Yes, Dutch Ovens Are Expensive. But Here’s Why You Should Consider Shelling Out

A good Dutch oven can last you a lifetime and there’s one for every budget.

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Le Creuset Colours now include this Blueberry Dutch Oven

Photo, Le Creuset.

The Dutch oven, or the original multi-cooker, seems be on every home cook’s wish list. The king of one-pot meals is a necessity for anyone who spends time in the kitchen, but this tool often comes at a pretty hefty price. So if you’re going to invest in one, here’s everything you need to know about this low-tech device.

What is a Dutch oven?

  • A heavy cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid to trap flavour and thick walls
  • Usually made with enameled cast-iron, but can also be found in bare cast-iron or ceramic
  • Durable, retains heat, and non-stick
  • Goes straight from the stove-top to the oven
  • Requires no special cleaning techniques, which makes it perfect for the convenience-seeking cook

How do you use a Dutch oven?

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You can use a Dutch oven for:

  • Baking
  • Braising
  • Soups and stews
  • Poaching
  • Deep frying

Which one should you buy?

Le Creuset Dutch oven

Le Creuset is the go-to for many cooks, but this classic brand comes with one of the highest price tags (they start at $410). Each one is inspected by 15 people, so you know that what you’re getting is pretty much kitchen perfection.

Staub Dutch oven

Staub, another French heritage brand, is known for its ability to brown meat evenly. It can withstand temperatures up to 480 F, but like Le Creuset, these Dutch ovens are pricey (starting at about $350).

Cheaper (but still good!) options

Lodge is more economically friendly ($150), and still makes a quality Dutch oven. They’re oven-safe up to 500 F, and can be used on any cook-top. Martha Stewart also makes a decent enamel cast-iron Dutch oven that’s less expensive than Le Creuset and Staub.

Once you choose one, you’re sure to have fun playing with this old-school multi-cooker: the only question is, what will you make first?