Kitchn Love Letters

This Iconic Dutch Oven Has Changed the Way I Cook for the Better (and You Can Score It for Just $100 Right Now)

updated Feb 18, 2022
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Woman cooking in the kitchen with her dog
Credit: Boris Jovanovic/Stocksy

I initially planned on waiting until the future when I was living alone with a nicer kitchen to treat myself to any pricier investment cookware items like a Le Creuset Dutch oven — that is, until the Staub 4-Quart Cocotte with Glass Lid went on major sale for Presidents Day. When I saw this cast iron beauty (that can costs upwards of $400!) was on sale for what most average Dutch ovens cost, I couldn’t help myself. And lucky for you, it’s still on sale at just $99.99!

We’ve written all about why Staub’s iconic Cocotte (aka a Dutch oven) is worth the money, due to the multi-step quality control process. Each oven takes a full week to make and is checked by over 20 people! One of the most important aspects of its design is the uniform wall thickness to avoid cracking in the oven and peeling or chipping later on. Buying this piece of cookware, I felt confident that it’ll be with me for quite a while.

In addition to the super-low price, a big motivating factor in purchasing this specific product was its size. Not only am I cooking for just one, but I also don’t like making large batches of dishes because I don’t have enough room in my shared fridge to store huge quantities of leftovers — nor do I like eating the same thing all week. Instead, this 4-quart Dutch oven is the perfect size for making two to four servings, leaving me with reasonable leftover portions.

Credit: Erin Cavoto

Its small size also means that it’s not as heavy as the typical 6- or 7-quart Dutch ovens, which can weigh up to 15 pounds! Instead, this compact pot clocks in at just under nine pounds. It still has some heft to it, which makes it feel sturdy and long lasting, but it’s not too heavy that I never want to take it out. And it’s not even a pain to clean!

One aspect I felt hesitant about before buying was the cast iron interior. Like many people, maintaining cast iron equipment intimidates me. However, with the first dish I made, I instantly noticed a difference. I made chicken stew and seared the chicken thighs in the Dutch oven first, getting a gorgeous deep-brown sear. This resulted in such a delicious flavor after letting the broth, chicken, carrots, and potatoes simmer on the stove (the glass lid also let me keep an eye on it without opening and letting the steam out!). I was shocked that a dish that made me lick my bowl clean was the result of such minimal cooking effort.

My Staub is actually from Food52 — I fell in love with their exclusive colorway, Sesame — but Zwilling is hosting the same sale right now! You can also shop the Staub round cocotte with a cast iron enamel lid in larger sizes at Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table, also at a discount.

I sometimes feel self-conscious about my kitchen; I’m still using mix-and-match plates, bowls, and cutlery (that date back to college), and I lack some essential items, like serving spoons (don’t judge!). But having such an impressive statement piece makes me actually feel like an adult when I’m cooking. And knowing that I got it for an absolute steal doesn’t hurt either.