Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven
Several of the chefs we spoke to said they use Dutch ovens from Le Creuset either at home or in their professional kitchens. Todd Gray, executive chef and co-owner of Federal Fritter in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, said hes a fan of the bright color options and the enameled cast iron material. This Le Creuset has a 4.6-star average rating from more than 460 reviews on Le Creusets site.
Gray also noted that he likes to keep a smaller version on hand specifically for the toaster oven when he wants smaller portions.
What To Look For When Buying A Dutch Oven
When shopping for the perfect Dutch oven, you’ll want to consider the size of the pot. That’s probably the most important decision you’ll make so give it some real thought. The most popular interior sizes are between four and seven quarts, but you can find products as small as 2 quarts or as large as 10 or more. If you tend to make large holiday meals with lots of grub for your extended family, a bigger Dutch oven might serve you well. Just keep in mind that larger pots will be quite heavy . I personally think a 4-quart Dutch oven is great for a single person or couple but would probably bump up to a 6-quart if I had a few kids or more mouths to feed on the regular. Keep in mind, most are cast iron so they’re not particularly light, so don’t overshoot just for the heck of it.
Why Is Staub So Expensive
When you look at the variety of Dutch ovens and Cocottes on the market, it can be quite confusing. The range of pricing for similar size items can be quite large. The important thing to remember is that not all Dutch ovens are built the same. Take a car for example, you have cheaper Fords and expensive BMWâs.
The same applies in this market. They may do similar things but the build quality, branding and customer service is widely different. When you are buying a premium brand like Staub or indeed, Le Creuset, you are buying the very best. This means cast iron that is the finest quality, enameling that will last and stand the test of time and aftercare that actually exists.
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Test : Heat Conduction And Retention
Serious Eats / Emily Dryden
The first question we had about our lineup of enameled cast iron Dutch ovens was whether there was much difference from one to the next in how they conducted and retained heat. We know that iron is a poor conductor of heat and a great retainer of it, but given that each pot has a different mass and slightly different build, including variations in floor and wall thickness, it’s conceivable that some would conduct heat better than others, while others might retain the heat better.
We tested heat conduction by placing each Dutch oven on an induction burner set to a fixed, moderate heat setting. We then snapped photos with a thermal imaging camera and measured floor and wall heat in timed increments with an infrared thermometer.
We then tested heat retention by preheating each lidded pot in the same 350°F oven, then recording the pots’ loss of heat in both the walls and the floors using the infrared thermometer.
While our methods of measuring the temperature of the pots weren’t perfect , they gave us a decent enough picture to confidently draw an interesting conclusion: There isn’t a significant difference that sets one enameled cast iron Dutch oven apart from another in terms of thermal properties. They all heated and cooled in remarkably similar patterns and at remarkably similar rates. This is not the area where one pot will distinguish itself.
The Best Dutch Ovens In 2022
All of the chefs we spoke to agreed shoppers should invest in a Dutch oven made out of cast iron which provides the best heat retention and temperature distribution with at least a 5-quart capacity and including a lid. Below, we included some expert recommendations for Dutch ovens worth considering and other highly rated options that aligned with their guidance on how to shop for them.
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How Big Is The Dutch Oven
The experts we spoke to noted that if you have the space, its typically better to size up and get a Dutch oven with a larger capacity since you can always use a bigger pot to cook smaller portions, but not vice versa.
Dourleijn said that, at minimum, a 5-quart Dutch oven is good because you can use it to cook for as little as two people or as many as six people and its the right size for larger roasts. However, if you know youre only going to be cooking for two people and you want to save space, you can opt for a smaller, 4-quart dutch oven, which is also the ideal size for baking bread, according to Dourleijn.
Versatile Cooking In The Staub Cocotte
Cook rich, creamy risotto to al dente perfection. The cast iron construction of the STAUB cocotte allows slow, smooth heat distribution meaning your risotto will cook evenly and without the hotspots that can cause burning.
Sear vegetables on the matte black enamel cooking surface on the hob top, add the chicken, turkey or any type of game bird then easily transfer to the oven to roast, all in one cocotte. The oval shape of the cocotte is ideal for poultry.
Chilli Con Carne
Fry-off all the ingredients for a hot, fiery chilli, from softening chopped onions to adding garlic, peppers, spices, then the mince and chopped tomatoes. Let it simmer in the cocotte and allow all the wonderful flavours to come together.
|Oven Safe to 250Â°C|
|4.8 out of 5 stars||4.7 out of 5 stars||4.5 out of 5 stars||4.7 out of 5 stars|
|14.76 x 12.2 x 6.57 inches||58.23 x 10.24 x 6.69 inches||15.7 x 12.9 x 6.8 inches||4.8 x 11.5 x 13.4 inches|
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The Best Budget Cast Iron Dutch Oven: Martha Stewart 6
What we liked: The is a big pot with good performance and a budget-friendly price tag, under $100. It doesn’t hurt that it boasts a handsome design in nine different enamel colors.
The beige pot bottom is 9 1/8 inches in diameter and fits all the chicken thighs without crowding, allowing us to develop good browning and fond without any trouble. At nearly 14 pounds, it was the heaviest pot in the test, but it also has some of the best handles, which help make that weight less of an issue. Even with oven mitts, we were able to easily lift and transport the pot without straining or fear of dropping it. The pot’s design is simple and uncluttered.
We had one concern regarding the pot’s durability: In 2011, the company recalled its Dutch ovens for faulty and potentially dangerous enamel. We spoke to the company about it and were told that they’ve since changed manufacturing facilities in China, which was good to hearthough we did find at least one online review of a Martha Stewart pot that describes the enamel fracturing. What we don’t know is whether that damage was due to user error or a manufacturing defect. We’ll keep an eye on the Martha Stewart Dutch oven as we continue to cook with it and will update this review accordingly.
Serious Eats / Emily Dryden
What Is A Dutch Oven
A Dutch oven sometimes called a French oven or a cocotte is a large, typically heavy piece of cookware best known for its ability to slow-cook dishes like beef stew, pulled pork, Bolognese sauce and soup. Dourleijn noted the deep pot is also great for roasting chicken and other big meats.
Atticus Garant, the executive chef at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, added that you can even bake bread in your Dutch oven. the complete work horse in the kitchen, he said, noting that its thick base is the essence behind how handy a tool it can be in any kitchen.
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A Note About Warranties
Serious Eats / Will Dickey
Most of the enameled cast iron Dutch ovens we tested are backed by a lifetime warranty. Despite some big price differences, they are fairly consistent from brand to brand. Does spending more get you a better warranty? No, but it might buy you a warranty without a lot of loopholes from a company with a better reputation for honoring it. We don’t have much evidence beyond anecdotal information that the best-known brandsLe Creuset, Staub, and Lodge come to mindare pretty good about it. Whether that’s worth considering when you plunk down your card for a new pot is up to you.
What Shape And Weight Should A Dutch Oven Be
Speaking of weight, Dutch ovens are supposed to have thick walls, so don’t shy away from a pot that seems heavy — it’s really just heavy-duty and that’s a good thing. You may also see round versus oval Dutch ovens, and the best option here depends on how you plan to use it. If you do a lot of stovetop oven cooking or frying, sauteing and browning, stick with a round model, as it will fit on the burner better. Some round models are what are called “double Dutch ovens,” where the lid is deep enough to use as a skillet. An oval dutch will better fit long cuts of meat like tenderloins, rib roasts and large poultry so if you plan on cooking those frequently versus stews and shanks, consider an oblong shape.
Finally, it’s generally better to choose a Dutch oven that’s short and stout, rather than one that’s skinny and taller . Why? A wide diameter gives you more interior surface area to brown food, and it can also save you time by cooking or frying ingredients faster.
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Staub La Cocotte 6 Qt Oval Dutch Oven
- usm 9 / eur 42.5 / 27cm See available options
- 23 x 15 x 9 cm See available options
- Make sure this fitsby entering your model number.
- Oval enamelled cast iron cocotte, ideal for one-pot dishes and roasts, to serve 4-5 people
- Self-basting lid creates a rainfall effect of moisture as steam condenses, keeping your dish succulent and full of flavour
- Matte black enamel interior helps to develop great flavour, is scratch resistant and easy to clean
- Suitable for use in the oven, under the grill and on all hob types including induction
- Lifetime warranty for domestic use against defects in manufacture and materials made by STAUB in France
What Size Dutch Oven Is Best
While enameled cast iron Dutch ovens come in everything from cute 1/4-quart to massive 13 1/2quart sizes, a 5- to 6-quart pot is the most practical size for most homes, as it should make enough food for four to six people. Go any smaller, and a typical recipe might overflow the pot bigger pots can end up underfilled, potentially affecting the outcome of a recipe .
If you often need to feed a larger crowd, sizing up to a 7- or 8-quart Dutch oven may be worth considering. We tested a couple of pots that were only available in 7-quart sizes, but all of our favorite 5 and 5 and 1/2-quart models also have larger 7- or 7 and 1/4-quart offerings.
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How The Le Creuset Has Held Up
Le Creuset Dutch ovens are among the most durable of any weve tested, and with proper care, they can last for decades. They dont need to be babied, but we do have tips for how to preserve both their function and their looks. And though senior engineering manager Polina Grinbaums Dutch oven still works well after 16 years, she tells us shes been hard on it, and the ovens internal enamel has taken some damage .
The Best Heritage Cast Iron Dutch Ovens: Le Creuset 55
There’s a reason Le Creuset continues to be one of the most recommended manufacturers in this category: It has a proven track record. We’ve used Le Creuset for years in our homes and test kitchen, reaching for it countless times to develop hundreds of recipes for Serious Eats, and it’s never let us down. The price is high, but Le Creuset has never failed to make the purchase worth it. While Le Creusets are available in more than 17 core colors, about half of them ship with a black phenolic knob that can handle up to 500°F given the price, we’d like to see all their pots come with the brand’s heavier-duty stainless steel knob option.
Like Le Creuset, Staub has a long history of making handsome enameled cast iron in France and costs a little less. Some home cooks may not like the black enamel interior, which does a fine job of hiding scratches and browns meat well, but can make it harder to see fond developing. Otherwise, this Dutch oven, available in nine colors, is a solid bet with a reputation for durability.
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Staub Vs Le Creuset: Which Brand Makes The Best Dutch Oven
Any discussion pertaining to enameled cast-iron begins and ends with two brands.
The role of the enameled dutch oven is to serve as a vessel when preparing anything that takes a while to cook. Their weight keeps temperatures even during hours of cooking their tight-fitting lids keep moisture in and because theyre in fact cast-iron, theyre capable of reaching heat levels needed to acquire crusty goodness .
Any discussion pertaining to enameled cast-iron begins and ends with two brands: Le Creuset and Staub. Both are French, and share the crown by delivering on similar promises: slow-but-even heating, extra durable enameled interior and exterior, fitted lids, unmatched braising abilities and, finally, lifetime warranties. Youll frequently find sales on both brands, but, if youre going to drop the kind of coin required to pick one up, you should know which to buy and for what reasons.
To draw my own conclusions, I tested a 5.5-quart model from each brand and made the most stereotypical dutch oven dish there is the classic beef bourguignon as well as a few other recipes. This is the short of it.
Design: Innovative Functional And Whimsical
The very first thing I noticed about the Staub Cocotte was the lid. The Cochon as the knob of the lid is not only cute, but it is very easy to grab even while wearing oven mitts. The shallow depth and wider base allowed me to cook more food per batch. Weighing around 16 pounds, this pot is heavy, but it is also heavy-duty and looks really pretty on the stovetop.
The Staub Cocotte is jaw droppingly good at everything it does.
The interior of the pot is a specially formulated black matte enamel, and the cocotte comes in many other beautiful colors like cranberry, grenadine, basil, graphite, sapphire blue, etc. The lid is flat and tight-fitting. The specially designed lid has spikes on the interior that created a rainfall-like effect from the condensation of the steam that builds up. I found it to be highly efficient for self-basting. I also noticed much less evaporation when cooking foods, such as beans and soups for a longer duration. Once the lid is on, it retains most of the moisture inside.
The Spruce Eats / Renu Dhar
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The Best Budget Cast Iron Dutch Oven: Cuisinart 5
Cuisinart’s Dutch oven scored near the top in our cooking tests . Despite this pot’s smaller, 5-quart size, it has a roomy base that was able to comfortably accommodate more food at once than many of the larger contenders. The Cuisinart is a third to a quarter of the cost of the premium French brands, but some online reviews are describing chipping or cracking enamel, meaning you could be rolling the dice on the pot’s longevity. If the Cuisinart is out of stock, we found the 5 and 1/2quart Tramontina to be a very solid choice. Both brands offer their Dutch ovens only in red or blue.
What Can I Make In A Dutch Oven
The list of what you can do in a Dutch oven is long — very long. But when you get a piece of meat going low and slow with a braising like stock, wine or brandy, some very magical things can happen. Because of the unparalleled heat retention, a Dutch oven is perfect for building a slow Sunday red sauce or making stock from last night’s roast chicken. The ability to withstand high oven temps makes them an ideal piece of cookware for baking, browning and braising meat. They’re the best possible pot for dishes that need to be cooked low and slow, such as stews, sauces and tender roasts. Dutch ovens are truly one of the most versatile pots you can own, and many home cooks — myself included — will tell you it’s their favorite piece of cookware.
If you’re in the market for your first Dutch oven or are replacing or upgrading the one you have, here are a few of the best Dutch ovens in various styles and price ranges to consider, as well as what to look for when choosing a new Dutch oven.
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