The 10 Best Dutch Ovens

Updated October 27, 2017 by Jeff Newburgh

10 Best Dutch Ovens
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 40 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Perfect for making roasts, stews, or casseroles, one of these Dutch ovens will let you create delicious meals for the whole family using a single pot, thereby reducing excess mess and limiting your cleanup time. Able to withstand high temperatures, they're also well-suited for slow-cooking and preparing almost anything that can be made in a conventional oven. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best dutch oven on Amazon.

10. Martha Stewart Round

Designed for versatility, the Martha Stewart Round delivers a classic and streamlined design capable of withstanding both high temperatures and constant use. The lid is also equipped with condensation rings on its underside for efficient moisture redistribution.
  • non-reactive interior
  • good option for making casseroles
  • the bottom stains easily
Brand Martha Stewart
Model pending
Weight 15.6 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Calphalon Contemporary 1876961

Made from hard-anodized and heavy-gauge aluminum with a low profile, the Calphalon Contemporary 1876961 is durable, maintains its color so that it never looks anything less than elegant, and is ideal for high-volume cooking of foods such as pasta or chicken in the oven.
  • 3 layers of nonstick coating
  • handles are designed to stay cool
  • cooking surface takes a while to dry
Brand Calphalon
Model 1876961
Weight 7.9 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. Marquette Castings

Unique in its design, the Marquette Castings comes in this attractive superior blue color with a high-gloss interior surface and a large 10-5/8-inch diameter. Its flat bottom maintains both its stability and compatibility with both induction ranges and glass stovetops.
  • large loop handles
  • relatively sturdy construction
  • the lid is a bit finicky
Brand Marquette Castings
Model pending
Weight 17.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Tramontina Cast Iron Oval

The gradated porcelain-enamel exterior of the Tramontina Cast Iron Oval offers a sleek, modern style. Good for preparing cobblers, breads, and baked desserts, this pot is also oven safe to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. However, its interior surface scratches pretty easily.
  • knob is made from stainless steel
  • lifetime warranty is offered
  • it's very heavy
Brand Tramontina
Model 80131/052DS
Weight 17.1 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. Lodge Pro-Logic P12D3

The Lodge Pro-Logic P12D3 distributes warmth evenly from its base all the way through its sidewalls for superior and long-lasting heat retention. Its sloped sides and looped handles also make it super easy to carry. But the factory preseasoning doesn't last very long.
  • complements most kitchen decor
  • can be used for baking or frying
  • not quite as durable as competition
Brand Lodge
Model P12D3
Weight 18.5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Calphalon Classic 1932451

Good for browning and searing meats, the Calphalon Classic 1932451 offers a dual-layered, nonstick interior that lends itself well to supporting low-mess cooking and healthy meal options requiring minimal oil usage. Its convenient pour spout also allows for easy drainage.
  • convenient measuring marks
  • hard-anodized aluminum
  • it's on the bulky side
Brand Calphalon
Model 1932451
Weight 6.1 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Useful UH-CI136

Made to deliver heat slowly and uniformly, the Useful UH-CI136 provides an easy-to-clean PFOA and PTFE-free porcelain enamel cooking surface. The self-basting condensation ridges on its lid collect and direct vapors back into your food, maintaining its moisture and flavor.
  • compatible with most cooktops
  • over a 5-quart capacity
  • paint tends to chip over time
Brand Useful.
Model UH-CI136
Weight 13.8 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. Lodge EC7OD43

Combining both form and function, the Lodge EC7OD43 is a multifunctional cooking tool with a core of colored enamel over cast iron, making it an ideal option for use on gas, electric, and induction cooktops as well as inside almost any conventional oven.
  • self-basting lid locks in nutrition
  • oven is made in the usa
  • requires little energy
Brand Lodge
Model EC7OD43
Weight 17.6 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Camp Chef DO-14

Perfect for outdoor use, the Camp Chef DO-14 features a seasoned finish and comes with an engraved deep-dish lid that has been designed to increase airflow for the most even cooking possible. Equipped with legs, the lid also doubles as a full-size skillet or griddle.
  • built-in thermometer channel
  • oven is easy to maintain
  • comes with a free lifting tool
Brand Camp Chef
Model DO-14
Weight 26.2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Le Creuset Signature

Le Creuset Signature comes in a variety of attractive colors with a long reputation for premium quality materials, versatility, and superior heat distribution, thanks to its cast iron construction. Its extra-large handles will easily accommodate oven mitts.
  • wear-resistant and built to last
  • knob withstands high temperatures
  • built-in lid stabilizers
Brand Le Creuset
Model LS2501-2867
Weight 15.2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

A Cooking Vessel With Personality

When cooking for a large group of people, versatility is something that you need to have in the kitchen. Depending on your available space, less is usually more. This means that if you can find cookware capable of preparing a large variety of food types in a single space, you'll cut down on your kitchen clutter and have a greater degree of control over your meals.

While a conventional oven is a necessary tool, one needs the ability to have something a bit smaller, more portable, and more durable that can accomplish the same tasks when cooking outside or in a place where using an oven may prove difficult. The Dutch oven can be an excellent alternative in this regard.

A Dutch oven is a thick-walled cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid that is constructed from either cast iron, aluminum, or ceramic. The pot is versatile enough to be used both indoors and outdoors when placed over coals or a cooktop. When used as an outdoor camp oven, the pot has a flat bottom with three short legs that keep the oven suspended over the coals for superior air circulation underneath it.

Outdoor Dutch ovens also feature large handles for hanging over an open flame and heavy-duty lids that can support coals or double as frying pans. Indoor Dutch ovens also have flat bases, no legs, and are ideal for use over wood-burning stoves. The sizes of most Dutch ovens ranges anywhere from five to 22 inches in diameter from their rims.

So why do many Dutch oven enthusiasts swear by cast iron over other materials? Due to its weight, cast iron can retain heat for extended periods of time. This means that the pot can be removed from a stovetop or fire before the food inside has finished the cooking process. The gradual buildup of thermal energy from inside the pot continues to cook foods without wasting excess energy.

Cast iron is also extremely durable, but in order to keep it in pristine condition and prevent it from rusting, it must be properly seasoned. Because of cast iron's ability to retain heat, the Dutch oven is well-suited as a long, slow cooker for preparing a variety of dishes that include roasts, stews, and casseroles. It can also be used for both shallow and deep frying, boiling, and simmering foods in liquid. When used outdoors, the pot can even double as a baking oven for making biscuits, cakes, breads, and even pizza.

With respect to aluminum ovens, the material is lightweight, easy to clean, and doesn't require the additional seasoning that cast iron does. Aluminum also tends to heat up faster than cast iron, so it can be a good alternative for kitchen use if you prefer something less expensive and easier to carry.

Cooking With Confidence

In making a selection, one must first determine whether they prefer a Dutch oven made from cast iron, enamel, or aluminum. If both durability and slow-cooking a variety of meats are important to you, then go with a cast iron pot. This will provide you with reliable and consistent heat distribution, regardless of the foods being prepared.

Plan to make a decision based on where you'll be using the vessel. For outdoor enthusiasts, camping ovens are ruggedly designed with base feet and long handles for hanging over coals. If you plan to use your Dutch oven indoors, make certain the pot is compatible with a variety of different cooktops.

When choosing a cast iron Dutch oven, do be aware of its seasoning and maintenance requirements. That said, it's worth spending extra money to ensure you have a cooking vessel that can withstand years of use without wearing out or rusting.

Some of the best Dutch ovens have built-in lid stabilizers for preventing accidents as well as handle knobs that can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

A Brief History Of The Dutch Oven

The Dutch oven dates back to the early 1700s in Holland with the use of dry sand to make the first molds for these vessels. Doing so afforded the resulting pots a smooth surface. In 1704, Englishman Abraham Darby traveled to the Netherlands to study the Dutch system for crafting the ovens. By 1708, Darby patented his own casting process for producing metal cooking vessels for Britain and the newly-formed American colonies.

The American versions of the Dutch oven changed extensively during the colonial period, which included the development of a shallower pot, legs to suspend the oven over an open fire, and a lid flange to keep the coals away from the food. Paul Revere has been given credit for the development of the lid flange on the vessel.

American colonists valued the Dutch oven for its durability and versatility. In fact, the piece of cookware became so valuable during both the 18th and 19th centuries that people would leave the vessels in their wills, including Mary Bail Washington, mother of first United States President George Washington in 1788.

The Dutch oven was also included among the items that famous explorers Lewis and Clark carried as they traversed the American Northwest between 1804 and 1806. The vessel continued to maintain its popularity through the 19th and into the early 20th century, as it was carried along western cattle drives.

Today, the Lodge Manufacturing Company produces the majority of consumer Dutch ovens, but the vessel has also become synonymous with luxury cooking, thanks to companies like Le Creuset and Staub among others.

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Last updated on October 27, 2017 by Jeff Newburgh

A dedicated writer and communications professional spending his days lost in the intricacies of both proposal and freelance writing. When not sharing the knowledge of both fully and self-insured medical benefits to employer groups of all industries within California, Jeff Newburgh can be found at home spending time with his family and 3 dogs, pondering the next chew toy to be thrown, while kicking back and relaxing with a nice glass of red wine.

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