The Best Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Lodge L8DD3 Double Dutch Oven

Our Top Pick for 2016: Lodge L8DD3 Double Dutch Oven
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $34.70*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

Since the days that Colonial Americans cooked in a fire place, people have depended on Dutch ovens for good meals. Cast iron was cheap to forge and it was durable enough to withstand the heat of burning coals. Our ancestors could roast meat and vegetables in one convenient pot. They could also bake rolls and biscuits in them. So useful were these iron Queens of the Kitchen that they were often handed down as family heirlooms. Today, dutch ovens are enjoying a revival in American kitchens. Cooks love how they can gently roast or broil their dishes to perfection. Not only can these large-capacity pots be used in a conventional oven, but they can also be used over a fire while camping. Cast iron that is seasoned and well-cared for is naturally stick-resistant and will last for years. If you are considering a Dutch oven, these are some top reviews.

Table of contents

amazon-available
amazon-available
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5 Quart
5 Quart
Enameled Solid Cast-iron
Integrated Side Handles
Pre-seasoned Cast-iron
PFOA and PTFE free Porcelain
Oven Safe To 500 Degrees F
Skillet Cover
Self-basting Condensation Ridges
Easy Care
Oven-safe
Secure Fitting Lid
Money Back Guarantee
Lifetime Warranty
Oven-safe To 450 Degree F

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): Lodge L8DD3 Double Dutch Oven

Lodge L8DD3 Double Dutch Oven Gold Pick

Buy it on Amazon for $34.70*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerAccording to the company’s website, Lodge has been making quality cast iron pans since 1898. After a century of producing cookware, the Lodge company knows what they are doing. This double Dutch oven is a tribute to one of their best sellers. If you have a large family and do a lot of cooking, then you will appreciate this pot’s 5-quart capacity. It is big enough to cook large cuts of meat and vegetables and is perfect for making beans or chilli on the stovetop. You can bake bread, rolls, or even a cake in this oven. Imagine what friends or family will say when you said that you baked bread, a cake, or even a luscious cobbler in your Dutch oven!

It quickly converts into a handy stovetop deep fryer. With healthier oils, you can make homemade onion rings, French fries, and crunchy potato chips. Some customers use it to cook fruit and other preserves for canning. The heavy-duty metal reduces the chance of sweet foods from scorching on the bottom. The pot’s dimensions are 10-1/4 by 13 by 5-1/2 inches, and it weighs approximately 15 pounds. It has a beautiful black sheen that will complement any kitchen decor. The 1.5 inch deep lid is domed to allow for more space when it is on the oven.

This cookware will do fine with temperatures up to 500 degrees. You certainly cannot do this in a chemically-treated non-stick pan. In a study done by the Environmental Working Group, chemically-treated pans can release toxic fumes in the air when put on high heat. Instead of these potentially hazardous pans, the EWG recommends cooking with cast iron—namely Lodge brand products.

This oven is made of solid, forged cast iron and features rounded side handles and a tight-fitting lid so you can transport a meal. No more worries about a big casserole mess left in your vehicle. You also will not get some of the funny after-tastes that can occur when using non-stick pans.

One of the added bonuses of this pot is that its domed lid can be used as a skillet. You can use your favorite recipes for frying, searing, or sautéing in the skillet. This oven can cook two different dishes by using the pot and lid. It will heat evenly and retain heat for serving hot meals. You could make mashed potatoes in the pot while you are frying chicken in the lid. This oven can save you a lot of time in the kitchen.

When you cook slowly in a quality Dutch oven like this, your food will be more flavorful and will retain essential vitamins and minerals. You can sear a piece of meat on the stove and put it straight into the oven to finish. Many customers who purchased this Lodge cookware said that the food stays warm inside, even after being out of the oven for an hour or so. This is the perfect oven to have for potluck suppers and holiday dinners.

The Lodge oven is pre-seasoned in the factory for a virtually non-stick surface. The oil is a natural vegetable oil with no peanut oil or animal fat. You will not have to worry about your food burning and sticking to the bottom. Nothing is more irritating than to fix a dish and have to dig it out of the pot. This oven is easy to keep seasoned with oil for years of good use. The more you use it, the more it will develop a beautiful, lasting patina.

Unlike non-stick pans, you can use metal utensils in cast-iron. You can easily mash potatoes right in the oven or use a hand mixer. According the enclosed directions, all you have to do is wash it with a mild dish detergent and dry it. Dishwashing is not recommended for fine cast-iron cookware. With proper care, your Dutch oven will also stay rust-resistant.

In some of the reviews, a few customers remarked about rust stains. However, the company addressed the issue and said that these little stains would go away after a few uses. It is a normal thing when dealing with new cast iron. Lodge makes its cookware to last and this Dutch oven carries the Lodge Lifetime Guarantee. With normal use and maintenance, your oven is guaranteed to last for as long as you have it. You will probably be handing this sturdy cookware down to your children and grand children. If not, the company will send you a new one. Not many cookware companies can make that kind of promise to their customers.

This oven is reliable on many different heat sources. It does not matter if you have electric, gas, or induction stoves. Customer reviews are positive for all of these. They report that all of their foods cook consistently and stay hot in this pot. The only caveat is using it on glass-top stoves. You just have to be careful that you do not scratch your stove by sliding the oven. If you lift the oven instead of sliding it across the glass burners, there should not be a problem.

Buyers also report successful dishes while using this product on their grills or a campfire. Its versatility makes it a must-have for the modern kitchen. When Top Dutch Oven.com reviewed this product, customers gave it a 10 for affordability, 8.5 for ease of care, and a 10 for longevity. All together, it received 4.7 of 5 stars in its review.

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): Utopia Kitchen Pre Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Utopia Kitchen Pre Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Buy it on Amazon for $79.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerCooking in your kitchen can provide a utopia for you and your family, especially when you purchase Utopia Kitchen brand cookware. Many people are who have reserved feelings about treated non-stick pans are embracing the cookware of our grandparents. They are also making more nutritious meals from fresh meats and produce instead of eating fast food so much. This is a benefit that you can share. You get dependable tools for your kitchen when you choose Utopia Kitchen brand.

Once you try their new cast iron Dutch oven, you will wonder how you ever cooked without one. It is expertly forged out of iron for years of cooking pleasure. This 5-quart oven is the perfect size for preparing delicious meals for your family. It measures 10 inches in width and is 4.7 inches tall, with a thickness of 0.2 inches. The solid handles on the pot and lid allow you to hang it on a pot rack if you want. It will fit perfectly on your stovetop or in your oven. The lid fits snugly on the oven so you will not have to worry about steam burns or spilled food during transport. This oven travels easy to family reunions and neighborhood barbeques. It comes pre-seasoned and ready to make some of your favorite dishes.

This Dutch oven can withstand heat up to 500 degrees and is perfect for any recipe that you can make in a regular oven. It will be the first cookware that you will want to take on a camping trip. Cast iron will not stain and scorch on open flames the way that other cookware will. Whether you want to cook on a grill, an open fire, or in hot coals, your Utopia cookware will live up to its name.

It is also easy to maintain. When you keep your oven well-seasoned, food will literally slide out of it with no sticky mess. That is a plus when you do not want to be scrubbing dishes all night. All you have to do after cooking is to wipe out any residue with a clean cloth. Then, you simply wipe the oven with a scrub brush in a little hot water and mild detergent. Cast iron cookware is definitely not dishwasher safe. After you dry it, just rub it down with a little vegetable oil and it is ready to be used again. Quality Dutch ovens like this model are long-lasting.

Many health experts point out that using cast iron cookware provides extra iron to your diet. Since a lot of people may be suffering from iron deficiency, this is beneficial. Instead of getting questionable residue from cooking in chemically-coated non-stick pans, you can feel good about getting iron instead.

When you purchase this Utopia Kitchen item, you get their money-back guarantee. If you are not 100% happy with your cookware within 30 days of buying it, then the company will refund your money without question. But after seeing so many positive reviews, this Dutch oven is bound to be one of your favorite tools in your kitchen. Blogger Trina Combs reviewed this item on her website and said that she was impressed at what a quality pot it was for the price. She was so pleased with it that she bought a Utopia Kitchen cast iron skillet, also.

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Useful Cast Iron Enamel Covered Dutch Oven

Useful Cast Iron Enamel Covered Dutch Oven

Buy it on Amazon for $79.97*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardIf you want the vibrant colors of enamelware with the durability of cast iron, then you will love this Dutch oven by Useful’s Gourmet Collection. Instead of the traditional round shape, this oven is a unique oval and as a 5.5 quart capacity. It is big enough to roast a large chicken or a choice cut of beef or pork. The pan is a quality cast iron with a gorgeously graduated red porcelain enamel exterior. It brings a pop of color to your stove top and for a dish presentation. The inside is coated with a safe layer of white porcelain enamel that is free from harmful PFOA and PTFE chemicals. It weighs 13.7 pounds and can hang safely on the wall.

This Dutch oven is as versatile and sturdy as it is beautiful. It is comparable to other enamelware cast iron that is nearly double its price. One of the many benefits of cooking in this oven is that you can let your food slowly roast or braise to perfection. If you have a busy day, you can set your stove on timed baking and have a scrumptious pot of food by dinner time. The tight-fitting lid has special ridges and a stainless-steel knob that directs condensation back to the food; thus, it is self-basting.

You will get a tender, delicious meal every time. It is the perfect cookware for baking, braising, and deep frying on the stove. It is oven safe up to 450 degrees. Meats, vegetables, stews, and baked goods are well within this cookware’s capabilities. One reviewer said she enjoys baking artisan breads in this cookware. Since its maximum cooking temperature is 450 degrees, this Dutch oven is best suited for the oven and not an outdoor fire.

Another benefit of this enameled Dutch oven is that it does not have to be seasoned like traditional cast iron does. The layer of enamel seals the cast iron and prevents rust and other corrosion. You will also get a stick-resistant cooking surface. You will not damage your pot by endlessly scraping stuck-on food from the bottom. Even though the enamel is baked on and is strong, some buyers recommend that you are careful if you use metal utensils. It is possible to chip the surface over time with hard scraping. If you use this enamelware oven, you may consider using wooden or silicone utensils. Otherwise, you just wash this oven out with hot water and mild detergent and it should last a long time.

This oven is also pretty enough to bring to the table for presentation. The sturdy handles make transporting easy and you will not have to worry about a loose lid. You can sit it on a trivet in the middle of your table and it will stay good and hot the entire meal. It is a perfect Dutch oven to bring to special occasions and potluck suppers. In their top 10 Dutch Ovens of 2016, wiki.ezvid.com rated Useful’s product as Number 4 for durability, style, and value.

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Lodge L2SP3 Pre-Seasoned Dutch Oven

Lodge L2SP3 Pre-Seasoned Dutch Oven

Buy it on Amazon for $21.69*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickIf you want to purchase a quality Dutch oven without breaking the bank, you might consider buying this smaller model by Lodge. It is made with the same attention to detail that has made Lodge one of the most trusted names in cast iron cook wear. It is 10 ¾” long, 8 1/2” wide, and is 5 “ tall. This oven is a bit lighter than larger models; yet it still takes the heat of a 500 degree oven, grill, or fire pit. It is safe for all types of stove tops and can easily slow-cook a meal for your whole family.

Since it has an extra-deep design, you can use it for deep frying meats or homemade donuts. When used in the oven, its secure lid locks in moisture and produces succulent meats, legumes, and vegetables. With a little splash of oil, your Lodge Dutch oven can be used like a mini wok. You can make delicious stir fry and other Asian-inspired delicacies.

Like all of Lodge’s cookware, this Dutch oven is sealed with vegetable oil in a special factory process. You do not have to season it several times like you would other new cast iron cookware. It already has that special patina that cooks love. It is stick-resistant and easily goes from stove, to oven, to a fancy table presentation. You just wash it with mild soap and water and season it with a little oil before storing it. It will quickly become one of your favorite pieces of cookware in your kitchen.

If you like to camp, just pack this item along and it will make a splendid pot of beans right over your campfire. For the quality and price, a cooking enthusiast could not ask for more than what this Dutch oven offers. Webstaurant.com’s reviewers gave it a 5 out of 5 star rating. Of course, it also comes with Lodge’s lifetime guarantee.


Pre-purchase considerations

Gold Pick

One of the best features of this Lodge Dutch oven is that you can use the heavy-duty lid as a frying or baking skillet. The lid is also tall enough to roast large chickens or other bigger cuts of meat. The heavy cast iron retains heat and keeps your food warm while it is being served. This would let you cook two different dishes at once, such as beans and cornbread. It comes pre-seasoned and carries the Lodge lifetime warranty.

Silver Pick

Utopia Kitchen’s Dutch oven has a generous 5 quart capacity and used on just about any heating source, including grills and camp fires. It is perfect for meats, vegetables, and baked goods.

Bronze Pick

The Useful Dutch oven gives you the heat and durability of cast iron without having to keep it seasoned. The graduated lines in the lid collect condensation and keeps your slow-cooked food tender and juicy. The chic red enamel lets you take this cookware from the oven to the table for a beautiful presentation.

Budget Pick

This smaller model made by Lodge has a unique shape that can turn it into a mini wok. Even though it is the cheapest of the top picks, it still has the quality promised by the Lodge company and also is guaranteed to last as long as you own it.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

Like many Americans, you are probably trying to create a healthier diet and lifestyle for your family. One way that you can do this is by changing the way you cook. When you cook in a Dutch oven, you can prepare delicious meals that are nutritious and require minimal cooking oil. Quality cast iron pans and ovens allow you use the freshest ingredients instead of so many overly-processed foods. Your family will enjoy succulently slow-roasted meats and vegetables. You can also use your Dutch oven to make yummy baked goods or use it as a deep fryer.

In a published poll done by cheftalk.com, a majority of professional chefs prefer to cook with cast iron. There are no toxic fumes or leaching chemicals to worry about when you use cast iron. Your cookware can also travel on vacations and camping trips. No matter which oven you choose, it will become a star in your kitchen.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!

Resources

  1. TopDutchOvens.com, Lodge L8DD3 Review
  2. ChefTalk.com Forums, Cast Iron vs. Non-Stick

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