Best Dutch Ovens

Best Dutch Ovens

best dutch ovens

Our Selection

A Lodge 6-Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven Enameled in Cast Iron. This Dutch oven is the best. It passed every test and has a design that rivals those of more expensive models. $80 to Amazon. $80 to Walmart. $80 to Home Depot. $80 to Wayfair. Although all Dutch ovens work well, we found the Lodge 6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven easier and more user-friendly than most. Large handles are easy to grip even with gloves or towels. A slightly curved base helps prevent food from becoming trapped around the edges unlike some of the more rigid ovens. Due to its longer sides and wider base the Lodge lets steam escape easier than other deeper-walled containers. This helps you to sear meats better and concentrate flavor while cooking. Advertisement

best dutch ovens

What We Did

The Dutch oven can be described as “a heavy and large cooking pot that has a lid.” According to the dictionary, it is a Dutch oven. Cast iron is able to hold more heat than any other material. Braising is a technique which uses consistent heat for slowing the breaking down of and tenderizing meat.

Enamel coatings are easier to maintain and clean than cast iron. Seasoning is required. An enamel coating also offers a smooth surface that allows food to be quickly released for quick cleanup and deglazing. It is however not the same as Teflon. We tested several different pots that were dark insides. After that, we decided that the best ones to test would have enamel interiors. Because of their ability to easily monitor color and the formation of browned bits, which are essential for sauces, it is easier to choose lighter-colored enamels.

Dutch ovens are available in many sizes. They can be used to make single serving mini-cocottes or large batches of 13 quarts. For most recipes, we tested 5 1/2 – and 6 1/2 1/2 -quart ovens. You’ll struggle to cook large cuts of meat in pots that are much smaller than that; meanwhile, you may have a harder time carrying a much bigger oven when it’s full, or cleaning it with wet, soapy hands. (If you need something bigger, Lodge offers models up to 7 1/2 quarts , and Le Creuset goes all the way up to a 13 1/4 -quart oven, which serves 10 people.) Our preference for wider, squatter pots was because they have shorter walls that allow for more steam to escape. It makes it easier to make stews or chili by using them. A bigger pot allows you to brown more meat simultaneously without crowding.

Oval ovens have become quite popular, so we focused our testing on round models. Round ovens fit best over a regular stove-top burner. (We did try one oval model because that was the exclusive Dutch oven offered by Great Jones). If you frequently cook long, narrow items like slabs of pork belly, then you may prefer an oval Dutch oven, but note that it will work best on a large range with an oval burner.

The best Dutch ovens have lids that rest securely on the pot but that still let out some steam, so soups and stews can reduce and thicken. Staub is one of the few companies that put bumps and ridges under their lids. This allegedly allows for evaporated moisture back to the pot in order to baste any food inside. In our 2015 tests, the Staub pot with a nubby lid did retain more moisture while braising (though this may also be the result of a tighter-fitting lid), but we preferred the more condensed stews we made in ovens that actually let out more liquid. The 2020 test didn’t include any ovens equipped with nubby caps.

Dutch ovens have a lighter-colored surface for cooking, which is useful when caramelizing onions. Photo: Michael Hession For our 2020 update, we checked for any new models from brands like Lodge, Le Creuset, Staub, and Dansk, as well as from newer companies like Milo and Great Jones. The best-selling models on Amazon and from other retailers were considered. Also, we analyzed reviews by readers and chose 2 new ovens after considering 17 other models.

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best dutch ovens

Our pick

Lodge 6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven – The best Dutch oven! This Dutch oven was inexpensive and passed all of its tests.

Amazon, $80 at Walmart, $80 at Home Depot and $80 on Wayfair. The Lodge 6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven offers the best value for money. It is as easy to use as any other Dutch ovens and cooks the same food as those we have tested. To reduce strain when moving large pots in the oven and to the sink, you can grip the handles with firmness. The Lodge’s smooth corners allow for a whisk or spoon to reach into the stove. This helps prevent the food from becoming stuck in the oven. You can see how the enameled lodge interior is browning and it’s easy to clean.

There isn’t much difference between European-brand Dutch ovens (like those from Le Creuset/Staub) and lower-priced ovens like Lodge. Each Dutch oven we tried performed well in all but one of our tasks. Our 2015 first test showed that no oven scorched rice and that the lids held enough moisture to prevent the grains drying out. (All of the 2020 pots tested except Le Creuset’s oven roasted rice. It could also be that different stoves were used. Their 2015 testing showed them all making deliciously browned onions. They also baked similar-tasting loaves in their 2020 tests.

The ovens that we tested all made tender beef stews. However we were able to notice differences in the amount of time each stew took in the oven. A Lodge lid allowed for sufficient evaporation so the liquid could evaporate. In 2015, our tests showed that the lodge’s stew had lost approximately 15 3/4 percent of it weight while being cooked. In comparison, the stew in Staub’s Dutch Dutch oven lost only 6 per cent of its overall weight. It also had a watery, bland taste and was very thin. It created thick, flavorful stew by achieving the right temperature of evaporation. Le Creuset’s more expensive version produced a comparable concentrated stew (which lost 14% of its weight). We are not convinced that the extra cost is justified for superior cooking performance.

best dutch ovens

There are many buying options

Amazon. $360 Wayfair. Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron 5-1/2-Quart Round Dutch Oven. It’s one of the most robust ovens we tested. We also think that it is the best option for anyone who wants a classic piece. Le Creuset’s oven is great for cooking delicious meals every time. Le Creuset’s oven has one of the smallest handles and is lightest, making it easy to handle and clean. Le Creuset has a lasting enamel coating on pots that allows for even cooking. The warranty lasts a lifetime. Le Creuset’s oven is expensive, and if you get it, you’ll be investing in longevity. In our tests we didn’t find that it cooked that much better than the Lodge, but in our experience its enamel has far more staying power.

Le Creuset oven’s cooking surface is larger than the Lodge. The sides are also straighter. Le Creuset’s oven is a bit more difficult to work with because food can get trapped around its edges. We were able, however, to lift a whisk deep enough into the corners and remove any remaining bits from the pan. Because there was more space on the bottom, we got great sear results on our meats. Le Creuset was our favorite oven for cooking foods even though the differences between them were minor. Perfectly caramelized onions were produced by the oven, as well as bread that had a crusty and crumbly texture. It wasn’t the only pot we tested in 2020 that didn’t scorch the rice. However, none of the stoves used in 2015 had this problem. Le Creusetâ€TMs oven let out enough evaporation to make a beef stew with a similar flavor as the Lodge’s.

Le Creuset oven handles are more spacious than the larger ones in the Lodge. The oven’s handles are the most comfortable to grip with mitts or towels, for a seamless transition from the stove to the oven. A stainless-steel knob is included with the lid. It’s safe for use at all temperatures. A phenolic (a heat-proof type of plastic knob) is also available. Winnie Yang, wirecutter editor and supervising writer, said the knob on her Le Creuset was melting while baking bread. But we haven’t had any issues using the phenolic option with newer pots. At 11.9 pounds, Le Creuset’s oven is one of the lightest we tested (it’s 3 pounds less than the Lodge), making it the easiest to lift even when full. Le Creuset offers ovens in larger sizes and more colors than Lodge. There are also unique pots that come in fun shapes such as hearts. However, they don’t make practical sense.

At the time of this writing, Le Creuset’s oven costs nearly five times as much as the Lodge oven. But for home cooks who want the absolute best pot, this oven’s durability and generous lifetime warranty may be worth it. The company will usually replace your damaged pot for 75 percent of the retail price, even though it is not your fault, as Christine Cyr Clisset, Wirecutter deputy editor, discovered after she sent her damaged pot to Le Creuset’s warranty department. These pots are loved by both professional and amateur cooks, and we have found that they can last decades. In our testing kitchen, we’ve tested these ovens over many years and have not seen any enamel flake or discolor. Winnie stated that she had her ovens from 2007. Winnie shared that her ovens have been in good condition since 2007. She expressed her excitement about passing the items on to her kids.

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best dutch ovens

The Competition

Cuisinart Classic Enameled Cast Iron 7 Quart Round Covered Casserole, which we previously recommended, allows for more heat to evaporate. It produced the best stew of all of the ovens we tested, with a more condensed broth. But this oven is larger and heavier, with small handles that are harder to grab, and you might get similar results by simply using a larger Lodge Dutch oven.

Great Jones has a Dutchess Oven that looks elegant, however we didn’t find it practical. Only a 6-1/2-quart oven in an oval shape is made by the company. This will only work with large-sized ranges that have oval burners. The Dutchess can make foods cook unevenly. We found that the Dutchess scorched most rice, making it impossible to caramelize onions in a pot roast. Due to their thickness, the looped knobs on the lid and looped handles can be difficult to grip. The heavy lid was quite difficult to lift, and it took a lot of effort to remove the Dutchess once it was fully cooked.

Milo Classic Dutch Oven is a relatively economical option, though it’s of lower quality than the ones we prefer. The outer enamel coating cracked after only four hand washings. Additionally, the inner enamel coating had pitted and was bumpy. This can cause uneven cooking. Although the oven is smaller, its handles can be more difficult to grasp. A rubbery ring surrounding the base knob of the lid makes it harder for us to reach food. Also, stock issues can be a concern with some newer cookware manufacturers.

It was difficult for us to use the Staub Round Cocotte oven because of its dark and slightly texture interior. It is hard to tell the difference between caramelized onions and seared meats against the black surface. The finish also held onto food particles, making it harder to clean. Staub claims that the nubby lids of its pots will keep liquids in place, resulting in moist and tender braises. The Staub lost the most liquid in 2015 cooking tests, however, this resulted in a less rich stew than the more concentrated ones made with other ovens.

The Tramontina 6-Quart Covered Round Dutch Oven (6.5-Quart) is shorter and wider than other ovens. The oven can’t brown larger meats and is too compact to use for baking.

We tested the Marquette Castings 6-quart Dutch Oven in 2016, but we found that it didn’t evenly cook foods like onions. The knob is too difficult to hold.

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best dutch ovens

These are The Top 10 Dutch Ovens For Every Home Cook In 2021:

best dutch ovens

Lodge pre-seasoned cast iron double Dutch oven

What are the 5 Best Dutch Ovens?

Our top Dutch Oven picks: Lodge 6-Quart Enameled, Cast Iron Dutch Oven. Best on a Budget: Crock Pot 5-Quart Dutch Oven. Le Creuset 5 1/2 Quart Round Dutch Oven. Staub Cast iron Round Wide 6-Quart Cocotte. September 29, 2020

What Dutch Oven is The Largest?

Home cooks should consider a Dutch-oven of at least 5-7 quarts. You can cook for up to four with this size (often using leftovers). Representatives for both Staub, Le Creuset and Epi tell us the 5 1/2-quart size is their most preferred.

What are the Best Dutch Ovens?

Buy the best you can afford, and it will last for years. You should hold the oven with its thick walls and equally thick bottom. Dec 9, 2010,

What Dutch Oven are Chefs Using?

Staub 6-Quart Dutch Oven with Cast Iron Round Dutch Oven. Many of our chefs also liked Staub.

.Best Dutch Ovens

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