The 9 Best Dutch Ovens of 2023

We like the Staub Cast Iron 5.5-Quart Round Cocotte for its quality craftsmanship.

In This Article

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Best Dutch Ovens of 2023

Real Simple / Brian Kopinski

If you’re looking to amp up your cooking game, then it’s time to add a Dutch oven to your cookware lineup. These thick-walled pots are capable of producing some truly delicious dishes, especially when it comes to stews, sauces, and our favorite—bread. They can braise, sear, and fry, and can be used both on the stovetop and in the oven.

It's no secret that Dutch ovens can come with a bit of a hefty price tag, but a quality Dutch oven will give you years of use. We’ve researched and found the best Dutch ovens based on material, heat capacity, and size, so you can find the right one for your needs.

We also spoke with Toni Okamoto, cookbook author and founder of Plant-Based on a Budget, to pick her brain on what to look for when investing in a Dutch oven. “If you’re making stews for a family of eight, you’ll want a nice, big pot. If you want to make bread loaves, you might want a small round oven. For a multipurpose option, a 5-6 quart oven should suit most people’s needs,” says Okamoto. 

Our best overall pick is the Staub Cast Iron 5.5-Quart Round Cocotte because of its high-quality craftsmanship. Handmade in France, this Dutch oven can withstand oven temperatures of up to 900 degrees (without the lid on) and is chip-, scratch-, and peel-resistant.

Best Overall Dutch Oven

Staub Cast Iron 5.5-Quart Round Cocotte

4.8
Staub 5.5-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Round Dutch Oven

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want to invest in an heirloom piece that will last a lifetime.

Who it isn’t for: People who aren’t in a position to spend a lot on a Dutch oven. 

The Staub Cast Iron Round Cocotte may be priced higher than most others on our list, but given that it’s handmade in France and goes through a very in-depth quality control process, you can be assured the investment is worth it. 

The enamel coating is carefully applied to ensure an even finish that won’t chip, peel, or scratch over time. Its black interior is ideal for hiding any potential staining and makes cleaning it less stressful. The self-basting lid will also ensure each meal you cook in it will be as flavorful as possible. Plus, this Dutch oven can withstand temperatures up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven when used without the lid. The 5.5-quart size is ideal for serving four to six people, making it a great all-purpose piece of cookware you’ll be able to use for countless meals.

Price at time of publish: $360 for 5.5-quart

Product Details:

  • Material: Enameled cast iron
  • Heat Capacity: Oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit with lid (900 degrees Fahrenheit without lid)
  • Sizes: 2.75, 3.75, 4, 5, 5.5, 6, 7, 8.75, or 13.25 quarts

Best Budget Dutch Oven

Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

4.2
Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on an enameled cast iron Dutch oven.

Who it isn’t for: People who want to invest in a piece they can pass down from generation to generation.

This stunning, enameled cast iron Dutch oven from the Amazon Basics line has a glossy finish and a wide color range comparable to that of much more expensive brands. It’s microwave and dishwasher safe (although hand washing is recommended to better preserve the enamel coating), and oven safe up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The 6-quart size is ideal for serving four to six people, although it’s also available in a 4.3- and 7.3-quart versions. It comes with a fitted lid that locks in moisture when cooking on low heat for long periods of time, and the cast iron body helps to retain heat when cooking at higher temperatures, such as for searing meats. 

Our one complaint about this Dutch oven is its white interior, which makes it more prone to staining than those with dark interiors. This Dutch oven may not come with the craftsmanship of Staub or Le Creuset, but for the beginner cook or anyone who’s not prepared to shell out hundreds of dollars on cookware, it offers exceptional quality for the price.

Price at time of publish: $50 for 6-quart

Product Details:

  • Material: Enameled cast iron
  • Heat Capacity: Oven safe up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Sizes: 4.3, 6, or 7.3 quarts

Best Electric Dutch Oven

Instant Electric Precision Dutch Oven

Instant Pot 5-in-1 6-Quart Precision Dutch Oven

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a Dutch oven that doubles as a multifunctional electric slow cooker. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a traditional Dutch oven. 

This two-in-one Dutch oven doubles as an Instant Pot, so if you love to put together slow cooker meals, this one will be right up your alley. If you’re low on storage space for an Instant Pot and a Dutch oven, this is your simple solution. The inner pot functions as a Dutch oven, which when removed from the electric base, can be used on the stove or in the oven. 

The Instant Precision Dutch oven features five different functions, including braising and slow cooking, and comes with a silicone pad so you can keep your countertop safe while using the electric functions. Take advantage of the electric base that operates as a slow cooker—simply add your ingredients in the morning and come dinnertime, you’ll have one moist, perfectly cooked meal that requires practically zero effort. Additionally, both the inner pot and lid are dishwasher safe. You can also download the free Instant Pot app to discover new recipes to make in your new Dutch oven.

Price at time of publish: $230

Product Details:

  • Material: Cast iron
  • Heat Capacity: Inner pot is oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Size: 6 quarts

Best Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Lodge 5-Quart Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven

5
Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven - 7 Quart

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a durable Dutch oven that can be used for everything from grilling to campfire cooking. 

Who it isn’t for: People who don’t want to have to regularly season their cookware. 

For whipping up dishes in and out of the kitchen, this pre-seasoned cast iron option from Lodge is ready to help you sear, sauté, bake, broil, braise, fry, and grill your meals to perfection. 

You’ll feel confident having this piece in your collection, especially since Lodge has been making high-quality cookware for over a century (since 1896 to be exact). One major perk of this Dutch oven having zero enamel coating is that you don’t have to worry about potential chipping and scratching with use. But since there is no enamel, you do have to make sure to use a cooking oil or butter. 

It’s suggested to wash this Dutch oven by hand (with either mild or no soap at all) to preserve the vegetable oil coating. Post-washing, you can massage a light layer of vegetable oil back onto the surface to re-season it, and then hang it to dry.

Price at time of publish: $60 for 5 quarts

Product Details:

  • Material: Cast iron
  • Heat Capacity: Oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Size: 5 or 6 quarts

Best Nonstick Dutch Oven

Caraway Dutch Oven

4.3
Caraway Dutch Oven

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a stylish and easy-to-clean Dutch oven. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a chip- and stain-resistant Dutch oven. 

This is the sleekest, chicest Dutch oven we’ve ever seen, and it's available in six gorgeous colors, so you won’t even have to bother storing it away in a cupboard. One of the standout features of this Dutch oven is the nonstick ceramic coating, which will give you peace of mind when cooking for yourself or your family. 

With this Dutch oven, you never have to worry about your meal latching onto the interior, making post-meal cleanup a breeze. Just keep in mind that the nonstick ceramic coating is more prone to chipping and staining than most enameled cast iron options.

Price at time of publish: $135

Product Details:

  • Material: Aluminum core with nonstick ceramic coating, stainless steel handles 
  • Heat Capacity: Oven safe up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Size: 6.5 quarts

Best Large Dutch Oven

Le Creuset 13.25-Quart Round Dutch Oven

4.8
Le Creuset 13.25 Quart Round Dutch Oven

Wayfair

Who it’s for: People who regularly cook for nine or more people. 

Who it isn’t for: People with limited cabinet space.

Anyone planning to cook for a large group should certainly consider this extra-large Dutch oven option. Measuring a whopping 13.25 quarts (more than double the size of a typical 5-quart Dutch oven) you’ll be able to prepare enough food to feed your whole family and then some. 

Although this is the most expensive Dutch oven on our comprehensive list, the size may be worth it depending on the servings you cook per meal. It’s also scratch-, chip-, stain-, and peel-resistant and comes with a lifetime warranty. For the splurge-worthy price, the warranty will help you breathe a sigh of relief. 

Price at time of publish: $625 for 13.5-quart

Product Details:

  • Material: Enameled cast iron
  • Heat Capacity: Oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Sizes: 2, 3.5, 4.5, 5.5, 7.25, 9, or 13.25 quarts

Best Small Dutch Oven

Crock-Pot Artisan 3-Quart Enameled Dutch Oven

Crock-Pot Artisan Round Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven 3-Quart

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who mostly cook for one to three people and want to maximize their storage space.

Who it isn’t for: Large families and people who like to batch cook.

As the originator of the modern slow cooker, Crock-Pot knows a thing or two about cooking low and slow. Their 3-quart Dutch oven is ideal for most individuals and couples, because it offers just enough space for cooking for one to three people. Plus, the size makes it easier to store and transfer to and from the oven and stovetop. Its compact size combined with its glossy, two-toned enameled finish means you may even choose to keep it as a permanent fixture on your countertop. 

Crock-Pot's Dutch oven comes with a self-basting lid that traps condensation and rains it back onto your food for better moisture retention. Despite the small size of the Dutch oven itself, it comes with generous oversized handles that allow for a sturdy grip as you carry it. Choose between a variety of color options, ranging from a vibrant teal to a pastel pink. Should you require a larger size, this Dutch oven comes in 5- and 7-quart versions as well.

Price at time of publish: $50 for 3 quarts

Product Details:

  • Material: Enameled cast iron
  • Heat Capacity: Oven safe up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Sizes: 3, 5, or 7 quarts

Best Dutch Oven for Bread

LoafNest Cast Iron Dutch Oven

LoafNest Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Amazon

Who it’s for: Avid bakers or people looking to bake more bread at home.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a Dutch oven for any purpose other than baking. 

The perfect loaf of bread involves a crispy exterior and a fluffy, warm interior and the LoafNest Dutch oven is here to make all of your bread dreams a reality. You can forget having to knead and shape the dough—with its easy-to-use design, you’ll have perfect loaves every time in just the right shape. 

Unlike other Dutch ovens, this one is solely designed for baking bread, so if you’re looking for a fuss-free way to continue making delicious, fresh-out-of-the-oven loaves, then this is your next great buy.  

The LoafNest operates on six easy steps—mix, raise, preheat, pour, bake, and then presto, a perfect loaf of bread every time, plus it’ll save you loads of prep and bake time too. It has a nonstick interior liner, making it easy to pop the bread out post-baking; do note that the liner (with proper care) will last 2,000-3,000 uses but is guaranteed for at least 1,000.

Price at time of publish: $209

Product Details:

  • Material: Cast iron with nonstick silicone liner
  • Heat Capacity: Oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Size: 2 quarts 

Most Versatile Dutch Oven

Our Place Perfect Pot

Our Place Perfect Pot

Our Place

Who it’s for: People who want a multi-purpose pot that functions as more than just a Dutch oven.

Who it isn’t for: People who already have a robust cookware collection.

In addition to being beautiful to look at, the Our Place Perfect Pot can do it all. It operates as a Dutch oven in addition to a saucepot, stockpot, roasting rack, steamer, strainer, braiser, and spoon rest. It comes with a roasting rack that fits perfectly inside the pot and a wooden spoon that can be nested on the lid or in the handles. 

It has a 5.5-quart capacity, a great standard Dutch oven size, and a slippery, nonstick ceramic interior to make cleanup time a breeze. One of our favorite features of this pot is the pour spout, so if you’re making a stew or anything with liquid, you can easily pour it out of the pot (genius). This super practical pot is also oven safe up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, too. Our Place also offers a 100-day trial period, so if you’re not satisfied with your item you can return it for a full refund. 

Price at time of publish: $165

Product Details:

  • Material: Aluminum with nonstick ceramic coating
  • Heat capacity: Oven safe up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Size: 5.5 quarts

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the Staub Cast Iron 5.5-Quart Round Cocotte because it is made to withstand a lifetime of use. Handcrafted in France, it has a slick enameled finish that is resistant to chipping, peeling, and scratching. It’s also oven safe up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit (when used without the lid), so there’s no limit on what you can cook in this Dutch oven.

For a budget-friendly option, the Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven is comparable to much more expensive brands, thanks to its durable cast iron construction and glossy enameled finish.

How to Shop for Dutch Ovens Like a Pro

Type

Whether you already consider yourself a master of the kitchen, or you’re just starting to build out your cookware collection, you definitely want to consider a Dutch oven for your repertoire. They come in a ton of styles, colors, and finishes that are suitable for different cooking methods and recipes. 

Before purchasing, think about what type of dishes you are looking to cook and if you’re also hoping to replace some other pots or pans that already exist in your kitchen to maximize storage space. 

Since Dutch ovens are capable of several cooking methods, it’s possible you’ll be able to say goodbye to a ton of pots and pans you already own, especially if space is sparse in your home. If you’re looking for something you can have cooking while you’re busy doing other things, you may be better off with an electric option that also doubles as a slow cooker; if you’re hoping to step up your bread game, then opting for something strictly designed to help you bake the perfect loaf may be a better choice. 

Whatever you choose, it should suit your cooking or baking style and certainly your budget if you have one. 

Material 

The most common Dutch oven materials are cast iron and enameled cast iron, both of which are prized for their heat retention and durability. Many Dutch ovens have a nonstick interior, making it easy to cook meals with less oil or butter. For example, enameled cast iron has a smooth finish that easily releases food, although it’s not going to be as nonstick as those with an actual nonstick coating. Plain cast iron does not start out nonstick, but with continued seasoning overtime, it begins to develop a smooth surface that prevents food from sticking. This also makes the cleanup process a breeze, since you won’t have to spend a ton of time scrubbing off any baked-on bits or stains that were left behind.  

Definitely consider the color of the interior too, especially for cleaning purposes. Darker colors are better in the long run for hiding stains from stews and sauces. If you happen to choose one with a lighter interior, it may show some staining through the years as you use it. Also, take a close look at the washing process for each Dutch oven since some are dishwasher safe while others need to be hand washed.   

Size 

One of the most important details to consider when buying a Dutch oven is size. Think about how many people you tend to cook for on a regular basis as well as the size of cookware pieces you already own. If you currently own a very large pot that can be used for larger serving sizes, you probably don’t need to opt for a super large Dutch oven too. However, if you are starting your cookware collection pretty much from the ground up, then think thoroughly about what size will benefit you for years to come. 

If you live alone or with another person, a typical 5-quart Dutch oven is average and great for most meals. If you are cooking for a lot of people on a regular basis, then opting for something on the larger side could be a better choice. Just be sure whatever you choose you have storage space for. 

Heat Capacity 

Dutch ovens are one of the few cookware pieces that can be used both on the stovetop and in the oven, which means you have to be aware of the heat capacity. The heat tolerance of each Dutch oven can also vary based on if it’s being used with or without the lid. 

Some lids or other parts of the oven can’t withstand super high temperatures in the oven, so double check that all parts of your cookware are oven safe and at what temperatures before embarking on a new recipe. Sometimes a replacement knob for lids may be necessary for certain dishes that require a higher oven temperature. 

But keep in mind that Dutch ovens tend to do best when used low and slow (a long cook time on a low heat setting). Meat will be super tender and practically fall off the bone when slow cooked in a Dutch oven.

Questions You Might Ask

What is a Dutch oven used for? 

A Dutch oven is a multi-functional cookware piece that can tackle a slew of cooking methods like braising, searing, and stewing. The lid is oftentimes self-basting, which allows for moist-cooking methods and can accommodate meals that require longer cook times. Their searing abilities are ideal for getting the perfect brown on meats and vegetables, too. In addition to main meals, Dutch ovens can be utilized for bread-making and desserts. In fact, there are very few things that these pots can’t do. 

Is a cast iron or enamel Dutch oven better?

One isn’t necessarily better than the other, but there are different requirements for maintaining them if you hope to have them for a long time. An uncoated cast iron Dutch oven has to be seasoned by reapplying a thin layer of oil onto the surface when needed. It’s suggested to not soak non-enameled Dutch ovens in water since that can lead to rusting. However, enamel Dutch ovens can be soaked in warm soapy water and sometimes even washed in the dishwasher. 

Enameled cast iron Dutch ovens have a more nonstick finish from the get-go, so you can use less oil or butter when cooking, but depending on the interior color of the pot, they can be prone to stains. Plain cast iron builds up a nonstick coating overtime, so long as you continue to re-season it after each use.

Is a round or oval Dutch oven better?

The shape of your Dutch oven only really matters if you plan to use it for baking desserts or bread. For most other dishes like stews, soups, and meats, so long as they can fit in the Dutch oven, it doesn’t really matter whether it’s round or oval. If you do plan to sear or brown a piece of meat inside, an oval-sized pot may be ideal if it’s a longer cut of meat that wouldn’t fit as comfortably if attempted to cook in a round one.

Take Our Word For It 

This article was written by Allison Faccenda, a lifestyle, pop culture, and commerce writer with experience in video content creation. She was previously a market writer at BuzzFeed and also produced short-form video content for their various social platforms. To write this article, she spent hours researching the best Dutch ovens and spoke with Toni Okamoto, cookbook author and founder of Plant-Based on a Budget.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles