Not Martha

everything I know about Dutch ovens

The Kitchen has a nice little round up of Dutch ovens. They cover Staub, Lodge, Le Creuset and the new ones from Calphalon.

These are the basic things I’ve learned about Dutch ovens in the last year:

– They are excellent at going from high heat on the stove to a lower heat in the oven (browning meat for a stew). They are also great for making rice, soups, stews and roasts. They are very good for slow cooking as they retain and spread heat well. They are also useful (but not necessary for) making no-knead bread. I’m finding am more likely to make foods like the above because I have the right cookware to do it. I even get excited to use my pot.

– Enameled cast iron is preferable to regular cast iron for instances where you’ll be cooking tomatoes or other acidic foods which can react and discolor in regular cast iron. In my case the ability to make Bolognese sauce was important to me.

– If a pot says enameled cast iron but has a black interior the interior is a matte black enamel, Staub ovens have this interior. Initially I wondered if the interior of these pots were raw cast iron, and I’ve seen this question asked a few places. Some Dutch ovens, including Le Creuset and the Mario Batali ones, have a glossy offwhite enamel on the interior, which makes it easy to see when cleaning but can show stains (I say wear them with pride).

– Le Creuset ovens have a black phenolic knob which is only good up to about 400 degrees in the oven. You can cover the know with foil to protect it from higher heats, such as if you were making the no-knead bread, or replace it with a stainless steel specialty knob or just a stainless steel cabinet knob. Some people use a few washers with a bolt and a nut. The Lodge, Staub and Mario Batali pots have stainless steel knobs, while the Calphalon has a built in handle. The phenolic knob doesn’t get hot when you’re using the pot on the stove top, so you can remove the lid to stir without grabbing a pot holder. I’m not sure if the stainless steel knobs or integrated knobs get hot when using the lid on a stove top. Anyone? The handles on my Chefmate get hot when it’s on the stove top, so I suspect the metal knobs would as well.

– A pot doesn’t have to be cast iron to be a Dutch oven, the Cook’s Illustrated article lists an All-Clad Stainless 8 Quart Stockpot as one of their favorite Dutch ovens, and a Calphalon One Infused Anodized Dutch Oven among the recommendations. But the enameled cast iron Dutch ovens are so pretty, yes?

– Some dutch ovens, such as Staub, have drip points under the lids that work as a self basting point when you are making a roast. The Le Creuset lids are generally smooth but I’ve read about a few with a basting spike.

– I’ve also seen them called French ovens.

– Also see what’s the deal with Dutch Ovens? at Apartment Therapy, and Kitchen Toolbox, Part 1 at Chocolate and Zucchini.

I bought the Chefmate pot from Target earlier this year* and I love it. This is the pot that Cook’s Illustrated rated as good as a Le Creuset in a recent review of Dutch Ovens (February 2007) and, sadly, doesn’t appear to be available anymore*. It is styled like a Le Creuset with a phenolic knob and a cream colored interior. I have used it for curries, soups and slow cooked pasta sauces. It’s a 4 or 5 quart pot and it’s a great size for a two person household, but sometimes I do think a larger pot would be more versatile. A lot of my kitchen accessories are orange, so perhaps there will be a larger Flame colored Le Creuset pot in my future. After using the Chefmate pot I’m absolutely sold on how easy it is to cook in a Dutch oven and with enameled cast iron and think the price is worth it. We’re thinking about getting an enameled cast iron frying pan as our next cookware purchase.

There are a few Dutch ovens the article in The Kitchen doesn’t mention but I’ve seen around and would be interested in learning more about. One is the Mario Batali 6 quart pot which got high marks in the Cook’s Illustrated article rating Dutch ovens (February 2007). This pot is wide and shallow, has a cream enamel interior and a stainless steel knob on the lid, and comes in some nice colors. The Emile Henry Dutch ovens are cute and on the expensive side, but it’s a trustworthy name. I’m not sure what the interior surface is like, it has an integrated knob, but they say you can put this pot over a flame while empty without hurting it.

A pot I see around a lot in department stores is the Innova 5 quart which is at the less expensive end of the spectrum. It has an integrated knob, I think this one has a black matte interior surface, and some of the reviews at Amazon seem troubling. I’ve also seen the Rachael Ray covered casserole dish at Bed, Bath and Beyond. The round dish is 3 and 1/2 quarts (which seems too small to me) and the 5 quart dish is oval, I’m not sure what the interior surface is like, looks like a phenolic knob. Another name that I’ve come across is Chasseur Dutch ovens. They look like Le Creuset, seem to be less expensive, but other than that I know nothing about them.

A set of enameled cast iron that is brought up from time to time but I’ve never read about anybody actually owning is the Senior series from Ikea. They are a reddish orange exterior with a matte black interior, the lid has drip points underneath and an integrated knob. What kept me from buying one was the size, the round pot is only three quarts and with such a narrow bottom I thought browning meat for stews might be a bit of trouble. The larger pot, five quarts, is oval and I really wanted a round pot. Does anybody have the Ikea enameled cast iron cookware? Does it work well?

If you own any of the Dutch ovens mentioned about and either do or do not recommend them I’d love to hear about it. Is the drip basting spike on the inside of a lid worth seeking out?

update, March 26th: I thought they were gone for good, but on Sunday I spotted two enameled cast iron pots at my Target (Southcenter Mall, Seattle, for the locals). So, if you wanted one but couldn’t find one earlier there is still hope.

* It seems to go in and out of stock on the website, though it’s mostly been out of stock lately and I fear might be gone for good.

· comments [70] · 03-23-2007 · categories:food ·

70 responses so far ↓

  • 1 rebecca // Mar 23, 2007 at 9:45 am

    there was an article comparing dutch ovens in cook’s illustrated in the last few months. called Inexpensive Dutch Ovens—Updated it appeared in the January 2007 issue.

  • 2 Jean // Mar 23, 2007 at 9:49 am

    I just found this site a couple of days ago. What a great repository of information!

    I do own the Lodge enameled cast iron 7 quart dutch oven, and I adore it. I think I purchased it at Tru-Value Hardware, because they were having a big sale. I wish they had more in their line of cookware, I would probably buy one of each item. As it stands, I think they offer a 5 quart dutch oven and a 2 1/2 quart casserole, and that’s it.

    I use it on the stove, and in the oven. The handle is very unusual – it is a chrome stylized “L”, attached at the top and bottom of the letter to make a true handle and not a knob. When I cook on the stove, the handle does not get hot, which is nice.

    I use this stuff to clean the inside and get the stains off of the cream interior with no problem: http://www.barkeepersfriend.com/products.htm
    It works great on my stainless cookware as well. I find it at the local supermarket.

  • 3 kimbrr // Mar 23, 2007 at 10:01 am

    Thanks for all the information. I have been looking for a Dutch Oven for a while now. I hope to make a final decision in a few days.

    Your tips have been super-useful!

  • 4 Gael // Mar 23, 2007 at 10:12 am

    I’ve used my Le Creuset for the no-knead bread at 450 degrees time and time again, and the black knob never gave me any trouble. I was worried about it at first, but it’s held up just fine.

  • 5 Allisone // Mar 23, 2007 at 10:18 am

    As I love *all* things IKEA, I have the Senior Dutch Oven. I have really enjoyed using it – and I also enjoyed the price :)

  • 6 Aran // Mar 23, 2007 at 10:35 am

    I got the large Senior Dutch oven for my birthday and have been very happy with it. I have made two loaves of no-knead bread in it as well as a few casseroles and soups. Recently, I even tried making a pizza in it with promising results.

    This last year, IKEA Has been rolling out some really high quality cookware. A few weeks ago I noticed a VERY heavy stainless steel stock pot they were selling for about $80.

  • 7 Angela - in UK // Mar 23, 2007 at 11:22 am

    I have used 7 different pieces of Le Creusest since we got them as weddings presents in 1979. They are brilliant. If things burn/stick badly on the bottom, I leave them to soak overnight filled with hot water and 1 dishwasher tab. they are still like new. Slight burns/stains I use BarKeepers Friend or Astonish.

  • 8 jess a. // Mar 23, 2007 at 11:44 am

    I have a LeCreuset that I got at TJ Maxx, and it was a -fabulous- deal. So far, I’ve mostly used it for casseroles, but I’m looking to branch out here soon.

    My dutch oven has a knob that matches the enamel — I had assumed that it was also cast iron underneath, but maybe it’s not. Does anyone else know?

  • 9 Cyn // Mar 23, 2007 at 11:53 am

    As a follow up to Jean’s post, Barkeepers Friend is what most recommend for keeping All Clad pots clean and shiny and it works like a charm! I can’t get it here in Canada but stock up whenever I am in Washington state.

    I recently purchased the Ikea dutch oven for the no knead bread and it has performed like a star for that and for roasting chickens. At this point I notice no difference in performance between it and my beloved Le Creuset pot that my DH toasted a few years ago.
    Interestingly, just like the Target pot, it changes colour when it is very hot (deep dark red) and then returns to orangey red when it has cooled down.

  • 10 cybele // Mar 23, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    My husband bought the Mario Dutch oven (for himself for the Superbowl to make Posole).

    The lid had some inconsistencies and when we went to return it, found that all of the others in the store also had the little pock marks in them (I was afraid it would be an issue if you stuck it in the oven).

    Anyway, besides that, it’s worked really well for stews and chilis. We’re still going to take the old iron ones from my mother later this summer.

  • 11 natalie // Mar 23, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    Thank you so much for these results. We got the Le Creseut for our wedding and I was waiting to hear about the knob to try the no knead bread!

  • 12 Kathrine // Mar 23, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    I have the Staub and I swear by it. Better than any other, including Le Creuset. The drip spikes really do make a difference.

  • 13 Kathrine // Mar 23, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    I should also mention, the Staub cam be found for much cheaper if you look around on the internet. I actually bought a three piece set for $169.00 that included the 5 quart dutch oven, grill pan, and oval roasting dish.

  • 14 Mike // Mar 23, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    I’ve been looking at target for the chefmate pot but it hasn’t been there at all, so I finally bought the chefmate cast iron (not enameled cast iron) dutch oven this morning. It’s supposed to be pre-seasoned but I think I’m going to make sure it’s seasoned at least once before actually using it.

    I’m hoping that the plain cast iron will work ok with the no knead bread. I’ve been looking for some Le Creuset on ebay but haven’t found anything I like.

  • 15 Mike // Mar 23, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    Oh, the dutch oven I got is:
    http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/sr=1-17/qid=1174695625/ref=sr_1_17/601-7196477-2772963?ie=UTF8&asin=B000MMSR1U

    It seems to have the same handle as the other chefmate pot that’s out of stock so I’m going to have to swap it out for the bread

  • 16 Melissa // Mar 23, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    I recently purchased a 5 qt. Staub, and I lurve it! The handle gets hot, so I use a potholder. Our favorite thing so far is cooking a whole chicken in it. Best. Chicken. Ever!

    Apartment Therapy is having a braising contest this weekend.

  • 17 rose // Mar 23, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    About the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron pots, the Super Wal-Mart by my house got in a bunch of them several weeks ago.

    They come in two colors, blue and red. They also come in several sizes; 6 qt and 3 qt dutch ovens and a beautiful 3 qt casserole. I put two of the casserole pots, lol, and one each of the dutch ovens. Priced to sell too. The 3 qt dutch oven was $39.99 and the other two sizes were $49.99. Big bargin for such great pots. Even Cook’s Illustrated gave them high marks and I like them better than the Chefmate.

    Been using them every since and I LOVE them!! They cook so well and cleaning them has been very easy. A bit of a soak is warm soapy water and a sponge that has a plastic abrasive side and they’re beautiful and clean again.

    If you want to see what they look like, on the bottom of this page on the left hand side is the 6 qt dutch oven in blue.

    http://www.bbqguys.com/category_Porcelain-Coated-Cast-Iron_Cookware_path_7113-7079-8289.html

    This page here has the beautiful casserole and the 3 qt dutch oven;

    http://www.bbqguys.com/category_Enamel-Cast-Iron_Cookware_path_7113-10400-10389-7079-8289_start_12_pagesize_12_numresults_21.html

    They look a lot better in real life, and as you can see, the prices at Walmart are much lower.

  • 18 megan // Mar 23, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    Mike – the no knead bread should be just fine in the raw cast iron pot. I’m pretty sure it’s mainly acidic foods and not allowing it to rust that you have to worry about.

  • 19 Ansley // Mar 23, 2007 at 7:42 pm

    I have just noticed that Ross, Marshalls, and TJ Max carry Calphalon, Le Creuset, and Cuisinart cookware. I am liking the big discount!

  • 20 shawnee // Mar 24, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    i bought the Ikea 5Q Senior and it worked wonderfully for the no-knead bread. thanks for inspiring me to try it out!

  • 21 faith // Mar 24, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    I actually found the Target pot this weekend at a Super Target – couldn’t believe it. I had been holding out for a very large and expensive Staub the last couple years, doing all my braising/no-kneading in a great Calphalon pot.

    But ponying up to braising duties over at the Kitchen seemed to call for a proper enameled Dutch oven and so when I found it at Target couldn’t believe the luck. I made a pot roast tonight in it and it really is beautiful. Nice heat conduction, great weight.

  • 22 messy cook // Mar 24, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    I have both Le Creuset and Chasseur, and I think that Chasseur is definitely worth a look if they expand the range available in the US (google shows that 125west.com has a wider selection than amazon). Chasseur has been made in Donchery, France since 1924 and they have an extensive range in terms of items and colours; like Le Creuset it is double enameled, unlike the Le Creuset I’ve looked at recently it has concentric rings on the inside of the lid which seem to do a good job of keeping everything moist, the internal enamel also has a more white colour and I find it easier to remove marks from the Chasseur; the edges of the pots are also straighter. Chasseur doesn’t have the lifetime warranty, it has a 10 year warranty. In Australia, where is is possible to buy all their products, Chasseur is affordable, unlike Le Creuset – despite it being a basically identical product; I don’t think the warranty is worth and extra $100, especially for something as indestructible as a dutch over.

  • 23 Hayley // Mar 25, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    At the Prime Outlets in Marysville, WA there is a Le Creuset store–go buy something tiny and get on their mailing list. Then use the seasonal (sometimes up to 50% off) coupon they will send you in the mail to go buy a first or second rate Le Creuset for a good price. I got the round 4.5 flame colored one for a very good deal. Also, Wal Mart has tramontina enameled cast iron pots in green in some snohomish county locations. Careful with the edge of the rim on the Le Creusets though–mine chipped a bit when I accidentally put the lid down too hard. I should have just gone for the second rate one–with use, stuff like this will happen eventually. Thanks for your info!

  • 24 Nicole // Mar 26, 2007 at 5:26 am

    Next time you come home to Cleveland take a trip down to Amish country and check out Lehman’s hardware. I think they have everything Lodge makes. Very nice, high quality cookware at great prices.

  • 25 Miss Sassy // Mar 26, 2007 at 5:55 am

    I bought a used Le Creuset on eBay for $16.50. It works great. The only caveat is that there is some enamel worn off on the bottom of the pan (Le Creuset says this isn’t a problem). It creates a few dark spots on the bottom of the loaf. Still tastes great and I’m sold on the Le Creuset! Can’t wait to be able to buy a pretty one.

  • 26 nicole // Mar 26, 2007 at 6:10 am

    I was in target yesterday and they had the red chefmate pot still in stock. I purchased one a few weeks ago when I saw it but it was nice to see more in stock.

  • 27 Cara // Mar 26, 2007 at 7:39 am

    I have the smaller Ikea one as well and I really like it. It was as good an option as any since le creuset was so expensive, and I like the fact that it’s smaller. I was actually surprised by the quality, since ikea can be a bit of a crap shoot at times. Though someday I plan to splurge on a big one!

  • 28 Mariko // Mar 26, 2007 at 10:09 am

    Hey! I just bought the IKEA Dutch oven and made the no-knead bread in it! It worked just fine.

  • 29 Aran // Mar 26, 2007 at 10:35 am

    Le Creuset can definately show up at discount stores like TJ Maxx with a huge discount. My brother got a huge set for a wedding present, because his wife’s dad found a big set of the stuff at a big box store (I think Wal-Mart) in Mississippi where it was about 1/4 the price of what most of us city slickers have to pay.

  • 30 michelle // Mar 26, 2007 at 10:43 am

    I have the 5 qt Ikea Senior dutch oven. I really love it – used it only a handful of times, however. For pot roasts and chicken cacciatore. The only thing I don’t like is that it’s heavy (esp. when there’s food in it), but that’s not really negotiable. For the price, it can’t be beat. I’m not sure how the handle is attached, as it is enameled. It’s not coming off as far as I can tell.

  • 31 Austin // Mar 26, 2007 at 10:54 am

    I was recently at the Target in Tukwila (near Seattle, for those of you not in the area) and saw the Chefmate in stock, so I don’t think they’ve given up on it yet.
    Its a wonderful pot, in fact its the only one we’ve got. Its incredibly durable and stands up to being in the same drawer with our cast-iron pans.

  • 32 ann // Mar 26, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    I have two of the Emile Henry burgundian clay dutch ovens that I love, love, LOVE! The first thing you should know about them is that they are, in fact, made of clay, and are, therefore, breakable if you drop them.
    Other than that, I think they are AMAZING. They feature drop points like Staub, can go from freezer to stove top to oven to tabletop in one go, they retain heat like a sonofagun and once they’re seasoned (by boiling a little milk in them) they’re virtually non-stick and a breeze to clean up.
    They’re AMAZING for making bittman’s no-knead bread, and lovely for making sauces, roasts and braises.

    I love my Emile :-)

  • 33 Lys // Mar 26, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    I have to say I adore LC and have a few of their pieces in my kitchen. They are the ones i go to time and time again for effortless cooking, fabulous presentation and clean-up is a breeze. However – it can turn into an addiction when one lives near a Le Creuset outlet or sees something in Tuesday Morning, TJ Maxx or Marshalls… then one’s wallet will cry out in pain from overusage.

  • 34 Sara // Mar 26, 2007 at 7:21 pm

    And I do have to say that my go-to dutch oven is unenameled (is that a word) cast iron, by Lodge of course, and I don’t have problems cooking acidic foods in it as long as I don’t leave the food in the pot for very long after it’s done. I have made a spectacular Bolognese with no aftertaste…

  • 35 Leah // Mar 26, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    Hi Megan, we emailed a while ago when you first posted the no-knead bread. I have yet to make the bread, but I did save all my Christmas money and plunked it down on a Mario Batali pot. I went to Sur la Table and asked them a bunch of questions – my original idea was to save my Christmas $$ and ask everyone for $ for my birthday to put toward a le Crueset. The knowledgable folks at Sur la Table actually said that the Batali stuff was just as good for any use they could dream up and a heck of a deal. They also said that the braising spikes make a big difference.
    Anyway, I LOVE my Batali pot and drag it out for everything. I sear pork chops, then put the lid on and throw them in the oven…I roast potatoes…I brown chicken and make a reduction sauce..and i love how easily the enamel cleans up.

    I do have a gas stove, though. I have to say if I still had an electric stove, I wouldn’t love the cast iron so much. Also, i used to have a ceramic cooktop and i would’ve worried about using such a heavy pot there.

    My other workhorse is a Lodge 13″ skillet. I’m saving my $ to hit the Marysville outlet and try and score a Le Crueset skillet sometime later.

    Since coming over to gas and to cast iron, I hardly ever use my beloved Belgique (can’t spell) cookware anymore.

    Thanks for the great resource.

  • 36 Thane // Mar 26, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    I have been cooking with enameled and non enameled cast iron for years and have never heard or experienced the regular cast iron being effected by cooking acidic food in it. In fact, I make a point of cooking tomato sauce in my regular cast iron and have never noticed any problems. Has anyone experienced problems with cooking acidic foods in regular cast iron?

  • 37 Reine de Saba // Mar 27, 2007 at 5:37 am

    jess a. – re. the pot you bought at TJ Maxx (recently?) – are you sure it’s Le Creuset? I found a lime green Chinese knockoff (“Well-Equipped Kitchen”) there for $40 (I think it’s 6 quarts, pretty big anyway) and the knob is the same as the rest of the lid. It is enameled in beige inside.

    However, I have a much older dutch oven that has not a knob but a little loop that you can fit a couple fingers under; it’s also enameled and part of the lid, and not hard resin.

  • 38 AZchef // Mar 27, 2007 at 7:41 am

    Regarding the Le Creuset knob – I have seen it stated several times now that the knob can’t handle temperatures over 400. This is incorrect. Le Creuset website clearly says, “Pans with metal or heat resistant plastic handles may be used in the oven. The maximum temperature that should be used is 450°F or 232°C.” We’ve used ours dozens of times with no problems. I’ve seen discussions on how to remove, replace, or cover it – none of which is necessary!

  • 39 Suzi // Mar 27, 2007 at 2:58 pm

    has anyone used the pot on a flat element/ceramic cook top?
    I love this article. I have always wondered if I would use a Dutch oven.

  • 40 nick s // Mar 27, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    I saw a lonely single Target pots in stock this weekend, so they definitely come and go. I was tempted to go with the Lodge enamelled model when I was up at one of their outlet stores, but saw that it was made in China, just like the Target ones. (I’ve got a made-in-Tennessee unenamelled Lodge Dutch oven, though.)

  • 41 miranda // Mar 31, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    It’s very possible that someone found a lone Le Creuset pot at TJ Maxx – they’re an offprice retailer & get in all kinds of things. Every one of my otherwise-$100-from-Williams-Sonoma Chantal kettles came from TJ Maxx or its sister store Marshalls… well, after we burnt the $100 one from Williams Sonoma. (It doesn’t matter that they have a nice whistle if you forget to put the cap over the spout. Ahem. Now we use electric kettles around here.)

    Anyway, what I’m actually commenting on is this, sort of neither here nor there: Cook’s Illustrated has their line of cookbooks, which is great, but ppl should know you can’t use their Cover & Bake book pretty much at all without a dutch oven. I mean, I suppose you could improvise solutions with other sorts of pans and casserole dishes, but they are so very attached to the dutch oven that all their recipes are written for it, & until recently they didn’t have an inexpensive one that they recommended (now, of course, they like the ChefMate one).

    This caveat goes double for food processors – a lot of recipes in their cookbooks are written with the assumption that you have one. There are workarounds, but… although I love their recipes, it’s kind of a pain in the ass.

    I only have a huge stockpot, and Cover & Bake has been useless to me, which makes me happy that I used the library’s copy. OTOH, Cover & Bake is a great recipe book for someone who does have a decent dutch oven that they can use for baked meals, as long as they also have a food processor.

  • 42 Monie // Apr 2, 2007 at 6:30 am

    I bought a Le Creuset enameled oval baking dish in the worst shade of chartruse green — $6 at a rummage sale (no lid). LOVE IT. It’s the ugliest thing in the world and that is half the fun. Le Creuset is guaranteed for 100 years, and my sister is not above buying ratty old ones at garage sales and shipping them back to Le Creuset to be replaced. The shipping is high (the things are so heavy), but it’s worth it.

  • 43 Online Kitchenware // Apr 7, 2007 at 9:38 am

    I think Staub cast iron round and oval cocottes are a good buy. They are enamelled on the inside and out.
    Highly durable and suitable on all heat sources.

    A few details on why i think Staub is a good buy for the kitchen.

    Staub cookware is made of from the best cast iron in the world. Naturally cast iron is heavy and there are many benefits to using enameled cast iron for your cooking needs.

    The interior black matt enamel is highly indestructible and provides better cooking results; over time your Staub pot will slowly season itself as oils used when cooking will penetrate the pores of the black matte enamel. The black matte enamel will also brown, braise and reduce better!

    Black matt enamel interior.

    Enamelled inside and out.

    Highly durable.

    Does not discolour or rust.

    Resistant to chipping.

    No seasoning required.

    Ready to use immediately.

    Can be used on all heat sources, including induction.

    Self-basting spikes underneath the lid to ensure continuous, natural basting.

    Solid brass and stainless steel knobs can withstand temperatures up to 600°.

    Dishwasher safe.

    Lifetime Limited Warranty.

  • 44 Kathleen // May 5, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    I have not yet purchased a Dutch oven for lack of funds. I have been scouring the internet, but there are two at my local Target.

    I have a plain cast iron wok. I use it for a lot of dishes made with the stove. I have made tomato dishes too many times to count. What I can say is that unless you do not wash your cast iron item that night that you cook, as long as it is not wet, the cast iron is fine. It is a different story if you leave water in it to soak off the tomato stuff.

    FWIW

    Kathleen

  • 45 Niki // Jun 30, 2007 at 7:57 am

    I just bought the red Chef Mate dutch oven at my local Target in Colorado Springs a few weeks ago. It was the last one there so I felt lucky to get it. I was there again yesterday and they now have more on the shelf so they are replenishing their stock which is good to see. I may go back and buy them all and give them as gifts. I am anxious to try this No Knead Bread soon. I do not remember seeing a warning about the knob though. Has anyone tried the knob on the Chef Mate at a high temperature? I have used this dutch oven twice and love the ease of clean up. And yes, I love it for the Bake and Cover cookbook from Cooks Illustrated that Miranda mentioned above! If anyone is looking for this red dutch oven and lives close to Colorado Springs, it looks like they keep them in stock here.

  • 46 megan // Jun 30, 2007 at 10:58 am

    Kathleen – The Chefmate pot from Target comes with a heat tolerance, I think it was 375, which is what the handle can take. You can easily remove the handle though, and replace it with a stainless steel handle or some hardware. Be careful, and good luck.

  • 47 Melissa // Aug 9, 2007 at 10:56 am

    I just tried finding the Chefmate pot at Target.com and could only find this:

    http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/ref=bxgy_cc_img_b_13032761/602-9513294-8934201?asin=B0000DJBL6

    I wonder if it’s the replacement?

  • 48 megan // Aug 9, 2007 at 11:14 am

    Melissa – I have been finding Chefmate pots in the kitchen aisle of Target, and according to a recent issue of Cook’s Illustrated Target will be keeping the pots in stock through 2007 because they became popular.

  • 49 clay // Sep 9, 2007 at 10:59 pm

    For those who care, the cast iron vessels at Ikea are made in France, which (in my opinion) is much better than buying Chinese-made products, particularly in light of the recent toy recalls for lead content; also, they are much cheaper than Le Creuset. I was quite disappointed that Lodge’s enamelware was made in China – anyone know of a US manufacturer?

  • 50 lew // Sep 12, 2007 at 10:25 am

    I just got the Chefmate one at Target in Downers Grove IL. There was one left in the clearance area in the cooking supplies.

    Can’t wait to try it out! I would have never heard of this version if I hadn’t googled across this site. Thanks!

  • 51 glenn // Feb 6, 2008 at 6:56 am

    Lodge non enamel cast iron ovens are made in the US…the enamel ware is unfortunately imported from China. If you really want a great dutch oven, search out a Griswold. They are no longer produced, but can be found on E-bay and such. By the way the “dimpling or ringed areas” on the inside of a dutch oven lid on a good Dutch Oven is very important. They catch the vapors that rise from the oven and drip them back into the food not down the side of the pot as a non dimpled lit would do.

  • 52 Michelle // Feb 20, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Finding this site was so helpful. Thanks a bunch. Now I am an informed shopper. I will look for rings in the lid and am thinking of either lodge or Chefmate. Will check out a Griswald too.

  • 53 Joyce // Apr 3, 2009 at 8:15 am

    Love a cookbook called ‘Glorious One Pot Meals’, however all recipes call for oven temps of 450. Found a pot bigger than the recipes call for at JCPenney – it was great, but the handled melted. I’m having a tough time finding a 2 qt. with a handle that will withstand the 450 temp. Thanks for all the good advice though – this site has been really helpful.

  • 54 TIM BELLOWS // Aug 27, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    HELP!

    doesn’t anyone make a 2 quart enameled ditch oven or simple enameled pot?
    3 quarts is huge – and heavy.

    Any advice/tips appreciated!!!

    With goodwill,
    TPB, MFA

  • 55 megan // Aug 27, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    Hello Tim, Le Creuset makes 2 quart pots, nice and small and round. I’ve also heard that people have had success using the removable ceramic insert from crock pots with the crock pot lid. You can sometimes find unused crock pots at resale shops, a nice inexpensive option.

  • 56 Rita in NJ // Sep 14, 2009 at 6:34 am

    Can anyone tell me about the Technique brand ceramic dutch ovens? I saw them at Home Goods and are failry inexpensive ($19.00) and very light compared to teh cast iron counterparts, but can you put them on a stove top as well as in the oven?

    Any advice would be welcome.

  • 57 serena // Jan 17, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    this post’s really useful thank you! I found a dutch oven at Ross for 40 bucks when originally it’s 150 (brand = chantal). it says it can handle up to 375 degrees, I am only using it to make simple soup and such, you think this is decent enough? or should I return it and get a Lodge from target?
    any suggestions is greatly appreciated!

  • 58 megan // Jan 17, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Serena – Use the one from Ross! My Target pot has stood up to everything so far, I think yours will serve you well.

  • 59 Alison // Jan 23, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    I came on here searching for info about Chantal dutch ovens. I received one as a gift from my mom two years ago, and have loved it. I have cared for it beautifully, and have been VERY careful with it….med to low heat, no soaking, no sharp utensils, no dishwasher, etc… While making pot roast this afternoon, the bottom chipped away. Anyone know why? I’m VERY upset.

  • 60 megan // Jan 24, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Alison – I’m afraid I don’t know anything about Chantal ovens. I encourage you to write to the manufacturer to see if they will replace it.

    Anybody have any experience with Chantal ovens chipping?

  • 61 EM // Feb 8, 2010 at 2:31 am

    Does anyone have any expirience with the Costco Kirkland 6qt Dutch Oven? Thanks!

  • 62 Rick // Apr 8, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    The Costco stores in northern California have a varying stock of enameled Dutch ovens. Most of the time they carry none, occasionally the Kirkland product will appear, occasionally even LC (in a bright lime green!!) has been offered.

    Sorry, no experience actually using them — by the time I get to the store they are invariably sold out.

    Today I bought a Martha Stewart round 7 qt. at Macy’s on sale for $69. But while shopping, I saw a gorgeous oval 6 qt. Staub. It was $199, but I am tempted to return Martha and splurge on the Staub.

  • 63 Jodi // Sep 6, 2010 at 11:00 am

    I just was gifted the 7 qt martha stewart dutch oven and have no idea what to cook in it!! Does anyone have any good recipes?? TY!

  • 64 Pamela // Mar 6, 2011 at 8:46 am

    I have been using the Senior brand oval dutch oven from Ikea for several years now and I love it. It’s my favorite piece of cookware and I use it all the time on the stove for soups and stews and in the oven for roasts, etc. It’s the discontinued green color which has been replaced now with blue here in Portland.

  • 65 Katie // Sep 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    It looks as if I am going to get a cuisenart 4 qt Dutch oven. It was part of a rebate offer. I am waiting for it now. You wouldnt happen to have some recipes to share for cooking in this Dutch oven would you? I have only used Cast Iron Dutch Ovens camping and am not sure if it works the same.

  • 66 Bill // Oct 6, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Just left Macy’s to return the recalled 5.5 qt Dutch Oven. I do not have or ever had a receipt as it was a gift given four years ago. Macy’s told me they would only refund the lowest price they ever sold for. Maybe my math is a little off, but (IF) all 930,000 items sold are returned and say half of them are returned minus the receipt and only receive the LOWEST price ever offered, Macys will come out smelling like a rose (Or a skunk) depending on your opinion. If even 20 percent of the items were returned and had paid full retail or just more than the (Lowest Price) that’s a nice profit margin for Macy’s. My son told us he paid cash and it was around $50.00 and I returned it for a whopping $19.00. To make matters worse, Macy’s will only give you a store gift card. Right at the moment, Macy’s is the last place I want to spend my dollar.
    So it puts a black eye on the Martha Stewart’s brand and Macy’s. Who can you trust?

  • 67 gina // Oct 22, 2011 at 6:12 am

    I have been in bed with a back ache for the last two days and shopping online for Staub and other prospects has become my obsession. I like to buy a series of items in all the same color. I like the uniform look. I am really drawn to the dark grays and black but there are several to choose from and I am worried they will be discontinued down the line. I am thinking maybe to get the traditional black for it is most likely to stay a consistent fixture to the Staub line. I am thinking to start with a big oval because I can put a longer roast or chicken in with a similar shape opposed to a round. I have a 8 quart LC in blue and really love cooking dilled blanquette de veal stew, soups, risotto, Bolognese … well everything in it. I only wish it was a different color it is discolored on the cream bottom and we use bar keepers friend to clean it but still discolored. That is okay… Looking forward I do like the idea of the Stuab black bottom. So plan is 8 + quart oval, then next a large round…. any suggestions? I don’t want small for me mini sizes don’t fit my style of cooking. What can I say I am Italian and even if I were cooking for 2 – a standard recipe is for 6-8. I make a little extra and freeze it or bring dinner to my neighbor. Share the love! lol! I wish I could find a sale, outlet or something to help me finalize this quest with a great deal!

  • 68 Jean // Jan 18, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Thanks for all the info! I’m ready to shop now and will come back and comment when I’m done.

  • 69 K.J. // Jan 4, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Recently Cooks Illustrated ranked the Tramontina dutch oven as a best buy, I received a 6 quart one recently and I love it. $40 at Sams. Very heavy, with an off white interior and metal knob on the lid. Best roast chicken ever!

  • 70 Pot Lover // Sep 4, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    My Lodge has really held up over the past few years. I make so many delicious meals in it. Really makes casseroles a breeze!

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