Best Dutch ovens: 6 perfect picks to braise, bake, and brew the best dishes

As the O.G. multi-purpose cookers, Dutch ovens make cooking different dishes fun and easy

Included in this guide:

Le Creuset on kitchen counter
(Image credit: Unsplash/Roam In Color )

Dutch ovens may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about furnishing your kitchen with pots and pans, but buy one and you’ll quickly realize just how amazing of a product it is.

What we love about Dutch ovens is their versatility. Not only are they great for making stews and soups, but they do a wonderful job at browning, braising, baking, and deep-frying. You can use them in the oven and on the stove; some can also be used on a grill or over a fire. 

We don’t want you to go another day without a Dutch oven in your repertoire of kitchen tools, so we created this great list of all our favorites. Scroll through and find one that’s right for you.

Once you've mastered cooking with a Dutch Oven, you'll fall in love with upgrading your meals with the best cast iron skillet

Le Creuset dutch oven cerise

(Image credit: Le Creuset)

1. Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Round Dutch Oven, 5.5 qt.

Best overall: a kitchen classic that you'll keep for generations make this a must-have Dutch oven

Specifications
Material: Enameled cast iron
Capacity: 5.5 qt, 6.75 qt.
Dishwasher safe? : No
Oven safe: up to 500 degrees
Reasons to buy
+5.5-qt size is the most popular size and feeds 4-6 people+Tons of color options+Dome-shaped lid locks in flavor by promoting continuous circulation of heat and moisture+Sand-colored interior enamel has a smooth finish that promotes caramelization, prevents sticking and resists stains
Reasons to avoid
-Not dishwasher safe-Expensive

A good Dutch oven is an investment but will change the way you prepare your meals. Hey, it's even a favorite of Ina Garten, so if it has the stamp of approval from the Barefoot Contessa herself, it definitely has ours. So, what makes a Le Creuset Dutch oven so special? Well, first, we're drawn to the collectible number of colors and varying sizes to collect, or mix and match. But the real magic, is in the way this enameled cast iron beauty cooks, bakes, and braises with its even and consistent heat distribution.

Each Dutch oven is sand-cast, polished and finished by hand, then sprayed with two coats of enamel and fired twice. The dome-shaped lid locks in flavor by promoting continuous circulation of heat and moisture, while the signature sand-colored interior enamel has a smooth finish that promotes caramelization, prevents sticking, and is easy to clean. 

The 5.5 qt. size is Le Creuset's most popular size, perfect for feeding up 4-6 people. Size up, or down according to the average size of your recipes as well. 

It's even more of a thrill when you can find one of these iconic pieces on sale, too. 

Staub coquette basil

(Image credit: Staub)

2. Staub 5 1/2-Qt. Round Coquette

Best high end: treat yourself to a Dutch oven that's as beautiful as it is durable

Specifications
Material: Enameled cast iron
Capacity: 1.5 qt. 3.75 qt., 4 qt., 5 qt.,7 qt., 8.75 qt., 13.25 qt.
Dishwasher safe? : No
Oven safe: Base up to 900 degrees, Lid up to 500 degrees
Reasons to buy
+Glossy enameled colored exterior and nickel knob+Lid design keeps 10% more moisture inside+Spikes on the lid assist with a richer flavor
Reasons to avoid
-Black interior might make it hard to notice food missed during cleaning

Like the Le Creuset above, Stauvb's Coquettes are made of enameled cast iron for exceptional heat retention. Staub differentiates itself with notable with a matte black textured interior that won't show stains or rust over time, as well as a spiked lid that creates a self-basting environment when making a browned or braised dish. Staub is safe to use on all types of stovetops, including induction and halogen. They are safe up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit (the lid is oven safe up to 500 degrees).

Capabilities aside, Staub’s Dutch oven is just beautiful. The French brand handcrafts each piece which results in a shiny colorful exterior, often available in darker dramatic colors and in the round and oval shapes. It's available in a vast number of sizes for recipes large and small. 

  • Keep up with the best prices by checking out our round-up of the best Staub sales we've found across the internet.

Bruntmor Dutch oven

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Bruntmor 2-in-1 Enameled Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven

Best 2-in-1: get more bang for your buck with this Dutch oven that has a lid that doubles as a frying pan

Specifications
Material: Enameled cast iron
Capacity: 5 qt or 7 qt.
Dishwasher safe? : No
Oven safe: up to 500 degrees
Reasons to buy
+The lid can be used as a frying pan+Comes in 11 different color options+Compatible with all stovetops
Reasons to avoid
-Not dishwasher safe -No knob on handle

Who doesn't love a good two-for-one deal? The Bruntmor Enameled Double Dutch Oven is one such product. Not only will you have a  lovely enameled cast iron Dutch oven, but a lid that turns into a skillet for extra versatility. Note, that you will be giving up a center knob on the lid, so you will need to handle the lid with both hands. While you’re using the Dutch oven to bake a dish in the oven, you can use the skillet to cook pasta or soup. Add on the fact that this product is durable and comes in a variety of colors like red, blue, Caribbean blue, pumpkin, purple, and gray, and it’s easy to see why the Bruntmore Dutch oven is so popular.

Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven, 4.3-Quart, Blue

(Image credit: Amazon Basics)

4. Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven

Best value Dutch oven:

Specifications
Material: Cast iron
Capacity: 4.3 qt. or 7.3 qt.
Dishwasher safe? : No
Oven safe: up to 400 degrees
Reasons to buy
+Oven safe up to 400 degrees+Value-priced
Reasons to avoid
-Enamel can easily scratch-Not nonstick-Heavy

A highly-rated Dutch Oven for under $50 seems too good to be true. That is until we tried the Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven.

The heavy-duty cast-iron Dutch oven retains heat well and distributes evenly whether cooking on a stovetop, oven, or grill. Budget-seekers seem to get on quite fine, with over 95% rating this affordable Dutch Oven four stars and above. However, we have noticed that it is heavier to handle than say, Le Creuset or Staub in comparable sizes. It's also only oven safe until about 400-degrees, and you won't want to use it for any high-temperature recipes at the risk of cracking. Additionally, avoid using metal utensils or abrasive cleaners as the enamel can scratch easily. 

The 4.3-quart size is adequate for feeding 3 to 4 people or opt for the larger 7.3 qt., which is ideal for groups of six. 

Cuisinel Dutch oven

(Image credit: Amazon)

5. Cuisinel Dutch Oven

Best cast iron: from an open flame to the oven, this cast iron Dutch oven will win over your culinary heart

Specifications
Material: Cast iron
Capacity: 5 qt
Dishwasher safe? : No
Oven safe: up to 450 degrees
Reasons to buy
+Affordable price+The lid can be used as a frying pan+Durable pot is great in the kitchen or camping 
Reasons to avoid
-Cast iron requires consistent seasoning and care

If you want something that’s going to last your entire lifetime (with care, of course), you’re going to want to go with the Cuisinel Dutch oven. Made of cast iron, the Cuisinel Dutch oven also has a lid that doubles as a 10-inch skillet, meaning you can grill and fry, or boil and braise two dishes at the same time. While it can be used in an oven or on a stove, this particular product is the best choice for those who like to camp which requires cooking on a grill or over a fire. The cast iron material can handle the high heat and you don’t have to worry about the pan breaking or chipping on your outdoor adventures.

Our Place Perfect Pot

(Image credit: Our Place)

6. Our Place Perfect Pot

Best non-stick: this easy-to-clean all-in-one pot is a great tool for soups, pastas and stews

Specifications
Material: Hard anodized aluminum
Capacity: 5.5 qt
Dishwasher safe? : Yes
Oven safe: up to 450 degrees
Weight: 4 lb.
Reasons to buy
+Surprisingly lightweight +Replaces 8 pieces of cookware+Ceramic non-stick is non-toxic
Reasons to avoid
-Spoon rest placement a little awkward

Like its first Instagram-favorite the Always Pan, Our Place has done it again with their newly debuted Perfect Pot. It's the perfect companion to the do it all frying pan, as this good-looking pot can also take on the task of replacing eight common pieces of cookware including stockpot, dutch oven, saucepot, roasting rack, steamer, strainer, braiser, spoon rest.

That's right, you can pull out this versatile non-stick beauty for stovetop meals and it's oven-safe up to 425 degrees. In all, you'll find that you can crisp, bake, braise, roast, steam, strain, pour, serve, and store in this 5.5 qt. vessel. The addition of a  circular roasting rack creates a delightful crisping effect that also doubles as a steamer, and the pour spout makes it even easier to strain with minimal effort. The Perfect Pot also utilizes the same non-toxic ceramic nonstick coating as it's original hero product, made without potentially toxic materials like PFOAs, PTFEs, other PFAs, lead, cadmium, toxic metals, and nanoparticles. 

That's not all, the versatile Beechwood spoon can store two different ways, though it takes a moment to figure out the ideal placement, and can not be stored on-board. 

What is the best dutch oven?

With price, features, and style in mind, the Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven is the best on this list. However, if you can afford a Le Creuset Dutch Oven or a Staub cocotte you won’t be disappointed. With proper care, you could pass either one of these beautiful Dutch ovens onto your children and grandchildren.

How to use a dutch oven?

Soups, stews, and chilis: No matter the material of the Dutch oven, you can make a darn good soup, stew, or chili. Dutch ovens, be they circular, square, oval, or shaped otherwise, retains heat so well that it thoroughly (and quickly) can cook up a great batch on a chilly day.

Braising meats: Braising is a method by which you can achieve that fall-off-the-bone feature we all love with meats. A Dutch oven is a perfect tool to help you do this. Add stock or water in the Dutch oven, place your meat inside (the water should hit about halfway up the meat), and bring it to a boil. Once it’s boiling, lower it to a simmer and let it cook the meat all the way through on the stovetop or in the oven. You can do this with short ribs, lamb shanks, pork shoulders, and oxtails.

Baking bread: If you won't see what the bread baking craze is all about, you’re going to need a Dutch oven. As long as the Dutch oven has a tight-fitting lid, you can use it to cook a variety of fresh bread like sourdough.

Baked meals: Dutch ovens do a great job cooking vegetables and meats that take a long time to cook because the cast iron or enameled cast iron conducts heat exceptionally well. For a quick and simple baked meal, place seasoned meat, potatoes, and carrots in a Dutch oven and throw it in the oven. Thirty to forty-five minutes later, it’ll come out ready to eat.

Stove and oven recipes: The great thing about the Dutch oven is that you can use the same pot to cook part of a recipe on the stovetop and then move it into the oven to finish. No need to dirty up additional dishes.

Campfire cooking: A Dutch oven is a must-have for any camping trip, especially those made of cast iron or enameled cast iron as they can be used over a fiery campfire. You can make a pot of red beans and cornbread for a big crew of campers or a breakfast casserole in the morning. 

If you're looking for superb recipes to make in your Dutch oven, look no further than our Real Food section. 

Alex Temblador
Alex Temblador

Alex Temblador is a Mixed Latinx award-winning author and freelance writer based in Dallas, Texas. Her work in the home space has appeared in outlets like Real Homes, Dwell, Architectural Digest, Culture Trip, Neighborhoods.com, among many others. You can learn more about Alex at AlexTemblador.com. 

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