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

Chrissy Teigen Cravings Dutch oven
(Image credit: Target)

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.

Cravings Dutch oven

(Image credit: Target)

1. Cravings by Chrissy Teigen 5qt Cast Iron Enameled Dutch Oven

Best overall: a square shape, stylish design, and great price make this a must-have Dutch oven

Specifications
Material: Enameled cast iron
Capacity: 5 qt
Dishwasher safe? : No
Oven safe: up to 500 degrees
Reasons to buy
+Stylish square shape, blue-ish exterior, and champagne-colored handles+Ridges on the inside of the lid allows for self-basting+Can be used on all stovetops, in ovens, and on the grill
Reasons to avoid
-Only comes in one enameled cast iron color (a cast iron option is available)

You shouldn’t have to spend a fortune on a Dutch oven that looks great and works well, which is why we love the Cravings by Chrissy Teigen Dutch Oven. This cast iron enameled Dutch oven is less than $50 and has a square shape, blue-ish color, and champagne gold handle which brings a little trendiness to the kitchen.

It works well on the stove (including induction stovetops!), oven, and grill, so much in fact, that don’t be surprised if your dishes cook just a little faster than the recipe calls for (check that chicken 15 minutes earlier!). In addition to heating up quickly and evenly, the ridges on the interior of the lid are a phenomenal detail that will offer some delicious self-basting to any meal.

Staub Dutch oven

(Image credit: Amazon)

2. Staub 5 1/2-Qt. Round Dutch Oven

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

Specifications
Material: Enameled cast iron
Capacity: 5.5 qt
Dishwasher safe? : Yes
Oven safe: 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

This pot is made of enameled cast iron so it retains heat exceptionally and evenly and is oven safe up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit (the lid is oven safe up to 500 degrees). Staub is notable for products with a black enamel interior, as well as the spiked lid which creates a self-basting environment when making a browned or braised dish. You can use this Dutch oven on all types of stovetops, including induction and halogen, and can even put it in the dishwasher (though handwashing is recommended). 

Capabilities aside, Staub’s Dutch oven is just beautiful. The French brand handcrafts each piece which results in a shiny colorful exterior.

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
Dishwasher safe? : No
Oven safe: up to 500 degrees
Reasons to buy
+The lid can be used as a frying pan+Comes in 6 different color options+Compatible with all stovetops
Reasons to avoid
-Not dishwasher safe 

Who doesn't love a good two-in-one deal? Bruntmor’s Enameled Double Dutch Oven is one such product. You get a lovely enameled cast iron Dutch oven that comes with a lid that turns into a skillet. So 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 your choice of red, blue, Caribbean blue, pumpkin, purple, and gray, and it’s easy to see why the Bruntmore Dutch oven is so popular.

Le Creuset Stoneware Dutch oven

(Image credit: Wayfair)

4. Le Creuset Stoneware 0.25 Qt. Round Dutch Oven

Best mini Dutch oven: this ceramic beauty is the right size for dips, desserts, and sauces

Specifications
Material: Ceramic
Capacity: .25 qt
Dishwasher safe? : No
Oven safe: up to 500 degrees
Stove safe: No
Reasons to buy
+Charming ceramic design +Oven safe up to 500 degrees+Choose from a variety of pastel colors 
Reasons to avoid
-Can't be used on a stovetop

Dutch ovens come in all sizes but this Le Creuset Stoneware Dutch oven has to be our favorite smallest Dutch oven on the market. It has a .25 quart capacity (or one cup) which is fairly small, but it’s a perfect addition to the home if you’re looking to make sauces, dips, dressings, small desserts, or a pastry for one! The pastel color choices that Le Creuset offers ensures that you’ll find one to match your kitchen décor.

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.

Calphalon Dutch oven

(Image credit: Amazon)

6. Calphalon Premier Hard-Anodized Nonstick 8.5-Quart Dutch Oven

Best non-stick: this easy-to-clean Dutch oven is a great tool for soups and stews

Specifications
Material: Hard anodized aluminum
Capacity: 8.5 qt
Dishwasher safe? : Yes
Oven safe: up to 450 degrees
Reasons to buy
+Non-stick surface designed to last 40% longer +Dishwasher safe +Tempered glass lid can go into the oven
Reasons to avoid
-Can't be used on the grill or open flame 

Cooks will love this large Dutch oven because its made with three-layered hard-anodized aluminum that is super durable and quickly heats. Better yet? The non-stick surface is made to last 40 percent longer than the Calphalon Classic Dutch oven. The pot and the tempered glass lid can be placed in the oven up to 450 degrees and is stovetop compatible with gas, electric, and glass top stoves. When you're done cooking, save yourself the stress of handwashing and throw this baby in the dishwasher (because it's dishwasher safe!). 

Dishes like baked chicken, braised meats, chilis, soups, and stews come out wonderfully with this Calphalon favorite, making it the best choice for cooks of all levels, but especially newbies.   

What is the best dutch oven?

With price, features, and style in mind, the Cravings by Chrissy Teigen 5qt Cast Iron Enameled Dutch Oven is the best among this list. However, if you can afford a Staub 5 1/2-Qt. Round Dutch Oven 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.