Experienced foodies and cooking fanatics will tell you that no kitchen is complete without the best dutch oven. This handy little device is a traditional tool that still has a place in the modern world, and just because you’ve developed a reliance on the simple conveniences of waffle makers and indoor grills doesn’t mean these are the only options.
If you’re looking to maximize your kitchen potential and want to explore different ways of making your meals (because there’s only so many times you fry up a chicken breast), a dutch oven is the perfect place to start. Its history means there’s no doubt your grandma has a kitchen cupboard full of family recipes for you to try out but only if you promise to take their secrets to the grave.
The Best Dutch Oven
Bubbling over as our top pick for the best dutch oven is the handsome and reliable Lodge Enamel Cast Iron Dutch Oven. It comes in a wide range of 10 colors and 5 sizes, ranging from the small (2.5 quart) to the large (7 quart) making it suitable for kitchens and families of all sizes.
It’s also a versatile little pan. The enamel cast iron means it can cook safety on a variety of cooking surfaces including gas and electric to ensure excellent results no matter your kitchen set up. Because of the coating, there’s no seasoning required (although we’d still recommend sprinkling some salt on your food for added flavor). The lid is excellent at sealing in moisture to create condensation while also evenly distributing heat. It can handle a maximum temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees C), which offers a wide range of cooking options including bread and meat so you can use it every day of the week. If you are looking for a solution to help you extend the shelf-life of food, check out our guide to the best vacuum sealers and pick the one for your kitchen.
Suitable for gas, electric, ceramic and induction cooktops
No seasoning required
Seals in moisture
Lid knob and oven safe to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
- Weight16 pounds
Our second choice is also a dutch oven by Lodge. The Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven boasts a slightly different style compared to it’s slightly more expensive brother but still packs the quality you need for a successful kitchen experience.
The 5 quart capacity is suitable for medium to large families (although starving singles will also find a lot to enjoy), and if you find you love it so much, you can purchase 2 at a time to give out to all your friends. It comes ready seasoned for convenience, so you can throw roasts and homemade bread in there as soon as you unbox it. There are no synthetic coating to ensure it’s safe to use and means your little ones won’t complain about a strange aftertaste. But where it really excels is performance, with even heat distribution that delivers excellent results that will make everyone in the neighborhood think you’re a pro chef. It’s one of the kitchen essentials you should invest in.
2 quantities available
Suitable for roasts and bread
No synthetic coatings
Conducts heat evenly
- Weight12.37 pounds
The clue to how fantastic this product is in the name. For those searching for heaven in the kitchen, the Utopia Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven is a perfect low-range option for people on a budget wanting to experiment with recipes both new and old.
The 5 quart capacity is perfect for making just the right amount of food so no one goes hungry nor feels too stuffed at the end of the meal. On the outside, the integrated side handles are secure and easy to grip, so there will be no unfortunate accidents when transporting the pot from oven to table. It’s ideal for braising, but you can do much more than just that, and for when the meal is over, your personal pot washer will be happy to know it’s easy to clean, so there’ll be no more complaints at the sink. Our guide to the best food dehydrators features some amazing products that you can use for preparing healthy snacks for yourself and your family.
Temperature resistant up to 500 degrees F
Integrated side handles
Ideal for braising
Easy to clean
- BrandUtopia Kitchen
- Weight7.01 pounds
Shifting towards the more expensive side of the culinary world, the Cuisinart Cast Iron Dutch Oven backs up its on-sight hefty price with superb heat retention and even heat distribution to ensure restaurant-quality roasts every time you present it to the crowd of drooling mouths around the kitchen table.
Take your pick from 13 colors and match it with your kitchen decor and enjoy the strong and durable finish that keeps its sheen and shine even after years of use. With a variety of potential meals just ready to be cooked, it’s a versatile little pot, and boasts a massive 7 quart capacity, so you can enjoy leftovers for days afterward, too. Sure, it’s one of the more expensive options, but for reliability and high-quality performance you sometimes have to spend a little more than you want to longevity and durability. For outdoor cooking, we have prepared our selection of the best pellet grills, so be sure to check them out.
Superior heat retention
Even heat distribution
Strong and durable finish
Versatile cooking utensil
- Weight18.78 pounds
Despite the quality and price, the Cuisinart still pales compared to our premium pick for the best dutch oven. The Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron is the option for those who need the best of the best in their kitchen to ensure your food meets the high standards you’ve become accustomed to.
The cast iron construction is tough and durable. It’s suitable for a variety of cooking surfaces to appeal to all types of kitchens across the country, and the composite knob is resistant up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, with the oven itself fine up to 350 degrees. You can choose from 11 colors depending on how you want to match you pot to the rest of your kitchen (or not). The large handles make it easy to hold, and the 5.5 quart total capacity is plenty, even if it’s not the largest around. For those of you who prepare meals for work or school, we have prepared our selection of the best lunch boxes that you can use for storing your food.
45% larger handles
Suitable for a variety of cooking surfaces
Composite knob resistant to 500 degrees F
- BrandLe Creuset
- Weight11.46 pounds
An excellent choice for those who want to maximize the use of their dutch oven, the Bruntmor Pre-Seasoned 2-in-1 Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven and Domed Skillet Lid seems almost too good to be true. The lid doubles as a skillet and a hot plate to keep food warm between servings, while the 5 quart capacity ensures you can feed the whole family with ease and maybe share some with the dogs.
It boasts integrated side handles for confident grip and peace of mind, and the construction ensures excellent oven safety that you don’t always find with dutch ovens at this price. At less than $40, it feels like a steal, and you’ll likely spend the evening wondering if it will be worth it. It’s easy to clean with a 100% non-stick surface, making the post meal routine easier than ever, and with the dual design, it makes table presentation look like something you’d see at a restaurant. We just hope the food tastes just as good. If you are also a fan of dried beef snack, check out our guide to the best beef jerkies.
Domed skillet lid
Integrated side handles
Ideal for oven to table presentation
Coming in 5 colors, the Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Covered Round Dutch Oven Combo may not boast the design variety of other options but it’s still something to consider if you’re looking for a dutch oven that’s not the cheapest but not the priciest, either.
With this handy little option, you’ll enjoy oven safety up to 450 degrees and even heat retention that ensures every meal comes out perfectly cooked. There’s no need to season it, but give it a quick rinse just before you use it, just make sure you don’t put it in the dishwasher as this is a hand wash-only pot. The two pots are 7 and 4 quarts respectively so you can use one for entertaining big parties and the other for smaller family meals. Whatever you use them for, though, you’ll be able to make use of any cooktop without the risk of damaging them, ensuring long life. For more kitchen essentials, check out our guide to the best knife sharpeners.
Oven safe up to 450 degrees F
7 and 4 quart combo
Even heat retention
No need to season
Compatible with all cooktops
- Weight28.6 pounds
One of the more famous names on our list is the Martha Stewart Teal Blue Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven which is perfect for casseroles and browning meats among a plethora of other options for versatile use and satisfaction all year-round.
As a dutch oven with cast iron construction, it’s durable and reliable, while the generously sized handles ensure comfortable gripping when transporting the pot between areas in the kitchen. The material also delivers even cooking throughout, so there are no cold or soggy spots to guarantee you and your guests are sufficiently full once the meal is over. It locks in moisture and the condensation rings under the lid redistribute it throughout the pot for top quality results. At $123, it’s not the cheapest around, but if you’re happy to pay for the name, this would make a solid addition to your home kitchen.
Suitable for casseroles and browning meats
Heavy duty construction
Generously sized handles
Locks in moisture
Condensation rings under lid
- BrandMartha Stewart
- Weight16 pounds
The Unicook Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven provides a 5 quart capacity for superb results whether you’re making a modest home cooked meal for the whole family or aiming to entertain like the best of them in the neighborhood.
The heavy duty construction means you can trust it in the oven regardless of what meal you’re trying to master this time. On the inside, evenly distributed condensation bumps also ensure perfect results with every adventure. Those who aren’t known for their grace in the kitchen (but are trying desperately to change) will relish the 12 month warranty and a 60 day money-back guarantee, because when you’re trying new things out, you can’t always ensure they come out perfectly first time can you?
Heavy duty construction
Ideal for casseroles, stews, soups and more
Evenly distributed condensation bumps
Oven safe to 450 degrees F
12 month warranty
- Weight15.87 pounds
Our final pick in our quest to discover the best dutch oven is the M-Cooker Enameled Dutch Oven. this 4.5 quart option is available in 3 colors, but it’s more about the performance than the design. Luckily, this is one you can rely on.
It boasts premium cast iron material that ensures longevity and high quality results, while the high temperature resistance prevents accidental cracks should you forget about it for a little too long. The non-stick design means it’s easy to remove food but also easy to clean. It’s also supposedly dishwasher safe, but you can never be too sure about that. The interior design delivers excellent air circulation while the lid is secure and prevents any wobbling like the whole pan is possessed. M-Cooker also have your safety in mind, and this dutch oven comes complete with utensils to help you lift the integrated handles without burning yourself. As a mid-to-low range option, it’s definitely one of the best and most considerate around, which is always something we like to see.
Premium cast iron material
High temperature resistance
Easy to clean
Protective grips for lifting when hot
- Weight10.6 pounds
- 53 Dutch Oven Recipes for Braises, Bread, and More - Bon Appétit