5 (Wildly Different) Dutch Ovens That Kitchn Editors Use on a Daily Basis

published Dec 6, 2021
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

We’ve gone on the record saying that we think all home cooks should own a Dutch oven. Why? Because these pots are so darn versatile. They can boil water for pasta, braise, roast, bake, sear, simmer, and deep-fry. They’re workhorses and they’re lookers, to boot! Of course, there are lots of Dutch ovens out there. And in this case, too many choices can be overwhelming. We can help you, though. We’ve spent hours performing extensive testing in order to come up with our official Best List. Also, we just ran a quick poll among our staff. See, our editors are home cooks. They develop all the recipes for this site in their home kitchens — not some fancy test kitchen. We wanted to round up the options that work in real life, day after day.

The results? We heard about five very different options. While most of our editors nominated the classics (the ones you picture in your mind’s eye), we also heard about a ceramic option and a super-sleek one that looks more like straight cast iron. Check out the Dutch ovens our editors use at home and then let us know what you have.

1. Lodge 6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

“I have a large Lodge Dutch oven that I use for big batches of red beans and rice. I love that it cooks evenly and has a beautiful bright red color. I also have a Lodge that is not enameled that I used for baking sourdough (remember when we all did that?) and it was the perfect size for that!” — Patty Catalano, contributor

2. Le Creuset 9-Quart Enameled Dutch Oven

“I grew up as a fan of Le Creuset because my mom used their cookware that she brought back from France when she spent time there as a young woman. I’ve had my own 9-Quart Le Creuset Dutch oven for about 15 years and it’s still going strong. I use it for braising and making chili, stew, and a batch of beans. I also went through a big kick of making no-knead bread in it. I love how it can easily go from the stovetop to the oven, and it’s basically indestructible as long as you clean it properly (hint: soak, don’t scrub).” — Megan Steintrager, Senior Food Editor

3. Staub 7-Quart Dutch Oven

“I love my Staub Dutch ovens because they cook incredibly evenly. They also stack up nice and look great on my shelf. I have the 4-quart for smaller jobs and the 7-quart for bigger ones. Which one do I use the most? Honestly, it’s a tie!” Amelia Rampe, Studio Food Editor

4. Caraway Dutch Oven

“I’ve had my Caraway Dutch oven for a couple of years now and it still looks brand new. It has retained its nonstick ceramic interior and there is no chipping (a problem with other ceramic cookware I’ve had previously) despite almost-daily use and dishwasher cleaning afterwards. It’s not too heavy to lift, and it’s nice to look at!” Lauren Kodiak, Copy Chief

5. Borough Furnace 5.5-Quart Enameled Dutch Oven

“I’m lucky enough to have a Staub and a Le Creuset, but the Dutch oven that I leave out (and use the most) comes from Borough Furnace. I love its tight-fitting lid, the big handles, the bumps on the lid that baste food as it cooks, and the fact that there’s no knob that could possibly melt. It also develops a ridiculous amount of fond and sears incredibly well. It looks like cast iron but it’s enameled so I don’t have to season it. (The brand does offer a non-enameled option for those who are committed!) And it doesn’t look like other Dutch ovens, so when I have company over, they almost always comment on it. This Dutch oven is currently sold out, but I’ve been told there will be a restock after the holidays.” Lisa Freedman, Executive Lifestyle Director

Who makes your favorite Dutch oven? Tell us in the comments below!