Best Dutch Pot For One-Pot Home Cooking

Craft flavourful, slow-cooked masterpieces in a versatile and robust Dutch oven.

Best dutch pot

by Natalie Knowles |
Updated on

The best Dutch pot is typically heavy, cast-iron cookware with thick walls and a tight-fitting lid. Perfect for slow-cooking stews, soups and braising meats it's one of those pots and pans that will become an indispensable kitchen favourite. Also known as a Dutch oven or a casserole dish, this versatile piece of cookware can be used on the stove-top or in the oven.

The Dutch oven dates back to the 17th century when it was developed in the Netherlands as a cheaper alternative to brass cookware. English and American colonists adopted and refined it. Its cast-iron design became iconic in the American West, used for campfire cooking. You may also come across enamelled versions, called French ovens or cocottes. Interestingly, the word casserole in French literally means cooking pot. In the Netherlands a Dutch oven is called a braadpan with translates as roasting pan.

Best Dutch Pots At A Glance

Best overall Dutch oven: Le Creuset Cast Iron Round Casserole – View on Le Creuset
Best Dutch oven for versatility: Lodge Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven – View on Lakeland
Best budget Dutch oven: vancasso Green Dutch Oven – View on Amazon UK

The Dutch oven's heavy construction and ability to evenly distribute heat make it suitable for a wide range of cooking techniques. In addition to stewing, a Dutch oven can be used for baking bread, browning meat and boiling pasta or grains. Cast iron takes time to heat up, so Dutch ovens may not be the best choice for recipes that require quick cooking. But, just like a cast iron skillet, you benefit from chemical-free cooking and compatibility with all hob types, including induction.

Cast iron pots require proper care to prevent rust and maintain their seasoning. They cannot be cleaned in a dishwasher and must be dried thoroughly after washing to prevent rust. In addition, Dutch ovens can be heavy to lift, making aluminium cookware an attractive, lightweight alternative. Also, expect to pay more for cast iron. However, you'll be gaining a cooking pot that can last a lifetime. Finally, go for a wonderfully stylish and colourful Dutch oven that you'll want visible on your stovetop all the time. For example, choose Le Creuset cookware and enjoy a kitchen that pops with vibrant pots and tableware.

Best Dutch Pots

Best overall Dutch oven

Cook a beef topside with carrots, potatoes and rich gravy for the pot roast of your dreams with the quintessential Le Creuset Cast Iron Round Casserole. From the Signature Collection, this iconic casserole dish has garnered the affection of chefs worldwide for nearly a century. The light enamel interior makes cleaning easy, whilst the cast iron construction retains heat for even cooking and browning, keeping your creations warm at the table. The large handles offer a secure grip even when using oven gloves. The snug-fitting lid boosts moisture retention for perfectly cooked dishes. Get best results by cooking on a steady, low to medium heat.

Pros

  • Premium quality
  • Versatile – use in the oven, on the hob or under the grill
  • Cast iron construction enhances flavour and seals in moisture

Cons

  • No customer review

Best Dutch oven for versatility

For Jambalaya that's just right, the Lodge Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven is a versatile casserole dish combined with a 26cm skillet/lid. The 4.7 litre cooking pot is ideal for roasting, stewing and slow cooking in the main oven, it also functions as a frying pan when using the lid. It features sturdy integral handles to provide a secure grip. This Dutch oven is suitable for a range of heat sources, including induction, ceramic, electric, gas hobs, ovens and even open flame. Lodge's pre-seasoned cast iron cookware offers excellent heat distribution. Cast iron is naturally sterilised at 100°C, making it easy to clean without detergent.

Pros

  • Lid doubles as a cast iron skillet
  • Suitable for various heat sources, including barbecues and campfires
  • Heirloom-quality cookware

Cons

  • Handles get hot during cooking

Best budget Dutch oven

For tender and flavourful braised meat that's slow-cooked to perfection, the vancasso Green Dutch Oven is a superb budget option. This casserole dish boasts heavy cast iron construction, ensuring excellent heat retention and even distribution. It has a porcelain-enamel exterior, sturdy side handles and a stainless steel knob that's embedded in the lid. The steam-circulating lid locks in flavour and juiciness for better moisture retention and nutrient preservation during cooking. This Dutch oven retains the heat for a long time so it's perfect for taking to the table so diners can dish up seconds at their leisure.

Customer review: "I bought this as Dutch oven for bread baking and it works just fine. I have produced amazing sourdough boules in this, for me it is just fine as it’s what I wanted it for. It is solid and heavy, but the enamel finish is nothing like a Le Creuset, but you get what you pay for. As with any cast iron you must wash and dry thoroughly.

Pros

  • Good insulation
  • Uniform heating
  • Non-stick, rust-resistant and easy to clean
  • Works on all stovetops, including induction

Cons

  • Hand washing is recommended

Best small Dutch oven

Amazon Basics Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven with Dual Handles
Price: $36.39

Sourdough loaf in a pot is a delicious treat with the Amazon Basics Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven with Dual Handles. This incredibly versatile 1.89-litre pot is perfect for making baking, braising and roasting for one or two people. Start by browning or sautéing on the stovetop and then seamlessly move it to the oven. This cookware is safe for use on all cooking surfaces, including stovetops, ovens, broilers and barbecues. Just be cautious of scratching on ceramic or glass surfaces. We particularly like the robust handles on this cooking pot – it's made to last and great value for money.

Customer review: "It is exactly what I was expecting. It’s perfect for sourdough bread, soups, frying… etc. Cast iron cookware need special care to prevent rust and stickiness, but their advantage is that they last you a lifetime and they’re healthy. It will only rust if you don’t know how to take care of it."

Pros

  • Pre-seasoned
  • Even heat distribution and retention
  • Solid iron
  • Ideal for one to two people

Cons

  • Needs seasoning, or it will rust

Best aluminium Dutch oven

Featherweights Dutch Oven with Lid
Price: £75 (was £125)

greenpan.co.uk

For Coq au Vin with all the classic flavours and less faff, go for Featherweights Dutch Oven with Lid. This cooking pot has the look of a classic Dutch oven design but is a lot lighter than cast iron. It's planet-friendly and clever too; the ceramic non-stick is enhanced with diamonds. In 2007 GreenPan launched the first healthy, PFAS-free ceramic non-stick coating. Their cookware has an innovative, sustainable and healthy ethos. It's stylish too – hey, if it's good enough for Stanley Tucci!

Customer review: "Third casserole pan I’ve bought no longer use heavy pans. Food never sticks or dries out therefore increased flavour of contents. Would highly recommend."

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Classic design
  • Non-stick
  • Eco-friendly brand
  • Suitable for all hob types

Cons

  • Hand wash is recommended, though it can go in the dishwasher

Best non-stick Dutch oven

MasterClass Non-Stick Cast Aluminium Round Casserole Dish
Price: £39.98 (was £67.49)

www.wayfair.co.uk

Rustic artisan bread with a crisp crust and soft interior with no knead to fear sticking, using the MasterClass Non-Stick Cast Aluminium Round Casserole Dish. Crafted from durable and light cast aluminum, this cookware efficiently conducts and evenly distributes heat. Its stainless steel base allows compatibility with all hob types, including induction; also, it's oven-safe for slow cooking. The scratch-proof, non-stick coating reduces the need for oiling and simplifies cleaning. It's okay to use metal utensils with this cook pot, and it's dishwasher safe. Prepare comforting stews, casseroles and more with this reliable and low-maintenance casserole dish.

Customer review: "Quality exceeded my expectations. Overall happy with my order, definitely ordering more colours and smaller size."

Pros

  • Scratch-proof
  • Suitable for all hobs, including induction
  • Lightweight
  • Lovely colours

Cons

  • Handles can get very hot
  • Oven safe up to 200°C

Best mid-range Dutch oven

Bourgogne Cast Iron Round Casserole
Price: £67.99 (was £85.99)

www.wayfair.co.uk

For one-pot home-cooked food, the Bourgogne Cast Iron Round Casserole is a reliable and stylish option. This exquisite casserole dish enhances your stove top and graces an elegant supper table. The cast iron pot seamlessly blends tradition with modernity in a range of punchy colours. We love the Sunny Yellow and Royal Blue versions. Notable features include a hygienic, smooth, enamelled interior and a lid with built-in dripping rings for even steam condensation.

Customer review: "I’ve wanted a Dutch oven for ages, and I’m so glad I took the plunge on this one. I’ve use it to make curries, pasta sauces, popcorn, potato topped pie… basically everything. I got it whilst it was on sale, so I saved quite a lot of money over going for the leading brand."

Pros

  • Vibrant colours
  • Induction compatible
  • Metal utensil safe
  • Robust cast iron

Cons

  • Heavy

Best recommendation by chefs

STAUB Round Cast Iron Cocotte
Price: £183.12 (RRP £319)

www.wayfair.co.uk

From chicken and rice casserole to sweet peach cobbler – do it all in the STAUB Round Cast Iron Cocotte. Staub is highly-regarded cookware favoured by renowned chefs worldwide. It's compatible with all stovetops, including induction. Designed for professionals, home cooks and those new to culinary exploration, it's a perfect investment piece for you or your loved ones' kitchen. For healthy and delicious cooking, this Dutch oven boasts exceptional performance in searing and slow-cooking meats and poultry.

Customer review: "Although you will need strong muscles to lift, this beautiful cast iron piece is so useful. You can easily double and even triple most recipes, cook a turkey, or make a meal for a crowd."

Pros

  • Premium quality
  • Cool touch handles
  • Induction compatible
  • Metal utensil safe

Cons

  • Hand wash recommended
  • Heavy

Best contemporary Dutch oven

Layers of pasta, cheese and meat sauce baked to perfection in the Cast Iron Perfect Pot is the meal that dreams are made of. Here at A Modern Kitchen, we're huge fans of Our Place and we just loved their Always Pan. The Perfect Pot is a contemporary take on the classic Dutch oven, seamlessly merging premium materials with Our Place's signature versatility. Crafted from heirloom-quality enamelled cast iron, it doesn't need seasoning. It includes essential extras like silicone Hot Grips, a Beechwood Scraper and a clever self-basting lid for an eight-in-one cooking experience. Just be sure not to use metal utensils with this cookware and avoid abrasives when cleaning.

Customer review: "The Cast Iron Perfect Pot is just that – perfect size for everything you cook, perfect heat conductor, perfect lid to baste food while cooking, perfect from stove to oven to table. I have owned and used Le Creuset, Lodge, and Staub in the past, but the Our Place Cast Iron Perfect Pot outshines them all. When you add a grill and press, you have a perfect set for roasting, grilling meats or veg, panini, cooking beans, a leg of lamb or soups or stews. Then, as if that wasn't enough, you can bake a perfect loaf of bread in your oven on the grill pan with the pot turned over on top."

Pros

  • No seasoning required
  • Multifunctional
  • Heirloom-quality
  • Compatible with all stove tops, including induction

Cons

  • Hand wash only

Our Verdict: Best Dutch Pot

We recommend the Le Creuset Cast Iron Round Casserole. Perfect for crafting stews, roasts, soups, casseroles and baked dishes, this legendary cookware is your all-in-one vessel for creating unforgettable, flavour-rich meals. With a lifetime guarantee, the Le Creuset Dutch oven is an heirloom piece and a timeless design.

Whether you go for the quintessential Volcanic red or the on-trend Azure blue, it's great to know Le Creuset's stylish and durable enamel is dishwasher safe and they offer a comprehensive cookware care and use guide.

FAQs

What are the features of a Dutch pot?

First, the name Dutch pot and Dutch oven is used interchangeably. In addition, this piece of cookware is also known as a French oven, cocotte or casserole dish.

A Dutch pot is a large, sturdy, cylindrical cooking pot known for its exceptional heat retention. It can be used for hob and oven cooking – from baking to simmering.

Dutch pots come in various materials like cast iron, ceramic, aluminium, stainless steel and terracotta. Cast iron excels in its temperature retention, while aluminium and stainless steel heat up faster. Stainless steel and aluminium are easier to handle for those concerned about wrist strain. But for superior results, cast iron is recommended.

Cast iron Dutch pots come in two types: enamelled with a non-stick glaze and bare. Bare Dutch pots require seasoning for use and demand more care due to reactivity with acidic ingredients, such as tomatoes.

Enamelled pots offer convenience but can be pricey – ranging from £50 to over £500. Bare cast iron is more affordable, costing £20 to £70. Remember, a quality cast iron Dutch oven is a lifelong investment.

What types of cooking can I do in a Dutch pot?

A Dutch pot (Dutch oven) is incredibly versatile and suitable for various cooking methods. If your cooking pot is not enamelled, season it with a thin layer of oil before cooking to create a non-stick surface. Then, preheat your Dutch pot on the hob or in the oven. You can use it as a sauté pan and brown ingredients, such as onions and meat. Next, add the main ingredients; simmer, bake or boil, depending on the recipe. Remember, with the lid on a Dutch pot will retain moisture and heat. Food can be left to cook in residual heat, thereby saving energy. Finally, one of the loveliest ways to serve from a Dutch oven is to bring it directly to the table and let everyone serve themselves. The attractive cooking pot enhances the theatre of dining – whether it's a Bolognaise or Beef Bourguignon – dish up with a hunk of crusty bread on the side, and you have a winning winter warmer.

The Dutch oven's even heat distribution and versatility make it for a wide range of cooking methods, including:

Braising or slow-cooking meats in a flavourful liquid until tender.

Stewing combinations of meat, vegetables and broth.

Roasting meats, poultry, or vegetables in the oven for a perfect, crispy exterior.

Baking bread, rolls and crumble or cobbler toppings.

Shallow-frying with a suitable lid.

Simmering sauces, reductions or gently poaching.

Searing meat at a high temperature before slow-cooking.

Boiling pasta, grains or large batches of soup.

How do I care for my Dutch pot?

While seasoned cast iron Dutch ovens are incredibly durable, they need some care.

When cooking, be aware that acidic ingredients may affect uncoated cast iron. Wine, citrus fruit and tomatoes are examples where it's best to use stainless steel, ceramic or enamel-coated cast iron.

Also, silicone utensils are the best choice for preventing scratching on your cookware. It's best to avoid metal serving spoons.

Seasoning cast iron involves applying a layer of oil to the surface, then heating it to create a non-stick, rust-resistant coating. It needs to be done regularly on uncoated cast iron.

To wash cast iron, rinse it with hot water and use a brush or non-abrasive scrubber to remove food debris. Avoid soap as it can strip away the seasoning and destroy the non-stick coating. Dry the cookware thoroughly and apply a thin layer of oil.

Finally, enamelled cast iron can chip, so take care when handling, it can be all-too-easy to drop the lid and crack the glaze.

Natalie Knowles is a Homes & Garden Product Writer for A Modern Kitchen, specialising in kitchen appliances. When she's not testing coffee machines, she flexes her creative flair as an artist.

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