From cooking an entire meal in one pot, to providing years of durability thanks to its tough exterior, to being safe to use in several capacities, the dutch oven is the best sous chef for any kitchen. Sometimes known as casserole containers, the dutch oven is a heavy pot that is usually made from cast iron. With the ability to be used both on the stovetop and in the oven, the dutch oven is one of the most versatile kitchen accessories available.
Because of its round shape and fitted lid, many people only think of dutch ovens as useful for soups and stews. But they’re so much more than that. Roast a whole chicken, braise meat, bake bread, make spaghetti with a meat sauce and more, all with only dirtying one pot.
The three dutch ovens we’ve included on our list below are all cast iron with porcelain enamel. The porcelain makes the dutch oven easier to clean and does not require seasoning like more traditional cast iron pots and pants. While some may be safe for the dishwasher, it’s a better idea to hand wash your dutch oven, which will help preserve the enamel. Dutch ovens should always be thoroughly dried before being stored and should never be stacked on top of or under other dishes.
Not only are dutch ovens a do-it-all pot, they also double as attractive decor pieces for your kitchen. Because of their cast iron makeup, dutch ovens are notoriously heavy and being able to store them on the stovetop in kitchens with limited storage is an added bonus.
Check out our three favorite dutch ovens below and start cooking!
1. Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Enameled Cast Iron 7-Quart Round Covered Casserole
The Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Enameled Cast Iron 7-Quart Round Covered Casserole has a cast iron construction that provides superior heat retention and distribution, evenly cooking food in the oven, broiler or stovetop.
Pros: Backed by its highly regarded name, the Cuisinart features cast iron construction that keeps the heat evenly distributed throughout. The porcelain enamel exterior and interior are not only attractive but durable, with the interior protected against absorbing odors or impairing the flavor of the food. The Cuisinart is safe for the dishwasher, and the knob provides a secure grip on the lid, which is safe to use in the oven. Available in three colors, the Cuisinart is the largest dutch oven on our list.
Cons: The Cuisinart chips after many uses, especially if put in the dishwasher. Like many high-end dutch ovens, the Cuisinart is extremely heavy.
Image courtesy of Amazon
2. Lodge 6 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
The Lodge 6 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven features porcelain enamel over cast iron to create a durable and finish that can go from the fridge to the oven.
Pros: Lodge advertises their dutch oven as a pot that can go from marinating a meal in the fridge to cooking in one pot in the oven. Safe for baking, broiling, roasting, sautéing, simmering, and more, the Lodge can handle heat up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Although dishwasher safe, Lodge recommends hand washing their dutch oven, while avoiding metal pads or utensils, which can chip the enamel.
Cons: Chipping in the enamel after many uses.
Image courtesy of Amazon
3. AmazonBasics 4.3 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Backed by a one-year warranty, the AmazonBasics 4.3 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven has loop handles for easy lifting and a secure lid.
Pros: The AmazonBasics is available in three sizes, with the 4.3 quart providing a smaller option for those who are new to cooking with a dutch oven or are looking for a smaller pot that is more suitable for one person. The AmazonBasics can be used on all types of stovetops, including barbecues and in the oven, but should be handled with caution on glass and ceramic tops and not be dragged or risk scratching the bottom of the pot.
Cons: The AmazonBasics is safe for oven use to 400 degrees, compared to the Lodge, which is safe up to 500 degrees. The AmazonBasics is not dishwasher safe.