Which Lodge cast iron Dutch oven is best?
Among cooks, there’s no disagreement that cast iron cookware is some of the best you can buy. When properly taken care of, cast iron can last for generations. In fact, cast iron cookware is commonly passed down from parent to child. The Dutch oven is among the most versatile cast iron cookware. Of all the cast iron cookware brands, Lodge is hard to beat.
The best Lodge cast iron Dutch oven is the Lodge Pre-Seasoned Dutch Oven. It is among the best-selling Lodge options and comes in four sizes.
What to know before you buy a Lodge cast iron Dutch oven
Capacity and shape
Lodge offers many capacities and two shapes of its cast iron Dutch oven line.
- Capacity: Lodge measures capacity in quarts, and its Dutch ovens typically come in sizes between 1 and 10 quarts.
- Shape: Lodge cast iron Dutch ovens can be circular or oval. They both cook essentially the same, but foods that require extra length, such as fish or ribs, benefit from oval ovens.
Most Lodge cast iron Dutch ovens look the same. They’re round chunks of black metal with an old-fashioned aesthetic. If this doesn’t appeal to you, Lodge also offers enamel-coated models in dozens of colors.
Some Lodge cast iron Dutch ovens come in bundles. Most bundles include Lodge cast iron skillets of varying sizes. Some special bundles pair a skillet that doubles as the lid of the included Dutch oven. Others include accessories or cleaning kits.
What to look for in a quality Lodge cast iron Dutch oven
Lodge cast iron Dutch oven lids have two aspects to check for: a handle and a seal.
- Handle: Lid handles typically come in a loop or a knob shape. Loop handles need to have enough space to fit an oven mitt around them. Knobs need to be proportionately sized to your hand so that it’s easy for you to grab them.
- Seal: The lid should create a tight seal around the edge of the Dutch oven, except for the spout on models that have them.
Lodge cast iron Dutch ovens have a few types of body handles. The worst is a pan-like handle that protrudes outward. This option is challenging to manipulate. However, loop handles welded on the sides make it easy to manipulate the oven. Some also include a wire loop that attaches to the handles. This design is intended for campfire cooking, but you can remove the loop for use in a standard oven.
Most Lodge cast iron Dutch ovens come pre-seasoned, meaning an initial layer of oil has already been applied. You’ll still need to season it many times over the years, but it’s a good first step.
How much you can expect to spend on a Lodge cast iron Dutch oven
Lodge cast iron Dutch ovens typically cost $30-$150. Prices are mainly affected by the size of the Dutch oven. There are also bundles available that typically cost $100-$200.
Lodge cast iron Dutch oven FAQ
What cooking methods can a Lodge cast iron Dutch oven perform?
A. All of them. There’s essentially nothing a Lodge cast iron Dutch oven can’t do. It can braise, fry, bake, roast, saute, boil, etc.
How do I clean a Lodge cast iron Dutch oven?
A. The proper way to clean cast iron is a point of contention among cooks. The basics are typically the same. Clean it right after you use it, and make sure it’s completely dry before storing it.
Can I place a Lodge cast iron Dutch oven on my stovetop?
A. Yes, its Dutch ovens can be used on any stovetop. That said, be gentle when moving them around a glass stovetop. They have the potential to scratch or even shatter glass.
What’s the best Lodge cast iron Dutch oven to buy?
Top Lodge cast iron Dutch oven
What you need to know: It doesn’t get better than Lodge’s classic Dutch oven.
What you’ll love: It’s available in 1-, 2-, 5- and 7-quart sizes, all of which come pre-seasoned with vegetable oil. It has durable loop handles and a lid that perfectly aligns with the edges to create a tight seal, except for a small spout that doubles as a vent.
What you should consider: A few consumers had issues with the pre-seasoning flaking away during cooking. Others had problems with the cast iron leaving rust stains on their countertops.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top Lodge cast iron Dutch oven for the money
What you need to know: This kit is the perfect way to stock up your kitchen.
What you’ll love: The cast iron set includes a small- and medium-sized skillet, a large griddle, a Dutch oven and a matching lid. The care kit includes a 6-ounce can of Ledge seasoning spray, a cleaning brush, a pan scraper, a handle holder and a care booklet.
What you should consider: The care booklet offers questionable advice. Namely, you should use mild dish soap to deep clean without mentioning that this can strip away weak seasoning.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: The enamel is attractive and adds unique properties.
What you’ll love: It’s available in 27 colors, including several shades of red and blue, plus it comes in six sizes. The enameled coating and cast iron core make the Dutch oven nonstick without the need for seasoning and it’s still able to function on induction cooktops.
What you should consider: This is Lodge’s only product to be made outside of the U.S. The enamel is delicate and can shatter if subjected to sudden changes in temperature.
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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