What exactly is a Dutch oven? A Dutch oven is deep pot made of heavy cast-iron with an equally heavy and tight-fitting lid. It holds heat very well.
They are great for cooking stews, roasts, and casseroles, along with just about recipe that you could bake in a conventional oven. Every kitchen should have one. But, how do you choose the right one?
Typically, Dutch ovens are available in cast iron or enameled cast iron. Choosing enamel gives you the advantage of not having to season your oven before use. They are easier to clean and maintain, while still giving the benefits of having a cast iron Dutch Oven.
Below, you will find the absolute top Dutch ovens. Discover the features and details that you should look for in the best oven.
Best of the Best Dutch Oven
If you want the gold standard for Dutch ovens, go with the Le Creuset Signature Enameled 7 1/4-Quart Dutch oven. This oven features superior craftsmanship, which gives you better heat retention and distribution, along with the following:
- Durable sand-colored interior enamel
- Long-lasting exterior enamel
- Oven safe – up to 500-degrees Fahrenheit
- Large handles for a better grip
- Large knob on top of lid for easy lid removal
The Le Creuset is beloved by professional chefs and the general public. It consistently receives the highest ratings and most positive reviews.
What can you cook with the Le Creuset Dutch oven? This is perhaps one of the most versatile Dutch ovens. A 7 1/4-quart Dutch oven is the perfect size for most recipes. It also has large, roomy handles. These features make the Le Creuset versatile and a true joy to use for cooking your favorite meals.
Some of the meals that you could prepare include traditional Dutch oven recipes, such as stews, roasts, and casseroles. Though, you could also cook stir-fry, sear a steak, or even bake a cake. From slow-cooking to baking or high-temperature searing, the Le Creuset can do it all.
Bring your Dutch oven directly from the stovetop or oven to your table and keep your food hot throughout your meal. You could also use your Dutch oven to keep your food cold. The heavy cast iron pot can be chilled, creating the perfect server for serving cold meals on a hot day.
You can use the Le Creuset Signature 7 1/4-quart Dutch oven on any heat source. This includes conventional ovens, induction ovens, stovetop, or a grill.
The interior is coated with an advanced sand-colored enamel that is less prone to wear. The exterior enamel is also highly durable and is unlikely to crack or chip. Both enamels are made to last for years, with repeated use.
When you want the best, you are going to pay a little more. But, the investment will pay off. Purchasing a quality piece of cookware, such as the Le Creuset Signature Enameled Dutch oven, will provide you with years of use.
Simply put – the Le Creuset Signature 7 1/4-quart Dutch oven is the best of the best. It is versatile, durable, and features superior heat distribution.
The Le Creuset may not be within everyone’s price range. If cost is a factor, the Lodge Color Enameled 6-Quart Dutch Oven provides the best value for your money.
Best Value for Money Dutch Oven
The Lodge Color EC6D43 Enameled Cast Iron Dutch oven is a heavy cast iron pot with a double coat of porcelain enamel – available in multiple color choices. Here are some of the main details of this affordable Dutch oven:
- Multiple color choices (some sizes not available in certain colors)
- Oven safe – up to 500-degrees Fahrenheit
- The lid also fits 11-inch Lodge skillets
- Heavy cast iron pot
- Double coat of porcelain enamel
- Lifetime warranty
The 6-quart size provides the best value, balancing cost and size. It is a great option for any home cook that wants the added joy of having a Dutch oven without wanting to pay the additional cost for the Le Creuset.
As with the Le Creuset, the Lodge Dutch oven is versatile, allowing you to cook a wide variety of recipes. You can simmer, sauté, braise, or even bake with it. The Lodge EC6D43 Dutch oven is dishwasher safe. Though, it is recommended that you wash by hand.
The Lodge Color Enameled Cast Iron Dutch oven costs about a quarter of the price of the Le Creuset. The heat retention is great and the exterior design is attractive. From stovetop the table, the Lodge is a wonderful choice.
Those are a couple of the best Dutch ovens available. If you want the absolute top option – go with the Le Creuset Signature Enameled Dutch Oven. When cost is a factor, the Lodge Color Enameled Cast Iron is a great choice. But, with the lower cost, you sacrifice a little bit of the heat distribution and retention compared to the Le Creuset.
Both are quality ovens for preparing a wide variety of recipes. Take your time and consider which is more important – quality or cost.