Wirecutter: The Best Dutch Oven

You could spend a lot more on a Dutch oven, but we think the 6-Quart Lodge Color Enamel Dutch Oven keeps pace with French-made pots six times the price. After 68 hours of research and testing, we found the Lodge seared, braised, steamed, and caramelized foods as well as more expensive competitors. It has roomy handles and wide dimensions that make it great to use for a variety of cooking projects. We’ve used this pot regularly for three years and we stand by it as a reliable, affordable Dutch oven that will work for most people.

All of the ovens we cooked with worked quite well, which isn’t that surprising considering that a cast-iron pot is one of the lowest-tech pieces of kitchen gear out there. They don’t have the bells and whistles of higher-tech kitchen gadgets, and so there generally aren’t huge differences in features or performance. What separated the great Dutch ovens from the rest of the pack were small details. The Lodge has bigger handles than most of the Dutch ovens we tested, making it much easier to take in and out of the oven. Its slightly curved shape keeps food from getting trapped in the corners of the pot, and its shorter sides and width allow for better searing, which imparts more flavor into finished dishes. Braised dishes amply evaporate in the Lodge’s wide sides.

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