6 best Dutch ovens in 2021, according to cookware experts


What is a casserole dish?

A Dutch oven – sometimes called a French oven or one casserole – is a large, generally heavy cookware set, known for its ability to slowly cook dishes like beef stew, pulled pork, bolognese sauce and soup, according to Maurer. He also noted that “they are very versatile due to their design” – their “high walls make them a perfect choice for dishes with gravy or braising liquids,” he explained. Atticus Garant, executive chef at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, added that you can even bake bread in your Dutch oven if you like. “[It’s] the complete workhorse in the kitchen, ”he said, noting that its thick base is the essence of a tool’s maneuverability in any kitchen. “[This] means even cooking and great results when you want to brown or fry something, ”added Maurer.

The best Dutch ovens to buy now

Le Creuset round casserole dish

Several of the chefs we spoke to said they use Le Creuset Dutch ovens at home or in their professional kitchens. Todd Gray, executive chef and co-owner of Federal Fritter in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, said he’s a fan of the bright color options and the enameled cast iron material. He also noted that he liked to keep a smaller version on hand, especially for the toaster oven, when he wanted smaller portions.

Staub 6 quart enameled cast iron round casserole dish

Many chefs we spoke to also listed Staub as one of their favorite brands of Dutch ovens. “I love the black textured enamel that they use inside their Dutch ovens, as well as the little dots under the lid where moisture collects and drains off to baste the food,” Ben said. Leonard, a chef at Homemade, who offers online cooking classes. Staub Dutch ovens come in several fun hues including cranberry, sapphire blue, and basil.

Lodge 6 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Stefano Veila, a chef with over 30 years of experience and owner of Pala Pizza, said his favorite Dutch oven was Lodge’s enameled cast iron offerings, noting that it was a more affordable alternative to the options. Le Creuset. “The thick lid is great for brazing meats and keeping heat and liquids inside, and the flat bottom means it will work on gas or electric glass stoves,” he noted.

Dutch oven Great Jones The Dutchess

The best-selling Dutch oven from the Great Jones cookware brand ticks all the boxes: it’s made of enameled cast iron, it has roomy side handles, it comes with a sturdy lid and it can hold 6.75 quarts of food. This Dutch oven is also available in pretty colors like taffy, broccoli, blueberry, and mustard, and it’s rated 5 stars from 42 reviews on the Great Jones site.

Cuisinart Chef’s Classic 5 Quart Enamel Cast Iron Casserole

With an average rating of 4.7 stars out of over 200 reviews on Amazon, Chef Cuisinart’s Classic Dutch Oven is a popular choice if you’re looking for a relatively affordable enameled cast iron option. The porcelain enamel exterior gives it an elegant look for the kitchen counter, and the enameled cast iron construction helps the pot maintain even heat and is dishwasher safe. The casserole dish also has large cast iron handles on each side for easy movement.

Classic Dutch oven Milo by Kana

Like many other DTC brands, Kana says it keeps its prices low by cutting out the middleman. With a 5-star rating out of over 300 reviews, the brand’s Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven is one of its most popular items – it has a 5.5 liter capacity and is dishwasher safe for cleaning. easy. Kana also offers a Lifestyle Guarantee on their Dutch oven – so if your cookware ever becomes “unusable” they will replace it at no additional cost.

How to buy a Dutch oven, according to experts

Buying a Dutch oven can be overwhelming given the number of options available in the market. To help you make an informed decision and narrow down your options, we asked the chefs and cookware experts we spoke with to break down the most important components of a Dutch oven.

What is the casserole dish made of?

All the experts we spoke to agreed that the best Dutch ovens are made of cast iron. According to Garant, this material “will promote homogeneous cooking and temperature distribution”. It’s also important to note that there is a difference between cast iron and enameled cast iron: although both of these give you the heat-retaining benefits of cast iron, the enameled versions “make cleaning and maintenance much easier.” , noted Mr. Garant.

Other types of Dutch ovens that you might see on the market include stainless steel dutch ovens and Dutch ceramic kilns. Mario Limaduran, Executive Chef of Trifecta Meal Delivery Service, explained that while stainless steel Dutch ovens are relatively affordable, they usually don’t come with a lid and “won’t hold heat as well as other options.” “. Dutch ceramic kilns, meanwhile, are “the lightest” of all options – and for this reason “can crack easily if dropped or if temperatures change too sharply,” Limaudran said.

How big is the Dutch oven?

“Besides the material, you also want to keep the size in mind,” Maurer said. Experts we spoke to noted that if you have the space, it’s usually best to increase the size and get a larger capacity casserole dish, as you can always use a larger pot for cooking. smaller portions, but not the other way around. Maurer said that at a minimum, a 5-liter Dutch oven is good because you can use it to cook for as few as two people or up to six people.

Does the casserole dish come with a lid?

Most Dutch ovens come with a cover – but not all covers are constructed the same. “[Your Dutch oven] should come with an equally thick, sturdy and well-fitting cover, with a good quality handle, ”said Garant. Maurer added that a tighter lid will help retain moisture while you cook, especially when steaming or slowly steaming something.

Does the casserole have handles?

When purchasing a casserole dish, Gray advised to “[look] for a good handle at the top ”as this will make it easier to lift the lid while you cook. Garant added that the pot itself should also be fitted with side handles “made of the same quality and ideally forged in the same casting, which ensures that they are an integral part of the structure of the pot”.

What is the difference between a casserole dish and a slow cooker?

While Dutch ovens and slow cookers serve similar purposes in the kitchen, they don’t deliver the same results in terms of quality or versatility. Maurer explained that since slow cookers “usually only cook slowly and at low heat,” you can’t use them to “sear and brown” meat or fish “or cook quickly. [for] stir-fry or boil pasta to obtain water. Gray added that with a casserole dish you can “start on the stovetop and then go straight to the oven,” which you can’t do with a slow cooker.

CORRECTION (May 20, 2021, 8:45 p.m.): A previous version of this article misspelled the last name of the executive chef of the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel. He’s Atticus Garant, not Grant.

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