Great for stove, oven, and grill
Pre-seasoned for immediate use
Lid doubles as a frying pan
Must be hand-washed
Requires same care
Handles get hot during cooking
When it first arrived, the Lodge Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven seemed rather unassuming except for its peculiar lid design. Was the lid a gimmick or was it actually useful? Curiosity aroused, we cooked our food, seasoned the pot and lid, and even did some baking. From stove to oven to grill, this single piece of cookware followed us wherever we cooked. After weeks of cooking and several rounds of seasoning, we know all of this pot’s tricks and all of its quirks.
Design: Rustic, functional, and innovative
The general shape of this pot is typical of Dutch ovens, but the lid is unusual with its domed top complete with handles rather than a top handle. That lid design isn’t just for show—it can be used as an additional cooking vessel for frying, baking, and simmering. The lid’s handles match the shape, size, and position of the pot’s handles, but with a slight curve that makes the lid easy to remove, even when the handles on the pot and the lid are aligned.
While aligning the handles makes the pot look neat on the stove or in storage, we found that turning the lid so the handles aren’t aligned makes the handles easier to grab, even when wearing bulky mitts.
That lid design isn’t just for show—it can be used as an additional cooking vessel for frying, baking, and simmering.
We found that the 10.25 inch-lid was the perfect size to bake a gigantic cinnamon roll that fed a crowd, but an even better use was for browning foods before braising. Instead of doing the browning in batches, we used both the pot and its lid on the stove for browning the meat before transferring all of the ingredients to the pot to finish cooking. One lightbulb moment was when we set the lid down and used it as a spoon rest while we reduced braising liquid to a sauce.
Since this is really two pots in one, it’s great for people who are short on storage space, since it takes no more space than a typical Dutch oven.
Material and Heating Capacity: Cast iron gets hot, hot, hot
Made entirely from cast iron and pre-seasoned so it can be used right away, this cookware is sturdy, durable, and heavy. While the pre-seasoning was good enough to use the pot for the first time, we always spend a little extra time seasoning our cast iron cookware completely and find that the task is interesting as it progresses. The pan becomes just a little bit of our own creation as we watch the change in color from grayish black to brownish-black to a deep shiny black when the seasoning is complete.
Once perfectly seasoned, a cast iron pan is virtually nonstick. Remember that baked cinnamon roll? It came out of the pan and didn’t leave a single crumb behind. We over-browned some pork in the pot and possibly burned a few bits, but the browned bits released easily from the pot, and by the time we finished cooking and needed to clean the pot, it was as simple as washing our favorite nonstick saucepan.
Care should be taken when handling, as the handles will stay hot for quite a while.
Cast iron retains heat well, which means that the pot heats slowly and cools down slowly, without rapid temperature fluctuations. Once cast iron is taken off the heat, it stays hot and cools down slowly, so it keeps food warm for serving. However, care should be taken when handling, as the handles will stay hot for quite a while. Also, a trivet or hot pad should be used under the pot if it’s placed on a surface that could be damaged from the heat.
One big benefit of uncoated cast iron is that it can be used on just about any cooking surface, including on a grill or over a campfire. When summer is in full force, it’s great to be able to cook a batch of baked beans on the grill rather than turning on the oven and heating up the house.
Cleaning: Nearly nonstick, with a cast iron twist
This pot and lid combo needs the same cleaning and care as other uncoated cast iron. It should be hand-washed and then dried completely before it’s put away. While many people say that cast iron cookware should never meet soap, we’re comfortable with occasional use of soap, particularly after the pot is well seasoned. Otherwise, cleaning can be done with simply a scrubby sponge and kosher salt. A stainless steel chainmail scrubber can be used for more vigorous cleaning for sticky foods.
A baked cinnamon roll came out of the pan and didn’t leave a single crumb behind.
Price: Inexpensive, but not cheap
This is a very affordable pot, and the fact that the lid can be used as a frying pan or baking dish makes it an even better value—especially when you consider that competitor Dutch ovens cost anywhere from double to five times the price of this one. Yes, those are usually enameled, but honestly, this two-in-one cast iron set would still be a bargain even at double the price.
Lodge Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven vs. Le Creuset Signature Round Dutch Oven
While we loved working with the Lodge Dutch oven that we tested, we know that not everyone wants to maintain uncoated cast iron. When it comes to enameled cast iron, Le Creuset is a clear favorite among home cooks, and the Le Creuset Signature Round Dutch Oven is one we might suggest. The 5.5-quart option ($350) is just a half-quart larger than the Lodge, so the weight and storage space are similar. The Le Creuset will never need seasoning, so care is easier.
Keep in mind, though, that the Lodge we tested is much less expensive. It can be used on the grill, too, and the lid doubles as a frying or baking pan. Unless money is no object and cast iron care is too much trouble, we’d recommend the Lodge.
Three thumbs up!
It’s hard to not fall in love with the Lodge Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven. It’s large enough for family dinners, but not so large that storage will be impossible. While we first thought that the lid might simply be a gimmick, we used it more than we expected, both with and without the pot. We’d definitely recommend this to anyone who likes cooking in cast iron.
- Product Name 5qt Double Dutch Oven
- Product Brand Lodge
- SKU L8DD3
- Price $68.50
- Material Cast iron