The 10 Best Dutch Ovens

Updated January 22, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Dutch Ovens
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Among the most versatile cooking tools, dutch ovens are simply heavy, durable pieces of metal that can move from one heat source to another, depending on the meal. They're often big enough to roast whole birds, brown large cuts of meat, or prepare soup for the whole family. Whether you're at a campfire or in a modern, high-end kitchen, one of these deep-dish pots will make cooking simple and fun. 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. Anolon Vesta

The Anolon Vesta is a 5-quart pot with a sleek, one-piece body. Its matte-black enamel-based interior has decent nonstick properties, and its stainless-steel lid handle cools off quickly once it's pulled from the oven. This one's a little expensive, but very attractive.
  • sold with a blue or red finish
  • lid self-bastes by redirecting vapor
  • handles can be rather slick
Brand Anolon
Model 51820
Weight 14.8 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

9. Le Creuset Signature

Le Creuset Signature is a classic, yet high-priced, option for baking or boiling any food. From its sturdy lid to its incredibly durable finish, it exhibits the professional craftsmanship for which the brand is known. It comes in a number of colors to match your kitchen.
  • large and easily gripped handles
  • effective stick-resistant coating
  • too expensive for casual cooks
Brand Le Creuset
Model LS2501-2659
Weight 12.5 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. Staub Cocotte

The Staub Cocotte is an elegant, high-end choice with an extra-heavy lid that locks in vapors. It costs quite a bit more than comparable models, but its long-lasting quality and incredible versatility mean it's still a great value.
  • wide dimensions great for braising
  • well-known french manufacturer
  • works on induction burners
Brand Staub
Model 1112891
Weight 17.2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. King Kooker Roaster

No block party is complete without the King Kooker Roaster, a behemoth that's built to braise multiple roasts, preferably on top of potatoes and vegetables. The lid has raised ribs that make it the ideal piece of iron for grill-marking any type of protein.
  • twelve-quart capacity
  • perfect for the largest cuts
  • heavier than all the others
Brand King Kooker
Model CIOR12S
Weight 37.6 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Bayou Classic 7475

The Bayou Classic 7475 is enough to get any event chef salivating. This gigantic hunk of metal will take up an entire oven rack, two adjacent burners, or a decent swath of lit coals. The lid doubles as an extra-wide, flat-bottomed skillet, ready for pounds of bacon.
  • perfect for a haul of small game
  • could use another coat of seasoning
  • bigger than most people need
Brand Bayou Classic
Model 7477
Weight 23 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Dansk Kobenstyle

The Dansk Kobenstyle is an American-made and Scandinavian-inspired piece of cookware with a uniquely attractive design. It comes in your choice of a 4-quart or 6-quart capacity, both great sizes for couples or small families cooking one-pot dinners.
  • handles resist overheating
  • worthy competitor to le creuset
  • body made of steel rather than iron
Brand Dansk
Model 834301
Weight 5.9 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Le Creuset Goose Pot

While it's still pretty simple, Le Creuset Goose Pot boasts some impressive features, including superb durability. Every time you prepare a huge family meal in this 15-1/2-qt beauty, you can remind your kids that you'll probably pass it down as an heirloom.
  • great heat distribution
  • one of the largest options around
  • incredibly expensive
Brand Le Creuset
Model LS2502-4002
Weight 25.7 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Calphalon Contemporary

The Calphalon Contemporary adds modern non-stick technology to this tried and true cooking implement. Its hard-anodized aluminum surface stands up to utensils of any material while effectively conducting heat from any source besides induction burners.
  • dishwasher-safe
  • handles stay cool on stovetops
  • good surface area for searing
Brand Calphalon
Model 1876968
Weight 13.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Camp Chef DO-14

The outdoorsman in your life will love the Camp Chef DO-14, a super-heavy-duty, cast-iron option that begs for a campfire. Its sturdy legs give it the perfect clearance for meticulous charcoal placement and ideal heat management.
  • lid doubles as a skillet
  • arrives already seasoned
  • will last a lifetime
Brand Camp Chef
Model DO14
Weight 26.2 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. Lodge Enameled

Any home chef can find a use for the Lodge Enameled, crafted by one of the USA's dutch oven specialists. It's available in a wide range of sizes from 1-1/2 to 7-1/2 quarts. A durable porcelain-based coating keeps food from sticking while resisting chips and scratches.
  • very reasonably priced
  • comes in a variety of bright colors
  • great on stovetop or in the oven
Brand Lodge
Model EC6D53
Weight 15.3 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 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 January 22, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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