Aside from a sharp set of knives, a Dutch oven is one of the most invaluable tools a cook can use in the kitchen. Between its raised sides, cavernous depth, and accompanying lid, a Dutch oven can easily replace the need for a soup pot or nonstick skillet. Pull it out to simmer stews or other big-batch meals, and even use it as a vehicle to bake homemade sourdough bread. The only issue with a Dutch oven? The price. Dutch ovens from favorite brands like Le Creuset and Staub can easily climb into the high three digits, making it difficult or undesirable to add to one's cooking repertoire.
Which is why if you haven't yet made the plunge to introduce a Dutch oven to your collection, you should seriously consider this Lodge Dutch oven, which is currently on sale for under $75 on Amazon. The affordable, heirloom-quality cookware brand known for cast iron skillets also shuttles out heavy-duty Dutch ovens as well—at a much more reasonable price.
This particular enameled cast iron Dutch oven can hold up to six quarts and features a stainless steel knob and loop handles for easy and efficient control. The smooth glass surface won't react to tough ingredients, and the unparalleled heat retention offers even heating throughout the entire pot. Plus, it's safe to use on top of the stove as well as in the oven.
Amazon shoppers love this affordable Dutch oven, which has nabbed Amazon's Choice label and picked up nearly 18,000 five-star ratings. Reviewers have written that they're "very impressed" by this Dutch oven that "will be your friend for life," with others mentioning that you simply can't go wrong with any of Lodge's products—especially when it comes to the price.
"I've had this Dutch oven for a dozen years, used it at least weekly, baked with it, fried with it, made soup and casserole and curry and every other thing with it, and never once [had] a problem," one shopper shares. "It's as durable as a tank and versatile as Meryl Streep. If I was forced to have only one pan in my kitchen and give up all the others, this would be the one I'd keep."
"I love this pot," another shopper says. "In a zombie apocalypse, I'd grab this pot as I fled my house. It is extremely versatile. I often wonder why I don't just leave it on my stove rather than putting it away each night. I've cooked steaks, hamburgers, stews, pasta sauces, and soups on the stove. I've made casseroles and a ton of dried beans in the oven. My next venture is to use it to bake a boule."
To buy: Lodge 7.5-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, $90 (originally $143) at amazon.com