Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven at Amazon
“Porcelain-enameled cast iron Dutch oven that can be used for marinating, cooking, storing, and serving.”
“Enamel coated for use on the stovetop or in the oven.”
“Durable, 6 ½ quart, enamel coated Dutch oven that is great for big families, large roasts or poultry.”
“Designed for ease of use with special basting feature.”
Best Non-Enameled: Lodge L8DD3 Double Dutch Oven and Casserole at Amazon
“Two pots in one for an incredibly low price.”
Best High-End: Staub Wide Round Oven Shallow Cocotte at Amazon
“Great for browning food and oven cooking.”
Best for Camping: Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Deep Camp Dutch Oven at Amazon
“8-quart Dutch oven with raised legs and flat lid that also serves as a griddle.”
“Versatile for biscuits, buns, cornbread, brownies, roasts, casseroles and more.“
Best Small Capacity: BergHOFF Neo 3 Quart Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven at Walmart
“3-quart Dutch oven that is great for side dishes or small servings of soup, chili, stew and more.”
01 of 09
Best Overall: Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
This porcelain-enameled cast iron Dutch oven comes in a variety of exterior colors, with a cream-colored interior. While hand washing is recommended, it can be washed in a dishwasher, and it has a lifetime warranty.
The pot is oven-safe to 500 degrees for baking or broiling and holds 6 quarts. It can be used on any cooktop, including gas, electric, or induction, but it shouldn’t be used on outdoor grills or over campfires. The tight-fitting lid helps retain moisture during cooking. Because of the double layer of enamel coating inside and out, this can be used for marinating, cooking, storing, and serving.
02 of 09
Best High-End: Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 5-1/2-Quart Round Dutch Oven
This pot is an all-around winner, but comes with a steep price point. It’s big enough to prepare most dishes, but not so large that it is too difficult to move. It has an enamel coating so you can cook anything in it, and like most Dutch ovens it can be used on the stovetop or in the oven. The knob is either metal or a composite material that’s safe to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. For more versatility, the knob is removable, so if you need to cook at an even higher temperature, you can buy a replacement metal knob.
The Le Crueset Dutch ovens come in a wide variety of colors to mix and match with anyone’s kitchen décor. Like other cast iron pots, this one is heavy—it weighs just over 11 pounds, and it can weigh 20 pounds or more when it’s filled with food. Le Creuset cast iron pots are made in France. And if you are looking for a larger size or prefer an oval shape, Le Creuset has those as well.
03 of 09
Best Budget: Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron 6.5 Qt Covered Round Dutch Oven
If you’re not willing to spend a lot for a single piece of cookware, this Dutch oven offers many of the same features at a much lower price point. The large size is great for big families or large roasts or poultry, and the cookware is has a durable enamel coating. While this has a metal knob, the cookware is only rated to oven temperatures of 450 degrees Fahrenheit, so you won’t be able to use it for some of the no-knead bread recipes that require higher temperatures.
This Dutch oven comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer as well.
04 of 09
Best Design: Anolon Vesta Cast Iron Cookware 5-Quart Round Covered Casserole
The large stainless steel loop handle on this pot makes the lid easy to remove, even while wearing an oven mitt, and the matte-black enamel interior is less likely to show staining than the cream-colored interiors found in many other pots. The side handles are comfortable to hold with potholders or while wearing mitts, so it’s easy to get in and out of the oven, and it’s safe to 500 degrees Fahrenheit when baking.
The underside of the lid has little nubs that cause condensation to rain down on food and help baste your stew or roast while cooking, and the pot is broiler safe, so you can brown the top of the food after you’ve simmered or braised it with the lid on. Right now, this cookware is only available in one color, a rich red. Since it’s a fairly new line, there aren’t as many pieces available as are available from other manufacturers.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
Best Non-Enameled: Lodge L8DD3 Double Dutch Oven and Casserole
This raw cast iron Dutch oven comes pre-seasoned to give you a head start on getting a perfectly non-stick pot. But that’s not the best part. The lid of this Dutch oven doubles as a skillet with two side handles, so you get two pots in one for an incredibly low price.
Simmer your soup in the pot and make cornbread in the skillet at the same time. The downside of the skillet feature is that the lid doesn’t have a top handle for lifting. Raw cast iron cookware is safe for use at any oven temperature as well as on an outdoor grill or campfire. At super-high temperatures (oven-cleaning temperatures), the seasoning can burn off, but it won’t hurt the cookware, you would just need to season it again.
06 of 09
Best High-End: Staub Wide Round Oven Shallow Cocotte
This pot is wider and slightly shorter than other pots of the same size, but you can still fit an average-sized chicken in the pot. Meanwhile, the larger bottom surface means you can brown more food at one time before braising. This cookware is known for more even browing with fewer hot spots than some of its competitors, and it has a black interior that is less likely to show food stains.
Nubs on the interior of the lid send moisture raining down on the food for self-basting. The top knob is small, but raised high enough to make it easy to grasp when removing the lid. The lid is oven-safe to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, while the pot can handle up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit. This cookware is made in France and is available in several different colors.
07 of 09
Best for Camping: Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Deep Camp Dutch Oven
Going camping? This camp-style uncoated cast iron Dutch oven has feet to elevate it over hot coals, and the flat lid is designed so you can place coals on top for heating on top. The tight-fitting lid keeps moisture in during cooking, and can also be used as a griddle. The Dutch oven arrives pre-seasoned, so you can pack it for your trip as soon as it arrives, but the coating will improve with additional seasoning and use.
This holds 8 quarts, and is made in America. It has loop handles that make it easy to move, even with bulky oven mitts. This should be cared for like any other cast iron cookware; it is not dishwasher safe.
While this is oven-safe, it might be awkward to use because of the legs. It might work on a gas cooktop, depending on your stove grates. It will not work well on an electric or induction cooktop.
08 of 09
Best Square: Camp Chef Pre-Seasoned Square Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Round Dutch ovens are the most common, but there are times when a square Dutch oven is the better choice. This square Dutch oven is perfect for making even rows of biscuits or buns or for baking cornbread or brownies, but it’s just as good for roasts, casseroles and more since it has a roomy 8-quart volume.
The Dutch oven and lid are pre-seasoned, so you can use it right away, but the surface becomes even more nonstick with extra seasoning and use. The lid is reversible and has raised ridges so it can also be used as a stovetop grill.
This should be hand washed.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
Best Small Capacity: BergHOFF Neo 3 Quart Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven
With cookware, bigger isn’t always better. This 3-quart Dutch oven is great for side dishes or small servings of soup, chili, stew and more, and it’s lighter and easier to move than larger pots that weigh more.
The high-gloss exterior enamel coating will look attractive for years to come, and the interior coating means this will never need to be seasoned. The cookware is safe to 400 degrees, and can be used on any cooktop, including induction. This should be hand washed.
Products Tested by The Spruce
How We Tested
We bought two top-rated dutch ovens that our reviewer tested for 10 hours. We asked our tester to consider the most important features when using these dutch ovens, from their material to their size. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
What to Look for in a Dutch Oven
Material Since it won’t chip or discolor over time, raw cast iron is generally the way to go. Raw cast iron Dutch ovens do require seasoning and thorough cleaning, so enamel-coated may be optimal if convenience is a deciding factor. Stainless steel won’t retain heat as well but is a good choice if you need something lighter.
Shape Most Dutch ovens are oval or round. Both will fit large cuts of meat, but a round one with extra deep sides fits standard burners better, providing more even cooking. Extra wide and shallow Dutch ovens aren’t as versatile since food won’t be fully submerged in cooking liquid.
Size Each quart should feed one person. Choose a deep 6-quart Dutch oven if you’re looking for the most versatility—it will comfortably feed a family of five or six, plus it will fit large cuts of meat without issue. If you regularly feed a crowd, you might consider an 8- or 10-quart pot instead.
Test Results: Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven (Best Overall)
What We Like
Easy to use and care for
Cooks as well as more expensive brands
What We Don't Like
Enamel could be higher quality
Rounded bottom means less cooking space
The Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven came highly recommended by our tester as an everyday, affordable option that functions well. “This is an all-purpose pot that also specializes in slow-cooking, searing, braising, and more for easy preparation of a wide variety of dishes,” our reviewer revealed. When asked about negatives, she admitted, “I would change the design to be more lightweight and elegant.” She also warned the rounded bottom “can make the pot feel a little cramped.” Overall? “It cooks just as well as its competitors, while its low cost gives it an added edge,” our tester explained.
Test Results: Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 5-1/2-Quart Round Dutch Oven (Best High-End)
What We Like
Easy to use and clean
What We Don't Like
“I think this product is worth buying because it is beautiful, functional, and durable,” our tester declared. In terms of its performance, she said, “It is excellent at evenly cooking meat and the tight-fitting lid locks in heat, moisture, and flavor.” Plus, according to our reviewer, “it’s a striking piece of cookware that can be proudly displayed on your stovetop.” She didn’t have much to say in the way of negatives: “The only thing I would change is the cost, to make it more affordable,” she revealed. The bottom line: “If you love the look and have the money, I think it's a great investment,” our tester said.