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The 9 Best Dutch Ovens for everyday use

The Dutch oven is an indispensable piece of cookware in any kitchen because it’s so versatile.

This pot can be used for almost anything—from sauteing vegetables to baking bread to simmering stews.

Dutch ovens hold a large amount of heat extremely well. They are ideal for low, slow cooking. They also create the perfect internal environment for baking some of the best artisan-style bread.

A good Dutch oven can last several years and can be used to cook a wide variety of dishes. Here are some tips on choosing one that meets your needs and won’t break your budget.

We tested Dutch ovens with the goal of identifying what makes a great Dutch oven. We looked for heat distribution and retention, durability, and usability, among other attributes. Here are our top picks.

  1. Lodge 6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

What We Like:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use and care for
  • Retains heat well

What We Don’t Like:

  • Heavy
  • Rounded bottom translates to a smaller cooking surface

This Dutch oven is available in a variety of exterior colors, with a cream-colored interior for excellent visibility.

Handwashing would be more effective, but you can wash dishes in a dishwasher.

The pot is oven-safe to 500 degrees and can be used on any cooktop including gas, electric, or induction. It shouldn’t be used on outdoor grills or over campfires.

The enameled cast-iron base and tight-fitting lid of this Dutch oven help retain moisture during cooking. Our tester also gives the Lodge high marks for how well it distributed and retained heat. Because of the double layer of enamel coating inside and out, this can be used for marinating, cooking, storing, and serving.

2. Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron 5 1/2-Quart Round Dutch Oven

What We Like:

  • Retains and distributes heat well
  • Versatile
  • The inimitable design adds flair to your kitchen

What We Don’t Like:

  • Steep price point
  • The resin knob is only oven-safe up to 500 degrees

This Dutch oven is an all-around winner. It’s big enough to prepare most dishes, but not so large that it is too difficult to move. The enamel coating lets you cook anything in it, and it can be used on the stovetop or in the oven.

Le Creuset Dutch ovens come in a wide variety of colors to match anyone’s kitchen décor. The 5.5-quart size is one of the most popular, but other sizes (like the oval shape) are also available. They are made in France, and if you are looking for a larger size or prefer an oval shape, Le Creuset has those as well.

3. Lodge 5-Quart Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven

This cast-iron Dutch oven has been pre-seasoned, so you can immediately start cooking with your new pot.

But it gets better. The lid on this Dutch oven doubles as a skillet with two side handles, so you get two pots in one for an incredibly low price!

Simmer soup and bake cornbread at the same time by placing your skillet over your stovetop burner. The drawback: The lid doesn’t have a top handle for lifting, and our tester noted that the handles do get very hot when in use.

It is safe to cook with cast iron at any oven temperature, on an outdoor grill or campfire. The seasoning can burn off at super-high temperatures, but it won’t hurt the cookware; you would just need to season it again.

4. Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron 6.5-Quart Round Dutch Oven

What We Like:

  • Affordable
  • Heats evenly
  • Lifetime warranty

What We Don’t Like:

  • Only oven safe up to 450 degrees
  • Very heavy

If you’re looking for a multi-purpose Dutch oven that won’t break the bank, this model offers many of the same features for a lower price.

The large size is ideal for big families or large roasts or poultry, and the cookware has a durable enamel coating. This cookware has a metal knob and is safe for oven temperatures of 450 degrees, so it’s perfect for no-knead bread recipes that require higher temperatures.

Our tester was a fan of this Dutch oven’s even heat distribution, which allows it to simmer tomato soup evenly, brown beef for stew with ease, and resist rust (the pot and lid aren’t coated, so we recommend seasoning or oiling them occasionally).

Overall, Tramontina’s Dutch oven performed as well as other Dutch ovens our tester has used; it performed all the basic functions she expected.

5. Staub Cast Iron 6-Quart Cochon Shallow Wide Round Cocotte

What We Like:

  • Large bottom surface
  • Interior nub allows for self-basting
  • Pot can handle 900 F

What We Don’t Like:

  • Very heavy
  • Dark interior makes it harder to see fond development on bottom of pot
  • costly

This pot has a wider bottom and shorter sides than other pots of a similar volume, making it more suited to meals that require browning at the beginning of cooking. Because this pot has a larger bottom surface, you can fit more food in the pan at once when browning compared to an average Dutch oven. It’s great for searing larger proteins like chicken or pork chops before adding liquids to the pan for braising. The black interior also makes it less prone to stains from food.

The pot’s lid has a nub on its interior that creates a natural bastion against blustery conditions, safely sending moisture raining down onto food below. The top of the knob is small but high enough to be easily reached. This cookware is made in France, and it comes in different colors.

6. Camp Chef Classic True-Seasoned Finish Dutch Oven

What We Like:

  • Feet helps elevate it over hot coals
  • Lid doubles as a griddle
  • Cooks evenly

What We Don’t Like:

  • Might be awkward to use in an oven

This camp-style Dutch oven has feet to elevate it over coals, and the flat lid doubles as a griddle for cooking on top of your hot fire. The sturdy cast iron is pre-seasoned when you get it, so you can pack it for your trip or camping trip immediately, but the coating will improve with additional seasoning and use.

This 6-quart pot is the ideal size for a solo camping trip or cooking for small groups. You can flip the lid over and use it as a skillet or griddle. It is oven-safe, but it might be awkward to use because of the legs. It isn’t recommended for induction cooktops, but it may work on some electric cooktops with stove grates.

7. Camp Chef Pre-Seasoned Square Cast Iron Dutch Oven

What We Like:

  • Reversible lid
  • Doubles as a stovetop grill
  • Large cooking surface area

What We Don’t Like:

  • Lid can be tricky to lift

Dutch ovens are traditionally round, but for a truly versatile cooking experience, you want a square Dutch oven. These baking treasures can make even rows of biscuits or buns or can turn out cornbread or brownies with the same skill; they’re also ideal for roasts, casseroles, and more since they have roomy 8-quart volumes.

The Dutch oven and lid are pre-seasoned, so you can use them right away. Over time and with regular use, the pot will become even more nonstick. The lid is reversible and has raised ridges so it can also be used as a stovetop grill. This should be hand washed.

8. BergHOFF Neo Cast Iron Round Soup Pot with Lid

What We Like:

  • Light
  • Attractive design
  • Can be used on any cooktop

What We Don’t Like:

  • Only oven-safe up to 400 F
  • Hand wash only

For a side dish or small servings of soup, chili, stew, and more, this 3-quart Dutch oven is great. It’s lighter and easier to move than larger pots that weigh more.

The high-gloss exterior enamel coating ensures that this Dutch oven will look attractive for years to come. The interior coating means that this Dutch oven never needs to be seasoned, so it’s a snap to clean. The cookware is safe to 400 degrees and can be used on any cooktop, including induction. This should be hand washed.

9. Marquette Castings 6 Quart Dutch Oven

What We Like:

  • Heat safe to over 500 degrees
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Metal knob on lid

What We Don’t Like:

  • Heavy
  • New company
  • Carrier is a separate purchase

If you make bread, consider this enameled cast iron dutch oven. It has features we like for baking bread—a metal knob that won’t be bothered by oven heat, a wide flat bottom, and the ability to withstand heat to over 500 degrees.

It comes with a white interior to help you monitor browning while also letting you see the fond develop in the bottom of the pot, and it’s easy to transport thanks to a carrying bag.

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