cast iron dutch oven

Which Cast Iron Dutch Oven is Best? A Comprehensive Buying Guide

In this guide we’ll take a look at which cast iron dutch oven is best to buy for your kitchen, what to look for when shopping and how to care for your dutch oven.

Cast iron dutch ovens are one of the most popular and trendy cookware items nowadays. They’re sturdy and reliable and can be used for a variety of cooking methods. But with so many different brands and models available, how do you know which one is right for you?

In the guide below, we’ll help you choose the best cast iron dutch oven for your needs. We’ll discuss the different types of dutch ovens available, as well as the key factors to consider when making your purchase.

We’ll also recommend a few of our favorite cast iron dutch ovens, based on our own personal experiences and reviews from other consumers.

So, let’s get started!

What is a Cast Iron Dutch Oven?

enameled cast iron covered dutch oven

A cast iron dutch oven is a type of cooking pot that is typically made from cast iron. It has a heavy lid which can be used to seal in heat and moisture, and this makes it perfect for cooking slow-cooked meals like stews and braises.

Cast iron dutch ovens are also great for baking bread and other baked goods, as they retain heat well and distribute it evenly. Plus, the enameled coating on many cast iron dutch ovens helps to prevent sticking and makes them easy to clean.

Types Of Cast Iron Dutch Ovens

There are three main types of cast iron dutch ovens:

Camp or outdoor dutch oven -The camp dutch oven is the smallest and lightest of the three types. It is perfect for camping or hiking trips, as it is small enough to fit in a backpack, yet still has a large enough cooking surface to prepare meals for a group of campers.

The round dutch oven is the most popular type, and is perfect for cooking small to medium-sized meals.

The oval dutch oven is usually larger, and is perfect for cooking larger meals.

Dutch ovens are often coated in a layer of enamel, which helps to protect the cast iron from rusting and makes it nonstick basically. Enameled cast iron dutch ovens are also easier to clean than regular bare cast iron dutch ovens.

How To Choose The Best Cast Iron Dutch Oven For Your Needs

Here are some things to consider:


Size is probably the most important factor to consider when choosing a dutch oven. Dutch ovens come in a variety of different sizes. A small dutch oven is good for individual servings or for cooking smaller dishes, like chicken breasts or fish fillets. A large dutch oven is better for cooking larger meals respectively, like roasts or whole chickens.

Also, if you have a small stovetop, choose a small or medium-sized dutch oven. If you have a large stovetop, choose a large dutch oven.

The type of cooking you will be doing when choosing a dutch oven will also have to be taken into account. If you will be doing mostly baking, choose a dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid. If you will be doing a lot of braising or stewing, choose a dutch oven with a deep well and lid that can be used as a skillet.


Another thing to consider when purchasing a cast iron dutch oven is the shape. There are two main types of shapes – round and oval. Round dutch ovens are better for baking bread and other baked goods, while oval dutch ovens are mostly better for stews and soups.

Price: You don’t have to spend a fortune on a cast iron dutch oven. In fact, there are quite a few affordable options available out there. However, you get what you pay for, so do your due diligence and account for your budget before making a purchase.

The price is always a consideration when purchasing any piece of cookware. Cast iron dutch ovens generally range in price from around $25 to $300. The cheaper ones may not be as well made as the more expensive ones, so it is important to do your proper research when you are shopping around.

Durability: Dutch ovens are made to last, but make sure to choose one that’s made with high-quality materials. This will ensure that your oven lasts for many years to come.

The Benefits Of Using A Cast Iron Dutch Oven

top view of enameled cast iron covered dutch oven

Cast iron dutch ovens have been around for centuries and are still preferred kitchenware even to this day. They have a ton of benefits that make them a great choice for your kitchen. And cast iron dutch ovens are really one of the most versatile pieces of cookware that you can own. Not only are they great for slow-cooking and braising, but they can also be used for baking, searing, and frying.

Cast iron dutch ovens are made from a heavy cast iron that is often coated with a layer of enamel. This makes them non-stick and easy to clean. They also come in a variety of colors, so you can find one that matches your kitchen decor. Cast iron dutch ovens are incredibly efficient. They can be used on the stovetop, in the oven, or over a campfire. They are perfect for roasting and stewing your food.

Some of the benefits of using a cast iron dutch oven include:

-They are durable and can last for many years if cared for properly.

-They are a great choice for cooking at high temperatures.

-They are nonstick and tightly sealed which will retain the juices and flavor of your food.

-They are usually oven safe and can be used for baking and other high temperature cooking without issues.

-They are pretty affordable and can be found in a variety price ranges.

Drawbacks Of Using A Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Cast iron dutch ovens are a popular choice for cooking food, but they also have some drawbacks. First, they are quite heavy as anything made from cast iron, so they are not ideal for people who want to move their pots and pans around often.

Also, they can be difficult to clean, especially if they are not well-seasoned.

The main problem with cast iron dutch ovens is that they can be difficult to use initially. If you don’t know how to use them, you can end up with food that is burnt on the bottom or that doesn’t cook evenly.

In order to avoid issues, keep in mind and follow these tips:

1. Make sure that your dutch oven is properly preheated before adding food.

2. Don’t add too much food to the dutch oven at once – it’s better to add it in batches.

3. Make sure to use the correct amount of salt and herbs/spices.

4. Don’t forget to deglaze and clean the dutch oven after cooking!

5. If it’s not pre-seasoned you’ll have to season your dutch oven yourself.

What To Look For When Buying A Cast Iron Dutch Oven

With so many options on the market, how do you know which one is right for you?

Here are a few things to look for when buying a cast iron dutch oven:

Size: Consider the size of the pot. It should be big enough to fit what you need to cook, but not too big or bulky.

If you plan on using your dutch oven for camping or tailgating, for example, you’ll want to choose one that is small and lightweight. If you plan on using it for baking or cooking large meals, however, you’ll want to choose a larger size.

Shape: Round or oval pots are better for searing and braising, while round dutch ovens are better for boiling and poaching.

Material: dutch ovens come in a variety of materials, such as aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron, and enameled cast iron. So, choose the material that will serve you best in the kitchen.

Lid: The lid is an important part of the dutch oven. Make sure the lid fits well and is made from the same material as the pot.

Handle: The handle should be sturdy and heat resistant, so you can operate safely while cooking.

How To Care For Your Cast Iron Dutch Oven


red white and blue enameled covered round dutch ovens

Cast iron Dutch ovens are a great addition to any kitchen. Not only are they durable and long-lasting, but they also give your food a delicious flavor by preserving all juices and nutrients. However, in order to get the most out of your Dutch oven, you need to take care of it properly.

Here are a few tips on how to care for your cast iron dutch oven:

-Always hand wash your dutch oven with hot water and a mild dish soap.

-It’s usually not recommended to use a dishwasher.

-Do not use metal utensils or abrasive cleaners on your dutch oven.

-If your dutch oven is dirty, use a stiff brush and hot water to clean it.

– Dry your Dutch oven completely after washing, and then apply a light coat of vegetable oil or cooking spray. This will help to prevent rusting.

-Store your Dutch oven in a cool, dry place when not in use.

The Best Cast Iron Dutch Ovens On The Market

Cast iron dutch ovens are an essential kitchen utensil. They great for making one-pot meals and they can also be used for baking, sautéing, and so much more.

With so many different brands and models of cast iron dutch ovens on the market, it can be frustrating to know which one is right for you. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best cast iron dutch ovens on the market.

We’ve based our list on a variety of factors, including price, durability, and customer reviews.

So, whether you’re looking for your first cast iron dutch oven or are in the market for an upgrade, read on for our top picks.

Here are some of the best cast iron dutch ovens on the market:

1. Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cat-Iron Dutch Oven

The Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Dutch Oven is a great option for those who are looking for a high quality cast iron dutch oven. It is made of high-grade materials and is pre-seasoned with vegetable oil, so it’s ready to use right out of the box. It also comes with a lifetime warranty, which is a testament to its quality. The only downside is that it is a bit small, so it might not be ideal for larger families.

It’s perfect if you need an affordable cast iron dutch oven for infrequent use. The cast iron construction makes this dutch oven durable and able to withstand high temperatures. It also has comfortable handles for easy transport and safe cooking.

2. Camp Chef Dutch Oven

The Camp Chef Dutch Oven is another option for those who are in the market for a quality cast iron dutch oven. It is made of high-quality materials and it comes with a lifetime warranty. It also has a true seasoned finish, which makes it easy to clean. This dutch oven is perfect for campers, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. It can be used to cook a variety of dishes, including stews, chili, and even pizza. The Camp Chef Dutch Oven is also great for baking bread, cakes and other desserts. It is 12 inch deep and has a total volume of 6 quarts ( 5.6 liters), which should be enough for most types of meals.

This dutch oven is a little bit more expensive than the previous dutch oven, but it is definitely worth the price.

It’s perfect for both beginners and experts too. It also has a wire bail handle, which makes it easy to transport. You’ll also get a built-in thermometer notch and flanged lid, so you can place coals on top. 

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

This Crock-Pot Artisan Round Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven is perfect for making one-pot recipes. The cast iron construction heats slowly and evenly, while the enameled finish prevents sticking and rusting for easy cleanup. The 7-quart capacity is perfect for making large batches of your favorite recipes for a crowd and the beautiful sapphire blue color will brighten up any kitchen. With self-basting lid for effective steam retention and wide handles this Crock-Pot Cast Iron Dutch Oven is really a great addition to your kitchen.

The cast iron construction ensures that your food will be cooked evenly and efficiently. It’s oven safe for up to 500°F degrees.

The porcelain enameled finish means that your food will not stick to the pot and that it would be really easy to clean.

4. Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Sauteuse Oven

This Signature Sauteuse oven from Le Creuset would be a cute and useful kitchenware to have in your home. The enameled cast iron construction ensures even heat distribution and prevents sticking, while the vibrant cherry red color adds a touch of style (though you can choose between quite a lot of other colors too). This oven is also dishwasher and oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, making it perfect for roasting or braising.

The total volume is 3 quarts ( 3.3 liters) which may be too small for large families, so take this into account when shopping. It has a nice sand-colored interior enamel with a smooth finish and dome-shaped lid locks which promotes the continuous circulation of heat and moisture.

The price is a bit on the high end, but this is a high quality product from a reputable brand, so eventually you get what you pay for really.

So, Which Cast Iron Dutch Oven Is Best?

There are a lot of cast iron dutch ovens on the market these days, and it can be tough to decide which one is right for you.

While our top recommendation goes to the Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Dutch Oven, any of these cast iron dutch ovens would make a wonderful addition to your kitchen. This is truly a classic, utilitarian cookware piece that is perfect for slow-cooking stews and soups from around the world!

Just, remember that everyone is different, so know your preferences before making a purchase and make sure to check reviews.

While all models have their advantages, the best choice depends entirely on your personal preference and needs.

We’ve done the hard work for you and hopefully our comprehensive buying guide would help you make your decision easier.

Happy shopping!

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below. We’d be happy to help!

Additional Questions

What should I consider when purchasing a cast iron Dutch oven?

In buying a cast iron Dutch oven, you must prioritize options that feature sturdy, enamel-coated cast iron and come with a lid that fits snugly. Also, to avoid difficulty in browning, opt for wider pots – preferably 8 inches or more and capable of holding 6 or more quarts. With vast experience in product testing, these parameters are based on our findings and preferences.

Which is the best kind of Dutch oven to buy?

There’s no definitive answer to this as it largely depends on your specific needs. However, we lean towards **heavy enameled cast-iron** options with **tight-fitting lids** because they deliver exceptional performance in our tests.

How do I determine the right Dutch oven size for me?

Your household size and cooking habits should inform your decision. For example, if you mainly cook for yourself, a 3 or 4.5-quart Dutch oven should suffice. These sizes not only accommodate most recipes for 1-2 persons but also allow for one-pan meal preparation. If, however, you often prepare side dishes or desserts, the 1.5 quart Dutch oven is the ideal choice.

How does the Le Creuset cast iron differ from a Dutch Oven?

Dutch ovens and cast irons are not the same because of the treatment they undergo. Whereas raw cast iron needs seasoning to attain non-stickiness and rust resistance, Dutch ovens receive an enamel coating, which confers some level of non-stickiness and protection immediately. High-quality enamel coatings tend to be costly, hence the higher price of enameled Dutch ovens compared to standard cast iron ones.