We spent over 33 hours researching and testing 12 different types of Dutch Ovens and found that material, construction, and cooking capacity were most important. Lodge’s pre-seasoned Dutch Oven scored high marks in every category and is our top pick. The cast iron construction is indestructible and measures 10 ¼”. It is 4” deep which gives the user lots of space for cooking stews, chili, casseroles and much more. The flat bottom makes it easy to use on any stove surface and the dome lid is designed to direct moisture back into the pot. The loop handles make moving the pot easy and safe.
Dutch Oven Reviews
There are countless dutch ovens on the market today, but there should be no skimping when it comes to quality. A well made dutch oven is worth its weight in gold, and will provide many successful years of delicious cooking, and that’s why it’s worth the extra expense to purchase one that is top notch. Be sure to purchase an oven that has a consistent thickness in the walls, all the way around the sides. Inspect the oven’s bail to ensure that it is made of sturdy, heavy gage wire that is securely attached to molded tangs on the sides of the oven, instead of riveted tangs. Under a heavy load, rivets can break off when the oven is full of food. Find an oven that has a bail that stands at a 45˚ angle on the opposite side. This prevents the bail from getting too hot, and offers easier access to it when removing the oven from heat.
Another thing to look for when purchasing the perfect dutch oven is a lid that fits tight. It should be perfectly flush with the lip of the oven all the way around the perimeter. A perfectly fitted lid ensures that steam will not escape the oven during cooking, as this steam is instrumental to perfectly cooking the food inside. The handles of the lid should be loop-shaped, and attached on both ends so that they can be easily hooked by a lid lifter. Avoid lids that have a model solid tab for a handle as these are hard to lift when there are coals on top.
1. Lodge L8DOL3
Best Overall Dutch Oven
Lodge is one of the most popular makers of Dutch ovens, and their cast iron 5-quart oven is a multi-functional kitchen tool that works perfectly for a number of slow-cook recipes that are bursting with flavor and comforting ingredients. The diameter of the pot is an ample 10.25 inches and is 4 inches deep, allowing for ample space to cook chicken and rice, hearty chill, or rich fruit cobbler.
The flat bottom of the pot is designed for use over a stovetop burner or oven, and the domed lid allows for moisture to drip back into the pot for the ultimate in flavor. The perfectly designed loop handles make it easy to lift this pot using oven mitts, and the cast-iron construction retains heat for perfectly seared meat at very high temperatures. What makes this Lodge dutch oven really stand out is that it’s versatile enough to be used in the kitchen or while camping, and is so solidly constructed that it should last for many generations to come.
This pot is indestructible, and perfectly distributes heat from the bottom through the sidewalls with effortless consistency. The stylish black color of this pot also means that it shows absolutely no signs of wear and tear, and will fit comfortably into any kitchen decor or color scheme. What you’re also getting when you cook in this pot is a wonderful source of nutritional iron from the materials of the pot. This dutch oven is pre-seasoned, and completely ready for use right out of the box.
The pre-seasoned aspect of this pot prevents food from sticking to the sides, but it’s still best to spray or lightly coat the walls with vegetable oil before using. Lodge seasons their pots with a multi-step procedure where the seasoning oil is dispensed with an electrostatic spray system to thoroughly coat the cookware, and after that it’s baked in a commercial oven at very high temperatures to set the coating.
In conclusion, if you want one of the best American-made Dutch ovens on the market, then purchasing from Lodge is a very smart idea. They’ve been fine-tuning their construction of rugged, high-performance cookware for over a century, and it shows in the quality of their dutch ovens.
“Lodge covers the sturdy oven with a lifetime limited warranty against defects, and when cared for properly, this virtually indestructible pan should last for generations.” – Ann Bie
– Sarah Lytle
2. Simply Calphalon
Best Overall Dutch Oven – Runner Up
Calphalon is one of the most trusted names in cooking equipment, and the Simply Calphalon Nonstick dutch oven is a fantastic choice when you’re looking for durability and high-performance in your kitchen. The long-lasting nonstick surface ensures that this pot will last you for generations to come, and consistently delivers delicious and nutritious results that add to the health and wellbeing of your home. The surface is also incredibly easy to clean, and the hard-anodized aluminum construction promotes quick and even heating all throughout the pot. The silicone handles add extra comfort and safety to cooking, as they stay cool when the pot is being used on the stovetop.
Why Simply Calphalon stands out from the rest is because they try to incorporate everything in their cookware that matters most to those who are doing the cooking. That includes aesthetically pleasing designs, delicious results, exceptional durability, and quick clean-up. Their brand is also well-known for being a budget-conscious option for cooking enthusiasts who still want incredible quality. The simple design of the Calphalon dutch oven adds a touch of elegance to any kitchen, and each product seeks to capture the essence of the Calphalon style.
Calphalon has strict standards when it comes to their cooking products, and this dutch oven certainly lives up to these rigorous standards. Since 1968 the company has been creating hard-anodized aluminum cookware, and when the original was created it was considered to be a tremendous innovation. The immense durability of these products makes them able to survive and thrive in even the most rigorous and busy kitchens. You can safely use this dutch oven in either an oven or broiler as well.
– Sarah Lytle
3. Cuisinart 6445-22
Cuisinart makes some of the most versatile kitchen products on the market, and their hard anodized dutch oven is a favorite among cooking aficionados. This premium piece of cookware is constructed from some of the finest materials for remarkable durability and performance that will last for years to come. Each dutch oven is designed for optimal elegance, but still with a robust silhouette for that professional look that works in both commercial kitchens and home kitchens. The style adds a touch of flair while still providing maximum volume. Whether you’re looking to cook large dishes for parties and catering, or you simply have an extra large family that you create meals for, this Cuisinart offers you all the extra space that you need.
This dutch oven is supreme when it comes to even heat distribution, which is key to successfully cooking in a dutch oven. The aluminum core construction will heat quickly and spread evenly throughout the pot, thus eliminating hot spots that can damage the quality of your meal. The interior of the pot is also finished with a nonstick coating, allowing for healthier cooking that requires fewer oils and other fats. This interior also makes cleaning the pot much easier and more efficient.
This pot also provides safe and steady handling thanks to the handles which remain cool at all times, and are professionally riveted and contoured to the hand for the ultimate in comfort. You’ll find that the flat glass lid with stainless steel rims helps to seal moisture into the pot for increased flavor, and the glass also allows you to see into the pot and check the status of your food. Lastly, the versatility of this dutch oven only adds to its performance, designed for use on the stovetop, in the oven, under the broiler, or inside the oven up to 500˚ Fahrenheit.
– Sarah Lytle
Look for tried and true brands that have been making dutch ovens for many decades. There are a number of American brands that are famous for their dutch ovens, and their products are almost always dependable. If you’re using a dutch oven for the first time, try experimenting with new recipes and be patient while you master the use of this amazing cooking tool. Slow cooking is the very best way to get the maximum amount of flavor out of your food, while preserving the nutrients and texture of the food. And, when you get a nonstick dutch oven, you’re making your clean-up time faster and easier than you ever imagined.