December 7, 2023


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The Best Dutch Oven (2023), Reviewed by Our Experts

3 min read

Le Creuset may have a cult following, but the Staub Dutch oven holds the heart of BA’s Test Kitchen. Not one but two different staffers named it as one of their top picks, with food editor Shilpa Uskokovic even saying she’d “lay down” her life for the Staub over the Le Creuset any day. The reason? Better durability.

“It’s not to say the Le Creuset is not durable, but I do think it shows it’s wear more readily,” food director Chris Morocco says, pointing to the Le Creuset’s cream enamel interior versus the Staub’s more discreet matte black. “The interior of the Staub is not raw cast iron. It is just a very hard wearing surface and yet it’s one that things release pretty easily off of it.”

This means you can go to town when hand washing it and put it through more (not only is the Staub oven-safe, Morocco even says he’s put a model with a matte black exterior directly on to hot coals) knowing that the dark interior will keep it looking brand new. That heavy-duty quality combined with its performance combined with the palette of colors you can purchase it in makes the Staub the sports car of Dutch ovens for Morocco.

Diameter: 10.24”
Height: 6.57”
Weight: 11.9 lbs.
Warranty: Lifetime

The pro’s pick: Amazon Basics 6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

The Good: Super affordable, nice color options, quality performance, ideal for a beginner cook
The Bad: Not as durable as the pricier competitors, no lifetime warranty

If you’ve ever visited or searched anything on Amazon, then you’ve probably seen the retailer’s eponymous Basics brand. You might think “how good can Amazon cookware be?” According to Katie Hale, The Complete Dutch Oven Cookbook, pretty good. With a 15-year-long background in food blogging, Hale built her own site in 2018 and also writes cookbooks—including one about her favorite piece of cookware. To Hale, the Dutch oven stands as the most versatile and heavily used item in her kitchen.

She opted for an Amazon Basics Dutch oven because it was so affordable and five years later, she says she thinks it’s just as good as a Le Creuset or Staub. Available in an array of colors, it’ll look nice on any cooking surface while still delivering quality results—giving the perfectly even sear on meats no matter how much time has passed. Hale only stipulates that, because it’s got an enameled interior, you shouldn’t use an Amazon Basics Dutch oven on an open fire, like you could with a Staub. Other than that she says it wears well, even after she accidentally dropped it, and comes at an unbeatable price point.

“Especially if someone is just starting cooking or just supplying their kitchen, it’s a perfect choice to start with,” Hale says.

Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Round Dutch Oven, 6 Quart

Diameter: 11”
Height: 4.7”
Weight: 13 lbs.
Warranty: 1 year

What other Dutch ovens are out there?

Le Creuset and Staub are perhaps to the two biggest names in Dutch oven land, but given the explosion in cast iron cookware from smaller boutique brands, direct to consumer (DTC) start ups, and classic cast iron skillet brands like Lodge, there are now a lot of Dutch ovens to choose from. Our colleagues from Epicurious tested 17, braising, stewing, slow cooking and (importantly) cleaning all of them before picking the Le Creuset Dutch oven we recommend above. Here’s a full rundown of every Dutch oven we’ve tested.

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