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Ready to whip up some cozy and satisfying oven-cooked meals? Stock up on one of the best Dutch ovens, including Blair’s personal favorites that she uses to make all of her Dutch oven recipes!
To come up with these best bets, Blair and I researched all the leading sellers on the market, focusing on heavy-duty Dutch ovens with tight-fitting lids and easy-to-grip handles. On a daily basis, Blair relies on Dutch ovens from Staub, Le Creuset, and Smithey Ironware; however, we also found several impressive choices from other popular brands.
Our Top Picks:
In Blair’s Kitchen:
- Blair’s Top Pick for Most People: Staub Cast Iron Dutch Oven (5.5 Quart) – $359.95 at Amazon
- Blair’s Favorite Large Dutch Oven: Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron (7.25 Quart) – $459.95 at Amazon
- Blair’s Hidden Gem: Smithey Ironware Dutch Oven (5.5 Quart) – $295 at Smithey Ironware
- Best Budget: Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven (6 Quart) – $79.90 at Amazon
- Best Nonstick: Calphalon Classic Nonstick Dutch Oven (7 Quart) – $68.15 at Amazon
Reviews of The Best Dutch Ovens
1. Blair’s Top Pick for Most People: Staub Round Cocotte (5.5 Quart)
Although Blair owns multiple Dutch ovens, this one is her top pick for most home chefs. Made in France, this Staub cookware is constructed from heavy-duty enameled cast iron, and it’s oven-safe up to a whopping 900°F (without its lid). Nonstick and extremely scratch resistant, it can be used on a wide range of stovetops (including gas or halogen). With its tight-fitting lid, dishes gently braise in the oven—and stay warm when on the table.
Blair often uses it for her no-knead Dutch oven bread recipe because the steam trapped inside keeps the crust soft longer, allowing the bread to expand to create a perfect, rustic loaf. The ergonomic handles make it easy to grab and carry, while the gorgeous design and range of colors elevate the table. “I love the Staub Dutch Oven! It conducts and holds heat beautifully and is an heirloom piece that will last for generations,” says Blair.
- Enameled cast iron with a nonstick finish
- 5.49 quarts
- Heavy, tight-fitting lid
- Nickel steel knob
- Oven safe up to 900°F without lid (up to 500°F with lid)
- Holds heat well
- Lasts forever
- Matte interior improves browning
- Hand washing recommended
What Others are Saying:
Buy the Staub 5.5-Quart Round Cocotte:
2. Blair’s Favorite Large Dutch Oven: Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron (7.25 Quart)
Available in more than 10 different colors, this beautiful enameled cast iron pot has a shock-resistant exterior coating and is made in France from Le Creuset, an iconic brand that specializes in kitchenware. With a medium capacity, this pick is ideal when you’re making large pots of soup, stew, and chili—and it’s also what Blair uses in most recipes on her site, including pot roast. It’s her preferred cooking method for this dish because of the ease of controlling the cooking time of both the beef and the potatoes.
“It’s the way to go,” she says. Plus, the interior finish on the Le Creuset Dutch oven allows ingredients to caramelize without sticking or staining the enamel. Blair owns the 7.25 quart Le Creuset Dutch oven in both blue and white and believes they are totally worth the investment!
- Enameled cast iron
- 7.25 quarts
- Stainless steel knob
- Shock-resistant exterior enamel
- Nonstick, stain-resistant enamel interior
- A real lifetime warranty!
What Others are Saying:
Buy the Le Creuset Dutch Oven:
3. Blair’s Hidden Gem: Smithey Ironware Dutch Oven (5.5-Quart)
Blair swears by Smithey Ironware’s artisan cookware because “the heirloom-quality pieces will last for generations, and they’re beautifully crafted.” This Dutch oven is made in Charleston, S.C., and is one of Blair’s favorites. Although not as well known as other options, it won Blair over because of its beauty, easy-to-grip handles, and excellent heat conduction and retention. It’s made of durable enameled cast iron and the polished interior is nonstick and easy to clean.
Thanks to its domed lid that recirculates heat and moisture, this pot allows foods to braise gently in the oven and remain warm when you’re ready to serve. To top it off, the Smithey Ironware Dutch oven can be used on 7 different cooking methods ranging from ceramic or electric stovetops to open fires and grills.
- 5.5 quarts
- Weighs about 14 pounds
- Polished interior
- Multi-use domed lid
- Even, consistent heat
Buy the Smithey Ironware 5.5-Quart Dutch Oven:
4. Best Budget: Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven (6-Quart)
This family-owned brand (established in 1896) is famous for its affordable cast iron cookware, like this best seller in the Dutch oven category on Amazon. The Lodge is made from smooth, porcelain enameled cast iron with a stainless steel knob and loop handles that make it easy to carry. This reliable pot is oven-safe up to 500°F, so you can finish dishes under the broiler. Plus, your table will look stylish, with more than a dozen vibrant color options. We also love the price, which offers cooks a real value for their dollar.
- Enameled cast iron
- 13.52 pounds
- Stainless steel knob and loop handles
- Oven-safe up to 500°F
- Conducts and holds heat well
- Comes in several colors
- Hand-washing is recommended (although dishwasher-safe)
What Others are Saying:
Buy the Lodge 6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven:
5. Best Nonstick: Calphalon Classic Nonstick Dutch Oven (7 Quart)
To make clean-up easier, add a nonstick Dutch oven to your arsenal like the Calphalon classic, which comes from a reliable brand at a reasonable price. Made from anodized aluminum, this Dutch oven pot is lightweight for easy carrying, and is multifunctional with built-in pour spouts, measuring marks, and strainers. Plus, the larger capacity makes it ideal for preparing meals at family gatherings and is the perfect size for cooking roasts and whole chickens.
- Hard anodized aluminum
- 6 pounds
- Tempered glass lid
- Lighter weight
- Only oven-safe up to 450°F
- Not ideal for oven-to-table
- Can’t be used under the broiler
What Others are Saying:
Buy the Calphalon Classic Nonstick Dutch Oven:
Other Dutch Ovens We Considered
Praised by Serious Eats and rated an average of 4.7 stars by more than 6,100 Amazon reviewers, this enameled cast iron Dutch oven has wide handles, is dishwasher-safe, and comes in two rich colors. The Cuisinart Chef’s 5-Quart Enameled Iron Dutch Oven is available at Amazon for $99.95.
Available in a wide range of colors and at the lowest price among our recommended products, this enameled cast iron pot is a great value pick. However, it does have its drawbacks: it’s only oven-safe up to 400°F and is hand-wash only. The AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven is available at Amazon for $49.99.
Praised by The Spruce Eats, this large, deep enamel-coated cast iron pot has sturdy handles and a stainless-steel knob. Hand wash-only, it’s oven-safe up to 450°F. The Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron 6.5-Quart Dutch Oven is available at Amazon for $73.81.
Rated “Best Non-Toxic Dutch Oven” by Food and Wine, this 6.5-quart pot is naturally nonstick, oven-safe up to 550°F, and free of PTFE, PFOA, PFAS, lead, and cadmium. The Caraway Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven is available at Target for $121.50.
If you plan on cooking over an open fire, this large-capacity dutch oven is a great choice for camping. The pre-seasoned, portable pot has integral legs and a flanged lid that can double as a griddle. The Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron 8-Quart Dutch Oven is available at Amazon for $79.90.
Why You Can Trust Us
I’m Dina, a lifestyle writer, author of 6 cookbooks, and lover of soups and stews. I worked on this roundup of the best Dutch ovens with Blair, the voice behind The Seasoned Mom and a daily user of Dutch ovens.
To come up with our list of the best Dutch ovens, we first selected the ones Blair owns and loves as the top picks. Then we browsed the most popular Dutch ovens at major retailers and went through buying guides from culinary experts and trusted review sites to find others to consider. After comparing them to one another, we narrowed down our list of the best Dutch ovens.
Everything to Know Before Buying a Dutch Oven
What is a Dutch Oven Used For?
A Dutch oven is a heavy-lidded pot with a thick exterior that locks in heat, moisture, and flavor, making it ideal for braising. Made of cast iron, aluminum, or ceramic, it’s used for soups, stews, roasts, deep frying, and bread. They can be placed in an oven, on the stovetop, or even over an open fire (but may vary depending on the product).
What to Consider When Shopping for a Dutch Oven
Look for heavy-duty Dutch ovens that retain and hold heat well and have handles and tight-fitting lids. Ideally, they’ll be oven safe even under the broiler (at 500°F or above) and easy to clean. Blair also loves heirloom pieces that will stand the test of time and go from oven to table.
What Size Dutch Oven Should You Buy?
Blair recommends stocking up on a range of sizes of Dutch ovens. Mid-size pots (about 4-6 quarts) are ideal for bread and smaller batches of soups and stews, while larger vessels (7-9 quarts) work for family-size meals, whole chickens, and roasts.
How Do You Clean a Dutch Oven?
Technically, most enameled Dutch ovens are dishwasher-safe. That being said, over time, the dishwasher can dull the enamel, so it’s better to hand wash the pots with warm water and a non-abrasive pad to protect the coating. If you’re using a seasoned cast iron Dutch oven, to prevent it from rusting, do not put it in the dishwasher and be sure to dry it completely before putting it away. Traditional cast iron cookware should be re-seasoned after cleaning by applying vegetable oil and heating it in the oven.
What Do You Cook in a Dutch Oven?
A Dutch oven is extremely versatile, so you can use it to cook chicken, pot roast, beef stew, peach cobbler, bread, soup, chili, and more. However, if you’re using a traditional cast iron pot (vs. an enameled one), to prevent it from corroding and rusting over time, it’s best to avoid cooking acidic foods like citrus or vinegar (in case the pan is under-seasoned). You should also steer clear of sticky substances like syrup until the cast iron Dutch oven has been seasoned several times.
Is There a Good Dutch Oven Substitute?
If you don’t have a Dutch oven, you could substitute a stock pot or slow cooker, but it’s not quite the same. You’ll need to adjust your recipe to account for the difference in cooking times, and you won’t be able to boil or seer food like you can with a Dutch oven. Still, debating between a slow cooker and a Dutch oven is often a matter of convenience, recipe type, and personal preference.
That said, when it comes to making her pork stew recipe in a slow cooker or a Dutch oven, it’s no contest for Blair: she claims that the Dutch oven yields the best-tasting pork stew every time. “Its tight-fitting lid traps the moisture inside the pot — resulting in the juiciest stew and meat that you will ever taste.”
The Best Dutch Oven Recipes
Put your new pots to work with these top Dutch oven recipes on The Seasoned Mom:
- Dutch Oven Pot Roast
- Dutch Oven Pork Roast with Gravy
- Dutch Oven Beef Stew
- Crisp and Juicy Dutch Oven Chicken
- Dutch Oven Bread (No Knead)
- Dutch Oven Pork Stew
Prices were accurate at the time of publication.