Dutch ovens are incredibly versatile, and one of the essential pieces for most kitchens.
They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and prices. Discerning which option might be the best cast iron dutch oven for your stove, oven, over a campfire, or for serving at the table can be daunting.
We took a closer look at some of the best dutch ovens on the market, to understand how they are built, what sets them apart, and how owners say they perform in most kitchens.
Any dutch oven you choose may be bulky, heavy and expensive. It can also be a game changer in your cookware arsenal. In this review we’ll look at best uses for top dutch ovens and how to choose the right one for your kitchen.
The 9 Best Cast Iron Dutch Ovens
Here are our top nine choices for the best cast iron dutch ovens on the market.
Best Overall: Lodge 6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
- 6-quart Dutch oven made of cast iron with chip-resistant porcelain-enamel finish
- Cast-iron loop side handles for a safe, secure grip when transporting
- Cover with handle traps in heat, moisture, and nutrients
The Lodge 6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven marries the benefits of cast iron and porcelain enamel, bringing style and function together in one pot, making it our best overall choice.
The smooth and rounded look of this dish is unique among dutch ovens, which can be a bit boxier. This particular cast iron Dutch oven comes in 10 colors and six different sizes to meet all of your style and cooking needs.
Like most other enameled cast iron Dutch ovens you can use this in several ways: marinating, refrigerating, boiling, braising, baking, or roasting up to 500 degrees F in the oven. Plus you can saute, simmer, or fry on the stovetop.
Overall the price and quality are right for this cast iron Dutch oven. It has all of the good qualities cooks should look for in a Dutch oven and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
|Less expensive than other brands|
Can withstand heat up to 500 F
Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
|Citrus juices and citrus-based detergents may dull the enamel|
Runner Up: Martha Stewart Collection Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
- Perfect for classic minestrone soup
- Modern design with a classic straight side shape and stainless steel lid handle
- Embossed capacity for easy reference
Our runner up is the Martha Stewart Collection Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, which is a bit more modern in style than the other cast iron Dutch ovens on the market. It features a classic, straight side with a stainless steel handle on the lid.
This dutch oven is available in eight colors and comes in three different sizes: 2-quarts, 6-quarts, and 8-quarts. The design, shape and thick construction of this collection cause these dutch ovens to be a slightly larger mass than same-volume dishes made by other brands.
The look of this cast iron Dutch oven is more modern and sleek with a larger handle, setting it apart from others. It features a classic, straight side with a stainless steel handle on the lid. It is available in eight colors and comes in three different sizes: two quarts, four quarts, and six quarts.
This enamel cast iron Dutch oven works on gas, electric, glass stovetop, and induction cooktops and can withstand heat up to 500 degrees F. And although it is the same quart size as some of the other brands, this Dutch oven is heavier than the others of the same size.
One knock on the brand is a history of some manufacturing inconsistencies, though they have been few and far between. This particular dutch oven comes with a limited lifetime warranty, which covers any such manufacturing defects.
|Readily available at multiple retailers like Macy’s, Sam’s Club, and Amazon to name a few|
A more modern and sleek look than some others
Safe up to 500 degrees F
Comes with a larger handle for easier grip
Limited lifetime warranty
|Not as many color options than some other brands |
Heavier than other brands even though it is the same quart size
There was a recall of one million units in 2011 for durability issues with the enamel
Upgrade Pick: Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Round Dutch Oven 5.5 Quart
- 45-percent larger handles that provide a sure grip, even with oven mitts. Dishwasher Safe, Heat Source: Ceramic Hob, Electric Hob, Gas Hob,...
- The superior heat distribution and retention of le creuset enameled cast iron
- An advanced sand-colored interior enamel with even more resistance to wear
If you’re looking for an upgrade and able to spend a bit more money, our pick is the Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Round Dutch Oven 5.5 Quart, which has become synonymous with Dutch ovens. It is widely known for its form and function and boasts several colors and sizes.
The Le Creuset comes in 11 hues, is compatible with all cooktops, and can withstand heat up to 500 degrees F. Le Creuset offers up style and function, offering more options than most other brands; however, the price tag can be high.
Traditional in design and sturdy, Le Creuset offers more color choices than any other brand on the market making it appealing to many shoppers. You can also find this dutch oven in various capacities from 1-quart to 15-quarts.
The interior is a sand-colored enamel that cooks evenly and is resistant to wear. But what sets this enamel cast iron dutch oven apart from the rest is that it is the lightest weight on the market.
Plus, you can use metal utensils with this Dutch oven, something the other brands warn to stay away from. The dome-shaped lid has a secure fit, keeping in moisture, heat, and flavor.
Like many of the others, this version comes with a lifetime limited warranty.
|Lightest weight enamel cast iron dutch oven on the market|
Can use metal utensils
Known for durability and consistency
|Higher price tag than most|
Bargain Pick: Tramontina Gourmet Enameled Cast Iron Covered Round Dutch Oven 6.5 Quart
- The round Dutch oven also cooks fruit cobblers, cornbread and a buffet's worth of baked favorites.
- Sturdy side handles make for secure lifting and transferring of the Tramontina enameled cast-iron Dutch oven to your table.
- The heavy-gauge cast-iron covered round dutch oven cooking surface is coated with off-white, smooth and easy-to-clean PFOA- and PTFE-free...
The Tramontina Gourmet Enameled Cast Iron Covered Round Dutch Oven is our bargain pick. You will trade off some enamel durability and be constrained to six color options, but for the price it’s a great buy.
This particular cast iron dutch oven has similar side handles as the Le Creuset, making it easier to lift, and features a similar interior design: off-white, smooth, and easy to clean PFOA- and PTFE-free porcelain enamel.
The Tramontina dutch oven is a similar weight to the Le Creuset and Staub products; however, some owners have noted that this particular cast iron Dutch oven is “slightly narrower and taller,” which can make it more challenging to fit some wide cuts of meat.
This dish is compatible with all cooktops and ovens. It distributes heat evenly as with the other brands, but is only safe for up to 450 degrees F instead of 500 degrees F.
Tramontina does warn that owners should avoid knocking utensils against the enamel to avoid chipping or permanent damage. It is also best practice to avoid a sudden temperature change; for example, do not put a hot pot in cold dishwater and it is hand wash only.
|Lower price point|
Similar in style to the more expensive brands
Lifetime warranty on manufacturing defects
|Smaller in size, does not accommodate for larger roasts|
Only goes up to 450 degrees F
Has been known to chip with certain utensils
Most Affordable: AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven 4.3 Quart
- Cast iron covered dutch oven in blue with side handles and fitted lid; oven safe to 400 degree Fahrenheit
- Cast iron for even heat distribution and retention; enamel doesn't have non-stick function; hand wash only
- Always use hot-pads, oven mitts, or potholders while moving or removing cast iron cookware on or from the stove or oven
The AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven 4.3 Quart is the most affordable pick on our list. It does not offer as many style options as some competitors and has been said to chip or scratch with heavy use, but overall the price is right for anyone seeking a budget-friendly choice.
This particular dutch oven comes in four colors and five sizes and features side handles like some of the other brands making it easier to carry.
This product has an even heat distribution and retention. However, it is only safe for up to 400 degrees F, and the enamel does not have a non-stick feature, so cooks will need to be careful, especially when sauteeing.
Like the others, you can cook on all surfaces, but you should avoid using metal utensils to keep from chipping or scratching the enamel surface. It is hand wash only. No warranty is available for this product.
Even heat distribution
Works on multiple surfaces
|Only goes up to 400 degrees F|
Some customers have warned that the enamel chips and can come off
Best Double Dutch Oven: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven with Loop Handles 5 Quart
- One Lodge Pre-Seasoned 5 Quart Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven
- Lid converts to a 10.25 Inch Skillet
- Loop handles provide secure control
The lid on the Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven with Loop Handles 5 Quart, when flipped, serves as the second piece of cookware. This product not only offers a cast iron dutch oven, but the lid also turns into a 10.25” cast iron skillet.
One hundred percent cast iron, and somewhat bulky, this is the least stylish option on our list, but one of the most durable and diverse. It comes pre-seasoned, but will need some upkeep throughout its life including hand washing and seasoning.
This set comes with loop handles to help with transferring. It comes in one style and color: It is black, pre-seasoned cast iron, with no options for enamel colorways.
There is no written warranty for the Lodge cast iron, but the company has a reputation (among owners) for standing by its products and making things right if there is a problem.
|Diverse cooking options offering a Dutch oven and skillet in one|
Can be used on any cooking surface indoors and outdoors
Will not chip or rust
|No style choices|
Bulky, so may not be ideal for everyday cooking
Best Shallow Wide Option: Staub Shallow Wide Cocotte 6 Quart
- Made in France
- Heavy weight, tight-fitting lid retains moisture, spikes on the lid create a rain-forest effect evenly returning juices back onto food
- Oven safe up to 900F/482C without lid, Lids are oven safe up to 500F/260C
The Staub Shallow Wide Cocotte 6-Quart is one of the most stylish and expensive options on our list. We choose it for the shallow, broad design.
The Staub Cocotte offers a unique lid, matte interior for excellent browning, and the broad base creates opportunities to easily cook wide dishes like braised bone-in lamb.
The overall style is traditional with a modern twist, with nine color options and a variety of sizes. The smooth bottom works on all cooking surfaces, including halogen.
The lid is heavyweight and tight-fitting. It self-basting ridges that condense steam and drip it back onto the food evenly, which helps prevent dishes from drying out. The matte cooksurface also offers exceptional browning.
Staub supports the line with a 30-year warranty. With its style, unique features, and warranty, this would be an excellent choice for anyone looking to purchase a dutch oven with slightly different offerings.
|With the lid it can handle up to 500 degrees F, but without the lid it can withstand up to 900 degrees F, the highest cooking temperature on our list|
Works on all cooking surfaces
Offers exceptional browning
Broader than other brands
|Not as tall as other brands |
Higher price point
Best Deep Option: Lodge Deep Camp Dutch Oven 8-Quart
- 8 QT. DEEP CAMP DUTCH OVEN. The Lodge portable “camp stove” is the pot that does it all. The flanged lid holds hot coals and inverts for...
- PRE-SEASONED COOKWARE. A good seasoning makes all the difference. Lodge provides pre-seasoned cookware with no synthetic chemicals; just soy...
- MADE IN THE USA. Lodge has been making cast iron cookware in South Pittsburg, Tennessee (pop. 3,300) since 1896. With over 120 years of...
The least stylish on our list but the most durable, the Lodge Deep Camp Dutch Oven 8 Quart is touted for campfire cooking and offers the most room and is the deepest dutch oven on the list.
With this Dutch oven, you get all of the pro features, but none of the style. There are no color choices, but it does come with three legs for distribution of heat when cooking over coals, a lid that transforms into a griddle, and a handle that can be used to hang on a tripod for slow cooking.
It is excellent on the grill or campfire as the flanged lid holds hot coals and inverts to be used as a griddle, making it a one-stop tool for campouts.
It also features a handle for hanging on a tripod for slow cooking and three legs, something the others on our list do not have, helping it sit perfectly over hot coals for even cooking and heating distribution.
This is as durable as a Dutch oven gets. It can easily be used on grills or on an open campfire, but mostly made for outdoor use because of its legs and heft. However, the lid can be used as a griddle giving you another option for some indoor cooking. This particular style does require some upkeep and seasoning over time and should be hand washed.
|Large in size so it can accommodate almost any size recipe |
Can be used as a Dutch oven or a griddle thanks to its diverse lid
|No style or color options|
Made for camping or outdoor cooking
Best Tiny Dutch Oven: Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven 1.5 Quart
- 1.5-Quart capacity
- Stainless steel knob
- Hand washing recommended
The smallest dutch oven on our list, the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven 1.5 Quart, is tiny but mighty. It comes with all of the same features the larger-sized Lodge enameled cast iron Dutch ovens do, but in a more compact size.
This has the same look and feel of Lodge’s larger dutch ovens, but is significantly less expensive. This product is offered in 10 color choices, so you can mix and match pieces or make it stand out independently when used for small dishes or desserts.
The mini-dutch oven is enameled which the brand says allows it to be dishwasher safe, in a pinch. Given that the underlying construction is cast iron, which rusts in the presence of water, you should probably hand wash and dry just to be safe.
|Smaller size equals smaller price point |
All of the same cooking features as the larger version
10 color options to choose from
|Not made for larger dishes so it cannot accommodate every recipe|
How to Choose the Best Dutch Oven
The needs of every kitchen are different, and there are a few important questions you should be asking about your kitchen when picking a dutch oven.
Choosing the Right Size and Shape
The right size and shape can make all of the difference.
Dutch ovens typically come in round or oval shapes, but which one you choose comes down to personal preference. Round is the most common shape, mostly because it fits better atop most home stove burners. The good fit leads to more even heating.
However, if you tend to prepare larger dishes, including roasts that tend to take up more space, an oval shape might be the choice for you. This can be particularly helpful when you need more width to fit a long rigid ingredient like a bone-in cut of meat.
There are a variety of sizing options available for dutch ovens, from ¼-Quart to 13-Quarts. For most kitchens, a round dutch oven between 5-7 Quarts capacity will be the most versatile option.
The smallest size dutch ovens are an incredibly stylish option for desserts and sides, but don’t make practical sense for most kitchens outside of entertainment when hosting guests. Dutch ovens larger than 7-quarts can be heavy and hard to store, but make a great solution if you are cooking for a crowd or insistent on leftovers.
Enamel vs. Cast Iron
All the dutch ovens covered in this article are made of a cast iron construction. It’s true that some brands create aluminum or steel dutch ovens, materials that don’t offer the same benefits of heat stability and retention.
Some products also include an enamel coating which is layered atop the cast iron base. These are popular because of the colorful hues and shiny finishes they create, but there is also some functional benefit of enamel.
A sound enamel coating prevents the underlying cast iron from being exposed to air and water which might cause it to rust. Seasoning fills the same purpose with raw cast iron dishes, but does require regular time and care to reach the same result.
The primary drawbacks of enamel are cost and durability. Some enameled cast iron dishes will also include small sections which are raw and require light seasoning, most often at the top of the dutch oven where the lid rests atop the base.
First and foremost, think about how you intend to use your dutch oven. At the end of the day, your goals and priorities will be unique to your kitchen. Hopefully we’ve provided a few pointers that make clear the benefits and drawbacks of the top brands.
We choose the Lodge 6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven as our best overall buy because it’s an excellent fit for the common needs of most kitchens.
Lodge is a historic American brand that is known for its quality of craftsmanship, and working with customers who have product issues, even long after the date of purchase. While they are best known for their raw cast iron products, the enameled dutch oven will save time and effort from regular seasoning.
Other brands like Le Creuset offer more extensive color options, stronger aesthetic, and French brand cache. But you will typically pay 3-5x more for incremental gains in design value.
The 6-Quart sizing is a great fit if you are cooking for a family of four, and can accommodate larger portions if needed. Consider sizing up if you are regularly cooking for more than 4.
Purchasing a cast iron Dutch oven is an investment that you want to last a long time. No matter what size, style, color, or brand you choose, make sure it’s the best cast iron dutch oven you will love for as long as it lasts.