Best Le Creuset Dutch Oven (Round Casserole Dish)

Before the arrival of all these new kitchen gadgets such as slow cookers, “instant pots”, and sous-vide machines, there were simple cooking appliances that people used to multitask cooking, such as Dutch Ovens. Almost everything can be made in a Dutch Oven, except pressure cooking. Even complicated recipes such as multistage cooking and baking can be made in a Dutch Oven.

Plus, the simple and clean designs of most Dutch Ovens make them look attractive, and they can even be used to serve the food that is cooked in them, rather than having to transfer to a separate serving dish.

Much like the more commonly seen cast iron pots and pans, a heavyweight Dutch Oven will be a piece of kitchen equipment that will last you a lifetime, or even longer I still have one my mother gave me.

That’s why my favorite Dutch oven is the Le Creuset Quart Round Dutch Oven. It cooks everything perfectly, is easy to maintain, and comes with a lifetime enamel chipping warranty. It’s well worth the price. Below, I review the things to consider when buying a Dutch oven.

Buy: Le Creuset Enameled Oval Dutch Oven, at Amazon

The Le Creuset 6.75 Quart Round Dutch Oven is excellent. It was large enough to hold and distribute heat equally without being crazy heavy. The light-colored interior surface coupled with low, straight sides lets you see the side, which makes it easy to watch the browning of foods and the thermometer position to control the temperature of the oil when deep frying. The lid fits tightly, is smooth, and is easy to clean. The Le Creuset Dutch Oven is expensive, but it’s very resistant to damage.

Differences in Material

A good Dutch Oven should be cast iron, and be heavy enameled, with a lid that fits on very tightly. In order to make sure that the Dutch Oven can be used in a variety of ways, we would want a good Dutch Oven to be fairly wide enough to carry out certain tasks such as browning or roasting meats, so the Dutch Oven should probably be a minimum of eight inches wide and should have a volume of at least six quarts.

Dutch Ovens tend to be used extensively for browning meats, one with a white or a light color interior is recommended, in order to be able to better monitor the browning of the meat. Though some discoloration is inevitable over time, it’s nothing to worry about, and the discoloration shouldn’t be enough to make it overly difficult to tell the status of the food, even if the oven has been used for years.

When using an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven, I found that cooked food had a metallic taste. But when researched, “a spokesperson from Lodge said that the company is constantly improving its equipment” and that newer pots come with a durable double seasoning, and didn’t notice any off-flavors in the food, even after simmering acidic tomato sauce, which can strip the preseasoning.

Buy: Le Creuset Enameled Oval Dutch Oven, at Amazon

Lighter Color is Key When Cooking

Dark interiors make it difficult to see how food is browning or how caramelized your fond gets when you’re searing off beef. It also makes it more difficult when used with a portable thermometer, which I often clip onto the side of the Dutch oven to keep an eye on the oil temperature as I’m frying.

The darker interiors will prevent you from easily seeing the thermometer probe to make sure that it isn’t touching the bottom of the pot, which will give you an incorrect temperature reading. In general, the lighter interiors gave a better view and were a lot simpler to cook with.

Larger Cooking Surface

Some Dutch ovens are tall and tapered; with others being short and broad. I prefer Dutch ovens with a large cooking area at least 9” across. A larger cooking surface means you can work quicker, predominantly when searing meat in batches. I also tall or rounded sides tended to in part block my view into the pot, so prefer low, straight sides Dutch ovens.

Heavier is Better and Helpful Handles

Dutch oven Handles are extremely important, because I like heavier pots, especially when the Dutch oven is loaded up with a stew or a good amount of frying oil. The handle styles are looped for a greater, more of a safety hold; larger loops are even better, particularly when I am wearing oven mitts.

All Dutch ovens come with some kind of manufacture limited warranty. But the Le Creuset holds better to the everyday wear and tear not included by other the warranties; the rim side and lid of the Cuisinart model chipped cosmetically during our durability tests, while our winner emerged from testing looking as good as new.

I recommend the Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron it’s lightweight, but it is still heavy enough to allow perfect heat conduction. It has that beautiful broad cooking surface with a bright interior and low, straight pot walls. It’s even easier to use because of looped handles. This is an exceptional dutch oven.

Why Do You Need A Dutch Oven

The most suitable choice for soups and stews, a Dutch oven is also perfect for frying, braising, steaming, and boiling. A Dutch oven is usually wider and shallower than a conventional stockpot; it’s easier to grasp into and gives a wider surface area for browning. Its heft translates into lots of heat retention, ideal for holding frying oil hot or holding a low simmer.

  • Buy large and spacious. I find the most useful size to be 6 to 9 quarts. Any less and you’ll be stuck browning meat in batches.
  • Look for full handles. Looping handles should be very firm and wide enough to grasp with thick oven mitts. Little handles make it difficult to hold and move the pot.
  • Check out the cover. Lids should be tight-fitting and big enough not to clatter when the pot contents are boiling below.

Buy: Le Creuset Enameled Oval Dutch Oven, at Amazon

Enamel Warranty Basics

Le Creuset Dutch ovens are made out of cast iron and then an enamel coating is added to the surface. Enamel is durable but, it is a material made like glass that is prone to chipping. If you ever owned one you know what I’m talking about.

Never use an enamel pot or pan, or a Dutch oven with chipped enamel on the cooking surface! That chipped area will continue to chip, which will result in small sharp pieces of enamel getting into your food. So if you notice a chip, stop using the pot and pan, or Dutch oven. You need to assess the severity of it.

Le Creuset enamel products have a limited lifetime warranty. They’ll send you a new item for any chipped item if the chipping was not caused as a result of your fault. Yes, they send you a new one!  A new replacement was sent because chipped enamel can’t be repaired.

The authorized warranty says the faulty part or the enamel has chipped with normal wear and use. Now, if you drop your Dutch oven or chip it as a result of misusing, causing chipping with a metal utensil, your claim will most likely be denied.

John Siracusa

John is a passionate food enthusiast and entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in the food service industry. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Hell's Kitchen Recipes, a website dedicated to providing high-quality recipes and content to the culinary world. When he's not crafting recipes or managing the website, John enjoys spending time with his family and attending trade shows. He also loves connecting with his audience through social media and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Google  Podcast and Hell's Kitchen Recipes YouTube channel.

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