Hands up anyone who can remember a parent or grandparent who used to bake fresh bread. The smell is amazing and makes you salivate, but the taste is out of this world. Store-bought bread just cannot compare.
But, with our busy schedules, not everyone has the time that it takes to get that bread baked. If only there was a simpler way…
No, we don’t mean a bread machine – we are talking about a good old-fashioned Dutch oven.
A Dutch oven is great for bread because they provide even, low-heat cooking. In this post, we will look at the top options available on the market so that you can see for yourself how they measure up. We haven’t rated these on durability, because they are all quality brands.
If properly looked after, cast iron cookware can last a few lifetimes.
|Enamel Coated||Side Grips||Interlocking Lid||Versatility||Extra Features||Size||Non-Stick|
|#1. Camp Chef|
Our Best Pick
|No||No||No||**||A few||7 quarts||Yes|
|#5. Lodge Enameled |
What’s a Dutch Oven?
If you have no idea, don’t feel bad. It is cast iron cookware that has a lid that fits well. Traditionally they are made from bare cast iron and need to be seasoned to give them more of a non-stick surface and prevent the iron from rusting.
In some cases, the inside is covered with enamel. This makes it unnecessary to season the oven but does add to the cost. Still, it can be a pretty useful feature. Either way, a Dutch oven is versatile and can be used for a range of different cooking tasks – from breads to stews, etc.
The Best Dutch Ovens For You!
#1. Lodge Double Dutch Oven and Casserole (5 Quart)
This is not the largest of the options, but it is still pretty handy. Lodge is known for producing quality products with useful extra features. In this case, you can covert the lid into a skillet, so it can be extremely useful.
Another feature is that the lid locks in place, so there is no spilling while carrying it around.
The iron is pre-seasoned, so you don’t have to worry about that initially. You will, in time, have to re-season it though. All the care instructions are contained in the manual.
The company provides a lifetime warranty for this product.
#2. Utopia Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Dutch Oven
The enamel coating on this model does make it easier to care for and makes it easier to get the baked bread out again.
The outer layer is 5mm thick with an iron core that is made from the purest metal. All raw materials are free of hazardous chemicals. The even layer of cast iron retains heat extremely well and withstands a lot of punishment.
This particular product will withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees. It also has the interlocking lid but has side grips that make it easy to carry.
#3. Camp Chef Deluxe 12-Quart Dutch Oven
This is designed to be used over a fire and has feet to help stabilize it. It can be used in the oven if you have a larger-sized one, but it is over the camp fire that this truly shines.
If you have to feed a camp full of hungry people, this is a good option. This model has a lid lifter and a notch for your thermometer. You can check how hot it is inside without even taking the lid off.
The lid can be used as a griddle as well, so you can cook the bread and the meal over one fire. The deep-dish lid means that the airflow is sufficient to ensure nice and even cooking.
This model takes versatility to the next level, with feet on the lid so that you can use it directly over the fire as your griddle or use it to serve the food. The starter pamphlet has some great recipes.
#4. Calphalon Classic Nonstick Dutch Oven with Cover
This one is slightly different from the others in that the coating not only protects the iron surface but is also non-stick. If you want the least amount of hassle when it comes to cleanup, this is the model to go for.
It is one of the biggest options and will work well for large quantities of food. It will withstand up to 450 degrees. Another thing that makes this model different is the glass lid. As a result, this is more of an in-kitchen option than a roughing it camping option.
#5. Lodge EC7OD43 Enameled Cast Iron Oval Dutch Oven
We are back to Lodge again – did we mention that we like their products? The oval shape of this model allows for more creativity when shaping a loaf.
The cast iron is coated with porcelain for a highly durable finish that is also dishwasher safe. Something that the others are not. That said, it’s probably better to wash this one by hand anyway.
This is the highest priced option but if you have the cash it is worth paying the extra. The porcelain is better at distributing the heat than enamel is and more resistant to scratches. It also looks good enough to present at table.
This is 7 quarts, so it is big, and you can feed lots of hungry mouths using this.
That’s a whole range of sizes and price points to choose from. We stuck to brands that have great quality because this is a purchase that should last you a long time.
It would be hard to narrow it down to an absolute favorite, so we’d have to have two. We loved the cool good looks of the Lodge Enameled model. For best value, though, the Camp Chef model comes out on top because of all the useful features.