These Are the Best Dutch Ovens for Braising, Baking, and So Much More
We consider a Dutch oven a must-have piece of cookware for every kitchen. The heavy-bottomed, lidded pot can do pretty much everything, from simmering soups and stews on the stovetop to baking bread in the oven. Yes, buying an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven is an investment, but it's an essential purchase for your kitchen, especially when you consider the fact that this is a pan you can (and likely will) use daily and one that will last for years. Here, we've gathered our picks for the best Dutch ovens.
Cast iron is the best material for a Dutch oven because it transfers and retains heat so well. While we also rate cast-iron Dutch ovens that are not enameled, we prefer the enameled iterations because their coating makes them a better choice when cooking acidic foods like tomatoes. (Regular, non-enameled cast-iron can react to acidic foods, imparting your finished dish with off flavors or colors.)
Best Cast-Iron Dutch Ovens to Buy Now
- Best Budget-Friendly Cast-Iron Dutch Oven: Lodge Cast Iron Enameled Dutch Oven
- Martha's Own Cast-Iron Dutch Oven: Martha Stewart Collection Dutch Oven
- Best Splurge-Worthy Cast-Iron Dutch Oven: Le Creuset Dutch Oven
- Best Cast-Iron Dutch Oven Design: Staub Tall Cocotte
- Best American-Made Cast-Iron Dutch Oven: Borough Furnace Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
In this guide, we're focusing on the best Dutch ovens with a five-and-a-half to six quart capacity, which is what Martha and many other knowledgeable cooks consider the most versatile size to own. If you're cooking for one or two people, a smaller size may suit you better. If you have a larger family or like to make big batches of soup to freeze, a larger Dutch oven may be the best fit.
Ahead, find our picks for the best Dutch ovens to buy this fall, just in time for making soups, braising, frying chicken, and so much more.
Best Budget-Friendly Cast-Iron Dutch Oven: Lodge Cast-Iron Enameled Dutch Oven
For anyone not convinced that an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven is right for them, consider this affordable option from Lodge. With a budget-friendly price tag, it's an accessible entry point to the category, but it's also a total workhorse. Lodge Dutch ovens have a white enameled interior, which is similar to those from other makers, but the pots are rounded rather than straight. The rounded corners are better for stirring and for cleaning, but not as good for searing as because there's less flat surface area instead them.
Shop Now: Lodge Six-Quart Cast-Iron Enameled Dutch Oven, $79.90, amazon.com.
Martha's Own Cast-Iron Dutch Oven: Martha Stewart Collection Dutch Oven
Our founder is a fan of the enameled cast-iron Dutch oven and has included them in her line with Macys she since began collaborating with the retailer. As you'd expect, Martha's enameled cast-iron Dutch oven has good looks and strong design, and it comes in a range of unique ombré colors. Less expected is its reasonable price point. Available in two, four, and eight quart sizes, as well as the six-quart size featured here, the Martha Stewart Collection Dutch oven is sure to have a place on your stovetop for years to come.
Shop Now: Martha Stewart Collection Enameled Cast-Iron Round Six-Quart Dutch Oven, $199, macys.com.
Best Splurge-Worthy Cast-Iron Dutch Oven: Le Creuset Dutch Oven
The signature enameled cast-iron Dutch ovens from Le Creuset have long been the category leader, and for good reason: They're considered a top performer for searing meat, caramelizing vegetables, and easy cleaning, which makes them a joy to use no matter what meal you're preparing. Plus, they'll last you a lifetime, so if you're in it for the long haul, investing in one of these beloved Dutch ovens will be worth it for you.
Shop Now: Le Creuset Round Five-and-a-Half-Quart Dutch Oven, $370, lecreuset.com.
Best Cast-Iron Dutch Oven Design: Staub Tall Cocotte
Another French maker, Staub is a challenger to the Le Creuset crown for best Dutch oven. In fact, Staub is popular among many professional chefs and home cooks. A few things differentiate the Staub line of Dutch ovens (which they call cocottes) from all the rest: They have a dark enameled interior rather than the white enamel found on Le Creuset, Lodge, Martha Stewart Collection, and other brands, which means they won't discolor with use. Staub cocottes also have small nubs on the underside of the lid that collect condensation and slowly drop moisture back onto the food. They also work on induction cooktops, which can't be said for all of the brands here. We like this particular tall cocotte because it has a smaller footprint on the stove but retains a generous capacity.
Shop Now: Staub Five-Quart Tall Cocotte, From $199, surlabtable.com.
Best American-Made Cast-Iron Dutch Oven: Borough Furnace Enameled Dutch Oven
For those who appreciate thoughtful design, the elemental look of this artisan-made Dutch oven will appeal to you, but it's important to note that these pans are not all about aesthetics. Handmade by a husband-and-wife team in the Finger Lakes region of New York, the Borough Furnace Dutch ovens are made to last—and made to cook with. For example, the tight-fitting lid is cast in one piece and there is no knob to melt or come loose. The pots also have "pips" similar to those on the Staub to collect condensation and baste food as it cooks. Also similar to the Staub, the interior is enameled black so the entire pot has a sleek profile. This Dutch oven is also compatible with induction cooking.
Shop Now: Borough Furnace Five-and-a-Half-Quart Enameled Dutch Oven, $280, boroughfurnace.com.