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The Best Dutch Ovens You Can Buy Right Now

updated Mar 21, 2024
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Credit: Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

We’re passionate about cookware here at The Kitchn, and if there’s one piece we love, it’s the mighty Dutch oven. This kitchen mainstay is something we’d even go so far as to call the most versatile pot in existence. With its high sides, roomy cooking surface, and accompanying lid, it can do it all: boil water for pasta, braise, roast, bake, sear, simmer, and deep-fry. 

This means every home cook (hey, that’s you!) needs a great Dutch oven in their arsenal. But, therein lies the question: Which one do you get? There are so many out there, from various brands (old and new) in all sorts of materials and sizes, so finding the right one can feel overwhelming. That’s why we’re here. Over the years, we’ve tested and reviewed dozens of Dutch ovens so you can rest assured: these picks are tried and true favorites. Let’s chat Dutch ovens, shall we?

What We Look for in a Dutch Oven

When it comes to Dutch Ovens, there are four areas we consider when deciding what makes a great pick:

  1. Cooking: How thoroughly and evenly does the Dutch oven brown protein? Does it cook grains well, too? And what about bread? 
  2. Ease of use: How easy is it to lift each Dutch oven and move it from the stovetop and into the oven — and vice versa?
  3. Cleanup: Does the Dutch oven clean easily?
  4. Durability: Does the Dutch oven chip, crack, dent, or become discolored?

Below, we rounded up some of the best Dutch ovens on the market today that hit all of these criteria and then some, including some long-standing favorites of the team here at The Kitchn, as well as reader favorites you all can’t get enough of.

Do you have a Dutch oven you swear by that didn’t make this list? We want to hear all about it. Tell us about your favorite finds in the comments below!

A Closer Look at the Best Dutch Ovens

1 / 9
Best Overall
Le Creuset

Le Cresuet is a go-to for a reason. This Dutch oven cooks like a dream: making rice well, browning meatballs and chicken thighs evenly and thoroughly, and baking excellent bread. It has a roomy cooking surface and its light interior makes it easy to monitor browning. It also has wide handles and a large, grippy lid knob. It was easy enough to clean and didn’t chip or scratch throughout testing. Its downsides? It’s heavy, weighing at about 11 pounds, and expensive. However, if it’s in your budget, this is a gorgeous Dutch oven that cooks beautifully and is built to last.

Who it’s best for: The cook who’s looking for an investment piece of cookware that’s both gorgeous and functional.
Good to know: It’s available in additional sizes (all the way from a 1-quart option to a 13 1/4-quart option) and comes in 20-plus different colors, although not all colors are available for each size. It’s also induction-friendly and has a lifetime warranty. While the pot we tested came with a stainless steel knob, these Dutch ovens can also come with the brand's signature black knob or gold-colored stainless steel knob. You can also purchase these knobs separately and swap one for another, depending on your personal preference.

2 / 9
Best Overall: Runner Up
Williams Sonoma

Staub also makes a top-notch Dutch oven. This pick has a roomy cooking surface and while its dark interior makes it tougher to gauge browning and watch fond develop, it won’t discolor like a light interior might over time. Its handles and lid knob are smaller than Le Creuset’s, but still comfortable enough to grasp — even with oven mitts on. It also comes clean fairly easily and doesn't chip or scratch. This one is also heavy and pricey. However, this is a splurge-worthy piece of cookware that’ll be with you for a long time.

Who it’s best for: Those who are looking to invest in a piece of cookware and are comfortable with browning and caramelizing food without relying on visual cues from the pan.
Good to know: Available in 6 sizes (4-quart to 13 1/4-quart) and in 15+ colors, although not all colors are available for each size. It’s induction-friendly and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

So, which one should you get if you're debating between a Staub and a Le Creuset? Honestly, it's a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer the elevated style of a Staub and the dark interior, while others like the classic look of the Le Creuset and its light interior. (Julia Child helped popularize Le Creuset in the States and the pots are still available in the original bright red-orange color she had!) Both will set you back a pretty penny, which brings up one more question I imagine you might have: Why spend this kind of cash on a Dutch oven when you can get a good budget stand-in?

You certainly do not have to spend this much. But if you do, I don't think you'll regret it. These pots are true workhorses; they're incredibly long-lasting, and while they're often talked about as status symbols, they're made by top brands with rich histories and solid manufacturing experience. With the warranty, the quality, and all that these brands have to offer, you're also investing in peace of mind.

3 / 9
Best Under $150
Kana Lifestyle

While the Milo Dutch oven isn’t as well-known as the ones from Le Creuset or Staub, we honestly think it should be! It excels at everything we made in it: rice, meatballs, chicken, and bread. It cleaned up fairly easily and didn’t chip or scratch. Its pretty, gold knob came a little loose during testing, but we just tightened it using a screwdriver. And while this pot’s handles were on the small side, that lid knob was large and grippy. Overall, this is an impressive (not too expensive!) Dutch oven that we’d recommend to anyone who asks.

Who it’s best for: Those looking for a mid-priced Dutch oven and would like to support a smaller cookware brand.
Good to know: While its green, blue, and black colors have dark interiors, you can opt for the white Dutch oven, which comes with a light-colored interior. It’s also available in a mini (3.5-quart) size, has a lifetime warranty, and is induction-friendly.

4 / 9
Best Budget

For less than $100, this Cuisinart Dutch oven was hard to beat. It has a roomy cooking surface, and everything we made in it turned out great. While its handles were a touch small, they were still large enough to comfortably grasp — and its lid’s knob was as wide as the Le Creuset knobs. It was easy enough to clean, too, but it did chip when I whacked the rim with a metal spoon, so it’s not as durable as some of the other pots tested. Its lid also came with a large sticker, which left a sticky film that was frustrating to remove.

Who it’s best for: Those looking for a budget-friendly Dutch oven that’s no-frills, but performs well.
Good to know: It’s available in a myriad of colors and sizes. This pot allso comes with a lifetime warranty and is induction-friendly.

5 / 9
Best Nonstick

The Caraway nonstick Dutch oven was seriously impressive. It didn’t brown as deeply as the enameled cast iron Dutch ovens did, but it did cook rice, chicken thighs, and meatballs well and even baked a good loaf of bread. Nothing stuck to its surface, which made cleanup a cinch. We loved its big handles and the fact that it was lightweight and oven-safe to 550°F. After testing, we did notice a few scratches on its exterior; however, if you want a nonstick Dutch oven, this will not disappoint.

Who it’s best for: Those who prefer nonstick cookware or can’t lift a heavy enameled cast iron Dutch oven.
Good to know: Available in 5 colors or as part of this cookware set and is induction-friendly.

6 / 9
Best Oval
Great Jones

Another option from a smaller, new-ish-to-the-scene cookware brand, the Dutchess Dutch oven has a roomy cooking surface and generously sized, half-moon-shaped handles. Because of its longer shape, a few meatballs on the outskirts of the pot didn’t get as well-browned. However, it cooked chicken thighs more evenly and made great rice and beautiful bread. We liked its grey-colored interior, which made it easy to monitor browning, but won’t stain easily. (Independently of this test, I’ve owned a Dutchess for years and it hasn’t chipped or scratched. After testing it against others, I’m still a big fan.)

Who it’s best for: Those who want a larger Dutch oven at a reasonable price and are fans of Great Jones.
Good to know: It’s available in six colors and as part of this cookware set and is induction-friendly. Great Jones also makes a 3 1/2-quart Dutch oven that nests inside The Dutchess. It also comes in six colors, so you can match your Dutchess and Dutch Baby, if you like.

7 / 9
Best for Bread

If you’re looking to do a good amount of bread baking, this Lodge pick is the Dutch oven for you! Why would you need a different sort of Dutch oven for bread? Because bread can actually cause some damage, aesthetically speaking, which is a bummer — especially if you’ve spent a lot of money on a Le Creuset or Staub. (Simply put: When exposed to high heat, any leftover traces of oil can polymerize onto the surface of a Dutch oven, forming splotchy, somewhat sticky brown patches that are tough to remove. While these patches don’t affect the Dutch oven’s performance, we think you’re better off with a cheaper Dutch oven for all your little loaves.)

So, if you want to churn out lots of bread, I recommend a cheaper Dutch oven. This Lodge pot fits the bill and makes beautifully browned loaves of bread. It has sides that slope inwards, which means its surface area is smaller (it fit fewer meatballs), but it still cooks and browns food evenly. It did arrive with a sizable chip out of its exterior enamel so it’s not the most durable. However, it’s still a solid, not-too-expensive option.

Who it’s best for: Anyone who wants to bake a lot of sourdough or no-knead bread.
Good to know: It’s induction-friendly, available in 3- to 7.5-quart sizes, and comes in numerous colors (although not all colors are available in every size).

8 / 9
Best Stainless Steel
was $120.00

This light, stainless steel Dutch oven has a roomy cooking surface and comfortable, wide handles. However, the bread we baked in it came out too blonde and didn’t have a crisp crust. This Dutch oven also had a good bit of stains post-testing, however, it didn’t dent or scratch — even after I hit it with a metal spoon. Overall, this is a good stainless steel pot that’s easy to lift and it cooks well, too. I also really liked the Proclamation Duo, which is a hybrid piece of stainless steel cookware that combines a skillet and a Dutch oven (and does so successfully!).

Who it’s best for: Anyone who’s looking for a lightweight Dutch oven and won’t be using it to bake bread.
Good to know: It’s induction-friendly and has a lifetime warranty.

9 / 9
Best Multipurpose
Our Place

If you're short on space and want a Dutch oven that's also a whole bunch of other things, then the Perfect Pot might be right for you. It combines a stockpot, sauce pot, braiser, and, yes, a Dutch oven, amongst other things, and comes with a roasting/steamer rack and wooden spoon that conveniently rests on the pot's handle. It has a slick ceramic nonstick surface that's easy to clean and browns fairly evenly. It's also lightweight and has fairly roomy handles, so it's easy to lift and maneuver. The Perfect Pot is oven-safe to 425°F, which is good for stovetop-to-oven applications like braising, but not for tasks that require a higher temperature, like baking bread. And because it has a ceramic nonstick coating, it doesn't have the same longevity as an enameled cast iron Dutch oven (nonstick, generally, has a 5-year lifespan). But, if you're curious about all-in-one cookware or already have the Always Pan, you'll like the Perfect Pot, too.

Who it's best for: If you're short on space and want a lightweight Dutch oven that comes with some extra accessories, but don't plan on baking bread with it.
Good to know: It's induction-friendly, but not broiler-safe. It also comes in six colors.

FAQ: Everything You Need to Know About Dutch Ovens

Credit: Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm
Extra roomy handles (like the one on the right right!) made some Dutch ovens easier to pick up than others.

What is a Dutch oven?

In the 17th century, the Dutch developed a technique for casting metals in molds made of sand instead of clay. This new method lent itself well to the production of iron cookware and the Dutch oven was born. Due to their cast-iron construction, most Dutch ovens tend to be heavy in weight and can be used both on the stove and in the oven. They are generally used for moist cooking methods, like braising or making soups and stews, but can also be used for other cooking methods, like baking bread and deep-frying.

What Material is best for a Dutch Oven?

From enameled cast iron and stainless steel to aluminum, nonstick, and ceramic-coated Dutch ovens, there’s a lot to say when it comes to materials, but here are some key takeaways:

  • Enameled cast iron: When you picture a Dutch oven, this is likely what pops into your mind. These types of pots are cast iron (just like the skillet you know and love) and they have an enamel coating, which is a type of glass. This coating means you don’t have to season or care for your pot like you would a traditional cast iron skillet. Enameled cast iron retains heat well (so you get nice, even browning), comes clean easily enough, is fairly durable, and doesn’t require any maintenance like regular cast iron does. 
  • Stainless steel: These Dutch ovens are lighter than enameled cast iron pots, making them much easier to lift. But because they don’t retain heat as well as enameled cast iron, they’re not as great for anything that really relies on the heat of the cast iron (like bread). 
  • Nonstick coated: These pots usually have an aluminum or ceramic core with a nonstick coating. This is a great option for those who can’t lift an enameled cast iron Dutch oven or just prefer nonstick cookware. It also makes cleanup a breeze. Just know that nonstick cookware doesn’t have the durability of cast iron, with its average lifespan being about five years.
  • Traditional cast iron: We didn’t include any entirely cast iron Dutch ovens in this list because honestly, they just require too much upkeep. While seasoning a skillet is fine, I think there are better, more convenient options when it comes to a Dutch oven. If you really want a cast iron Dutch oven (maybe you’re a big camper), go with this one from Lodge.

What Size Dutch Oven Should You Get?

At the end of the day, the size of the Dutch oven you choose will come down to how you’ll use it. The best size for most home cooks will be the 5 1/2-quart Dutch oven because it can accommodate pretty much every recipe you want to try. However, some Dutch ovens only start at 6- or 7-quart sizes, and if you regularly cook for a larger crowd (more than four or five people), you might find these larger sizes (especially the 7-quart Dutch oven) more accommodating.

How Much Does the Pot Weigh and Is It Easy to Handle?

The best Dutch ovens — no matter their material — have wide, roomy handles that make them easy to lift into and out of the oven … even with bulky oven mitts on. They also have large, grippy knobs on their lids for easy meal check-ins.

One thing to note: enameled cast iron Dutch ovens are heavy, so it’s important to take this into account when deciding on the right Dutch oven for you. Our favorites clock in between approximately 11 and 15 pounds — without food in them. If you have arthritis or simply can’t lift something that heavy, a nonstick or stainless steel Dutch oven is the way to go.

How to Clean a Dutch Oven

While there are many methods out there, when it comes to cleaning a Dutch oven, the simplest way is the best way — and the key is baking soda. Add 4 cups of water to your pot and bring it to a boil on medium heat. Once the water is boiling, add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and stir with a wooden spoon. Let the solution simmer for a few minutes, scraping a wooden spoon across the bottom of the pan. Dump the solution down the drain, rinse with warm water, and wipe dry (Increase the solution if you have a larger pan). Fun fact: This has been Kitchn’s preferred cleaning method for years now!

And for those wondering if Dutch ovens can go in the dishwasher, it’s best to stick to handwashing these pieces. Cast iron should never go in the dishwasher and while some of the stainless steel and nonstick versions may claim to be dishwasher-safe, handwashing is the best way to avoid any possible damage and ensure the longevity of your cookware.

For more on how to clean a Dutch oven, check our showdown where we put five of the most popular cleaning methods to the test.

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