A Lodge Dutch Oven is a blast from the past that will take your cooking to a whole new level. You can use a Dutch oven on the stovetop, in the oven, or even on an open fire. This old-fashioned cookware has a history that dates back hundreds of years and is still just as useful in the modern kitchens of today. Clearly, you need one of these nifty contraptions in your life.
What the Heck Is a Lodge Dutch Oven?
When the first Dutch ovens were created several centuries ago, they were designed for use on campfires. They had legs that were made to sit in a fire as well as concave lids that could hold hot coals. This allowed for food to be heated from both above and below. Dutch ovens were later used with woodburning and coal-burning stoves.
However, Dutch ovens are more than just a memory and are every bit as relevant as they were in the past. You can use these versatile devices to cook a wide variety of foods, including soups, breads, and casseroles. You can also use them for roasting and frying.
There are two types of dutch ovens that are readily available today: bare cast iron and enamel. Enameled Dutch ovens have a core of either metal or ceramic. However, not all brands are able to withstand high temperatures. Bare cast iron Dutch ovens, on the other hand, can handle very high temps and you can even use them on an open fire. Because of this, cast iron dutch ovens are particularly popular with campers.
Features of Lodge Dutch Ovens
Lodge Dutch Ovens come in both bare cast iron and enamel, so you are ready for whatever cooking adventure awaits you -- regardless of whether that adventure is in your own kitchen or deep in the woods.
Their cast iron Dutch ovens come in a variety of sizes, so you are guaranteed to find one that suits your needs. Available in two quarts, four quarts, five quarts, six quarts, eight quarts, and 10 quarts, there is a Lodge Dutch Oven that is the perfect size for you. These beauties feature legs to stand in the coals of a fire in addition to a handle for use with a tripod.
Lodge's enameled Dutch ovens are available in many different colors and have a cast iron core. Like their bare cast iron counterparts, they are available in several sizes. Whether you need the small one and a half-quart size for a side dish or the large seven and a half-quart size for a family casserole, there is a Lodge Dutch Oven that is sure to tickle your fancy. Heck, you might even decide that your kitchen needs more than one in different sizes.
How much does a Lodge Dutch Oven cost?
Naturally, the price of a Lodge Dutch Oven depends on what size and type of material you decide to go with. A small cast iron Lodge Dutch Oven will cost you around , whereas a large one will run you closer to . The smallest enamel Lodge Dutch Oven has a price of , with the largest also costing about .
Caring for Your Lodge Dutch Oven
Bare cast iron Lodge Dutch Ovens come pre-seasoned, which means you are ready to start cooking right away. However, you need to care for your cast iron cookware properly if you want it to last and perform as expected. Seasoning just means that oil had been baked into the cast iron. This is what gives cast iron its non-stick properties.
To clean your Lodge Dutch Oven, wash it by hand with a mild dish soap then dry immediately with a lint-free towel. After drying, apply a thin coat of cooking oil while your cast iron cookware is still warm. Store your Dutch oven in a dry place. If you notice splotches or rust, you may need to re-season your Dutch oven.
Dutch ovens from Lodge that are coated with enamel are only made for use on stovetops and ovens, up to 500 degrees. Enameled Lodge Dutch Ovens are dishwasher safe, but the manufacturer recommends hand washing to keep your cookware in tip-top shape for years to come. They also warn that you should never heat your Dutch oven when it is empty, add water or oil first and heat slowly.
How Other Dutch Ovens Stack Up
At this point, you are probably curious about how the Lodge Dutch oven stacks up against other brands. There are few real differences in dutch oven design. After all, it is possible the oldest style of cookware that is still in use today. As a result, dutch ovens have changed little over the years, especially those that are bare cast iron.
However, there are some differences between brands. The most notable difference is price, with some brands such as Le Creuset being significantly more expensive. But there are also variations between brands when it comes to the types of dutch ovens they manufacture, as well as the available size and color options.
- 45% larger handles that provide a sure grip, even with oven mitts
- The superior heat distribution and retention of le creuset enameled cast iron
- An advanced sand-colored interior enamel with even more resistance to wear
Dutch ovens from Le Creuset are top of the line cookware, but they also carry a hefty price tag. Unlike most dutch ovens, some Le Creuset dutch ovens even come in floral patterns. One even features a Mickey Mouse design. You can use bare cast iron versions in an open fire or on a grill.
- Types: bare cast iron and enamel
- Sizes: 1qt – 4 1/2qt
- Colors: black cast iron, red, designs
- Dishwasher safe: yes
Dutch ovens manufactured by Tramontina are comparable to Lodge dutch ovens in price. Because Tramontina only offers enamel dutch ovens, they cannot be used on an open flame like bare cast iron cookware can.
- Types: enamel and stainless steel
- Sizes: 3.5 Qt – 7 Qt
- Colors: black, blue, red, green, purple, silver
If you are only interested in bare cast iron dutch ovens that you can use on a campfire, Bayou Classic has you covered. In addition, this company has large dutch ovens that allow you to cook enough food to feed your whole crew.
- Types: bare cast iron
- Sizes: 2 Qt – 20 Qt
- Colors: black cast iron
- Cast iron covered dutch oven in red with side handles and fitted lid; oven safe to 400 degree Fahrenheit
- Cast iron for even heat distribution and retention; enamel doesn't have non-stick function; hand wash only
- Always use hot-pads, oven mitts, or potholders while moving or removing cast iron cookware on or from the stove or oven
Another choice brand for Dutch ovens is Amazon Basics. This cookware, which comes in cast iron and enamel versions, is an affordable option. However, Amazon Basics doesn't offer as many size options as their competitors.
- Types: bare cast iron and enamel
- Sizes: 5 Qt – 6 Qt
- Colors: black cast iron, red
Pros and Cons of the Lodge Dutch Oven
Lodge Dutch ovens are one of the most respected names in cast iron cookware. However, there are a few things you should try to remember when it comes to your Lodge Dutch Oven or any cast iron cookware for that matter.
Try Cooking With a Dutch Oven Today
If you have never tried cooking with a Dutch oven, you don't know what you are missing. Every kitchen should have at least one. Likewise, no camper's cooking set is complete without a cast-iron Dutch oven. Dutch ovens are a must-have whether you are preparing your meal in the oven, on the stovetop, or on a campfire. A Lodge Dutch oven is an even wiser purchase when you consider the fact that they are durable enough to pass down to future generations. A good Dutch oven will last a lifetime. So, what are you waiting for? Try cooking with a Dutch oven today!