Dutch ovens from Lodge, Camp Chef, and Le Creuset
Both enameled and preseasoned cast-iron Dutch ovens were included in our test group. While all of the models performed well in our recipe testing, which included cooking rice, a basic red sauce, braising a pork shoulder, and baking a crusty boule, factors like as weight, comfort, and heat distribution resulted in certain models receiving better scores than others. We put 10 Dutch ovens to the test, with sizes ranging from 5 to 7 quarts and prices ranging from less than $50 to $370. We also put three cast-iron camping versions to the test, all of which were preseasoned and had metal bail handles. We evaluated how fast water came to a rapid boil, heat distribution, handle and lid design and comfort, quality of construction, and ease of cleaning, in addition to the recipes.
When evaluating each model, we focused on the following criteria:
- Even heat distribution: While Dutch ovens are renowned for retaining their heat, they do not always heat evenly. We utilized an infrared thermometer pistol to measure heat in all regions of the pan after boiling water and cooking rice to determine which pans performed a better job.
- Time to bring water to a fast boil: We timed how long it took 4 cups of water in each pan to achieve a rapid boil using a stopwatch app.
- Rice: We cooked the same quantity of rice for the same length of time at the same temperature, paying attention to heat distribution, fluffiness, and whether it adhered to the pan.
- Simple red sauce: To create a simple red sauce, we used the same method, as well as the same heat and cook time, sautéing onions and garlic in oil, then adding tomato sauce and paste, spices, and other ingredients, paying attention to any splashing or burning, as well as how smoothly it cooked.
- We documented how well the pork braised in each pan using the same recipe, temperature, and time, paying particular attention to the softness of the carrots, the caramelization of the onions, and how well the meat came off the bone.
- Boule bread: We baked a round boule in each pan using the same recipe, temperature, and time, noting how uniformly each loaf browned, the crispness of the shell and airiness of the interior, and how evenly each loaf cooked.
Construct and design
- How much does it weigh, and does it seem to be excessively heavy or light?
- What is the pan’s diameter? How many inches wide is it?
- Side depth: We measured the depth of each pan as well as whether the sides were sloping or vertical. (Shallower sides are easier to sauté on, but they may result in a lot of splashing outside the pot.)
- Handles: How comfortable and ergonomic were the handles? With a big oven mitt or kitchen towel, were they simple to grab? Were they rated for baking at high temperatures in the oven?
- Lid: What was the weight of it? Was it a snug fit in the pan? What was the material used for the lid handle, and was it pleasant to hold?
- Materials of high quality: Was the surface of the object smooth? Were there any scratches, voids, or casting marks?
- What were the characteristics of the camp models? Was it simple to open the lid? What unique characteristics did it include?
- Ease of cleanup: While most of the pans we tested were dishwasher-safe, we opted to hand-wash them instead, as is often advised. Was there any stains and how much elbow grease did it take to remove the food?
- Is it true that the cast-iron models were preseasoned? How simple was it to reseason those skillets?
- Is there a warranty on this product? If so, how long will it take?
- Service to customers: Is it simple to get in touch with the business if you have any questions or concerns?
Cuisinart Chef’s Classic 7-Quart Enameled Cast-Iron Dutch Oven ($129.01; amazon.com) Cuisinart Chef’s Classic 7-Quart Enameled Cast-Iron Dutch Oven
Cuisinart’s 7-quart Dutch oven is a fantastic choice if you have a big family or like cooking for a crowd. It’s constructed of durable enameled cast iron and comes in a variety of colors. Although it’s fairly heavy at nearly 18 pounds, we liked the broad, easy-to-grip knob on the lid, but we wished the handles on the pan were a little bigger to better fit our bulky oven mitts. This model made our top five in terms of cooking, with a soft pork shoulder, a beautiful crisp, largely even boule crust, and minimal sauce spilling — due, we’re sure, to the pan’s extra-large capacity.
6.5-Quart Enameled Dutch Oven by Tramontina ($69.95; amazon.com)
The gradated blue color and glossy porcelain enamel surface; the not-too-heavy lid, well-balanced with its easy-to-hold stainless steel knob; and the large 6.5-quart capacity were all things we appreciated about this pan. Our thermometer indicated exactly equal heat distribution, and the rice adhered around the edges but came out lovely and fluffy. It also did a fantastic job with the sauce and meat. Meanwhile, the boule was golden on top but much darker on the bottom. The Tramontina’s height, which was the highest of all the Dutch ovens we evaluated, was a problem for us, and we had to adjust our oven racks to make room for it.
Misen 7-Quart Dutch Oven With Grill Lid ($165; misen.com) Misen 7-Quart Dutch Oven With Grill Lid
Misen’s Dutch oven, which debuted earlier this year following a successful Kickstarter campaign, comes with a cover that doubles as a grill pan, making it an appealing option for those wanting to save space and money (it also comes with a handy silicone splatter lid). It placed in our top five models, generating consistent heat and a superb braise, for roughly half the price of Le Creuset’s version. The fluffy rice stuck to the sides, and the boule was darker on the bottom than it was on top, while being crisp and golden on top. The crimson sauce, on the other hand, was a hit, with no splashing or clumping. It’s on the hefty side, weighing about 18 pounds with a 7-quart capacity, but it has broader handles than most of the versions, which we appreciate. The grill pan cover, on the other hand, proved to be much more of a hassle than a smart 2-in-1. It was difficult to lift the lid since there was no knob, particularly when it was in the oven and we wanted to check on our braise.
Kana Milo Classic 5.5-Quart Dutch Oven ($135; kanalifestyle.com) is a 5.5-quart Dutch oven from Kana.
You’ll be attracted to Kana’s Milo Dutch oven if you like elegant, French style. We discovered lots of pluses when trying it, which comes in pristine white, emerald, navy, and black. Aside from the looks, it was the lightest pan we tested, weighing only at 10.5 pounds, which is helpful when attempting to lift a big hog shoulder from the oven. It also placed fourth in our water-to-boil time test and was among our top five testing models for rice, braising, sauce, and bread. We hoped the tiny, detachable stainless steel knob was easier to grip with an oven mitt, and the handles had a bit more space. However, as a whole, this is a good Dutch oven pan.
6-Quart Dutch Oven by Marquette Castings ($89.95; amazon.com)
Most of our testing revealed that Marquette’s Dutch oven worked admirably: it was second quickest to bring water to a boil, the bread was beautiful and uniformly brown, and the braised beef was succulent. The rice clung to the edges, and the sauce splattered a bit, but not excessively. It also has a tight-fitting lid and broad loop handles for comfort. We were thrown off by the lid’s knob. We found it sharp and unpleasant to handle barehanded and tricky to grasp with an oven mitt. It’s made of stainless steel and fashioned like the company’s emblem.
Amazon.com: Staub 5.5-Quart Cast-Iron Dutch Oven ($302, originally $464).
The Staub is a gorgeous, traditional Dutch oven made in France that scored well in our recipe testing. It came in fifth place for weight and water-to-boil time, and it has an intriguing black matte enamel inside and a distinctive spiky top that sends moisture back into the pan to prevent your food from drying out during braising. We hoped the heat-resistant nickel knob was bigger, as it seemed to be on the tiny side, and that the handles were broader, as raising it would have been easier. But, with this heirloom-quality item, would we be pleased to serve a dish to dinner guests? Yes, absolutely.
Finex 5-Quart Cast-Iron Dutch Oven (Amazon.com; $279.95)
If aesthetics are important to you when it comes to home shopping, you should look into Finex’s Dutch oven. The 5-quart Dutch oven, like its cast-iron skillet cousin, has a beautiful and distinctive octagonal form with eight built-in pour-spout choices and stainless steel spring handles. Yes, you’ll be delighted to leave this one out on the stovetop. It also works wonderfully. It came in second place in our rice test, with no grains adhering to the pan, an excellent braise and boule, and a comfortable lid knob. It’s ready to use right out of the box, made of preseasoned cast iron, however it didn’t work well with our red sauce (cast iron can give off an acidic taste, and our sauce tasted like someone had added a bag full of pennies). It’s also very large, weighing in about 16 pounds. With our oven mitts on, the coil handles were also a little difficult to grip. So, it’s not a winner, but if you’re ready to spend a little more for a distinctive design and don’t plan on cooking a lot of acidic dishes with it, it might be a good fit.
Lodge Seasoned 5-Quart Cast-Iron Dutch Oven ($42.59; amazon.com) Lodge Seasoned 5-Quart Cast-Iron Dutch Oven ($42.59; amazon.com)
This model, the cheapest of our test group, performed well when it came to cooking rice, baking bread, and braising our pork shoulder. Despite being the smallest Dutch oven we tested, it took the longest to boil, and its loop handle proved difficult to grasp onto while wearing an oven glove or using a folded-over towel. And, like the Finex, it imparted a metallic flavor to our red sauce, forcing us to discard it.
Lodge 9-Quart Bail Handle Cast-Iron Dutch Oven ($99.90; amazon.com) Lodge 9-Quart Bail Handle Cast-Iron Dutch Oven
Do you often serve as the lead chef on camping trips? Consider including this extra-sized workhorse in your kit if there will be a large gathering. It’s made of preseasoned cast iron and may be used in the oven, on the stove, on the grill, or over a campfire. It also includes a bail handle for easy maneuvering while cooking. We tried it over coals and found that it evenly cooked our chili and produced excellent corn bread, albeit the bottom was a little darker than we’d prefer (but no one on a camping trip would complain). It was the biggest Dutch oven we examined, at 9 quarts, and, predictably, the heaviest, at 19.57 pounds. So, if you’re feeding a small group, what should you do? A lighter choice is recommended. But what if you’re hosting a family gathering? This is very beneficial.
Lodge Camp Dutch Oven, 4-Quart Cast-Iron ($54.90; amazon.com)
With this 4-quart camp-friendly Dutch oven, cooking over charcoal is a lot of fun. It comes with tripod legs and a bail handle in case you want to hang it over your fire. It is preseasoned and ready to use right out of the box. We loved how the flanged lid’s deep rim made it simple to stack coals on top and how light it was – at just under 12 pounds, it was one of the lightest versions we examined. Both the corn bread and the chili came out well. Overall, it’s a wonderful thing to put in the trunk the next time you go vehicle camping, but the Camp Chef won out because of its additional features.
More from CNN Underscored’s hands-on testing may be found here:
The lodge cast iron dutch oven is the best Dutch ovens in 2021. It is a classic and versatile piece of cookware that can be used for many different cooking methods.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best kind of Dutch oven?
The best kind of Dutch oven is a Dutch oven with a lid.
What are the top 5 Dutch ovens?
The top 5 Dutch ovens are as follows: 1. Camp Chef Dutch Oven 2. Crock-Pot Dutch Oven 3. Cuisinart Dutch Oven 4. Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven 5. Le Creuset French Oven
What are the top 10 Dutch ovens?
There are no top 10 Dutch ovens.
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