Sure those pricey Dutch ovens made in France (the ones that come in a myriad of colors) are gorgeous, but they won't necessarily make you a better cook. For under a hundred bucks, you can find one that will be just as good at helping you whip up an absolutely delicious beef bourguignon. Promise.
Note: Prices were accurate at time of editing.
- Emile Henry 2.6-Quart Dutch Oven, $93: Even though it's ceramic, not metal, the Emile Henry can take the direct heat of the stovetop as well as go in the oven. You can also use it in the microwave and on the grill and pop it in the dishwasher. Bonus: It's the perfect shape for no-knead bread.
- Lodge 4.5-Quart Dutch Oven, $57: You'll need muscles to lift this heavy enameled cast iron pot, but you can trust it to hold in heat and simmer steadily. Because the sides are relatively shallow, this one's better for stews or pot roasts than soups.
- Circulon Genesis Stainless Steel 5-Quart Covered Dutch Oven, $42: Believe it or not, Dutch ovens don't always have to be heavy and colorful. This option from Circulon is shiny on the outside and nonstick on the inside. There's a base of aluminum to help it heat evenly. With its high straight sides and relatively light weight, this Dutch oven can double as a pasta cooker.
- Cuisinart 5.25-Quart Dutch Oven, $70: If maneuvering a heavy cast iron Dutch oven in and out of cabinets and around the stove is not your idea of fun, you'll love this Dutch oven. It's about half the weight of traditional cast iron but still gives the excellent heating the material is known for. Plus, it's super easy to take care of: It has a nonstick finish and is dishwasher-safe.
- Calphalon Classic Nonstick 7-Quart Dutch Oven, $60: Want a workhorse, not a looker? Check out this large hard-anodized aluminum (lighter than cast iron) Dutch oven with a nonstick finish inside, measuring marks, pour spouts, and a straining lid.
- Tramontina 5.5-Quart Enameled Round Cast Iron Dutch Oven, $51: This homey-looking pot comes in an array of colors — even purple, the Pantone color of the year! With its straight sides and large capacity, it's good for making chicken soup or a big batch of chili.
- Epicurious Aluminum Nonstick 8-Quart Covered Dutch Oven, $64: Chase away the winter doldrums with this pot-bellied, shiny red Dutch oven. It's not just a cheerful face — it can hold a whopping 2 gallons (enough for a load of short ribs). And it's made of aluminum, so you won't find it impossible to lift and carry to the table. It comes with a meat rack, and there's a stainless steel disc on the bottom, which means it can be used on induction burners.
- Food Network 5-Quart Preseasoned Cast-Iron Dutch Oven, $50 at Kohl's: For down-home cooking, there's nothing like traditional black cast iron. But getting the patina, which makes this material practically nonstick, is a time-consuming chore. This Dutch oven comes already seasoned so it's ready to use right out of the box.
- Threshold Dutch Oven 6-Quart Pink, $50 at Target: Calling all girly girls. Here's a pot in your beloved millennial pink! But don't be fooled by its sweet color — this enameled cast iron Dutch oven weighs in at a hefty 13 pounds and can simmer beans with the best of them.
Do you have a Dutch oven? What kind, and how much did you pay for it?