Best Large Dutch Ovens [Reviews and Buying Guide]

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 nameMaterialCapacity / WeightBest ForMore Info
Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Round Dutch Oven, 13.25 qt., FlameLe Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Round Dutch Oven, 13.25 qt., FlameEnameled cast Iron12.5 liters (10 to 12 servings);
21.7 pounds
Best OverallSee on Amazon
Staub Round Dutch Oven 9-quart Sapphire BlueStaub Round Dutch Oven 9-quart Sapphire BlueEnameled cast iron8.5 liters (8 to 10 servings);
19.5 pounds
Best High-End OptionSee on Amazon
Aramco Alpine Aluminum Non-Stick, 18-Quart, Open StockAramco Alpine Aluminum Non-Stick, 18-Quart, Open StockAluminum17 liters (15 to 18 servings);
6.6 pounds
Best Budget OptionSee on Amazon
Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Cookware, Dutch Oven, 8 1/2-quart, BlackCalphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Cookware, Dutch...Hard-anodized aluminum8 liters (6 to 8 servings);
3.7 pounds
Best Hard-Anodized AluminumSee on Amazon
Lodge L14DCO3 Deep Camp Dutch Oven, 10 Qt ,BlackLodge L14DCO3 Deep Camp Dutch Oven, 10 Qt ,BlackPre-seasoned cast iron9.6 liters (8 to 10 servings);
25.5 pounds
Best for CampingSee on Amazon
Dutch Oven with Lid (16qt)Dutch Oven with Lid (16qt)Stainless steel15.1 liters (14 to 16 servings);
8.6 pounds
Best Lightweight OptionSee on Amazon
Staub 12.75 Quart Oval Cocotte, Black MatteStaub 12.75 Quart Oval Cocotte, Black MatteEnameled cast iron12 liters (10 to 14 servings);
26.2 pounds
Best Oval ShapeSee on Amazon
Lodge 9 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven. Pre Seasoned Cast Iron Pot and Lid with Wire Bail for Camp CookingLodge 9 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven. Pre Seasoned Cast Iron Pot and Lid with...Pre-seasoned cast iron8.5 liters (8 to 10 servings);
22 pounds
Best Versatile OptionSee on Amazon

Find the Right Large Dutch Oven for You

Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Round Dutch Oven, 13.25 qt., Flame

Best Overall

Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Round Dutch Oven, 13.25 qt., Flame

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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.

Pros

  • Wide loop handles for safe and comfortable grip
  • Shock-resistant exterior prevents cracking and chipping
  • Smooth interior finish is stain-resistant and improves browning

Cons

  • Heavier than other large models
  • Very expensive
Staub Round Dutch Oven 9-quart Sapphire Blue

Best High-End Option

Staub Round Dutch Oven 9-quart Sapphire Blue

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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 décor.

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.

Pros

  • Can withstand extreme temperatures up to 900oF inside the oven
  • Compatible with all stovetops
  • Interior texture promotes browning

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Significantly heavy model
Aramco Alpine Aluminum Non-Stick, 18-Quart, Open Stock

Best Budget Option

Aramco Alpine Aluminum Non-Stick, 18-Quart, Open Stock

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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.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • See-through tempered glass lid
  • Nonstick cooking surface for easy food release and cleaning

Cons

  • Not compatible with induction tops
  • Might have some quality control issues
Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Cookware, Dutch Oven, 8 1/2-quart, Black

Best Hard-Anodized Aluminum

Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Cookware, Dutch Oven, 8 1/2-quart, Black

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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 décors. 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.

Pros

  • Stainless-steel handles stay cool on stovetops
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Extremely lightweight

Cons

  • Might be shallow for some types of cooking
  • Lacks heft for its size
Lodge L14DCO3 Deep Camp Dutch Oven, 10 Qt ,Black

Best for Camping

Lodge L14DCO3 Deep Camp Dutch Oven, 10 Qt ,Black

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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.

Pros

  • Heavy-gauge wire handle for hanging over campfires
  • Three sturdy legs
  • Versatile lid

Cons

  • Very heavy
  • Requires seasoning after each cleaning
Lodge L14DCO3 Deep Camp Dutch Oven, 10 Qt ,Black

Best for Camping

Lodge L14DCO3 Deep Camp Dutch Oven, 10 Qt ,Black

See on Amazon

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.

Pros

  • Highly polished exterior with attractive mat finished lines
  • Reasonably-priced pot
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Rough bottom can scratch glass-top stove
  • Might be too huge for the average household
Dutch Oven with Lid (16qt)

Best Lightweight Option

Dutch Oven with Lid (16qt)

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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.

Pros

  • Excellent build quality
  • Usable on all stovetops, including induction
  • Great choice for large poultry

Cons

  • Knob is oven-safe to 392oF only
  • Very heavy
Staub 12.75 Quart Oval Cocotte, Black Matte

Best Oval Shape

Staub 12.75 Quart Oval Cocotte, Black Matte

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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, sautéing, 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.

Pros

  • Incredibly tough and highly durable, will last for decades
  • Highly versatile for home and outdoor use
  • Wire bail handle for hanging over campfires

Cons

  • Requires seasoning after each hand-wash
  • Can scratch glass stovetops

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.

Material

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.

Weight

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.

Handles

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.

Lids

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.

Knobs

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.

Shape

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.

Stovetop

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 sautéing, 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.

Conclusion

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?).

About Colin Matthews

Cookwared Reviews is a website run by two roommates, Colin Matthews and Samantha Brooks. While we have tested many of the products hands-on, some of the reviews featured on our website are based on our online research, reading reviews from other customers, watching videos on youtube, and comparison specs from the manufacturers.

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