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Refine Your Cooking With the Best Dutch OvenLast updated: 7 May 2022
Cooking equipment is incomplete without a Dutch oven as it is one of the most worthy investments in the kitchen. No other tool can fry, bake, braise, and boil with such ease. While some people believe that the oven is named after its Dutch casting method, others say it is named after the Dutch traders who popularized it. Anyhow, the evolution of Dutch ovens has caught the eye of many users as it has become more refined than what it was in the early days. Users love cast-iron Dutch ovens for their excellent heat conduction, which is vital in making them versatile tools. These days, the market is full of various options, so handpicking the leading Dutch ovens in 2022 can be a challenging task. We resolve your problem by providing you with the most comprehensive buying guide. It doesn't matter if it is your first time shopping for a Dutch oven or your fifth; one always needs the right direction to purchase the best.Show contents
Buying Guide: Choosing the Right Dutch Oven
Picking the perfect Dutch oven for your needs can be difficult, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. Even if you have some experience buying Dutch ovens, we have some useful information within our buying guide for you to consider to ensure you’re getting the Dutch oven that best fits your needs.
Four Essential Features of Dutch Ovens
With the many types of Dutch ovens out there, many vary in the materials they are made with. Below, we describe some of the materials Dutch ovens are commonly made of to help you narrow your options.
You can opt for stainless steel if you want to avoid the hassle of cleaning kitchen utensils after using them. There is no doubt that stainless steel is the easiest to clean, but a stainless steel Dutch oven usually lacks a tight-fitting lid. Furthermore, it also lacks in retaining heat as compared to other materials.
Cast iron is another popular and great option for Dutch ovens because the metal can retain heat much better than stainless steel. Thus, it is an excellent pot for slow cooking as it maintains temperature consistency. If you opt for bare cast iron, you can also use it for outdoor cooking, like at campfires. However, you will need extensive cleaning and maintenance for it. Bare cast iron is also unpopular amongst users as it transfers flavors to your dish, both good and bad.
Enameled cast iron
Most of the products in our list were made of enameled cast iron as it has excellent heat retaining abilities and distributes heat evenly. Furthermore, you do not need to do extensive cleaning for the product as the enameled coating covers the cast iron completely, making it an easy-to-clean surface. Users prefer to buy this material as it comes in various colors and has a hefty weight.
Ceramic dutch ovens
The lightest material of all the mentioned materials is ceramic. These are the best type for baking bread and making stews. Additionally, these Dutch ovens complement both stovetops and ovens. These also have rare chances of shattering or cracking, even if you put them through extreme temperature changes.
Usually, people are worried about the size of the Dutch oven because no doubt that the price increases along with the size of the cookware. It is best to carefully analyze how you will use the Dutch oven and choose one size accordingly. Mostly people use this cookware during holidays or festive seasons when they expect to have some guests. If you are one of such people, it is best to get a large vessel. On the other hand, if you are looking forward to using the Dutch oven for everyday family use, you can go for the regular size. The sweetest spot lies in the range of 5-6 quarts as it can feed around 4-5 people. Most of the recipes you come across on the internet lie in this range.
Small Dutch ovens with around 1-2 quarts are made for mini-dishes and single servings. These single-quart Dutch ovens are ideal for presenting small food quantities. Similarly, on the other end, if you plan to host the evening for 20+ people, then you will need a massive Dutch oven, almost over 15 quarts, that can fit an entire turkey.
Round or oval
Another debate in town is whether you need a round or oval Dutch oven. The answer lies in the type of your stove. Typically stoves have a circular-shaped burner which means that a Dutch oven would naturally fit it perfectly. If you prefer to go for an oval Dutch oven, it will result in uneven cooking, even if you have larger burners. Usually, oval-shaped Dutch ovens are perfect for baking in the oven, and it adds a style to your serving. If you have the unique elliptical-shaped gas burner, then you might as well choose the oval Dutch ovens. Primarily, the shape is not an issue when it comes to baking in the range, but you need to make a wise decision for baking on stovetops.
Interior design & wear
Kitchen enthusiasts will agree that choosing the perfect color for their cookware is a strenuous task. Usually, you will see that the interiors are of two extreme ends; either you get an extremely light and subtle color or an extremely dark black color.
These are a great option if you want to see clearly in the pot while cooking. The bright environment lets you view the vessel's contents even while deep frying things. The proper butter browning can also be observed closely with a Dutch oven. You will have trouble looking at your food's color change in dark interiors.
On the other hand, light interiors do not retain their color for long, so eventually, with continuous cooking, there will be a slight change in the shade of the interior. Using such light interior cookware on high heat can also result in cracks or lines. Lastly, these tools tend to get scratched easily, especially if it has a non-stick base and you use metal utensils in them.
Contrary to lighter interiors, dark interiors tend to retain their look for longer. Even if you use a dark interior Dutch oven for everyday use and constantly stir in it, you will observe that it looks newer than light interior cookware. The only problem is related to the vision of the dark Dutch oven. You will have to turn on your oven hood light to see the content of deep cooking or the color of your batter.
Lastly, the most critical feature to check in a Dutch oven is its lid design. Some of the best Dutch ovens offer a unique lid design that makes handling easier. It is best to go for a spiked lid design because they help the condensation drip back on the food and keep it moist evenly. These lids have the underside covered with rounded metal spikes.
Compare the Best Dutch Ovens of 20221– Best OverallCheck On AmazonTHE SCOOP
Let’s start with the Lodge Enameled Dutch Oven made from cast iron and chip-resistant porcelain finish. These ovens have a cast-iron loop inside that ensures a secure grip and safe handling when moving the stove from one place to another. You can safely use the Dutch oven at a temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and it is compatible with both electric and gas cooktops. Furthermore, the Dutch oven has a stainless steel knob that can trap moisture, nutrients, and heat. If you are fond of collecting kitchen appliances and tools, you will know that picking the proper color is highly important, and this product provides you with a range of lively hues. You should wash the pot by hand and use non-metal utensils in it like wood or silicone spoons.2– Runner-UpCheck On AmazonTHE SCOOP
Here we have another Dutch oven made from cast iron that has an enameled finish so that you can enjoy baking and cooking for a long time. The pot has side handles and a comfortably fitted lid that better your kitchen experience. Unlike the previous Dutch oven, this one is not good at high temperatures, and it is preferred that you use it under 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Furthermore, the enamel is not non-stick, so it is better to wash the pot by hand only. The company also suggests that users always wear oven mitts or hot pads while handing the Dutch oven from the stove because it gets hot very quickly. The 6-quart Dutch oven can serve 4 to 6 people as its dimensions are 13 x 11 x 4 inches.3– ContenderCheck On AmazonTHE SCOOP
Calphalon makes the perfect Dutch oven with a non-stick base for those fond of everyday cooking and baking. The durable dish is made from a hard-anodized aluminum frame. Furthermore, it has a dual layer of the non-stick base so you can enjoy baking without the worry of pulling out the baked goods. It also means that you can easily clean the Dutch oven after usage. The cookware is highly versatile because it is a perfect companion for your range or stovetop. The users love some additional features like pour spouts, measuring marks, and straining lids, making the tool more valuable and handy. To finish it all perfectly, the Dutch oven is safe to use at a temperature of up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and it has a beautiful clear tempered glass lid to help you track the progress of your baking.4– Honorable MentionCheck On AmazonTHE SCOOP
We have a 5-quart Dutch oven in multiple colors, unlike the products mentioned above. The company suggests that you use the cookware for simmering, baking, and slow-cooking, but you can use it at a temperature of almost 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The Dutch oven is made from cast iron which allows even heat distribution for more promising baking results. Furthermore, the cookware has a porcelain enamel finish making it naturally non-stick, so it is best to wash the product by hand. Some users have complained that the finishing chips off after multiple washes. The Dutch oven is topped with a self-basting lid for effective steam retention, and it has wide handles that allow easy transportation. You can use the product on stovetops and in electric or gas heaters.5– Also ConsiderCheck On AmazonTHE SCOOP
Whether you are a home chef or a professional one, Cuisinart has the perfect Dutch oven for you that is both versatile and elegant looking. Users love this cookware, especially for making bread, because it allows you to explore different baking techniques. You can use it for slow braising, grilling, searing, and much more. Like most other products on our list, this one is also made from cast iron, allowing even heat distribution for perfect baking. The elegant design of the pot will enable you to not only bake easily but also serve and entertain the guests with it. The product is finished with an excellent porcelain enamel exterior, so you don’t have to worry about the finishing chipping off. Furthermore, the porcelain enamel interior does not impart unwanted flavors or absorb odors, giving you the best results.
People Also AskedQ: Which lids are best for keeping my food moist in a Dutch oven?
A: Raised rings of spiked lids are the best way to keep your food moist as they allow the condensation to drip back evenly on the food.Q: What is the proper way to season my Dutch oven?
A: It is best to slightly heat your Dutch oven on low heat before baking.Q: Which size of the Dutch oven is best for baking bread?
A: The size between 5 to 6 quarts is best for baking bread.