We carefully examined over two dozen pots and determine that the best large Dutch oven is the Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Round 13.25-Quart Dutch Oven because of its excellent build quality. This pot will last for a long time and it can feed a small crowd, making it an ideal choice for large family reunions and occasions. Check out this review for more great recommendations.
The Top Large Dutch Ovens Reviewed
|Product's name||Material||Capacity / Weight||Best For||More Info|
|Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Round Dutch Oven, 13.25 qt., Flame||Enameled cast Iron||12.5 liters (10 to 12 servings);|
|Best Overall||See on Amazon|
|STAUB Cocotte Round 30cm Dark Blue||Enameled cast iron||8.5 liters (8 to 10 servings);|
|Best High-End Option||See on Amazon|
|Aramco Alpine Aluminum Non-Stick, 18-Quart, Open Stock||Aluminum||17 liters (15 to 18 servings);|
|Best Budget Option||See on Amazon|
|Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Cookware, Dutch...||Hard-anodized aluminum||8 liters (6 to 8 servings);|
|Best Hard-Anodized Aluminum||See on Amazon|
|Lodge L14DCO3 Deep Camp Dutch Oven, 10 Qt ,Black||Pre-seasoned cast iron||9.6 liters (8 to 10 servings);|
|Best for Camping||See on Amazon|
|Korkmaz Dutch Oven with Lid (16qt)||Stainless steel||15.1 liters (14 to 16 servings);|
|Best Lightweight Option||See on Amazon|
|Staub 12.75 Quart Oval Cocotte, Black Matte||Enameled cast iron||12 liters (10 to 14 servings);|
|Best Oval Shape||See on Amazon|
|Lodge 9 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven. Pre Seasoned Cast Iron Pot and Lid with...||Pre-seasoned cast iron||8.5 liters (8 to 10 servings);|
|Best Versatile Option||See on Amazon|
Find the Right Large Dutch Oven for You
Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Round Dutch Oven, 13.25 qt., FlameSee on Amazon
Le Creuset is synonymous with excellence when it comes to Dutch ovens, and the Enameled Cast Iron Signature Round 13.25-Quart model is a classic example of the brand?s state-of-the-art manufacturing. It is large enough to make food for up to 12 persons with leftovers.
This model works great with a wide range of heat sources, including all cooktops and ovens. Like most Le Creuset cookware, it is oven-safe up to 500oF. The tight-fitting lid features a stainless-steel knob that can also withstand the same high temperature, so you don?t have to remove it before placing it in your kitchen oven.
Wide ergonomic loop handles allow your fingers to firmly grip the pot for secure lifting. The handles are molded with the Dutch oven (not riveted) so there is no chance of them coming off or buckling under heavy weight.
The enameled coating serves multiple functions. It resists stains, and prevents dulling, cracking, and chipping. Also, it eliminates the need to season the pot and makes cleaning effortless.
The pot is dishwasher safe, but you want to allow it to cool down before plunging it in water to prevent loss of enamel. Also, you want to avoid using abrasive cleaning agents.
Best High-End Option
STAUB Cocotte Round 30cm Dark BlueSee on Amazon
The gorgeous Staub 9-Quart Round Dutch Oven has a price tag that can set you back several hundred dollars. But with that price come superior cooking performance, a long-lasting pot, and elegant cookware that can improve your kitchen d?cor.
The 8.5-liter pot is perfect for roasting, braising, and baking for a small group of about eight to ten persons. You can use it on all hob tops, including induction.
It surpasses many other Dutch ovens in terms of heat resistance. This large Dutch oven can withstand extreme temperatures up to 900oF in the oven. Combine that with its excellent baking capability, unique interior matte texture, and you?re sure to get exceptional browning with every sweet or savory meal, including bread, cake, and roast. It is also perfect for making stews and soups.
A lid with a nickel-plated knob sits snuggly on the pot and traps heat and flavor. The spikes underneath the lid collect moisture and evenly return it in a rain-forest style to promote self-basting for rich flavors. Deglaze the pot with wine for even better meat juices. The large pot doubles as a serving dish so you can use it on stovetops and the table, as well.
Best Budget Option
Aramco Alpine Aluminum Non-Stick, 18-Quart, Open StockSee on Amazon
If you don?t have deep pockets or you simply don?t want to spend a ton of cash on a large Dutch oven, perhaps you should consider getting the 18-Quart Alphine Gourmet Non-Stick Aluminum Dutch Oven by Aramco. It is large enough for both home and restaurant cooking, and it is incredibly cheap.
But ?cheap? or ?inexpensive? doesn?t necessarily translate to poor quality. This budget pick is engineered using 3.5mm thick aluminum that is durable, nonstick, and possesses impressive heating capabilities. It gets hot pretty quickly, cutting down warm-up and cooking time and it does a great job of distributing heat evenly throughout the pot.
It is a rather huge Dutch oven, so the wide loop handles with plastic fittings are apt. The aluminum pot comes with a tempered glass lid that features a beautiful ergonomic knob for hassle-free opening of the pot. But you really don?t need to open the pot to monitor what?s cooking because you can see through the tempered glass lid.
There?s little to no chance of a boil-over, even when you are not closely monitoring what?s cooking during slow-cooking. That?s because the tempered glass lid also features a built-in vent hole that solves the problem.
Best Hard-Anodized Aluminum
Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Cookware, Dutch Oven, 8 1/2-quart, BlackSee on Amazon
If you like aluminum Dutch ovens but would prefer something a bit smaller than our budget pick, the Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick 8.5-Quart Dutch Oven might be just what you are looking for. No, it?s not the best choice for restaurant cooking like Aramco?s aluminum product but is an excellent option for everyday home cooking, especially for large families.
Calphalon?s large Dutch oven comes in an eye-catching design that blends nicely with most modern kitchen d?cors. The state-of-the-art hard-anodizing process gives the pot its attractive exterior color. This property makes it dishwasher-safe, so there?s no chance of chipping, cracking, peeling, or fading.
In terms of cooking performance, the pot distributes heat evenly throughout the cooking surface and walls, thanks to the heavy-gauge aluminum construction. It is safe to use this Dutch oven on glass, halogen, electric, and gas stovetops; plus, it is suitable for oven use up to 450oF.
The long, stainless-steel handles make it easy to lift the pot and they stay cool on stovetops so you don?t have to worry about getting burned. It also features a see-through tempered glass lid that?s safe for everyday use. The pot is nonstick, meaning cleaning is a breeze.
Designed for camping, the Lodge Deep Camp 10-Quart is a raw cast-iron pot pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil to give you a head start on using a nonstick pot while you?re having a great time outdoors.
It is fitted with three sturdy legs that go over hot coals. If you prefer slow-cooking, simply hang the wire bail handle over a tripod. The lid comes with an extra-large loop handle, making it super easy to open the pot.
But perhaps the best part of this reasonably-priced camp-style Dutch oven is the dual-purpose lid. Of course, you won?t put a pot with three integral legs in an oven but that does mean you can?t heat it from all angles. The lid can hold hot coals to provide heating from the top and you can flip it over to instantly convert it into a griddle.
The Korkmaz 16-Quart model comes at a great price, allowing everyday cooks to enjoy the benefits of a large Dutch oven without dealing with the typical weight of traditional cast-iron pots. If you are looking to gift your old parents a lightweight Dutch oven, you may as well choose this option.
The stainless-steel pot comes in a highly polished and attractive finish fitted with stainless-steel loop handles and a loop knob on the lid. It features a triplex heavy-bounded capsule bottom for superior heat absorption, retention, and even distribution.
It holds a ton, so consider this pot only if you plan to cook for a small crowd. While it is lightweight, the bottom is a bit rough and can scratch your stovetop, especially if you use a glass top. However, lightly scrubbing the bottom with sandpaper or a ball of steel wool before first use can solve this problem.
Whether you are considering a large pot for a busy restaurant or something for a big Sunday sauce, this pot fits the bill perfectly. Plus, cleaning after use is effortless, thanks to the highly polished interior and exterior finish.
Best Lightweight Option
Korkmaz Dutch Oven with Lid (16qt)See on Amazon
If sizable roasts top the list of things you want to do with a large Dutch oven, we recommend this 12.75-Quart Staub Oval Cocotte. It has enough room to hold a 15-pound turkey for large holiday dinners or a full leg of spring lamb for catering.
The lid fits snuggly with no room for heat or moisture to escape, so meat braises slowly to a nice fork-tenderness with rich flavors.
The enameled cast-iron Dutch oven is safe to use on all stovetops, including induction tops. Also, it can go in the oven with the lid on. But remember to remove the silicon knob if you plan to cook or bake at temperatures exceeding 392oF to prevent damaging it.
While this might not be the largest pot on this list, it weighs more than every other model mentioned here. You want to keep that in mind if you have difficulty lifting heavy objects.
Best Oval Shape
Staub 12.75 Quart Oval Cocotte, Black MatteSee on Amazon
Lodge?s 9-Quart Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron pot is your best bet if you want an all-round large Dutch oven. It can go in ovens, on grills, over campfires, and on stovetops, including induction tops. Little wonder it is our top pick for the best versatile pot suitable for both home and outdoor use.
Apart from its suitability with nearly all heat sources, you can use this pot for a wide variety of cooking purposes, including simmering, frying, saut?ing, searing, roasting, baking, and braising. This large Dutch oven is truly the definition of multi-functionality.
The raw cast iron comes pre-seasoned, allowing you to start using the nonstick Dutch oven right out of the box. The build quality is simply outstanding, giving it a tough appearance, in addition to remarkable durability.
In terms of cooking performance, this cast iron pot offers unparalleled heat retention and even heat distribution, eliminating hot spots. You will have to keep oiling it, though, to preserve the nonstick cooking surface.
This large Dutch oven features a well-built wire bail handle for hanging over a campfire as well as for easy lifting. The lid comes with a loop handle that makes it easy to open the pot.
Large Dutch Ovens Buying Guide
What to Look for When Buying Large Dutch Ovens
An 18-quart Dutch might be excellent for chefs but a bit too massive for everyday use, even in a fairly large household. Conversely, an 8.5-quart pot might work well for a family of 7 but can be grossly inadequate if you are running a busy restaurant.
We invite you to take some time to read through this buying guide to help you decide the most important elements when buying a large Dutch oven.
Purpose and Capacity
What would you primarily use the large Dutch oven for? Do you plan to use it strictly when you go camping? Are you looking for something for entertaining guests on some occasions? Do you want a large pot for cooking in a restaurant? Or do you want something that you will use regularly for a fairly large family?
By first figuring out exactly what you need the pot for, you will be able to narrow down your choices. Large Dutch ovens between 8.5- and 9-quart are ideal for everyday use in a large household. Consider scaling up to about 13-quarts or thereabouts if you plan to buy something for entertaining a sizable number of guests on occasions.
Then, there is the outdoor purpose to think about. If you want a large pot that will go over hot coals and campfires, you should be looking at pre-seasoned cast-iron options. While many of these types of pots are specifically made for camping, you can find a multifunctional model that works both for home and outdoor use. The 9-Quart Pre-seasoned Dutch Oven from Lodge is a good example.
Cast iron is the traditional and most popular type of material for making Dutch ovens. Consider an enameled cast-iron pot if you don?t want to deal with the hassles of frequent maintenance in terms of seasoning. Cleaning an enameled cast-iron pot is easy and convenient because most of them are dishwasher-safe.
Pre-seasoned cast-iron options are great if you plan to predominantly use the vessel on open fires or hot coals. However, washing can be a bit inconvenient because they are not safe to go in the dishwasher. Also, you have to season them frequently to prevent rusting, as exposure to water and air can affect the cast iron material. The good news is that they tend to get better with age as you continue to season them.
Other materials include aluminum, stainless steel, and clay or ceramic. While many of these are less expensive than cast iron, they are usually not as durable. For example, ceramic may chip, crack, and break easily unless you invest in good-quality high-end options.
Large Dutch ovens are typically heavy, especially cast-iron pots. Think about how much weight you want to haul around before investing in a large pot. Keep in mind that the pot gets heavier when you add food. You don?t want to risk dropping a hot pot because it is too heavy.
Lightweight options are typically made from aluminum and stainless steel. But if you prefer something with significant heft (like a traditional Dutch oven), consider cast iron.
Ergonomic handles are crucial when choosing large Dutch ovens because you want something that allows for a secure and comfortable grip when you lift the heavy pot. You don?t want to give any room for a hot, heavy pot filled to the brim to slip off your grip, as that could be potentially disastrous.
Consider buying pots with loop handles that are wide enough to get your fingers through, even when you are wearing oven mitts or using a thick towel. If possible, keep an eye out for stay-cool handles. These options won?t get too hot on stovetops, allowing you to hold them securely while you stir your food.
A wire bail handle is non-negotiable if you are looking to use the pot primarily for camping.
Many aluminum and stainless-steel Dutch ovens come with tempered glass lids. Besides aesthetics, the major advantage of this is you can easily monitor your food with the see-through glass without necessarily opening the pot.
However, if you are hoping to cook flavorful dishes, a glass lid with a vent hole isn?t your best choice. Consider models with tight-fitting dome-shaped lids, especially those that feature special designs underneath. The dots, spikes, or whatever design on the reverse side of the lid helps with self-basting that keeps your food moist.
Lids that don?t fit snuggly can allow moisture to escape and you will likely come back to a dry pot after a couple of hours of slow cooking.
Most Dutch oven covers come with removable knobs of different materials, although glass lids are most likely to have loop handles. Keep in mind that whether you choose one with a knob or loop handle, it is important to know the temperature rating for the feature before putting it in your kitchen oven.
Knobs are generally not deal-breakers, even if they can?t withstand as much heat as the pot itself. If you find a large Dutch oven that suits your purpose but has a knob that won?t work for you, simply buy a replacement option that fits what you want to do.
The shape of a Dutch oven is not too crucial if you are getting a pot that?s roughly 13-quart or more, as these sizes can accommodate large poultry and meat cuts, regardless of the shape. However, if you are choosing something within the range of 8.5- to 9-quart, you should consider whether an oval or round shape will be more ideal for your purpose.
Oval Dutch ovens are more suited to large poultry because of their elongated shape. But if you plan to use another pan on your burner at the same time as an oval pot, you should consider the size and spacing of your burners. Bigger oval pots will take more space than similar-sized round pots.
Round large ovens are more ideal for making large soups, stews, and other savory meals and even for baking bread.
Apart from the size and spacing of your burners, you want to choose a large Dutch oven that won?t scratch your stovetop, especially if you have a glass cooktop. Check to make sure the bottom of the pot is smooth enough not to deface your expensive cooking range. However, you also don?t want to invest in a pot with an extra smooth bottom that slides easily.
FAQs for Large Dutch Ovens
Can a Dutch oven be too big?
Yes, a Dutch oven can be too big, depending on what you primarily need it for. If you live alone or have a small family, you obviously don?t need a 9-quart Dutch oven, for example, unless you entertain guests or you plan to have one handy for holiday dinners.
Is a cocotte the same as a Dutch oven?
The word ?cocotte? is French for ?casserole,? and in most cases, Dutch ovens and casserole are used interchangeably. Essentially, a cocotte and a Dutch oven are designed to do the same thing ? versatile slow-cooking tools that can work for saut?ing, frying, braising, browning, simmering, and more.
What are the different sizes of Dutch ovens?
Dutch ovens come in a wide variety of sizes. Renowned brands, such as Le Creuset, Lodge, and Staub make pot ranging from the tiny 0.5-quart to massive 15.5-quart. Other less-known brands make Dutch ovens that are even bigger than 18 quarts. Each quart is roughly one serving, so consider the number of people you usually cook for when you are choosing a Dutch oven size.
Do I really need a Dutch oven?
A good-quality Dutch oven is a must-have in any kitchen, especially if you do a lot of cooking. The pot is typically thick enough to conduct and retain heat for a long time, keeping food hot and moist for a long time. Large Dutch ovens are great for handling large meat cuts and are highly versatile. They work with a variety of heat sources, including ovens and stovetops.
The Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Round 13.25-Quart Dutch Oven checks nearly all the boxes that make for a great large Dutch oven, which is why it is our top choice. You get a safe and comfortable grip with its wide loop handles ? a crucial element when buying large pots. Also, it doesn?t chip or crack easily, so you can use this for a considerably long time.
If you don?t want to deal with the heavy weight of large Dutch ovens, consider buying the 16-Quart Korkmaz Dutch Oven. However, the Staub 12.75 Quart Oval Cocotte is an ideal choice for those who prefer a large Dutch oven to braise large poultry (Thanksgiving turkey, perhaps?).