Everything you need to know about Dutch ovens for your kitchen!
Dutch pots and ovens for kitchen use come in a wide array of different colors, materials, shapes, sizes and colors. Making a selection with so many different options available can sometimes be a daunting task. Fortunately, most of them have the same capabilities with regards to what they can cook.
Naturally, some will perform better than others depending on several factors. A Dutch pot is one of the most essential tools one can have in a kitchen as they are quite versatile. Cast iron dutch ovens tend to hold heat the best and provide an even distribution through the sidewalls of the dutch pot. Allowing for consistent temperatures and making it an ideal tool for slow cooking.
As mentioned above, Dutch pots are very versatile and can be used for making home made yogurt (used as an incubator) to pasta sauces and some delicious tasting breads. Needless to say Dutch pots are the most used tool in kitchen nowadays. They can vary in price and usually range from 50$ up to the 400$ for high end Dutch pots such as a Le Creuset.
This article was intended to provide you with a few of the Dutch ovens I recommended.
The Lodge Cast Iron Dutch pot has a 5-Quart capacity. It features a flat bottom surface and has a round shape allowing it to evenly sit on a stove top. It’s domed lip allows for moisture to continuously recirculate back into the pot. It’s handles are conveniently located on both sides of the pot making it easy to move around with oven mitts. Based on my experience, Lodge cast iron does a great job at retaining heat so that you can keep meals warm for quite some time even when removed from it’s source of heat.
Although this particular Lodge Dutch oven comes pre-seasoned and can be used right “out of the box”, it is recommend to oil it lightly prior to initial use.
This enameled cast iron Lodge Dutch oven has a capacity of 6 quarts and is a great tool for marinating and refrigerating. It is made of cast iron coated with a colored porcelain enamel that can be used on electric and gas stoves (in addition to ceramic and induction) and can safely be placed in the oven
.Enameled cast iron is not recommended for use over campfires, flames, outdoor grills and is not to be placed in microwaves. Due to the porcelain surface, there is no need to season this type of Dutch oven. The enameled porcelain is non-reactive with acidic foods as opposed to bare cast iron. A hand wash with warm soapy water is usually recommended in order to preserve the cookware but it is also dishwasher safe.
The Cuisinart’s Hard-Anodized Dutch pot has a 5 quart capacity. It consists of a hard-anodized aluminium core which provides outstanding heat build up and even distribution. It also features a non-stick cooking surface rendering it quite easy to close. The aluminium handles tend to remain cool most of time allowing for easy manipulation. The glass lid is made of tempered glass which equates to durability and outstanding performance.
The Cuisinart Dutch Oven is oven safe up to 500 Fahrenheit and can be stored in the fridge or freezer.
The Magnalite Classic Dutch pot has a capacity of 5 quarts and is made from hand-poured cast aluminium, excellent for conducting heat. It’s thick base means that it will never warp when stressed. It features a heavy domed lid to contain heat moisture, solid handles and a cooking rack. This Dutch pot is oven safe up to 350 degrees.
Magnalite products also come with a 50 year limited warranty. A great choice when shopping on a budget!
The Tramontina Gourmet line is considered to be the “BMW” of Dutch ovens and has be praised for it’s excellent heat retention as well as it’s slow and even distribution. The basting ridges on the lid redirect condensation and humidity back onto the dish.
This Dutch oven is made from thick gauge cast iron and it’s cooking surface is coated with an off-white, non-stick, easy-to-clean PFOA and PTFE free porcelain enamel. It is available is in several different gradated enamel finishes on it’s exterior and should only be washed by hand. This cookware is compatible with all stove tops and is oven safe to 450 Fahrenheit. Tramontina Dutch ovens also come with a lifetime warranty.
I would also like to mention that cookware is a great alternative to the more expensive.
Thoughts & Recommendations
There are a tremendous amount of Dutch Ovens available on the market these days. The most common brands being Lodge, Cuisinart and Tramontina, Le Creuset being on the higher end of the scale. The Dutch Ovens I have listed above are all great choices and are all of exceptional build quality. They do, however, vary in features and capabilities. For instance, some are limited to a certain oven temperatures, while others provide easy to clean, non-stick surfaces.
For kitchen use, I would strongly suggest sticking with enameled cast iron as it has optimal heating properties, is oven safe in high temperatures and provides the most effective and easy to clean non-stick surface when compared to other materials such as aluminium. It requires little to no maintenance, nor does it require seasoning when being used for the first time.
For more shopping tips, see my “Buyer’s Guide for Dutch Ovens“