The 6 Best Dutch Ovens of 2022, According to Our Testers

The Dutchess by Great Jones is a stylish piece that’ll cook your food well.

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Best Dutch Ovens of 2022

Better Homes and Garden / Will Dickey

A good Dutch oven is a multi-purpose pot that can be used for all kinds of recipes, like braising meats, baking bread, cooking rice, boiling pasta, and even deep frying. Long before the advent of slow cookers, home cooks used them for slow-cooking dishes like pulled pork and beans, as they retain heat and can be moved from stovetop to oven for searing and braising. 

Although some of the best Dutch ovens may be more expensive than other cookware, they’re still a great investment, as they work in different ways than a slow cooker. Plus, many versions will last a lifetime.

To find the best Dutch ovens, we put 24 different styles to the test at our testing lab in Birmingham, Alabama. Throughout testing, six testers cooked the same recipe in each oven and used a pre-determined methodology to evaluate each one. Scores were given across three categories: ease of use, durability, and value. We also consulted Daniel Coté, executive chef at Pelham House Resort, and Phil Lewis, executive chef at Rochambeau, for additional insight. 

Our top pick for best overall Dutch oven, Great Jones The Dutchess, is a beautiful piece of cookware that cooked everything we tested beautifully. It also has a stylish appearance and appears to be a piece that will last long-term. 

Here, the best Dutch ovens.

Best Overall: Great Jones The Dutchess

5
Great Jones The Dutchess

Great Jones

Why You Should Get It: The stylish design is offered in a variety of colors and cooked food well. Testers also appreciated the size, which left enough room for the food to cook.

Keep in Mind: Testers found that the handles were too small to use with an oven mitt.

During testing, Great Jones’s The Dutchess received high marks across the board, making it the best Dutch oven for your kitchen. The cookware is offered in a variety of vibrant colors and testers found that the size allowed for the food to cook properly. 

To start, the browning process test for the chicken resulted in a beautiful crispy brown skin. Because of the large oval shape, our testers increased the heat on the burner a bit but also loved how the oval shape allowed for great spacing for the chicken pieces. There was also no sticking, and the chicken pulled away easily. The Dutchess also perfectly cooked rice with no stickiness, burning, or underdone spots. 

The Dutchess also passed our durability tests with flying colors. It held up to a good beating with a metal spoon on the lid and inside, and it was strong, sturdy, and didn't scratch. The handles, testers noted, are a bit too small to pick up the pot easily while wearing oven mitts. However, they still felt durable and sturdy. 

Price at time of publish: $160

Product Details:

  • Size: 15.75 x 9.75 x 6.75 inches 
  • Capacity: 6.75 quarts
  • Shape: Oval
  • Material: Cast iron, enameled
  • Weight: 15 pounds
  • Interior Color: Gray
Best Dutch Ovens

Better Homes & Gardens / Will Dickey

Best Budget: Beautiful by Drew Barrymore 6 QT Enamel Dutch Oven

4.5
Beautiful by Drew Barrymore 6 QT Enamel Dutch Oven

Walmart

Why You Should Get It: Joy to cook with, Well-priced, Good looking

Keep in Mind: Testers noted that the inside easily scratched.

For a less expensive option, the best Dutch oven is this pick by Beautiful. The design has a matte finish and a gold-toned lid knob, so you’ll be happy to leave it as a decorative piece on your stove. The 6-quart oven is oval-shaped and quite large, which is ideal especially if you’re cooking for a family or host guests often. Our testers were impressed by how much it could hold. 

Our testers noted that browning chicken was easy, and the pieces came out even and golden. There was a bit of sticking, but that could be remedied with a bit more oil. The rice was also cooked evenly, and the non-stick coating wasn’t so much that the food didn’t develop a fond. Overall, everything had a nice, complex flavor. Plus, the knob is oven safe to 500 degrees.

Our testers found that the interior was easily scratched after being hit with a metal spoon, so they suggest using wooden cookware with this pick. The exterior did not sustain any scratches during testing, however it was stained by oil splatters that didn’t come out in the wash. 

Part of what makes this pick one of the best Dutch ovens is it’s easy to use. The large handles made it easy to get in and out of the oven and it felt secure to use, which is important when dealing with a heavy pot. 

Price at time of publish: $68

Product Details:

  • Size: Not listed 
  • Capacity: 6 quarts
  • Shape: Oval
  • Material: Cast iron, enamel
  • Weight: 15 pounds
  • Interior Color: Gray
Best Dutch Ovens

Better Homes & Gardens / Will Dickey

Best Splurge: Staub 5.5-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Round Dutch Oven

4.8
staub blue dutch oven

Williams Sonoma

Why You Should Get It: Testers noted that it heated food evenly, was easy to use, and had nonstick properties.

Keep in Mind: It has a smaller capacity than some other picks.

If you want to invest in a high-quality pick, the best Dutch oven is this pick by Staub. The enameled, cast iron option offers flavorful browning and caramelization. Testers found that it was durable, easy to use, and fairly nonstick, making it worth the splurge. 

This cast iron pot created even browning across the chicken thighs we tested in it, which is to be expected from a dark-coated pan. It gave the chicken that perfect deep brown caramelization on the chicken with a solid crisp when cutting. 

The heating across the bottom of the pan was very even, which led to the even browning on all of the chicken. There was some slight sticking, but nothing that couldn’t be lifted with a little pull. The rice was perfectly cooked by the Staub, just shy of al dente and not overcooked. Our testers recorded no sticking, burning, or underdone spots in the rice, which fully absorbed all the rice. 

Although the 5.5-quart oven is smaller than some of the ovens that were tested, the chicken thighs weren’t crowded. For reference, our testers were able to fit a little less than a pound of chicken in the Dutch oven. 

The Staub stood up handily to our durability tests, with no markings on the inside after the spoon test. There was, however, a slight ding on the lid.

Price at time of publish: $300

Product Details:

  • Size: 12.9 x 10.2 x 6.6 inches 
  • Capacity: 5.5 quarts
  • Shape: Round
  • Material: Cast iron, enamel
  • Weight: 12.9 pounds 
  • Interior Color: Black
Best Dutch Ovens

Better Homes & Gardens / Will Dickey

Best Cast Iron: Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven - 7 Quart

5
Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven - 7 Quart

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: The model has a sturdy design that didn’t scratch or dent during testing. 

Keep in Mind: The narrow handles were difficult to grasp with oven mitts on. 

If you prefer a cast iron option, the best Dutch oven is this 7-quart pick from Lodge. Testers found that it was a durable oven that didn’t scratch or dent. Plus, it offered plenty of room to cook without overcrowding the pot.

During testing, the chicken thighs were browned and crispy, and didn’t stick at all when the pot was fully heated. The first side of the chicken did stick a little, but our tester noted the oven wasn’t heated properly. The size of the oven offered plenty of room, accommodating three or four chicken thighs at a time. The Lodge cooked rice perfectly, with no sticking or burning. Plus, the dish was practically clean when the rice was removed, with no burned bits. 

As far as durability, this Dutch oven was able to withstand rigorous testing and didn’t show any scratches or dents. Overall, testers felt that it’s a sturdy product that will likely hold up for years to come.

The only thing to call out is, if you’re not used to cooking with cast iron, make sure it’s properly heated up before you start cooking. If you don’t have that high heat, and enough oil, you’ll struggle with food sticking.

Price at time of publish: $70

Product Details:

  • Size: 11.15 x 10.7 x 5.55 inches 
  • Capacity: 5 quarts
  • Shape: Round
  • Material: Cast iron
  • Weight: 13 pounds
  • Interior Color: Black
Best Dutch Ovens

Better Homes & Gardens / Will Dickey

Best With Glass Lid: Calphalon Premier Hard-Anodized Nonstick 8.5-Quart Dutch Oven

4.3
Calphalon Premier Hard-Anodized Nonstick 8.5-Quart Dutch Oven

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It’s nonstick and able to fit a lot of food, so you won’t have to worry about overcrowding. 

Keep in Mind: It may require a little extra maintenance to maintain the nonstick coating over time. Testers also noted some uneven browning on the chicken.

This Calphalon Dutch oven is nonstick and features a glass lid for easy cooking, making it one of the best Dutch ovens to add to your cookware collection. The 8.5-quart style is larger than some other picks as well, so you won’t have to worry about overcrowding your dish. 

The Dutch oven features a nonstick coating that testers noted came in handy. Overall, our testing team reported no sticking with either the rice or the chicken. All of the liquid for the rice was fully absorbed as well, and even though the oven is large, it was perfectly cooked.

The chicken was well cooked and blonde all over, with just a light sear. Our testers believe the anodized non-stick coating may impact the ability to get a dark sear. The pot is large and the chicken thighs didn’t come close to touching, and they were easy to check with the glass cover. They did notice some uneven browning, however. 

As far as durability, the inside stood up well to our dinging with a spoon however the outside did show some small chipping on the side. 

Price at time of publish: $69

Product Details:

  • Size: 17.52 x 15.94 x 12.6 inches 
  • Capacity: 8.5 quarts
  • Shape: Round
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 5.5 pounds 
  • Interior Color: Black
Best Dutch Ovens

Better Homes & Gardens / Will Dickey

Best Lightweight: Caraway Dutch Oven

4.3
Caraway Dutch Oven

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It’s a spacious option and proved to be durable during testing. 

Keep in Mind: During testing, the chicken did not get crispy.

Some Dutch ovens can be on the heavier side, so this Caraway design is the best Dutch oven if you prefer a lightweight style. Our testers tried out the navy color and appreciated the nonstick ceramic coating while cooking. 

Overall, the Caraway is nicely sized and there was plenty of space between the chicken thighs and between the thighs and the edges of the Dutch oven. Our testers found that browning in the Caraway was easy and elicited good results, with the thighs getting a nice even brown color. Thanks to the enamel detail there was no sticking with the chicken or rice we tested. However, the chicken didn’t get very crisp. 

Unfortunately, the rice overcooked in spots in this Dutch oven, probably due to moisture retention. Our testers noted that it’s possible not enough steam was able to escape during cooking. This Dutch oven stood up extremely well during durability testing and only showed a few minor cosmetic scratches. 

Price at time of publish: $135

Product Details:

  • Size: Not listed 
  • Capacity: 6.5 quarts
  • Shape: Round
  • Material: Ceramic
  • Weight: 6.2 pounds 
  • Interior Color: Light gray
Best Dutch Ovens

Better Homes & Gardens / Will Dickey

The Bottom Line

Overall, the best Dutch oven is Great Jones’ The Dutchess. In addition to being a beautiful piece of cookware, the Dutch oven cooked everything we tested beautifully and was fairly sizeable, so there was enough room for all of the ingredients. 

Our Testing Process


To find the best Dutch ovens, we put 24 different styles to the test at our testing lab in Birmingham, Alabama. Throughout testing, six testers cooked the same recipe in each oven and used a pre-determined methodology to evaluate each one. Scores were given across three categories: ease of use, durability, and value. To determine each category, each tester cooked chicken and rice, as well as sauteed vegetables, the same way. 

Ease of use was determined based on how evenly testers were able to cook chicken thighs and rice. Testers took into consideration the size of the oven, as well as if there was any sticking while they cooked. 

To score durability, each tester hit the lid of the oven with a metal spoon 25 times, except for the ones with a glass lid. They repeated the same test on the inside of the oven and then recorded whether or not there was any scratching, chips, or dents as a result. 

After testing, each tester took into consideration their experience with the Dutch oven and their price to score the overall value. 

Best Dutch Ovens

Better Homes & Gardens / Will Dickey

What to Know About Dutch Ovens Before Shopping

Size

As any home cook knows, everything requires adjusting to the number of people you’re cooking for, and that includes Dutch ovens. For a single person or a couple, a 1.5-quart pick is the best option if you’re primarily cooking for yourself and your partner. 

For a family of three or four, a 6-quart oven will churn out weeknight meals but has enough space to feed a couple of guests if needed (it will also fit about a 4-pound chicken). If you’re regularly cooking for potlucks or parties, a 7-quart oven (that will fit a 6-pound chicken)  will likely do the trick. 

Shape

Dutch ovens primarily come in either a round shape or an oval shape. Which one is right for you depends on what you’re planning to cook. The round shape is a better fit for a stovetop burner, while the oval shape is better at accommodating a roast or a bird. 

Material

Dutch ovens come in cast iron, enameled, aluminum, and ceramic varieties. Traditionally, though, they're made with seasoned cast iron. 

Weight

On average, a 6-quart cast iron Dutch oven weighs between 13 to 17 pounds empty. A 6.5-quart aluminum Dutch oven weighs 4 pounds and a 6-quart stainless steel Dutch oven weighs 6.3 pounds. These are all good factors to keep in mind when considering a Dutch oven, specifically if you have mobility issues.

Interior Color

The interior color might not be something you’d considered, but it’s definitely important. 

You're usually going to see either black interiors or a lighter color, like beige. You may want to look at a lighter color interior, as it allows you to see better into the pot while you are cooking. The brighter environment lets you keep an eye on the contents of the deep cooking vessel.

Other Dutch Ovens We Tested

Le Creuset 7.25 Quart Round Dutch Oven

While not one of our top picks, our testers did like cooking with the Le Creuset 7.25 Quart Round Dutch Oven. They found it took a bit of time to heat up, but it retained heat well, and nothing stuck while being cooked in the pot. However, you do have to be careful to not let the pot get too hot, and keep the food moving in the pan as it can burn. This is probably due to the coating, which does prevent sticking. Overall, it’s a very easy piece of cookware to use. 

Emile Henry Sublime Performance Ceramic Dutch Oven

The Emile Henry Sublime Performance Ceramic Dutch Oven had some durability issues our testers couldn’t overlook. After hitting the lid with a spoon to test how it stood up to kitchen wear and tear, the top cracked and completely broke in half. The pot also seemed to carry hot spots around the edge and browned everything cooked very unevenly.

Demeyere Atlantis 9-Quart Stainless Steel Dutch Oven

Our testers found the Demeyere Atlantis 9-Quart Stainless Steel Dutch Oven almost too large, with noticeable hot spots that had discoloration after cooking. The small batch of rice we tried out for testing was cooked unevenly, and the large handles make it easy to get in and out of the oven without issue.

Best Dutch Ovens

Better Homes & Gardens / Will Dickey

Your Questions, Answered

What is the difference between a cocotte and a Dutch oven?

While you shop, you may come across both Dutch ovens and cocottes. Though they’re similar, there are a few key differences to keep in mind. 

“Cocotte is the ‘French’ Dutch oven that is beautifully covered in all colors of enamel,” says Coté. “A Dutch oven is very similar, but just straight cast iron. One major difference in a Dutch oven is that the cover usually has little spikes underneath it to help all the juices while braising make its way back to the food instead of getting stuck to the underneath of the cover.”

According to Lewis, regardless of which style you choose, you’ll want to ensure that it’s made of oven-proof materials, as well as that it has a tight-fitting lid and a thick bottom that can hold heat evenly without warping. 

Can you use a Dutch oven on a smooth cooktop?

Though some cookware may not be suitable for every cooktop, when it comes to Dutch ovens you won’t have to worry. 

“Generally, they are fine to use on smooth flat top surfaces when you are searing something,” says Lewis.

What can you cook in a Dutch oven?

The best Dutch ovens can be used for simple searing tasks, or more complicated cooking to create rich, layered flavors. The only real limit is how creative and time-consuming you want to get with your cooking.

“They can be used for simple searing on top of the range, but I think the best uses are for braising items,” says Lewis. “You could do a monkfish a lá Basque by searing a monkfish tail then adding white wine, peppers, garlic, red onion, and tomatoes, bring to a simmer on top of the stove then finish in the oven. Or, chicken pot pie where you braise the chicken in the pot, remove it, pick it when it's cooled, thicken the cooking liquid, add the chicken back and top it with pie crust or biscuits to finish in the oven."

“The options are limitless,” says Coté. “However, typically braised items or stews would be best.  At home, we sear a lot of meat in it and then continue to braise it. Short ribs, chop suey, braised lamb, and even an Uzbekistan dish called Plov are at-home staples.”

Who We Are

Tanya Edwards is an award-winning writer and editor with bylines at Better Homes & Gardens and other publications. She was previously the programming director of culinary at Food Network and has been writing and creating instructional content for home cooks for over a decade.

For this story, Tanya worked with the insights provided by the testing team at Better Homes & Gardens. She also spoke with Daniel Coté, executive chef at Pelham House Resort, and Phil Lewis, executive chef at Rochambeau for additional insight.

What Is BHG Recommends?

Next to all of the products on this list, you may have noticed our BHG Recommends seal of approval. Products that earn the seal have been put through rigorous testing to make sure they're worth a spot in your home. We buy most of the products we test ourselves, but occasionally we are provided samples by companies if buying isn't an option. In these cases, we use the same testing criteria we use to test the purchased products and we let you know that we got it for free to remain as transparent as possible about our picks. 

Looking for more products that have earned our BHG Recommends seal of approval? Check out our picks for everything from picnic blankets to humidifiers. 

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