Cooking Time Journal may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. This comes at no additional cost to you, and all the prices and availability are accurate at the time of publishing.
Kitchen appliances can make or break the cook of the household – let’s face it, without the right equipment, how can the chef successfully get the job done?
That inadvertently means that the person that cooks the most in the house has to do his or her research to acquire the best of the best to make the most delicious meals. Which then begs the question, what appliances and brand name companies can stand up and say they are the best of the best?
The Le Creuset Dutch Oven has seemed to make a name for itself in the world of the cooks. Apparently, the cooking equipment (for lack of a better term) is one of the finer cooking assistants on the market, but it does have one specific flaw: It’s rather pricey. And, to be honest, not all homeowners can afford to spend hundreds of dollars on one little Dutch oven, no matter how well it performs.
That brings me to my next order of business; I have to ask this question:
Have you ever wanted a Le Creuset Dutch Oven, but you found that the price is too high for your budget?
If you can honestly answer that question with a ‘yes,’ then you’ve come to the right place.
In the sentences that proceed this introduction, you’re going to learn about four cheaper, popular alternatives to the Le Creuset Dutch Oven. I’m going to give you all the details you’ll need about each product, and then I’ll clue you in on which ones best depending on the type of person/cook you are. No need to worry, I’ll be looking out for you and I’ll have your back the entire time. You just need to know what’s out there before making your decision, am I right?
Well, without further ado, it’s time to learn the facts about the following Dutch ovens.If you’re looking for more information on Dutch ovens, visit cookwareinsider.com
|1. Lodge 6 Dutch Oven
|2. Cuisinart CI755-30CR Chef’s Classic Enameled Cast Iron 5-1/2 Quart
|3. Tramontina 5.5 Quart Round Oven
|4. Milo 5.5 Quart Dutch Oven
Lodge 6 Dutch Oven
Lodge’s 6-quart enameled cast iron Dutch oven has the style and the function of all the French brands on the market today, with the Lodge name backing it.
How does this spectacular appliance do what it does best? The makers of the product actually bond glass to cast iron using extremely high temperatures. Specifically speaking, they use a particulate of glass, better known as frit. The application process forms a bond with the glass frit and the cast iron, making the Dutch oven heat tolerant and practically impervious to water. The pros only start there.
Lodge created this Dutch oven to fit up to 6-quarts of food in it’s walls. The blue exterior makes for an elegant appliance design, while the smooth outer glass surface won’t react to any of the ingredients cooking inside at any point and time.
The oven is 10 ¾” in diameter and 4 ½” deep, just in case you’re looking to measure out the kitchen countertop space you have to put this baby on.
Dutch ovens always offer an array of cooking options, and this Lodge 6-quart doesn’t disappoint in that department.
The Lodge 6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven gives all cooks the opportunity to marinate, refrigerate, broil, braise, bake, cook, roast, serve, sauté, simmer, or fry any type of appetizer, soup, meal, or dessert that you have in mind. It can be placed in the oven at temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit or less, too.
- Can be used on gas, electric, and induction cooktops
- Tight fitting lid to seal in moisture
- Great heat retention
- Cannot be used on outdoor grills or in microwaves
- Cannot be shipped outside of the U.S.
- The company claims to make appliance in U.S. – Packaging claims made in China
- Chips in bowl happen shortly after first use
- Food starts to stick to oven after short period of time
Cuisinart CI755-30CR Chef’s Classic Enameled Cast Iron 5-1/2 Quart
Cast iron construction has a great reputation, and Cuisinart implemented that design process when creating the Chef’s Classic Enameled Cast Iron 5-1/2 Quart Dutch Oven.
The carefully thought out constructed appliance has high heat retention rates and evenly distributes heat throughout every liquid and food placed inside of it.
The porcelain enameled exterior allows every homeowner the opportunity to brag about the elegance behind their appliance. The cast iron oven comes in Cardinal Red or Provencal Blue, giving you the option to accessorize your kitchen the way you’ve always wanted – with a vibrant countertop appliance, or a mellow one.
The oval-shaped Dutch oven features a cast iron contraction that does a superb job at retaining heat for hours, if need be. Luckily, the entirety of the appliance does not absorb odors within, and it does not change the flavors of the foods cooking and brewing inside the pot.
The wide cast iron handles make this Dutch oven super convenient for transportation – and it houses a steady and secure grip so that you don’t burn your fingers while carrying the dish.
- Stovetop, oven, and broiler safe
- Easy to maintain and clean
- Dishwasher safe
- Chunks of enamel fall off after constant usage
- Highly susceptible to chipping
Tramontina 5.5 Quart Round Oven
Made from PFOA- and PTFE-free porcelain enamel, these Dutch ovens retain heat and promote even cooking all around.
According to the makers of this appliance, the Tramontina prides itself on delivering the right amount of heat slowly to all meats cooking inside – meaning the meats tenderize almost naturally. The same goes for poultry and vegetables alike.
The exterior of the appliance is crafted artistically, so much so that it showcases a somewhat elegant look for your kitchen.
The Dutch oven offers self-basting condensation ridges right on the lid, so that you, as the cook, can watch your food soak in the appropriate, savory goodness that you’ve always wanted it to.
The Tramontina is made from enameled cast-iron, and it carries approximately 5.5 quarts at a time. The surface is surrounded by an off-white, PFOA- and PTFE- free porcelain enamel, making it very easy to clean the surface.
As mentioned above, this specific kitchen appliance contains self-basting condensation ridges. A feature like this makes it possible for cooks to add in and direct vapors to certain areas of the meal that’s being prepared. Tender and savory foods are guaranteed to come out of this oven with each use.
- According to makers, made & packaged in USA
- Can be used with gas, electric, ceramic glass, and induction cooktops
- Lifetime warranty
- Can be placed in oven with temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
- Hand-wash only
- Chips after a few uses
- Exterior enamel chips, dulls, and slides off easily
- Average of one to two-year usage rate
Milo 5.5 Quart Dutch Oven
French-inspired ‘knock-offs’ technically don’t fare well in the cooks mind; but this Classic Dutch Oven alternative fares well in the kitchen world.
The design is impeccably beautiful, or so all of its users claim.
The white and black Dutch Oven weighs in at 10.5 lbs. and carries about 5.5 quarts of food at all times. Even the silver/bronze knob on the top of the appliance makes it look fancier than all of the other options.
Many users don’t expect to completely fall in love with this Le Creuset Dutch Oven alternative, but they do so anyways.
The classic oven is safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and it allows food to simmer, bake, slow-cook, and boil with the optimization a true cook is genuinely looking for. Newcomers and pros alike can use this with little hassle and complications.
The pot is definitely heavy and solid which means it will be able to house practically anything.
Additional features include non-stick surfaces, heating evenly options, and perfect retention rates on heating.
This appliance may feature an addiction to cooking every meal within its walls.
- Dishwasher friendly
- Lifetime guarantee
- Naturally non-stick
- n/a – reviews were exquisite
Does the exterior or the interior matter more to you?
A lot of the Dutch oven alternatives listed here have exterior and interior issues.
Most chip, dull, and lose their exterior fashion and beauty within only a few uses. Others have issues with food and sauces sticking hard on the interior surfaces.
If you’re more of a perfectionist when it comes to cooking, I would highly recommend choosing the Milo 5.5 Quart Dutch Oven. In fact, that’s my #1 recommendation after reviewing and researching all four of these options.
How much of a budget are you really on?
After looking at the design, the features, and all of the pros and cons that each has to offer, have you considered your budget from the prices we listed above for you?
Can you spend a little more to get a product that many people stand by? Or do you need to get the cheaper of the four to cut costs for now?
If you want quality, you’re going to have to spend a little bit more money. But that’s why we’ve come here today, because you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the Le Creuset Dutch Oven, probably because you can’t afford such a hefty featured oven just yet. And that’s okay.
So, for the time being, you’ll have to go with one of these four options. Don’t worry, it’s not forever. Just remember, pick your poison and make sure it’s not too detrimental to the meals you’ll be cooking.