Dutch ovens are the original slow cooker in some ways. Because they need just slightly more attention and oversight than a Crock-Pot, now might be the perfect time to invest in one. For bean stews, beef bourguignon, or even a simple batch of sauteed greens, a sturdy Dutch oven can be your closest ally for making nourishing food all year long. Oh, and they look pretty great too.
A Dutch oven, often interchangeably used with a French oven or cocotte, is a staple in the kitchen. If you’re not familiar with these pots, they typically feature thick walls and a tight-fitting lid, and most are made from cast iron or enameled cast iron. They can be used both on the stovetop and in the oven, and they’re a favorite vehicle when braising meat or cooking soup. However, don’t be fooled—you can accomplish almost any cooking task in a Dutch oven, including baking and frying. They’re one of the most versatile pots out there.
If you’re in the market for your first Dutch oven or you’re replacing a well-loved one, here are the best Dutch ovens you can buy today:
- Best Overall: Le Creuset Signature 5.5-Qt. Dutch Oven
- Best Budget: Lodge 6.5-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
- Best Splurge: Staub Round Cocotte
- Best New Brand: Milo Classic Dutch Oven
- Best Colors: Martha Stewart Collection Enameled Cast Iron 6-Qt. Dutch Oven
- Best Non-Enameled: Lodge 7-Quart Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven
- Best Stainless Steel: Calphalon Contemporary Stainless Steel Dutch Oven
- Best Nonstick: Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 8.5 qt. Dutch Oven
- Best for Camping: GSI Hard Anodized Dutch Oven
- Best for Holidays: Staub Cast Iron Pumpkin Cocotte
What to Look for When Buying a Dutch Oven
When shopping for a Dutch oven, you’ll first want to consider the best size for your needs. The most popular sizes are between 5- and 7-quarts, but you can find products as small as 3-quarts or as large as 13-quarts. If you tend to make large meals for your extended family, a bigger Dutch oven might serve you well. Just keep in mind that larger pots will be quite heavy.
Speaking of weight, Dutch ovens are supposed to have thick walls, so don’t shy away from products with a bit of heft. You may also see round vs. oval Dutch ovens, and the best option here depends on how you plan to use it. If you do a lot of stove-top cooking, stick with a round model, as it will fit on the burner better.
Finally, it’s generally better to choose a Dutch oven that’s short and stout, rather than one that’s skinny and taller. Why? A wide diameter gives you more surface area to brown meats, and it can also save you time by cooking ingredients faster.
We’ve taken all these considerations into account while putting together this list of the best Dutch ovens. Additionally, we read dozens of reviews for each product, compared pricing and product specs, and of course, drawn on our own experiences with the brands to put together a comprehensive list of the best products on the market. No matter your needs, you’re sure to find a great Dutch oven in this roundup!
Related Reading: What to Do With Your New Dutch Oven
Best Overall: Le Creuset Signature Dutch Oven, $359.95 at Sur la Table
If you’re at all familiar with Dutch ovens, you’ve probably heard of Le Creuset. This French brand is arguably the gold standard when it comes to Dutch ovens, and you can rest assured you’re getting a high-quality piece of cookware when you buy its Signature Dutch Oven. This product comes in 5.5-, 7.25-, 9-, and 13.25-quart sizes, as well as a rainbow of beautiful colors that will make it a showpiece for your kitchen.
These cast iron Dutch ovens are covered in vitrified porcelain that makes it easier to clean and resistant to stains, odors, and acids. The non-reactive cooking surface doesn’t need to be seasoned like traditional cast iron, and you can use these pots on essentially all cooking surfaces, including induction cooktops and even open fires. Additionally, Le Creuset Signature Dutch Ovens have large, easy-grip handles and a heat-resistant knob.
Every detail of these beautiful pots has been considered, and their unbeatable quality is reflected in the reviews, where happy chefs swoon over their Dutch ovens. Many say it’s the most-used item in their kitchen, and pretty much everyone agrees this product is well-worth the investment.Buy Now
You don’t necessarily have to spend an arm and a leg to get a great Dutch oven for your kitchen. The Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven is a top-rated product with close to 7,000 reviews, and it’s widely heralded as the best affordable Dutch oven out there, hands down. It comes in several sizes, ranging from 1.5- to 7.5 quarts, as well as a wide selection of pretty colors.
The Lodge Dutch Oven is made from enameled cast iron, and it delivers superior heat distribution and retention. It’s oven-safe up to 500 degrees, and while you can technically put it in the dishwasher, the manufacturer recommends hand-washing to reduce the risk of chipping the finish. Reviewers say this Dutch oven is high-quality, especially considering its affordable price, and many say it’s versatile and a joy to cook with.Buy Now
If you’re willing to spend top-dollar on an investment piece for your kitchen, you won’t be disappointed with the Staub Round Cocotte, which delivers both in terms of performance and appearance. Cocotte is the French term for a Dutch oven, and this European brand certainly knows how to make a beautiful piece of cookware! Its 5.5-quart cocottes come in more than 10 colors, all with durable enamel finishes.
These Dutch ovens feature a self-basting lid with spikes on the underside to deliver continuous distribution of juices while cooking, and the oven-safe cast iron construction ensures effective heat retention and distribution. There’s no seasoning required, and you can easily wash down your cocotte with soapy water.
The Staub Round Cocotte is an ideal vehicle for your favorite soups, casseroles, roasts, and braises, and reviewers rave about it, writing, “This pot is as close to perfect as a pot gets. It’s sturdy, durable, functional, and flat-out easy to use.”Buy Now
Best New Brand: Milo Classic Dutch Oven, $65-$235 from Food52
Direct-to-consumer cookware companies are popping up left and right, and Milo is an up-and-coming brand that sells high-quality Dutch ovens at affordable prices. The Milo Classic Dutch Oven rivals products from some of the most well-established cookware brands, thanks to its cast iron construction and durable enamel finish.
The Classic Dutch Oven has a 5.5-quart capacity and comes in black or white enamel finishes. It’s oven safe up to 500 degrees, and it can even go in the dishwasher. Milo offers a lifetime guarantee on its products, and it claims this pot is ideal for both cooking newbies and professionals. Happy buyers say that the pan is “heavy and solid like you would expect from Staub or Le Creuset” with a smooth, easy-to-clean finish.Buy Now
Best Colors: Martha Stewart Collection Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, $75 (with discount code VIP) from Macy’s
Bring a pop of color into your kitchen with this 6-quart Dutch oven from the Macy’s Martha Stewart Collection. There are a wide variety of colors to choose from, and many of them feature a subtle ombre finish. These Dutch ovens are made from enameled cast iron and come with a tightly fitted lid that has a condensation ring to help circulate moisture while cooking. The large handles make the pot easy to move from stove to table, and reviewers call it a “kitchen essential.”Buy Now
Best Non-Enameled: Lodge 7-Quart Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven, $54.90 from Amazon
Many of today’s Dutch ovens feature a porcelain enameled finish that makes them non-reactive, easier to clean, and impervious to stains and odors. However, if you like the taste imparted by non-enameled cast iron, you may want to consider the Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven.
This product doesn’t have an enamel exterior—instead, it’s been pre-seasoned with vegetable oil. It has a 7-quart capacity that reviewers say is perfect for bread, soups, and many other dishes. It needs to be taken care of properly—that means careful washing and reseasoning as needed—but the sturdy construction will last for decades.Buy Now
Best Stainless Steel: Calphalon Contemporary Stainless Steel Dutch Oven, $64 from Amazon
Cast iron is the most common material for Dutch ovens, but there are also stainless steel options available, such as this model from Calphalon. The 8-quart covered Dutch oven is made from stainless steel and features an aluminum core for excellent heat conductivity, and it’s oven- and dishwasher-safe, even with its glass lid. The brushed exterior will look sleek and modern in your kitchen, and reviewers love the large capacity and see-through cover, which lets you monitor your meal without letting heat escape.Buy Now
Best Nonstick: Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick Dutch Oven, $75 on Amazon
No need to break out your scrubbing brush with the Calphalon Nonstick Dutch Oven! The unique product features a nonstick coating that will ensure food slides right off when it’s time to clean up. This 8.5-quart Dutch oven is made from heavy-gauge, hard-anodized aluminum that delivers quick, even heating, and it has stainless steel handles that stay cool, as well as a tempered glass lid. The whole unit is oven-safe up to 450 degrees, and you can put pot and lid in the dishwasher if you choose.Buy Now
Best for Camping: GSI Hard Anodized Dutch Oven, $119.95 from L.L. Bean
Not only can you use Dutch ovens in the kitchen, you can use them in the great outdoors, as well. Many campers choose to bring a product like the GSI Hard Anodized Dutch Oven along on their adventures, as these pots can be used over an open flame.
Related Reading: Easy, Make-Ahead Camping Meals That Are Totally Glamp-Worthy
This particular Dutch oven is designed for camping with fixed legs for increased stability and a deep edge around the lid where you can place coals from the fire. The pot is made from non-reactive, hard-anodized aluminum, and it weighs 66 percent less than traditional cast iron, so it’s easy to carry out to your campsite. Additionally, this Dutch oven is rust-free and scratch-resistant, ensuring it will survive even the toughest outdoor excursions.Buy Now
Best for Holidays: Staub Cast Iron Pumpkin Cocotte, $289.95 from Amazon
If you plan to use your Dutch oven for Thanksgiving and other holidays, you might want a festive design, like that of the Staub Cast Iron Pumpkin Cocotte. This adorable pumpkin-shaped dish has a 3.5-quart capacity, and it comes with all the features you’d expect from this high-end brand. It has the smooth enamel bottom, tight-fitting lid, and superior heat retention, and it’s oven safe up to 500 degrees. Plus, it makes the perfect centerpiece for your holiday table! Buy Now
Header image courtesy of Sur La Table.