Top 10 Best Dutch Oven Reviews 2020

A Dutch oven is a classic and timeless piece of cookware that no kitchen should be without. In essence, it’s a round or oval, heavy cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid that may be used on top of the stove, in the oven, and depending on the model, even over an open fire.

Best-Dutch-Ovens

Dutch ovens are known for their even, radiant heat distribution, prolonged heat retention, energy efficiency, and overall versatility—they allow for a variety of cooking methods with the added convenience of being able to go directly from the stovetop, to the oven, to the table.

Though the Dutch oven has been around since the early 1700s, contemporary versions have a lot more to offer, including modern and attractive designs, new materials, innovative features, and improved performance. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, or you haven’t seen the latest models available in 2020, you’re missing out!

The Basics of Dutch Oven Cooking

Dutch ovens are great for preparing many types of foods because of their heavy-gauge, rounded structure, lid, and even heat conduction properties. They excel at slow cooking as well as high temperature searing, frying, and baking. Here are just a few things you can do with a Dutch oven:

1. Roasts

Because of its exceptional heat distribution, a Dutch oven is perfect for slow roasting and braising meats and vegetables. The lid locks in moisture, keeping food tender, juicy and flavorful. Plus, you can brown your roast on the stovetop right in the Dutch oven and then move it directly into the oven. No need to dirty an extra pan!

2. Stews, Sauces, and Soups

When you want to slow-simmer over an extended period of time, a Dutch oven is a terrific choice. And when your stew, sauce, or soup is done, the heavy pot and lid will help keep it warm for hours after it’s taken off the heat.

3. Deep-fried Items

The Basics of Dutch Oven Cooking

Thick, heavy construction makes the Dutch oven great for deep frying. Your oil temperature will stay hot longer and remain at a consistent temperature, making for perfectly fried foods.

4. Casseroles

You can prepare all your casserole ingredients inside the Dutch oven on the stove top and then bake the casserole right in the same pot. It travels well thanks to the lid, and it can go right on the table when it’s time to serve.

5. Breads

People have been baking bread in Dutch ovens literally for centuries! Because of the radiant heat that circulates evenly, and with the lid trapping in steam, you end up with delicious bread with a great crumb and a superbly crispy crust comparable to that of a pizza or bread oven.

6. Camping

There are Dutch oven models that are specifically designed to sit over coals or an open flame (some even have built in feet), making them the perfect, all-purpose cooking accessory for camping!

How to Choose a Dutch Oven That’s Right for You

Best Dutch Oven Buying Guide

Construction materials and intended use are the determining factors in deciding which type of Dutch oven is right for you. They are typically made from cast iron, steel, or aluminum.

1. Cast iron

This has always been the traditional favorite material because of its superior weight, versatility, and radiant heat conduction, and is available in two different versions: enamel-coated and bare.

Enameled Dutch Ovens come in a variety of attractive colors and are easier to clean and care for since the coating provides a nearly non-stick surface. The coating is also non-reactive with foods, unlike other versions. But they have some drawbacks as well—you cannot preheat them when empty, you cannot use them over coals or flames, and many models cannot withstand very high temperatures.

Bare, uncoated, cast iron Dutch ovens, on the other hand, can withstand temperatures up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the model, and they can be preheated when empty—a very important, desired feature for bread baking.

They can also be used on an open flame or coals, making bare cast iron the only choice if you want to use it outdoors. However, their care is more involved and requires seasoning and oiling regularly, which are unnecessary for the enameled versions. They may also be more prone toward scorching and sticking than uncoated pots.

2. Aluminum and stainless steel

These types of Dutch ovens are not as heavy as cast iron and do not have quite the same heat conduction properties, but they, too, may be suitable if a lighter-weight piece is particularly important to you, or if you prefer a truly non-stick finish, which is easier to clean than any other option.

Aluminum will be lighter than stainless steel. Some Dutch oven models combine layers of both of these materials, (with and without non-stick coatings). These material types would also have slightly less versatility as they have the same restrictions all pans have that are made from these materials.

When choosing a Dutch oven, you must decide which of these properties are most important to you and best suits how you intend to use it. And of course, overall quality, user reviews, and price are always important considerations.

Our Top 10 Favorite Picks – Best Dutch Oven Reviews

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS

Le Creuset

  • Size: 9 qt
  • Withstand: Up to 500°F
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Crock Pot

  • Size: 7 qt
  • Withstand: Up to 500°F
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AmazonBasics

  • Size: 7 qt
  • Withstand: Up to 400°F
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Puricon

  • Size: 5.5 qt
  • Withstand: 540°F
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Uno Casa

  • Size: 5 qt + 1.6 qt
  • Withstand: Up to 450℉
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Lodge

  • Size: 3 qt
  • Withstand: Up to 500℉
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Lodge

  • Size: 3 qt
  • Withstand: N/A
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Camp Chef

  • Size: 9.33 qt
  • Withstand: N/A
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Calphalon

  • Size: 8.5 qt
  • Withstand: 450°F
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Camp Chef

  • Size: 5 qt
  • Withstand: Up to 450°F
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1. Le Creuset LS2501-3059 Signature – Best Premium Brand Dutch Oven

Le Creuset LS2501-3059 Signature Review

When nothing but the best will do, you cannot go wrong with a Dutch oven from renowned premium quality manufacturer, Le Creuset. This enameled cast iron pot is designed for maximum quality and performance, and comes with the backing and provenance of a name that has been trusted for generations.

Pros

  • This enamel-coated pot is large and spacious, and features extra wide handles to make it easier to handle with mitts on
  • It is also oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (something not all enameled versions are capable of)
  • The premium quality enamel coating is shock, chip, and scratch-resistant, and it comes in a wide variety of attractive colors to match any kitchen’s décor
  • It’s consistent, 5-star user reviews make this pot a sure bet

Cons

  • This model is extremely pricey and may be beyond the budget of some shoppers
  • It cannot be used over coals or open fire, so it is not a pot you could use camping
  • Like all cast iron, it is very heavy

2. Crock Pot Artisan 7QT Oval Dutch Oven – Best Large Capacity Dutch Oven

Crock Pot Artisan 7QT Oval Dutch Oven Review

This beautiful, enameled cast iron pot has many of the properties of more high-end Dutch ovens, but a more approachable price tag. We especially liked the oval shape (excellent for oblong-shaped roasts) and its attractive color.

Pros

  • With its 7-quart capacity, this pot is large enough to handle large roasts and even turkeys
  • It has very large, easy-to-grip handles
  • It is oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (something not all enameled versions are capable of)
  • Artisan also offers other color choices and a round-shaped pot as well
  • Consistently great user reviews make this pot a great choice and a good value for the price
  • More affordable than premium brands

Cons

  • The oval design of this pot is less suitable for round stovetop burners, so if that is a consideration for you, you may want to opt for a round-shaped version of this pot from Artisan instead
  • It cannot be used over coals or open fire, so it is not a pot you could use camping
  • Like all cast iron, it is very heavy
  • Some users reported that the enamel coating on this pot may be more susceptible to chipping, so extra care when handling is required

3. AmazonBasics Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven – Best Budget Large Capacity Dutch Oven

AmazonBasics Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven Review

This great Dutch oven from AmazonBasics is bare (uncoated) cast iron, making it a perfect choice for users that intend to use the pot for baking bread. And like many “bare” choices, it has a budget-friendly price that anyone can afford. A nice, basic Dutch oven and an even better value for the money!

Pros

  • With its 7-quart capacity, this pot is large enough to handle large roasts and even turkeys
  • This model comes preseasoned right out of the box and ready to use
  • Excellent user reviews indicate this pot is a smart choice and it’s a great price for the size

Cons

  • Like all cast iron, it is very heavy
  • And like all bare cast iron, it is not nonstick, it is not dishwasher safe, and requires special care and periodic seasoning
  • Unlike some bare cast iron models, it is only recommended by the manufacturer for use up to 400 degrees (although many users reported using it at higher temperatures without any problems), and it is not recommended for open fire use

4. Puricon 5.5 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven – Best Medium Capacity Dutch Oven

Puricon 5.5 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven Review

This attractive, round-shaped, enamel-coated Dutch oven from Puricon checked all the boxes for us, making it a favorite choice if you are looking for a medium-sized option.

Pros

  • With its 5.5-quart capacity, this pot is spacious enough to handle up to medium-sized roasts
  • It has wide handles for a comfortable and secure grip
  • It is oven-safe up to 540 degrees Fahrenheit (something most enameled versions are capable of)
  • Comes in both red and black color choices
  • The porcelain enamel coating on this pot is thick and scratch-resistant
  • Consistently great user reviews make this pot a terrific choice
  • More affordable than premium brands

Cons

  • Not dishwasher safe
  • It cannot be used over coals or open fire, so it is not a pot you could use camping
  • Like all cast iron, it is very heavy
  • Some users reported that the enamel chipped around the lid after extended use

5. Uno Casa Cast Iron Dutch Oven – Best Budget Medium Capacity Dutch Oven

Uno Casa Cast Iron Dutch Oven Review

This well-crafted bare (uncoated) Dutch oven from trusted manufacturer Uno Casa was actually our favorite “bare” choice. It includes a lid that doubles as a separate pan, and comes with a handy accessory set at no extra cost!

This pot does it all at a fantastic price, and with wonderful versatilitygreat for all cooking methods including baking bread and open fire use, too. If you want a medium capacity pan you can use at home as well as take camping, this one’s for you!

Pros

  • With a 5-quart capacity, this Dutch oven is big enough to handle medium-sized roasts
  • The lid is reversible and converts to a separate 10” skillet
  • Designed with wide, easy-to-grip handles
  • Comes preseasoned
  • Usable on all surfaces including over an open fire
  • Includes a handy silicone trivet and pot holders
  • No maximum temperature recommendation by the manufacturer. (Users report using it up to 550 degree without issue)
  • Affordable, budget-friendly pricing

Cons

  • Like all cast iron, it is very heavy
  • And like all bare cast iron, it is not nonstick, it is not dishwasher safe, and requires special care and periodic seasoning

6. Lodge EC3D43 Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven – Best Small Capacity Dutch Oven

Lodge EC3D43 Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven Review

If you are looking for a small capacity Dutch oven, this exceptional offering is the perfect choice. Lodge is a leading manufacturer of cast iron cookware, and its products are consistently high quality. This enamel-coated version is just the right size for smaller households.

Pros

  • With its 3-quart capacity, this pot is the perfect size for small roasts and other dishes
  • It has large, easy-to-grip handles
  • It is oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (something not all enameled versions are capable of)
  • Comes in a variety of attractive color choices
  • Consistently excellent user reviews make this pot a great choice for a small capacity pot
  • More affordable than premium brands

Cons

  • It cannot be used over coals or open fire, so it is not a pot you could use camping
  • Like all cast iron, it is very heavy
  • Some users reported that the enamel coating on this pot may be more susceptible to chipping, so extra care when handling is required

7. Lodge 3 Quart Cast Iron Combo Cooker – Best Budget Small Capacity Dutch Oven

Lodge 3 Quart Cast Iron Combo Cooker Review

This bare (uncoated) cast iron pot is another great offering from renowned cast iron manufacturer, Lodge. This is the perfect Dutch oven if you are looking for a small capacity pan with all the versatility that a “bare” option brings to the table.

Best of all, the lid on this one flips over and doubles as a skillet. From home to campsite with an unbeatable price, you just can’t go wrong with this option.

Pros

  • With a 3-quart capacity, this Dutch oven is the perfect size for small roasts and dishes
  • The lid is reversible and converts to a separate skillet
  • Designed with sturdy, easy-to-grip handles
  • Comes preseasoned and ready to use
  • Usable on all surfaces including over an open fire
  • No maximum temperature recommendation by the manufacturer. (Users report using it up to 500 degree without issue)
  • Affordable, budget-friendly pricing

Cons

  • Like all cast iron, it is very heavy
  • And like all bare cast iron, it is not nonstick, is not dishwasher safe, and requires special care and periodic seasoning

8. 9 1/3 Qt Seasoned Cast Iron Camp Oven – Best Camp Style Dutch Oven

9 1/3 Qt Seasoned Cast Iron Camp Oven Review

If you are looking for a large capacity Dutch oven for outdoor use and camping, this is a terrific choice. This bare cast iron model has built-in feet for setting over coals or an open fire, and even comes with a handy lid lifter. The lid on this model also reverses to become a skillet. If you could only bring one pot camping, this is the piece!

Pros

  • With an extra spacious 9-quart capacity, this Dutch oven is big enough to handle just about anything, even a good-sized turkey
  • The lid is reversible and converts to a separate skillet
  • Includes a lid lifter and easy-to-grip handles
  • Comes preseasoned
  • Specially designed for outdoor and open fire usage with built-in feet
  • No maximum temperature recommendation by the manufacturer
  • Can be used indoors on the stove and in the oven also
  • Affordable, budget-friendly pricing

Cons

  • Like all cast iron, it is very heavy
  • And like all bare cast iron, it is not nonstick, it is not dishwasher safe, and requires special care and periodic seasoning

9. Calphalon 2029654 Premier – Best Alternative Material Dutch Oven

Calphalon 2029654 Premier Review

If cast iron is too heavy for you or you insist upon nonstick cookware, this pan is a great choice. This great-looking pan from trusted manufacturer Calphalon is made from triple-layer, anodized aluminum with an exceptional nonstick finish. It’s spacious enough to tackle even large-sized roasts, and a fantastic alternative choice to traditional cast iron.

Pros

  • With its 8.5-quart capacity, this pot is spacious enough to handle even large-sized roasts
  • It is oven-safe up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, including the lid
  • Nonstick coating makes for very easy clean up
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Metal utensil safe
  • Consistently great user reviews make this pot an excellent choice

Cons

  • Not as versatile and without the heat conduction properties of cast iron versions
  • It cannot be used over coals or open fire, so it is not a pot you could use camping
  • It cannot be used on conduction burners
  • Like all nonstick-coated cookware, you must take care not to scratch the coating
  • Some users reported that the handles on this pot were too small and make the pot a bit awkward to handle

10. Kenmore Oak Park Cast Iron Dutch Oven – Best Non-traditional Dutch Oven

Kenmore Oak Park Cast Iron Dutch Oven Review

This unusual Dutch oven has an added accessory that adds even more versatility—it has an optional glass steamer that you can use in conjunction with the enamel-coated cast iron base and lid. Add to that a trusted, age-old name like Kenmore, and you have a winner!

Pros

  • With its 5-quart capacity, this pot is spacious enough to handle up to medium-sized roasts
  • Comes with a glass steamer insert, perfect for vegetables, rice, etc
  • It has sturdy, wide handles for a comfortable and secure grip
  • Comes in three different classic color choices
  • The enamel coating on this pot is thick and scratch-resistant
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Consistently great user reviews make this pot a terrific choice

Cons

  • No maximum oven temperature is listed by the manufacturer (although we expect that up to 450 degrees should be fine)
  • It cannot be used over coals or open fire, so it is not a pot you could use camping
  • Like all cast iron, it is very heavy
  • A bit pricier than other options

Using and Caring for Your Dutch Oven

If you are new to Dutch oven cooking, there are a few basic use and care requirements to take heed of:

1. Bare (Uncoated) Cast Iron Dutch Ovens

This type offers the most versatility of any other type of Dutch oven. You can use it for any of the cooking methods mentioned in The Basics of Dutch Oven Cooking section above. Since this piece is not non-stick, you’ll always want to be mindful of that, using cooking oil or making sure to stir liquid ingredients to prevent scorching or burning at the bottom.

If you will be baking bread inside it, you’ll get the best results if you preheat the empty Dutch oven prior to putting your ready-to-bake bread inside.

Parchment liners are very helpful for bare cast iron Dutch oven bread baking as they make it simple to put your dough in and remove your bread when done. You can find them on Amazon—just look for a size that fits the Dutch oven that you’ve chosen.

If you intend to use your Dutch oven outdoors, such as in the backyard or on a camping trip, there’s a great video on YouTube that will introduce you to this method.

To care for your bare cast iron Dutch oven, you’ll want to season it before its first use. This will help to keep foods from sticking and “prime” the cast iron for use. To do that, you rub it (including the lid) with some vegetable oil and bake it in a 375-degree oven for an hour, including the lid, but keep it off and separate for this.

Also, make sure it is clean and dry after each use. Making sure it is dry is especially important since wet cast iron will rust. Once clean and dry, rub a small amount of vegetable oil over the entire surface (including the lid) and store in a dry place. You’ll also want to repeat the seasoning process occasionally to keep your pot in top condition.

2. Enamel-coated Cast Iron Dutch Ovens:

First of all, check the manufacturer’s guidelines to determine what the highest temperature allowable is for your particular model, since that can vary greatly with enameled versions. This type of Dutch oven is suitable for any of the cooking methods listed in The Basics of Dutch Oven Cooking section above except for outdoor (open fire) use.

You should also note that, while you can use this type for baking bread, a bare cast iron model may be a better choice for that because you can preheat those while empty (giving you a superior crust), something you cannot do with an enameled model.

For tips on using an enameled Dutch oven, check out this excellent video from kitchen maven Martha Stewart

Caring for your enamel-coated Dutch oven is simple—simple soap and water cleanup and storage just like any other pan is just fine, just check the manufacturer’s recommendations for your model before using the dishwasher.

3. Stainless Steel/Aluminum Dutch Ovens:

These models may be used for most of the cooking methods listed in The Basics of Dutch Oven Cooking section above, except for baking bread and open fire (outdoor) use. You should also check the manufacturer’s recommendations maximum allowed temperatures and before using this type for deep frying.

For tips on using a stainless steel Dutch oven, check out this demonstration video.

For tips on using a non-stick aluminum Dutch oven, see this video.

To care for these types of Dutch ovens, refer to your manufacturer’s recommendations, as this can vary (especially if the pot you’ve chosen has a non-stick coating). Clean up and storage is typically the same as any other stainless steel, aluminum, or non-stick pan you may already have.

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are some of the most commonly-asked questions about Dutch ovens.

Q: Can I use the Dutch oven on a gas-top or burner?

A: Yes, Dutch ovens are designed to be able to able to use on the stovetop as well as the oven, and that includes gas burners.

Q: Can I use the Dutch oven on a conduction (flat surface) or ceramic stovetop?

A: In most cases, yes, but check with your stove manufacturer first to make sure it is appropriate.

Q: How heavy are cast iron Dutch ovens?

A: A typical 5-quart version weighs about 14 lbs.—yes, these are very heavy, but the weight of a Dutch oven is what gives it its superior heating and usage properties.

Q: If I’m using a bare cast iron Dutch oven at a camp fire, am I supposed to put coals on top of the lid?

A: Doing that helps add radiant heat from the top, but it also depends on the shape of the lid whether or not you can do that, and the manufacturer’s recommendations—check those first.

Q: Can I wash bare cast iron with soap and water?

A: If you can wipe out the pot without using water, that is better for the cast iron, but when soap and water is really needed, that is okay—just make sure you wipe it completely dry and then oil it afterwards.

In Conclusion

No matter which type of Dutch oven you ultimately choose, you are bound to find a great option here that will bring an added dimension to your versatility in the kitchen, or on a camping trip. If you’ve never used one before, we bet that once you do, you’ll never want to be without one again!

 

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