A Dutch oven is the kitchen workhorse everyone should own. From stovetop and oven, to dining room table, home chef’s love showing off this indispensable piece of cookware.
A Dutch oven is a heavy, multipurpose, cast-iron cooking pot with a tightly fitted lid. You can purchase one with or without a brightly colored enamel coating. These pots also work excellent on a stovetop or in the oven to cook soups, stews, bread, casseroles, roasts, and so much more. It’s an all-in-one kitchen sidekick you’ll use for decades.
You’ll notice there are a lot of Lodge products on this list. When it comes to the value and diversity of cast-iron products, Lodge is the clear winner. It’s hard to find a wider variety of cast-iron cooking tools at more affordable prices.
Best Overall: Lodge Enameled 6-Quart
Lodge has been making some pretty fantastic cast irons (and other high-quality cookware) for over a century. This American-made enameled Dutch oven offers all the same functions as a French brand (like Le Creuset) but at a fraction of the cost.
This kitchen workhorse is great for marinating meat. It retains heat well, and braises and roasts in the oven at up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Like other Dutch ovens, you can also use this multipurpose tool to sauté, simmer, or fry on the stovetop.
If you need a high-quality showpiece, but don’t want to spend hundreds, this gorgeous Dutch oven is your best option.
Best Splurge: Le Creuset Signature
Le Creuset tends to set the stage for other French and Dutch Ovens with its high-quality craftsmanship, strength, and ultimate durability. This gorgeous cookware is best for slow-cooking, roasting, and braising, and it also works excellently on the stovetop.
We love Le Creuset because no seasoning is required—it’s ready to use right out of the box. The durable sand-colored interior enamel is also resistant to stains, chips, cracks, and general wear.
The lid fits securely for heat retention and the handles are larger than other brands for easy lifting and a sure grip. This one is the lightest by quart cast-iron oven on the market. It’s oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Le Creuset LS2501-266MSS Signature Enameled Cast-Iron Round French (Dutch) Oven, 5-1/2-Quart, Marine
Sets high-quality standards for other brands.
Best for Feeding a Crowd: Staub 7-Quart Oval Cocotte
If you need a Dutch or French Oven that can feed more than a few mouths, then the Staub 7-quart ought to do the trick. This gorgeously designed cookware transitions from stovetop to oven, to tabletop, where you’ll love showing it off.
What we love most about the Staub is its uniquely designed lid interior. It features tiny spikes to help release condensed liquid back into your meal. This allows moisture to drip back into the Dutch oven, yielding flavor-enhanced foods.
Best Bang for Your Buck: AmazonBasics Enameled
Like other brands, the AmazonBasics Dutch oven features an enameled finish for long-lasting durability, and the cast-iron material provides heat retention and distribution. This Dutch Oven can roast, bake, marinate, sauté, and functions properly either on the stovetop or in the oven.
Unlike other brands, though, this Dutch Oven is only safe in the oven up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, rather than 500. Aside from that, it boasts all the other important characteristics and will serve its purpose for years.
Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven - 4.3-Quart, Navy
Gets the job done for much cheaper.
Best for Outdoor Cooking: Lodge 9 Quart Cast Iron
Camping is a cherished family tradition. For many, this includes sleeping under the stars and catching your dinner. When you have a family of hungry mouths to feed, this camping Dutch oven will save the day.
The pre-seasoned cast-iron pot and lid come complete with a wire bail handle, perfect for cooking over a campfire. Whether you’re frying up hot dogs or whipping up some early morning scrambles, this American-made Dutch Oven will last for decades.
This old-school cookware is fit for the kitchen and all other heat sources.
Lodge 9 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven. Pre Seasoned Cast Iron Pot and Lid with Wire Bail for Camp Cooking
Perfect for grilling up some goodness over the campfire.
Best Non-Enameled: Lodge Pre-Seasoned
This non-enameled Dutch oven features most of the same high-quality functions as the enameled versions. The cast-iron construction conducts and retains heat extremely well.
The minor downside to a non-enameled Dutch oven is it requires a bit more care. Because it isn’t glazed with an interior (or exterior) enamel coating, it must be seasoned before use. It also can’t withstand being soaked in water.
But, don’t fret! Caring for a Dutch oven isn’t overly complicated. As long as you properly clean your cast iron, you can keep it for generations to come.
We love that this Lodge Dutch Oven is already pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil and ready to serve all your frying, searing, and cooking needs.
Lodge Pre-Seasoned Dutch Oven With Loop Handles and Cast Iron Cover, 7 Quart, Black
Retains heat like no other.
If you haven’t yet splurged on a Dutch oven, we highly recommend you do. They also make fantastic gifts! As long as they’re properly cared for, they can be passed down for generations.