Skip to content

What is a Dutch oven? Get cooking with a Dutch oven!

Affiliate Notice

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. Some of the links on this website may link to vendors which are “affiliate links”. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission

A Dutch oven is basically an oven with a handle that sits on top, to help you move it around while cooking. They’re one of the most essential kitchen tools for anyone who cooks and love stews, soups, chili or baking bread. 

They’re also great for camping and outdoor cooking — their thick metal construction can withstand extreme heat without affecting their performance. Dutch ovens are designed to be used over direct heat, so they don’t have any other vents or openings except for the lid handle and locking mechanism. 

This makes them perfect for slow cooker or pot roast meals. Read on to discover everything you need to know about these cookware essentials!

What Is a Dutch Oven?

A Dutch oven is an oven with a handle that sits on top, to help you move it around while cooking. When you purchase a Dutch oven, the manufacturer will typically include a lid and ring, which is most often made of cast iron.

Types of Dutch ovens

There are two types of Dutch ovens: cast iron and non-stick. 

Cast iron Dutch ovens are the most traditional, as they’re made of cast iron and can go from stove to oven. They can also be used on direct heat without having to worry about scorching or burning the food. 

Non-stick Dutch ovens are usually made with aluminum or Teflon — the non-stick coating doesn’t come into contact with the food, so there’s no need for oil or butter when cooking in them. This makes them easier to clean up and a great option for baking.

Benefits of Using a Dutch oven

Dutch ovens are versatile and durable. They’re perfect for cooking soups, stews, and even baking bread. The thick metal construction allows the Dutch oven to withstand high temperatures without losing its structural integrity. 

Additionally, Dutch ovens have a lid handle that locks in heat so they can be used in slow cooker or pot roast meals. With a Dutch oven, you can also cook outdoors with less cleanup because their non-stick coating lets food slide right out of the pan without making a mess. Finally, they’re relatively inexpensive compared to other cookware options; most Dutch ovens are sold between $30 and $75.

Woman is cooking dinner in a blue cast iron pot, Dutch oven, on a stove
Woman is cooking dinner in a blue cast iron pot, Dutch oven, on a stove

Drawbacks of Using a Dutch oven

One downside is that they’re not dishwasher safe, so you have to do some scrubbing before and after each use.

Another drawback is that they can be difficult to lift off the stovetop, so this requires some practice. If you don’t want to invest in a Dutch oven, there are other options like crock pots and slow cookers that work well for most recipes.

How to pick the best Dutch oven?

Dutch ovens come in many sizes and shapes, so it’s important to know how you want to use them. If you plan on cooking one-pot meals, then a Dutch oven with a lid is perfect for you. But if you prefer deep frying or baking, then a Dutch oven with a larger capacity might be better for your needs. There are also different versions of Dutch ovens to choose from. 

For example, there are ceramic Dutch ovens that have good heat retention and don’t react with acidic or alkaline foods and will last longer than conventional materials. There are also stainless steel Dutch ovens that are made of high quality stainless steel, so they won’t rust easily and maintain their integrity over time. 

If you have limited storage space, then avoid cast iron Dutch ovens as they take up significantly more storage space than other types of Dutch ovens because they require special care when using them. But if you can find the right one for your needs, then consider getting a cast iron Dutch oven that will outlast any other type of cookware. 

How to clean your dutch oven? 

Dutch ovens need to be washed after each use but should never be put in the dishwasher! They should also be thoroughly dried before storing them away and regularly checked for scratches that could cause food to stick or burn during cooking. In general, it’s best not to use soap on these pots because soap can strip away the seasoning and leave a residue that causes food to stick.

Instead, use hot water and a mild scrubbing brush to remove any dirt or grease from the inside of your Dutch oven. You can also use coarse salt to clean away food particles left behind after cooking, as it won’t scratch the surface of your pot like steel wool would.

5 Top Brands of Dutch ovens

These brands have a variety of Dutch ovens available, with different sizes and features that suit everyone’s needs. 

Le Creuset

This company has been making the best quality cookware for over 100 years. Their Dutch ovens are made from cast iron with an enamel coating. They come in a variety of colors and styles, and you can choose from their “classic” or “professional line” for maximum functionality and durability. 


This brand is also known for producing high-quality cast iron cookware, but they also have German-made ceramic coated Dutch ovens. These are perfect for those who want to avoid excess grease or oil when cooking or baking, since ceramic coatings prevent food from sticking to the surface of the pot. 

– La Cremonese: 

These pots are made in Italy by La Cremonese company, which has been around since 1884. They have a wide range of colors and styles, so you can find one that suits your kitchen décor style. 

– Williams Sonoma:

This is another top brand of Dutch ovens that offers a variety of colors and styles to choose from at an affordable price point. You won’t regret spending a little extra on this brand because it will last many years!

Final Words

Dutch ovens are cookware that sit on top of a stove and have handles. They’re ideal for cooking stews, soups, chili, or baking bread. They typically don’t have any other vents or openings except for the lid handle and locking mechanism. This makes them perfect for slow cooker or pot roast meals!


What are the benefits of using a Dutch oven?

Dutch ovens are a special type of cooking pot that’s been in popular use for centuries. The name, which is short for ‘Dutch oven’, comes from their origin—the Netherlands, where these pots were originally invented. A Dutch oven can be used on almost any surface: the thick metal body protects it from scorching or burning! The handles make them easy to move while the pot is hot. They’re perfect for making soups and stews, because they have generous capacities and heavy lids that retain heat well. 

In addition to this, the thick metal walls can withstand high temperatures without leaking or warping. Since they’re designed to be used over direct heat, they don’t have any other vents or openings except for the lid handle and locking mechanism. This makes them perfect for slow cooker and pot roast meals.

What are the limitations of using a Dutch oven?

The main limitation of using a Dutch oven is that they’re heavy and take up a lot of space. They’re also pretty expensive, with some models costing as much as $500. This means that if you don’t have a lot of money or space, you might not be able to use one.

What are the best uses for a Dutch oven?

Dutch ovens are great for cooking on the stovetop, in the oven, or even over an open fire.

They’re sturdy and durable, so they’re perfect for cooking things that require a lot of heat, like stews and soups. They’re also great for slow-cooked meals, because they retain heat well and help to keep food warm until serving time.