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Best Dutch Oven of 2022

We tested dutch ovens from Cuisinart, Staub, Le Creuset, Lodge, and more to find the best choice for your kitchen
Best Dutch Oven of 2022
We bought some of the top dutch overs and took them through in-depth testing.
Credit: Amber King

Our Top Picks

By Amber King ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 29, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more

After researching over 40 options, our kitchen experts purchased 8 for the best dutch ovens available today. We've tested each side-by-side while cooking, boiling, and baking. We spent hours in the kitchen, creating soups, stews, and bread from scratch. During this time, we nit-picked details of each product, comparing important features like size and weight. We also tested the durability and strength of the finishes by banging on the edges with a metal spoon and noting any wear and tear after our use period. A dutch oven can last a lifetime, and we are here to help you find the perfect one for your kitchen.

The saturated marketplace can make finding quality cookware seem like an impossibility. That's why our kitchen testers do all the hard work for you. Tackling everything from cookware sets and nonstick pans to grill pans and cast iron skillets, our meticulous reviews can aid your search in finding the best cookware to suit your needs.


Best Overall Dutch Oven

Staub 5.5-Quart Round Cocotte

Diameter: 10.6 inches | Height: 4.75 inches
Excellent quality and durability
A beautiful look for any kitchen
Excellent heat distribution
The flat lid limits cooking space
An investment

The Staub 5.5-Quart Round Cocotte is an excellent and versatile product that's great for baking bread, cooking stews, and browning meats. The black interior non-stick surface performs well, releasing food easily. We tested many facets of this pot and found that it performed well in tasks like meatball browning, offering a well-distributed heat transfer that never got too hot for this task. Two cups of water were boiled in only one minute and 45 seconds, with average heat retention. We even banged on the outer enamel with a metal spoon over one hundred times, and it never chipped, which we found quite impressive. This product is advertised and used in ovens as hot as 900F, which is unmatched by other products.

We have only a few small gripes with this dutch oven. The flat lid limits the amount of space inside the pot compared to domed-lid options. Also, the black surface can make it more difficult to see the food cooking against it, though this is a minor detail. Finally, the price point of this product is rather high. Still, if you are looking for exceptional performance and durability, this is a great option.

best overall dutch oven
Our favorite option is high quality with exceptional performance all the way around.
Credit: Amber King


Best Bang for the Buck

Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven 6-Quart

Diameter: 11 inches | Height: 4.75 inches
Excellent longevity
Exceptional value
Great cooking performance
Harder to clean enamel
Enamel can chip without careful use
Not made in the USA

The Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven 6-Quart has been tried and tested and is a fantastic deal. Our main tester has owned this model for over six years, using it for bread baking, soups, stews, roasts, and more. We love the large volume that'll fit bulk soups and feed larger groups; the domed lid also offers more space for large artisan bread loaves. During our tests, it proves to have good temperature regulation, taking longer to heat up than most but losing less heat than others. It's safe up to 500F in an oven and can be thrown in the dishwasher for cleaning.

While we love its price and performance, it is constructed from porcelain glass, which chips more than the enamel on other higher-scoring contenders. During our abuse tests, the handle chipped after ten hits from a metal spoon. That said, little damage was observed in the interior enamel, which is the most important. After six years of testing, our main tester hasn't seen any significant wear and tear but some staining in the white interior, which hasn't affected performance. With careful use, we've had this model for several years, and it does an excellent job of making meals for groups of two to six people.

dutch oven - best bang for the buck
The Lodge Enameled is a high performer at a great price.
Credit: Amber King


Best for Small Groups

Le Creuset Signature Round French Oven

Diameter: 8.95 inches | Height: 4 inches
Super cute and stylish look
Small size is perfect for 1-2 people
Extremely durable exterior and interior enamel finish
Too small for large bread loaves
Hard to clean burnt meals

The Le Creuset Signature Round French Oven performed as one of the best on the market. This is no surprise, as its bulletproof enameled finish stood up to all of our durability tests. It cooks up a nice soup or a small loaf of bread and utilizes a non-stick enamel that keeps food from sticking to the surface. It sears meats nicely and even roasts your veggies, thanks to its well-sealed lid. If you want to make it completely non-stick, simply add a little oil. We love that the lid and handles are easy to grab with a pair of mitts, and it's light, making it easy to move about the kitchen. It comes in various colors and can boil two cups of water in just one minute and 35 seconds. It also warms up quickly (271F in 10 minutes) and will lock in heat, keeping temperatures consistent for baking bread or slow-cooking meats. The smaller version (there is a larger option, too) is an excellent option for households with fewer people.

Our bread bakers concur that this smaller size isn't enough for a regular loaf of bread but does the trick for quickbreads or buns. While we love the non-stick ceramic, it can be challenging to clean if you accidentally burn your food (like we did). When using steel wool, we saw a little wear, but it buffed right out. Another caveat is the cost is typically high. This model is for those hosting smaller groups that want a high-quality dutch oven that can easily be displayed in the kitchen, complete with its beautiful exterior.

dutch oven - best for small groups
Stylish, simple, and high quality.
Credit: Amber King


Excellent Volume Size

Uno Casa Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven 6-Quart

Diameter: 11.5 inches | Height: 5 inches
Large volume
Comes with silicone pot holders
Quick to heat and boil water
Very affordable
Heavy (13.2 pounds)

If you seek an affordable and high-volume option, the Uno Casa Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven 6-Quart should not be missed. Its ample volume is the one we reach for most when making large pots of soup or stew. The domed lid adds additional volume and creates a nice seal to ensure the internal temperature stays consistent. The black interior heats up nicely, braising meats well and resisting burns and stains. Boiling two cups of water took one minute and 54 seconds. Our bread tests yielded a crispy crust and locked in moisture, keeping meats nice and plump. It also comes with three silicone pieces, which are useful when lifting and moving around the kitchen. The price is right, making it an easy choice for those seeking a good value.

After using it continuously over three months, it didn't stain or become worn down. Overall, it's pretty durable, but we did note a little damage to the handle and around the rim during lid durability testing. At 13 pounds, it also requires a little muscle. Overall, this is a high-volume contender that comes at an affordable price.

dutch oven - excellent volume size
High capacity and excellent searing ability.
Credit: Amber King


Lighter Construction and Excellent Handles

Cuisinart Chef's Classic Enameled Cast Iron Round Casserole

Diameter: 10 inches | Height: 4 inches
Lighter construction for its size (12 pounds)
Large lid holder and handles
Ample volume
Stood up in our durability tests
White enamel can stain and needs special care
Heat distribution and transfer is sub-par

Looking for ease of use and affordability? The Cuisinart Chef's Classic Enameled Cast Iron Round Casserole surprised us with its performance and ease of use. The handles and pot tops are large and easy to grab with a pair of baking mitts, while the pot itself is about a pound lighter than other contenders of the same size. It offers good cooking performance and easily sears up meatballs, cooks soups, and bakes bread. The price is something to celebrate, as well.

We experienced stains on the white enamel and came to realize that extra scrubbing and care were needed to maintain it. The heat transfer is also slower, taking two minutes and 30 seconds to boil two cups of water. Using our heat guns, we also noticed that the craftsmanship isn't consistent along the bottom, and it has hot spots and uneven heat distribution. This lower-priced option is for those who need something light and affordable.

dutch oven - lighter construction and excellent handles
A hard as nails exterior with fantastic handles.
Credit: Amber King


Small and Stylish

Crock Pot Enameled Dutch Oven 3-Quart

Diameter: 8.25 inches | Height: 4.5 inches
Super cute and stylish with lots of color options
Smaller design for smaller meals
Fast boiling and heat-up time
Poor heat distribution
Chips easily

We can't help but gush about the super cute stylings of the Crock Pot Enameled Dutch Oven 3-Quart. Not only does it come with many color options, but we love the silver lid top and lightweight design that makes it easy to move around the kitchen. The three-quart design is ideal for single or small groups and looks great on a kitchen shelf. It boils water quickly (one minute, 42 seconds) and offers decent non-stick performance.

We aren't too stoked about the enamel durability. After just ten hits to the exterior handle, it started chipping. The lid test yielded flecks of material, showing lots of wear. The white enamel did stain and requires a little care as well. The materials are quite thin, and food doesn't cook evenly across the bottom. This model is best for those seeking a smaller pot at a good price and is for those that can commit to careful use and maintenance.

this super cute dutch oven is an affordable option for those in a...
This super cute dutch oven is an affordable option for those in a need of a smaller kitchen tool.
Credit: Amber King


Excellent Heat Distribution

Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Covered Round Dutch Oven, 5.5-Quart

Diameter: 10 inches | Height: 5 inches
Superior even heating
Great for searing
Stylish look
More expensive
Questionable durability on enamel

The Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Covered Round Dutch Oven, 5.5-Quart offers a higher quality cast-iron construction that takes a little longer to heat up. However, it distributes that heat very evenly, especially for tasks like searing meats, and it looks good in almost any kitchen.

We were let down when it came to the durability of the enamel. After our abuse tests, it started to chip away and wear. During our three-month testing period, we noted wear and rusting. For the price, we were let down by its overall durability. It takes quite a while to heat up water (four minutes, 31 seconds), which isn't surprising given its thicker, even temperature distribution. The Tramontina is ideal for those who are careful with their kitchen equipment and love to cook on an evenly distributed surface. It also bakes bread extremely well.

the tramontina enameled cast iron features exceptional heat...
The Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron features exceptional heat distribution but doesn't have the most durable finish.
Credit: Amber King


High Volume and Affordable

Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Covered 6-Quart

Diameter: 11 inches | Height: 4.75 inches
Large volume
Easy to use
Very affordable
Poor heat transfer and distribution
Chips easily
Low temperature rating

The popular Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Covered 6-Quart is the way to go if you want to save some cash. We appreciate the large volume, which cooks up stews and soups with ease. It also bakes bread well and comes in a variety of colors. The huge handles and top are easy to use while transporting, and we used it for all sorts of meals (with great success). If finding a product with a great price is your top priority, this is certainly one to consider.

The Amazon Basics resembles other popular contenders but lacks when it comes to performance. It takes much longer to boil two cups of water (three minutes, five seconds) in our testing, and heat distribution is pretty uneven. The enamel was also chipped during our durability tests. We were surprised that the maximum oven temperature is 400F, which isn't hot enough to bake most bread loaves. This dutch oven is for those seeking a real deal on a large volume pot.

this high volume dutch oven is an excellent deal with superior...
This high volume dutch oven is an excellent deal with superior volume, ease of use, and a stubbled lid to keep meats juicy. It's just not the most durable.
Credit: Amber King

Why You Should Trust Us

Amber King is a long-time bread baker, cook, and dutch oven connoisseur. Not only does she love baking bread weekly, but she also loves to experiment with new healthy recipes every week. She makes soups, stews, stir-fry, and more and has a background in scientific testing as a professional gear tester for over eight years. She has also been working as a science teacher for six years. She is committed to reviewing gear using objective tests that truly compare the differences in performance amongst products.

To start our testing, we spent six hours conducting market research before selecting eight products to test side-by-side. Then, we ordered each product, pulled them out of their packaging, and got to cooking and baking. In each, we seared meatballs, baked bread, and made soups, rice, and pasta. We performed tests to evaluate durability and measured the internal temperature of each oven to see which take the longest to heat up and cool down and which retain heat best. We also used a temperature gun to measure heat distribution. Our testing is in-depth, objective, and hands-on, and we can give valid recommendations that you can trust.

Here we measure the diameter of each contender to compare size and...
Here we measure the diameter of each contender to compare size and volume capacity.
Testing the ease of cleaning using steel wool. In this high abrasion...
Testing the ease of cleaning using steel wool. In this high abrasion test, we notice any wear or scratching on the interior enamel.
We compare performance while baking bread side-by-side with the same...
We compare performance while baking bread side-by-side with the same recipe and controlled variables. Which produces the best bread? we wonder.

Analysis and Test Results

In our testing, we selected enamel dutch ovens as they are some of the most popular options on the market. After testing each, we subjected them to objective scoring. We look specifically at cooking performance, quality & durability, ease of use, and maintenance.

we take the time to research and explore the best options, then test...
We take the time to research and explore the best options, then test each hands-on for months in our test kitchen.
Credit: Amber King

Cooking Performance

To look at cooking performance, we cooked a variety of foods, measured heat distribution, and looked at the relative insulation of each contender. We also assessed the surface of each model by cooking eggs and potatoes to see if foods stuck. A dutch oven can be used to bake, grill, cook, or boil and is a highly versatile tool that will fit right in any kitchen.

we cooked oatmeal, sauteed veggies, and whipped up soups and stews -...
We cooked oatmeal, sauteed veggies, and whipped up soups and stews - all to test performance.
Credit: Amber King

Each contender had a similar cooking outcome and did a good job of cooking foods and desserts. Some, however, stood out as higher-quality with better heat distribution. For example, the Staub Round Cocotte features a black interior that does an amazing job at searing meat, while the Le Creuset Signature Round French Oven and Lodge Cast Iron both have a white enameled surface that does good work cooking other foods but doesn't sear meats as well. All these options offer excellent heat distribution, as does the Tramontina.

Dutch ovens with a thinner composition, like the Uno Casa and Cuisinart Chef's Classic Enameled Cast Iron, don't distribute heat as well as thicker and often more high-quality options. While the cooking experience will feel the same for most recreational users, experts and chefs will be able to tell the difference.

warming up some meatballs and searing during our comparative tests.
Warming up some meatballs and searing during our comparative tests.
Credit: Amber King

Cast iron isn't 100% pure iron but a composition of different metals. Cooking performance is heavily affected by this composition, and its quality is something we can assess by doing heat transfer tests. To do this, we boiled two cups of water and tested how long it took to get to a boil. The fastest are those with thinner materials or those that have a highly conductive composition, which infers the use of more iron. In addition, smaller pots will typically boil faster than larger ones. For example, the Le Creuset boiled water the fastest (one minute, 35 seconds) as well as the Crock Pot Aqua Blue 3 Qt Enameled (one minute, 43 seconds). Both are much smaller in volume in comparison to the competition.

the crock pot offers the fastest boiling time, thanks to its thinner...
The Crock Pot offers the fastest boiling time, thanks to its thinner design and conductive design.
Credit: Amber King

The high-quality Staub Round boiled water in an astounding one minute and 45 seconds. For its size, this is the fastest boiling time. The materials are surprisingly thick and offer superior heat distribution, which is why this is one of our favorites. The Uno Casa has a much thinner composition (and a larger pot) and boiled water in just one minute, 54 seconds. Those with a thicker design and less conductive materials, like the Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron, took much longer (four minutes, 31 seconds).

Quality and Durability

Our testing period lasted for three months, in which we used each oven almost every day of the week. We subjected each to tests to see how the materials of each model would hold up. This included scrubbing each with steel wool 100x, hitting the rim with a metal spoon 100x, hitting the handles 100x, hitting the enameled body 100x, slamming the lid 50x, and scratching the interior with a metal spoon 100x. This test was very telling as to which options seem to be more durable than others.

for all of our products, we test them through a series of tests...
For all of our products, we test them through a series of tests. Here we see the result after hitting the handle of the Lodge 100 times with a metal spoon.
Credit: Amber King

You get what you pay for when it comes to quality. While there are lower-priced options that are also durable, it seems that the most expensive options had the best enamel. For example, even after all of our abuse tests, both the Le Creuset and the Staub Round Cocotte showed next to no signs of wear and tear; there were some impact marks but no chipping or heavy damage.

here we test the crock pot enameled dutch oven 3-quart by slamming...
Here we test the Crock Pot Enameled Dutch Oven 3-Quart by slamming the lid down to see how it holds up.
Credit: Amber King

The Amazon Basics Enameled, Lodge 6-QT, and Crock Pot 3-QT are lower priced, and all showed serious wear and tear and chipping after these tests. Lower priced contenders that stood up to our tests include the Cuisinart and Uno Casa, both showing just a few impact marks — similar to our highest performers.

To avoid chipping, be sure to carefully put the lid back on your dutch oven. This is when we see the most damage to the interior enamel, which is ultimately the most important surface.

Ease of Use

This category of assessment explores with what level of ease you can use your dutch oven. Is it easy to pick up with oven mitts? Is it too heavy? How big are the handles? How hot do the handles and top get after being in the oven? What are the limits of heat while in the oven? These are all questions that we consider in this metric.

a look at the handles that we love to use! they are large and simple...
A look at the handles that we love to use! They are large and simple to grab with a pair of oven mitts, making them easier to use.
Credit: Amber King

Weight is a significant factor, especially if you simply don't have the muscle to move a heavy dutch oven filled with soup. Even though those with a lighter construction typically aren't as high quality (thinner materials), they are easier to lug around the kitchen. Smaller models like the Le Creuset and Crock Pot were by far the lightest and thus the easiest to maneuver around the kitchen. Of the full-sized pots, the Cuisinart and Lodge are the lightest, with the Cuisinart being a touch lighter with a larger top handle.

here are two lightweight options; left is the crock pot, and right...
Here are two lightweight options; left is the Crock Pot, and right is the Le Creuset. If you have trouble with heavier dutch ovens, opt for a smaller one.
Credit: Amber King

We preferred models with larger handles over smaller and thicker ones; we appreciated them because they distribute the load better and are easier to grasp with oven mitts. Our favorites are the Lodge and Amazon Basics enameled options, which have very similar construction and handles that are easy to grab. Between them, the Lodge scores higher because the handles don't get nearly as hot as the Amazon Basics when on the stove.

with thinner pot holders, the staub is easier to pick up, especially...
With thinner pot holders, the Staub is easier to pick up, especially with its thicker handles.
Credit: Amber King


In this metric, we assess how easy the oven is to maintain. For example, does it have any nooks and crannies that are hard to reach? Is it dishwasher safe, or hand-wash only? We cleaned them all up after numerous stuck-on meals and put them into the dishwasher to see how they fared for all options we tested.

we scrubbed the le creuset with steel wool. after cleaning off the...
We scrubbed the Le Creuset with steel wool. After cleaning off the burnt on mess, it washed completely clean with no wear.
Credit: Amber King

We prefer options with a black interior casting like the Uno Casa and Staub for heavy cleaning. This black interior is pebbled and not as non-stick, but it's far easier to scrub and clean than those with a white enameled interior. If there's a burnt-on mess, it comes right off. All others with a white interior stained very easily and were much harder to maintain. Of these, the Staub was the hardest to maintain, as the lid features "bumps" and crevices that make it harder to get at with a brush.

Of those with a white enameled interior, the Le Creuset proved to be the easiest to clean. We could easily use abrasive sponges without any noticeable damage or scratches. All options survived our dishwasher tests, but those with a more fragile exterior enamel should be hand-washed.

we serve up some brussel sprouts during a dinner event with our...
We serve up some brussel sprouts during a dinner event with our close friends, using one of our favorite dutch ovens. Which one will you choose for your needs?
Credit: Amber King


Which dutch oven is the best? While many perform similarly, your choices can be guided by our feedback and in-depth testing. While this is certainly an investment, a high-quality dutch oven will last you through many bread explorations, stews, soups, family meals, and more. All you have to do is choose one. Enjoy.

Amber King

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