I’m a strong believer that Le Creuset makes the best Dutch ovens money can buy. If you’re considering one for your collection – bravo!
I’ve been cooking with Le Creuset for over 15 years and even spent time working in one of their “Signature” boutiques. I’ve learned virtually all there is to know about the brand and have taken almost every product for a test drive.
Understanding the sizes that Le Creuset offers will go a long way when it comes to choosing the dutch oven that will best serve your cooking needs.
In this article, I’m excited to guide you through the various Le Creuset Dutch Oven sizes and shapes. You should gain a better understanding of which model will be most suitable for your kitchen today. And, if you’re anything like me, you may also discover a few interesting pieces to save on your “wish list” for the future.
How Are Le Creuset Dutch Ovens Sized?
Before you start planning which size dutch oven that you need, it’s helpful to establish how Le Creuset assigns “sizing” in the first place.
For a Dutch oven, sizing is based primarily on the cooking capacity of the dish. Le Creuset uses a label of “Quarts” for products sold within the US market. Liters are used in most other countries.
The other measurement you should get familiar with is the diameter across the top of your open dutch oven. Knowing this specification can be a huge help if you’re trying to find the size of a dutch oven that you already own.
The diameter (in centimeters) is stamped into the bottom of most models so you will always have a size reference if you need it. You can also find the same measurement on the inside of most lids.
You may find a letter marked on the bottom and lid of some older models as well. This was done so that you could match the correct lid and bottom. An “A” lid would go with an “A” bottom for example. As the sizes have changed over the last 95 years the letter system has become outdated and is not very useful anymore.
Answer These Questions First
There are a few questions you should be clear on before you start shopping.
For all of the great things about Le Creuset, the brand is notably expensive. Taking a few minutes to answer these 3 questions can go a long way toward picking the best oven for you and, potentially, save a healthy dose of buyer’s remorse on an oven that doesn’t fit all of your ingredients.
1. How many people do I regularly cook for?
This may seem like an obvious question, but you would be surprised at how many people over- or under-buy for the number of mouths they most regularly need to feed.
A good rule of thumb when sizing your dutch oven is to add 1-quart for each adult that you’ll be feeding. So, for example, a 1-quart Dutch oven is good for one person and a 5.5-quart model will feed a family of five or six people.
This is a good general guideline, but do keep in mind that not all mouths are equally hungry.
If you’re cooking for small children then a quart can probably stretch further than a single serving. OR, if you’re cooking for a band of ravenous teenagers then you might want to look at the giant 15.5-quart Goose Pot as a starting place.
I normally cook for three or four people. But, I went with 5.5-quarts for my first Le Creuset Dutch oven. That gave me the flexibility to cook for a few extra guests when I needed it and is very useful when it comes to large meal prep projects.
2. What are the things I’ll be cooking most often?
A Dutch oven is great when it comes to cooking meals for yourself, friends, or family. But, choosing a size that may seem too big can unlock even more cooking and baking possibilities.
One of my favorite uses for a Dutch oven is baking bread. Most standard bread recipes call for at least a 4-quart round Dutch oven. So even if you only cook for one or two people you may consider sizing up if you see bread baking in your future.
The same goes for cooking large roasts or for deep frying. A one, two, or even three-quart round Dutch oven can be too small for those tasks. If you only have the space in your kitchen or budget for one Dutch oven, consider starting with at least a 4.5-quart model.
Those sizes will give you the most versatility and you won’t find yourself limited in the recipes you can make.
3. Is an oval or round shape more practical?
This question will also be answered by what you cook most often.
If you plan on cooking a lot of large cuts of meat then you may consider going with an oval Dutch oven. The elongated shape is perfect when it comes to fitting a whole rack of ribs, a large roast, or even a whole turkey.
If this is your first and only Dutch oven, I would usually recommend going with a round model. They can do everything an oval one can except fitting the largest cuts of meat. And, round Dutch ovens tend to be a little easier to use because they fit better on most stovetop burners.
What Size And Shape Le Creuset Dutch Oven Should I Get?
If you already answered the 3 questions above, then you should have a good idea about the range of sizes that could work best in your kitchen. If you haven’t done this yet, I would highly recommend it before you pick a dutch oven.
Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven Sizes
|Diameter (cm)||Capacity (qts)||Capacity (L)||Approx. Servings||Price||See The Product|
|14||1||0.95||1-2||Price not available||Buy on Amazon|
|16||1.5||1.3||1-2||$169.95||Buy on Amazon|
|18||2||1.9||1-2||$229.00||Buy on Amazon|
|20||2.75||2.4||2-3||Price not available||Buy on Amazon|
|22||3.5||3.3||3-4||$259.00||Buy on Amazon|
|24||4.5||4.3||4-5||$329.94||Buy on Amazon|
|26||5.5||5.2||5-6||$277.00||Buy on Amazon|
|28||7.25||6.9||7-8||$439.95||Buy on Amazon|
|30||9||8.5||9+||$481.95||Buy on Amazon|
|34||13.25||12.5||10+||$609.95||Buy on Amazon|
Le Creuset Oval Dutch Oven Sizes
|Diameter In Centimeters||Quart Capacity||Liter Capacity||Approx. Servings||Price||Listing|
|17||1||0.95||1-2||Price not available||Buy on Amazon|
|23||2.75||2.6||1-2||$274.95||Buy on Amazon|
|25||3.5||3.2||2-3||Price not available||Buy on Amazon|
|29||5||4.7||5-6||$329.00||Buy on Amazon|
|31||6.75||6.4||5-6||$424.95||Buy on Amazon|
|33||8||7.6||7-8||Price not available||Buy on Amazon|
|35||9.5||9||9+||$499.95||Buy on Amazon|
|40||15.5||14.7||10+||$744.95||Buy on Amazon|
I already own a dutch oven. What size is it?
If you don’t know the size or capacity of a Le Creuset Dutch oven that you already own, there is a simple way to find out. Flip your Dutch oven over and look for the number that is stamped in the center. This number is the diameter of the top of the Dutch oven in centimeters.
Take that number and match it to my sizing table above and you’ll be all set with the quart capacity and an approximate number of servings. That can be a useful thing to know when a recipe calls for a specific-sized pot.
The same number will also be stamped into the underside of most lids. If you have several Dutch ovens this can be a helpful way to match the correct lids and bottoms.
What Is The Best Dutch Oven Size For Baking Bread?
There are an endless number of bread recipes out there. Many of the most common and easily found recipes are for one or two-pound loaves and they fit perfectly in a 4.5 or 5.5-quart Le Creuset Dutch oven. For an easy and delicious loaf, check out this recipe from Jim Lahey.
If you have something larger like the 7.25-quart model, that will work just as well. But, I wouldn’t recommend going any smaller than 4-quarts in order to get the best baking results.
What Kind Of Stove Top Do I Need To Use An Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven?
Le Creuset’s Dutch ovens can be used on any cooktop, including induction, and are oven safe as well. If you cook on a glass top stove some extra care should be taken when placing such a heavy piece of cookware on top. One accidental drop you could end up with a cracked or shattered cooktop.
What Is the Best Dutch Oven For 2 People?
You can get by with a 2.5 to 3.5-quart Le Creuset Dutch oven but you’ll have some limits on what you can use it for. Even for two people, I would step up to a 4.5-quart size Dutch oven. That size is big enough for bread, deep-frying, and even a whole chicken. But, it also won’t feel too big for daily cooking tasks.
What is the Best Dutch Oven For 4 People?
A 5.5-quart enameled cast iron Dutch oven is perfect for all of your daily cooking needs for four people. If you plan on having guests over and entertaining, consider going up to the 7-quart range.
How Do I Clean My Dutch Oven?
The beauty of enameled cast iron is that you don’t have to worry about maintenance or any special cleaning procedures.
Most messes are easily cleaned up with soapy water and a soft sponge or brush. For stuck-on food, a simple soak for a couple of hours will usually do the trick. I try to wash mine by hand as much as possible but on top of being oven safe, Le Creuset Dutch ovens are actually dishwasher safe too. Just don’t be surprised if you find some discoloration of the interior enamel afterward.
At the end of the day, you can get a lot of use out of any size Dutch oven. But, choosing one that offers the most versatility will give you the best bang for your buck. And remember, these things aren’t cheap.
So, if this is your first and only Dutch oven, choosing one that may seem a little on the large side will keep your cooking options open. It will also save you from needing to add more sizes before you’re ready.
If you’re curious why a Le Creuset Dutch oven is so pricey, take a look at my comparison between Le Creuset and the budget-friendly Lodge Dutch oven.