How About Circular Dutch Ovens
Many people prefer circular options due to two benefits. With this cookware, you can have more flexibility. You can use this to bake your bread. However, if you use the oval one, you might get an oddly shaped loaf. Moreover, the shape of circular ovens ensures the best fit on burners.
The circular ones are suitable for all burners, including induction, electric, or gas. They will get even heating throughout regardless of the burner type you choose. You cannot expect this benefit from the oval shape. Additionally, the oval Dutch ovens are narrower. Therefore, you might experience difficulties while stirring ingredients.
What Material To Choose
Enameled cast iron is our go-to material for Dutch ovens. Cast iron heats evenly and retains heat, and enameled cast iron is more versatile than plain cast-iron, allowing you to cook acidic ingredients which you can’t in plain cast-iron. Enameled cast iron is more reasonable to buy and easy to care for than copper. It’s supremely versatile, enameled cast-iron Dutch ovens go from stovetop to oven, and are available in a wide range of sizes, colors, and price points.
It Is Great Looking And It Comes In A Million Colors
With a purchase like a dutch oven, you could and should have this thing forever. Aesthetics matter. There is something very satisfying about owning a piece of cookware from an old-ass French company whose name means “The Crucible.” You’re going to have a relationship with this thing. Take it from the oven to the table for a dinner party. Show it off. Get the color you want and you’ll never look back.
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The Best Option For Most People: 57 Quart Dutch Ovens
A 57 quart Dutch oven is the sweet spot for most home cooks. This size is great for cooking for four people . Representatives from both Staub and Le Creuset tell us that their most popular size is 5 1/2-quarts, and that’s the size most Epi editors have at home, as well. In our product test of the best Dutch ovens, we stuck to this standard size range and found that we liked both the luxe 5-1/2 quart Le Creuset and the affordable 6-quart Lodge.
Yes, carrying a 6-quart Dutch oven that’s full to the brim of short ribs from stovetop to oven is no small featespecially because it weights 13 or some odd pounds empty. But just visualize how fantastic that browned then slowly simmered red wine braise will be. Or, do like we do: Visualize Michelle Obama’s arms.
It Is The Better Shape
In the debate of round vs. oval, there is kind of only one important thing to say: The oval shape is a stovetop space hog. They both heat evenly and the 5.5qt is big enough for longer cuts of meat, so those potential issues are null and void. But if you’ve got a bunch of other pots and pans on burners, your oval-shaped dutch oven is going to make you a little crazy.
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Le Creuset Dutch Oven Oval Vs Round
I am planning on buying a Le creuset dutch oven for making no knead breads. Which one is better for bread baking, the oval or the round one? I prefer the shape of the oval one, but if shape affects the quality of the loaf in any way I would like to know before I make my final decision.
If you’re buying one to use for many purposes, get the one that suits “close enough” for the most of what you want to do – your bread will be fine.
If you’re not 100% sure, get a size & shape that’s popular with the people who make the kinds and amounts of food that you do.
If it’s mainly just for bread, get it big enough to hold the largest loaf you’d want to put into it, but not far larger than that.
The size and shape should be what’s convenient and reasonable for your situation. There’s no magic in finding the perfect one for bread – just not too small , and not vastly oversized.
Do consider some of the less-expensive brands – perhaps avoid the bottom-of-the-barrel cheapest ones, but I believe you can get as good as Le Creuset for far less money if you look around. Reading the reviews online can be educational while there are poorly-made ones out there , there are definitely good ones to be found.
Choose The Version Of Your Product
- This pan has a high-end build quality, so it’s sturdy and lasts a long time.
- Le Creuset provides a lifetime warranty on this pan.
- The drip rings in the lid distribute the moisture in the pan evenly, so your dish stays nice and tender.
- A cast-iron pan is relatively heavy and it’s less easy to move around than an aluminum pan.
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Things To Consider Before Buying An Enameled Dutch Oven
High-quality enameled Dutch ovens are incomparable. They give you the trusted cooking abilities of cast iron, but without the hassle of caring for it. The enamel coating provides a smooth and easy-to-clean surface that wont erode or absorb any food residue.
Whats more, their attractive appearance allows you to go straight from oven, or stovetop, to table.
Please remember, though, that cast iron is heavy. If lifting weight is a problem for you, consider getting a smaller Dutch oven.
The oval Dutch oven I am reviewing is 6.7 pounds and the round one is 13 pounds.
As you decide which Dutch oven is right for you, take note of how many people youd like to serve. You might only need to cook small meals and can save on storage space with a smaller piece.
As a general rule, allow at least 1 quart per person/serving.
Le Creuset is a staple brand for all sorts of cookware. Their Dutch Ovens are designed and produced in France, so you know youre receiving a top-quality product simply by the brand name. They have been providing this cookware for generations to people all over the world.
Best Dutch Oven Sizes For Families
Most families will be found in a dutch oven’s optimum range of five to six quarts size. This is an appropriate size for preparing meals for four to six people.
In addition, if you want to ensure enough space for those times when your family members want to make something that serves only themselves, you may permanently reduce the size of your original plan.
A dutch oven in the 5-6 quart range is perfect for feeding a large family but doesn’t change the reality that lugging it around the kitchen is no easy task. It’s easy to overlook the dutch oven’s heaviness while seeing it from a distance. Even when empty, they may weigh as much as 15 pounds. Filling yours with large amounts of meat and liquids will be quite heavy.
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Quarts Is The Perfect Size
It will fit a whole chicken, a pork loin, a bunch of boneless pork shoulder, short ribs or lamb shanks.
Ask yourself these questions:
How much food do you usually cook?
The 5.5 qt is perfect for making meals for four people, or for two people with leftovers. If you regularly cook for more people than that, consider the 7qt, which is the next best option. Any smaller than 5.5 quarts and it’s going to be annoying if you want to, say, make a bunch of chili.
How big are your oven, stovetop, and sink?
It can be tempting, especially if you’re asking for this as a gift, to GO BIG. And that’s fine, but keep in mind that the big ones are very heavy . Le Creuset’s largest models might not fit in a modest-sized sink. So check the dimensions before you buy.
What other cookware do you have/use?
Nothing? Cool. Then this is perfect. But let’s say you have a stockpot in the 7-10qt range then you won’t have to use your dutch oven to make stocks, huge quantities of soup, pasta, or steaming lobster. If you have good saucepans in the 3qt range you won’t need it to make sauces. And if you have a small saute pan for eggs and sauteing small portions of steak, fish, or chicken then you won’t need to use it for that, but you could!
Bottom Line: Should You Buy A Round Or Oval Dutch Oven
Now that weve covered all the ways that oval and round Dutch ovens compare, its time to make a decision.
Lets quickly recap the key differences:
- Both perform well for soups and stews, but oval Dutch ovens are better for longer cuts of meat, like a leg of lamb.
- Round Dutch ovens heat faster and more evenly on the stove.
- Round dutch ovens typically come in more size and color options.
- Round Dutch ovens take up less storage space.
Shape is important, but arguably more important is the size of the Dutch oven. Make sure the one you buy has enough, but not too much, capacity.
Ultimately, both oval and round Dutch ovens do a great job preparing meals. The right shape comes down to your storage space, the meals you cook, and your personal preference.
I recommend round Dutch ovens because theyre more suitable for stovetop cooking, which is necessary for most meals.
If youre ready to buy or just want to browse reviews, the brands I recommend are Le Creuset, Staub, and Tramontina . All three are available in stores and on Amazon at the links below:
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What Dutch Oven Shape Is Best Oval Vs Round
Dutch ovens commonly come in both a perfectly-round circle shape and an oblong oval shape. A representative from Le Creuset tells us that the round shape is more popular than the oval shape. “A round fits much better on a burner, which means more even heating,” says Senior Food Editor Anna Stockwell.
However, Anna says if you see yourself cooking lots of roasts, there are advantages to the oval shapesome cuts of meat, like a leg of lamb, would fit better in an oval shape.
For versatility’s sake, the round shape is the best option for most people as it will offer even heating on any stove setup and work for a variety of tasks.
Choosing The Right Size Dutch Oven
While choosing the right Dutch oven shape is very important, its even more crucial to select the right size.
Both oval and round Dutch ovens are available in many sizes. The size is determined by the capacity measured in quarts.
The best way to decide which size is best for you is to consider how many people you cook for regularly.
If you have a large family or host dinner parties often, you may want to opt for a larger size. If youre cooking for one or two most of the time, you can get away with less capacity.
When in doubt, I recommend a 5.5 or six-quart Dutch oven which is ideal for a five-person family or batch cooking for smaller families.
In Le Creusets helpful size guide, the company says that the 5.5-quart Round Dutch Oven and 6.75-quart Oval Dutch Oven are its most popular sizes, offering the most flexibility .
Remember that the bigger the Dutch oven, the longer it will take to heat. So dont oversize unless necessary.
A larger Dutch oven also takes up more storage space. Going bigger on the off chance you might need it for the odd dinner party a few times a year isnt always the better option.
Below is a handy table to help you determine which is the best size for your family and the types of meals you make.
|Holidays, gatherings, parties, larger batches, meal prep, large turkeys and chickens|
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Round Or Oval Dutch Oven
Does an oval cast-iron Dutch oven cook as well as a round one?
Since our favorite Dutch oven in the test kitchen has long been a round model, weve never put this question to the test. To answer it, we bought a 6 3/4-quart Le Creuset oval enameled cast-iron Dutch oven, the closest equivalent to our favorite 7 14-quart round oven. So would the two long ends of the oval pot, which are never directly over the burner, make for uneven cooking and browning?
To our surprise, we found that beef chunks browned equally well in the two vessels, and long pork roasts were also evenly colored. The key, it turns out, is the cast-iron material of the ovens: Because its not an especially efficient conductor of energy, cast iron takes longer to heat up than less substantial materials, but once thoroughly heated, it retains heat very well, making those end areas not in direct contact with the burner just as capable of browning meat as the center.
The bottom line: As long as you adequately pre-heat it, an oval cast-iron Dutch oven should cook as well as a round model, without any adjustments to cooking times or procedures.
In Good Shape
Number Of Color And Size Options
Round Dutch ovens are more popular than oval Dutch ovens therefore, cookware companies offer a lot more sizes and colors in round constructions.
For example, Staub, a French cookware company specializing in Dutch ovens since 1974, offers 95 round Dutch ovens and 18 oval Dutch ovens.
Lodge, another renowned cookware maker, specializing in cast iron, offers round Dutch ovens in five sizes and nine colors, but oval Dutch ovens in only one size and two colors.
Le Creuset, one of the best cookware brands in the world, offers an equal variety of its standard round and oval Dutch ovens. But, they provide unique designs in the round category, including Dutch ovens with a gold handle, a , and an extra-wide collection.
The key takeaway with round Dutch ovens, you have your choice of size and colors. With oval, your options are limited.
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Do You Need An Oval Or A Round Dutch Oven
When it comes to choosing the shape of Dutch oven to buy, oval or round, it’s all about personal preferenceand perhaps the size and shape of your kitchen shelving. Many brands have oval ovens available in different quart capacities than the rounds, so an oval might be the optimal size for you. Martha’s 8-Quart Oval Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven is a little bit larger, which makes it just right for cooking whole roasts.
It Is The Best Brand And Worth The Money
Obviously there are other many other brands Lodge, Martha Stewart, Mario Batali, Staub, Tramontina , and others. Many of them are cheaper than Le Creuset. Some people love their model made by another brand but some people don’t NO ONE SAYS BAD THINGS ABOUT LE CREUSET. The truth is that the first two years your $50 Lodge enameled 6qt dutch oven might perform exactly the same as your Le Creuset. But after that, it might start to show its age. Le Creuset do not. They last a lifetime. And if if they don’t, Le Creuset offers a lifetime warranty and will replace defective cookware with no charge.
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The Verdict Its A Tie
Both the round and the oval dutch ovens are great options. Im way more concerned about the heat rating, handle size, and lid fit than I am about the shape of my dutch oven. See also our article on how to choose the best dutch oven. I think that once you consider your serving size, the shape of the dutch oven may not matter so much.
I do recommend looking over your cast iron dutch oven in person so you can get a feel of the weight and how it feels holding it. Both of these shapes can be very heavy, and its also best if you can inspect the surface enamel before you make a decision.
Choose a round dutch oven if:
- you cook on the stovetop more than in the oven
- you want a deeper cooking capacity
- you have less available storage space
Choose an oval shape if:
- you cook whole cuts of meat in the oven
- you have larger hands and need a wider balance for your pot
- you have plenty of storage space.
Whatever you do, make sure your serving capacity is spot on and that the options you have for lids have a high enough heat rating that you can cook in the oven without worry. Otherwise, the shape of the dutch oven isnt a significant deciding factor. Go for other factors first and then narrow down to the one based on shape.
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Oval Vs Round Dutch Oven: Which Do You Need
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Today we are comparing the Le Creuset Oval vs Round Dutch Oven.
Im a big fan of the versatility and high quality of Dutch Ovens and the meals you can prepare with them. They are useful tools and come in a range of stylish colors.
Its essential to have cookware thats long-lasting without any material toxins. Ive found Le Creuset to have long upheld those standards, something reflected by its many loyal customers.
Le Creuset Dutch Ovens are a high-quality, durable type of cookware that you can use creatively in your kitchen.
But which do you need? Oval or round?
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