One of Our Favorite Cookware Brands Just Entered the Running for Best Dutch Oven

We put it to the test.

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Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Photo: Made In Cookware

I tend to steer clear of buzzy kitchen gadgets. I have a few tried-and-true pieces of equipment that I can't live without, and I care for them like I would an important piece of heirloom jewelry. Like many home cooks, my Dutch oven is one of my most prized pieces. I jump at any opportunity to braise, fry, and bake with mine, so I was thrilled to learn that Made In (one of our favorite cookware brands) was finally launching their own version. They shared one to try out ahead of the launch, and I promptly put it to the test frying chicken and braising meat. Here's how it held up.

Made In Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Made In Dutch Oven
Courtesy of Made In

To buy: $199 at madeincookware.com

The 5.5-quart oven is made from enameled cast iron, which means it should thoroughly and evenly conduct heat. Like most Dutch ovens, I found the wide cooking surface to be ideal for searing short ribs. I was pleasantly surprised to see that I could achieve an evenly golden crust on every piece of meat, whether it was in the center of the pan or towards the outer edges. The enameled cast iron surface cooked everything evenly and prevented any sticking while searing.

Made In's Dutch oven lid is designed to have a steam "cloud cover" that creates condensation that the brand promises will help self-baste stews. Much like Staub's "rain-forest" lids, the textured interior of the lid helped trap moisture inside and allowed it to return to the contents of the pot. It's hard to tell if this feature made my food any more or less moist, but I was happy to see cooking liquid returning to the pot rather than escaping in the form of steam. The cast iron interior tolerated and maintained high heat, so I was able to fry chicken consistently without the temperature of the oil fluctuating each time I added new pieces. Though the lid is heavy duty, it wasn't as tight-fitting as I would've liked, and slid around a bit when I moved the cooker in and out of the oven.

Made In Dutch Oven
Courtesy of Laura Denby

In addition to their durability, Dutch ovens are known for their aesthetic appeal. Brands like Le Creuset, Staub, and Great Jones have set a high standard for the gorgeous cookers, and Made In's iteration did not disappoint. This edition comes with an elegant navy blue exterior, black enameled interior, and large, brass knob. The wide handles provide substantial space to grip, which made the heavy-duty piece comfortable and easy to take in and out of the oven. It's gorgeous to look at, and if I had more counter space I'd be tempted to leave it out as a piece of decor rather than the workhorse tool it actually is. It's important to note that it's only offered in navy at the moment, so if you're looking to work within a specific color scheme, you might be out of luck for now.

Dutch ovens are a coveted item in both professional kitchens and home kitchens. The coveted tool can be passed down for generations, and serves as a sturdy and versatile cooker. Overall, like most Made In equipment, this is a durable and functional piece that I'd recommend to any home cook looking for a high-quality Dutch oven. If you've been waiting for your chance to snag one of these heritage pieces, Made In's Launch Edition is a reasonably priced option that stands up to the competition.

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