Why You Need a Dutch Oven – and You Don’t Need to Spend $300

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A Dutch oven is definitely the workhorse of the kitchen.

Long before multi-cookers came along, the cast iron Dutch oven was the original kitchen multitasker. These sturdy — and dare I say, bombproof — vessels boast plenty of uses.

If you don’t have one yet, I’m here to let you know: YOU NEED ONE.

Look, I used to be just like you. “What do I need that for? I have plenty of pots and pans already,” I’d say to myself, while everyone around me was talking about how amazing and versatile their Dutch ovens are.

Trust me, all those people are right. Every cook should have a trusty Dutch oven in the kitchen.

What is a Dutch Oven?

Okay, if you’ve never owned one before, let’s define it first.

A Dutch oven is a thick-walled cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid. They’re usually made of cast iron, though some are made of cast aluminum or ceramic.

We’re going to specifically be talking about enameled cast iron Dutch ovens here.

What makes them so special, though?

This vessel is extremely versatile, easy to clean, and it’s sturdy enough to go from stovetop to oven. Plus, take it camping! It works on grills, and even works on coal- or wood-powered ovens. An enameled cast iron Dutch oven literally works on all heat sources.

You can use the same Dutch oven to cook soups, sauces, stews, and rice dishes. You can braise meat, turn out perfectly crusty bread, or make peach cobbler to die for.

These Dutch ovens also have another important feature that makes them incredibly useful. They hold in heat really well. If you need to keep food warm for second servings, all you have to do is keep the lid on. Likewise, it also retains cold really well, making it a great option for things like pasta salads and desserts.

Are you convinced, yet?

Not All Dutch Ovens Are Expensive

By now, you’ve likely googled “Dutch oven” and saw all the fancy Le Creuset Dutch ovens that cost hundreds of dollars.

Don’t write this kitchen staple off just yet. You don’t have to spend hundreds for the cream of the crop. I mean, sure, I drool over all those dreamy Le Creusets, too, and maybe one day I’ll treat myself. But some of us want a Dutch oven without breaking the bank.

If you’ve never had a Dutch oven before and don’t want to spring for the expensive options, just yet, wet your tastebuds with the Lodge enameled cast iron Dutch oven. You can pick one up for as little as $40 for the 5-quart size. It comes in a rainbow of color options to match any kitchen — but perhaps more importantly, it cooks food just as delicious as those fancy Le Creusets.