Which Dutch oven is best for your cooking needs? What size of Dutch oven should you get? What brand of Dutch oven should you get? Which material is best, cast iron or aluminum? Which is the best Dutch oven depends on where you’re using it and what you are using the Dutch oven for.
The first thing you need to consider is if you are going to be using the Dutch oven indoors or outside. Typically the indoor Dutch ovens, also known as French ovens, are cast iron with an enamel coating, have flat bottoms and round tops, and can be a variety of colors. Camping Dutch ovens usually have legs on bottom so they can sit on top of coals, flat lids with a rim for holding charcoal, and they are the natural color of cast iron. Some Dutch ovens have lids that double as a griddle. Although you may do a lot of outdoor cooking, the pots with legs on bottom may not always suit your needs. Sometimes you may want to cook on an outdoor camping stove or a burner of some sort. In this instance you can get flat bottomed Dutch ovens that also have lids that double as a skillet.
Another import thing to consider is the size of the pot. What is it that you are going to be cooking? Most camping Dutch oven recipes call out a 12” or 8 quart pot because that is the most common size. It’s a good start for an all around cooker. If you are doing large roasts or cooking for large groups you’ll want to step up to a bigger Dutch oven like a 14” or a 16”.
As for materials, the only time you should consider an aluminum Dutch oven is if weight is an important factor like when you are hiking a long distance to your campground. Otherwise the heat retaining factor of cast iron can’t be beat.
What brand of Dutch oven should you buy and does the brand even matter? There are a lot of manufacturers of Dutch ovens and French ovens. You cannot go wrong with a Lodge or a Le Creuset because even if you buy one that’s not up to par, these companies will stand by their products and they usually put out high quality cookware. They are also going to be more expensive than other brands. Below is a comparison chart for some different types and brands of Dutch ovens.
|Lodge Logic Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Camp Dutch Oven||12"||8||22 lbs.||Outdoor||56.00||4.8
|Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron French Oven||10"||5.5||11.2 lbs.||Indoor||274.95||4.8
|Texsport Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven||12"||8||18.6 lbs.||Outdoor||45.99||2.4|
|Lodge Logic LCC3 Pre-Seasoned Combo Cooker ||10.25"||3||14 lbs.||Outdoor/Indoor||34.99||4.8|
|Camp Chef DO-12 Pre Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven||12"||9.33||24 lbs.||Outdoor||47.38||4.7|
|Texsport Cast Iron Dutch Oven without Legs - 8 Quart||12"||8||17.9 lbs.||Outdoor/Indoor||40.99||4.2|
|Lodge Logic L16CO3 Pre-Seasoned Camp Dutch Oven, 12-Quart||16"||12||32 lbs.||Outdoor||154.70||4.9|
|Lodge Color EC6D43 Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 6-Quart||10.75"||6||16 lbs||Indoor||49.97||4.5|
|Tramontina 6.5 Qt Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven||11"||6.5||20 lbs.||Indoor||100.49||4.7