Every Home Cook Needs a Dutch Oven—Here Are 9 of the Best
A Dutch oven is one of the most essential kitchen tools a home cook can have. Often made out of coated or uncoated cast iron, Dutch ovens look like heavy-duty pots. Along with sturdy handles and durable designs, they have thick walls with lids that help trap heat and steam, allowing them to cook food evenly. They can be used in the oven or on the stovetop to bake bread, braise meat, boil stew, bake the best Dutch oven cobbler, and so much more. The Dutch ovens recipe list goes on and on—the possibilities really are endless.
These are the 9 best Dutch ovens of 2021 for every home cook:
- Best Rated: Lodge Enameled Dutch Oven
- Best Enameled Cast Iron: Le Creuset Signature Round Dutch Oven
- Best Affordable Option: Cooks Standard Stainless Steel Dutch Oven
- Best Cast Iron: Lodge 5-Quart Dutch Oven
- Best Ceramic Dutch Oven: Zwilling Spirit
- Best Mid-Sized Option: Martha Stewart Collection 6-Quart Dutch Oven
- Best Non-Stick Dutch Oven: Calphalon Classic Dutch Oven
- Best Value: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven
- Best Non-Toxic Option: Caraway Dutch Oven
Such a versatile pot can be pricey, but for every expensive option, there's a more budget-friendly one, too. And though they may seem like an investment at first, keep in mind that Dutch ovens are some of the most durable cooking appliances out there. In fact, they're built to last for years, and some can even last a lifetime.
When determining the right Dutch oven for your needs, you'll want to consider what types of meals you'll be using it for. If you typically cook for one to two people, a smaller 5-quart option will suffice, while families may want to invest in a 6- or 7-quart one. And with so many colors and designs available, Dutch ovens are not only extremely useful but also attractive (case in point: this black pumpkin-shaped Dutch oven).
From whipping up everyday meals to conquering holiday feasts, Dutch ovens can do it all—and then some. Keep reading to learn more about the 9 best Dutch ovens from top cookware brands like Le Creuset, Lodge, Zwilling, and more. Once you take your pick, don't be surprised when it becomes the most important piece of cookware in your kitchen.
Best Rated: Lodge Enameled Dutch Oven
The number one best-selling Dutch oven on Amazon, this 6-quart enameled option from Lodge has over 18,000 5-star ratings from shoppers. Available in an array of colors that look just as nice in the cabinet as they do on the dining room table, this medium-sized Dutch oven can be used on the stovetop or in the oven. The enamel coating makes cleanup a snap, and it's also chip-resistant to ensure its longevity—one customer raved that theirs lasted a decade before it got even one mark.
A shopper said this Dutch oven will become "your best friend for life" and continued: "Amazing cast iron pot. The quality is superb and the metal is heavy but practical. I used it to bake artisan style bread a couple times and the results were just as if I had put my bread in a brick oven. The color is fantastic and bright...The enamel non-stick surface is so easy to clean, I don't know why I didn't buy this before."
To buy: $70 (originally $115); amazon.com
Best Enameled Cast Iron: Le Creuset Signature Round Dutch Oven
Le Creuset has quite the fan base, and for good reason. For one, it's a trusted brand that sells some of the highest quality cookware on the market—and its Dutch ovens alone are gorgeous. While Le Creuset's signature round Dutch ovens are on the pricier side, anyone who owns one seems to agree that they're well worth the price because they don't just last years, they last decades (talk about durability). What's more, the enameled cast iron material allows for advanced heat distribution that results in quick, easy, and consistent meals every time. The interior coating also prevents food from sticking and makes it easy to clean, while the exterior is resistant to chips, cracks, or damage. This 7.25-quart option is a bit larger than other Dutch ovens, making it a great option for feeding groups or families in one go.
One shopper called Le Creuset's famous Dutch oven "the Bentley of cookware" while another said "there are reasons this is a classic."
Speaking to its longevity, one buyer said: ""I have two Le Creuset round dutch ovens — a 4-quart and a 6-quart pot. I have been cooking with these two workhorses for 50 years and they are as functional today as the first day I brought them home."
Best Affordable Option: Cooks Standard Stainless Steel Dutch Oven
While heavy-duty options from brands like Le Creuset and Lodge are sure to last you for years, you don't have to shell out hundreds of dollars to reap the benefits of cooking with a Dutch oven. Case in point: This highly rated $48 Dutch oven from Cooks Standard. It trades the usual cast iron or enamel Dutch ovens (which work well but can be extremely heavy) for a stainless steel material that's much more lightweight, so it's easier to clean and carry around the kitchen. Safe for both the stovetop and oven, it can even be put in the dishwasher after use.
Along with an aluminum disc bottom that allows for even heating, its see-through glass lid comes in handy when you want to check on your food's progress without removing the lid. Many customers raved about its durability and ability to evenly heat the food. Plus, the 6-quart pot is larger than most standard-sized Dutch ovens, making the budget-friendly price an especially great deal.
To buy: $48; amazon.com
Best Cast Iron: Lodge 5-Quart Dutch Oven
Many chefs prefer pre-seasoned cast iron cookware because it helps food quickly and evenly, not to mention, it creates meals with tons of flavor—and this 5-quart cast iron Dutch oven from Lodge does just that. It comes pre-seasoned and ready to cook in, so you can grab your favorite ingredients and roast, fry, simmer, braise, saute, or bake right away. With superior heat retention and distribution (which you can expect from Lodge products), this versatile Dutch oven can be used in the oven, on the stovetop, on the grill, and even over a campfire. Plus, the cast iron construction means this pan is as durable as it gets. Williams Sonoma shoppers gave this smaller 5-quart Dutch oven an impressive 4.8-star rating, with one writing, "Love my Lodge dutch oven. Excellent quality. Cooked whole chicken comes out so moist and delicious."
Cast iron can rust if not washed and seasoned properly, so be sure to read the care instructions upon arrival and check out this cast iron guide.
To buy: $64; williams-sonoma.com
Best Ceramic Dutch Oven: Zwilling Spirit
Another great stainless steel option, this 6-quart pot from Zwilling has a ceramic non-stick coating inside to make cooking and cleaning easier than ever. It's also dishwasher safe, compatible with most stovetops (even induction), and can be used in the oven at temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Other useful features include heat-resistant handles and a tightly sealed lid to ensure heat doesn't escape.
Reviewers praise this Dutch oven for its quality and say that the ceramic interior makes "cleanup a breeze." One person simply called it "a wonderful dutch oven."
To buy: $125 (originally $140); amazon.com
Best Mid-Sized Option: Martha Stewart Collection 6-Quart Dutch Oven
The best Dutch oven size for most standard needs is a mid-sized 6-quart option, like this enameled cast iron one from the Martha Stewart Collection. This size is large enough to cook almost anything (most 6-quart pots can serve multiple people) but is still compact enough to carry to the table for serving. Available in five stunning colors, this Macy's-exclusive option is pre-seasoned and has a non-stick interior that ensures quick, even heating every time.
It has hundreds of five-star reviews from shoppers who are pleased with its quality, versatility, and overall attractiveness. One shopper noted it "adds beauty to function" while another said: "Beautiful Dutch oven. Perfect for stovetop or oven. Quality compares with Le Creuset for about half the price."
To buy: $100 (originally $200); macys.com
Best Non-Stick Dutch Oven: Calphalon Classic Dutch Oven
This non-stick pot is designed to make cleanup a breeze—the non-stick feature ensures you'll never have to scrub stuck-on food, and it's even dishwasher-safe. This 5-quart aluminum option can be used on the stovetop or in the oven up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Along with a tempered glass lid that keeps heat in, it comes with a built-in pour spout and stainless steel handles that are easy to grip, according to reviewers.
"This is the best Dutch Oven I have ever seen," one shopper wrote. "It is well worth the price. Just the ability to strain pasta directly will save hours." Another said it's "very good quality" and continued: "I like the pouring spout, the tight-fitting glass lid, [and the] handles are very easy to grasp. With arthritis, some handles are difficult to grasp firmly, [but] not these. An all-around great dutch oven. Very satisfied. Also very easy to clean!"
To buy: $52 (originally $55); amazon.com
Best Value: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven
Get you a Dutch oven that can do both. This 2-in-1 cooking tool includes a 5-quart cast iron pot that can be used as a traditional Dutch oven for stovetop or in-oven use, as well as a lid that doubles as a 10-inch skillet. The price also makes it one of the most inexpensive Dutch ovens on the market, while providing double the value. It's no wonder over 7,000 reviewers gave it a perfect 5-star rating. One shopper called it "a must-have in the kitchen!" while another said it's "the best purchase" they've ever made on Amazon.
To buy: $50 (originally $64); amazon.com
Best Non-Toxic Option: Caraway Dutch Oven
Caraway is a newer cookware brand on the market that's known for making high-quality non-toxic cookware. While the company makes everything from saucepans to frying pans, its Dutch oven is one of its most popular products, with over 9,000 five-star reviews. In addition to being Teflon-free, the non-stick pot is oven-safe, easy to clean, and compatible with all stovetops. Even better, there are five pretty colors to choose from that are all sure to elevate any kitchen. "Great cookware that's easy to clean," wrote one shopper. "Been making lots of meals with the dutch oven pot for one-pot dinners and it's the best. Love knowing no toxic chemicals are leaching into my food."
To buy: $125; carawayhome.com