Best Dutch Oven For Bread of 2021 | America’s Test Kitchen

Every bread lover likes it when it’s hot, fluffy, and fresh. Without you being a professional baker, you can still enjoy freshly baked bread from your home’s comfort. A Dutch oven comes super handy for baking bread and other snacks.

A Dutch oven is similar to a conventional oven. You can enjoy freshly baked bread wherever you are because it is designed for both indoor and outdoor usage.

With the help of a Dutch oven, your bread stays moist and soft on the inside while crusty on the exterior.

A Dutch oven is a highly versatile pot for different cooking purposes, aside from baking bread. This cookware has multiple functions and usage.

There are tons of Dutch ovens on the market for different cooking purposes. Here is the review of our top 7 best Dutch ovens for baking bread that is budget-friendly.

Best Dutch Oven America’s Test Kitchen by Consumer Reports 2021

1. Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven With Stainless Steel Knob and Loop Handles, 6 Quart, Red

This 6-quart Dutch oven from the Lodge brand is one of the most versatile ovens that is budget-friendly with stainless steel knob and enamel handles. This model evenly distributes and retains heat when in use. The surface doesn’t react to food and is non-toxic. It is an excellent option for all kinds of stovetops, such as gas, induction, and electrical.

The surface is nonstick and curvy, which makes the removal of baked bread from this Dutch oven easy. It is utilized for other heavy-duty purposes such as marinating, broiling, serving, frying, simmering, and roasting. Features a lifetime warranty.

The handles provide a comfortable and secure hold. It produces consistent results on any heating source. Requires hand washing for longevity

This cookware can be utilized to store food in the refrigerator and also to serve meals on the table. It comes in different color options that fit any kitchen decor or countertops.

The internal enamel is resistant to chipping.

This product is ideal for a cooking temperature of up to 500 degrees. It is ready to use from the pack as it has been pre seasoned.

Pros

Affordable

Durable

Superior heat retention

Versatile

Easy to maintain

Cons

Easily flake when cleaned with a dishwasher

2. Lodge L8DD3 Double Dutch Oven

Lodge L8DD3 Double Dutch Oven and Casserole with Skillet Cover, 5-Quart Packuart, 2-

Are you looking for an inexpensive Dutch oven with dual usage made with cast iron?

This is the best on the market from Lodge with versatile functions. This conventional Dutch oven comes with two different sizes of pots.

The 1.5-inch top pot serves as both a lid and a skillet.

The skillet covers locks in the heat.moisture, and flavor. It is safe for cooking on all kinds of heat sources, both indoor and outdoor. This product is quite heavy as it weighs about 12.4 pounds. The sturdy handles offer a secure and firm hold when handling. It is rust-resistant and preseasoned for use.

The two side handles offer a secure grip even when the pot is hot. Hand washing is required for cleaning the Dutch oven. The interior provides your dough with enough space to double in size. This model offers an excellent baking performance and is highly resistant to chipping and scratching.

Constructed with cast iron, which is a solid and durable material that can be passed down to generations. It has excellent heat circulation and retention ability. Its 5-quart capacity and skillet lid allow you to use for other cooking purposes aside from baking.

Pros

Lifetime Warranty

Multifunctional

Sturdy handle

Offers firm grip

Suits any kitchen decor

Cons

Heavyweight

3. Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven with Handle Holders, 5 quart, Black/Red

Built with cast iron that has been seasoned right from the factory to prevent rust and aids the loaf’s release without sticking. The nonstick surface enhances with frequent usage. This Lodge cast iron Dutch oven does not chip off. It is constructed to circulate rapid and consistent heat, spreading from the base to the top. Preseason when it is still warm and kept in a cool, dry place after each use.

This 5-quart Dutch oven is large enough to bake any size of bread for a family of 4. Suitable for use on any heat source up to 500 degrees without ruining the oven. This model comes with a tight lid that seals in moisture and heat. It features detachable silicone handle holders that aids in lifting the pot to and fro the oven without fear of getting burnt for up to 450 degrees. The flat base comfortably settles on all heating sources.

The removable silicone handles are safe for dishwashers, and the pot requires washing with hand to extend the lifespan. This Dutch oven can last for years if properly cared for and maintained. This cookware is not only for baking artisan bread but for grilling, roasting, searing, sauteing, broiling, and simmering.

Pros

Multi-purpose

Silicone holders

Even heat circulation

Durable

Nonstick surface

Cons

Not dishwasher safe

4. Lodge Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven

Lodge Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven, 6-Quart

The makers have seasoned this 6-quart Dutch oven with natural oil before the sale. It features a lid with built-in feet that enable it to serve as a serving dish. The integral feet perfectly sit over hot coals for fast cooking. The cast iron material spreads heat evenly across the pot, and the coal adds its taste and flavor to the bread. This product is suited for cooking a wide range of foods.

This rust-resistant cookware has a ring handle and two other handles at the sides. The ring handle can be attached to a tripod or hangover campfire for food that requires slow cooking. The side handles allow you to easily transfer the pot from the heat source to your counter.

The cover holds up coals as you bake and also serve as a griddle for additional cooking options. This product includes a lifetime guarantee and a recipe booklet. Suited for outdoor cooking such as picnics and camping. This is a perfect option for baking a big loaf of bread and some biscuits for your family.

Pros

Ideal for both fast and slow cooking

Recipe book

Exceptional heat retention and distribution

Limited Lifetime Warranty

Large capacity

Cons

Requires extra maintenance

Heavyweight

5. Le Creuset LS2501-262 Signature Enameled Cast-Iron Round French (Dutch) Oven

Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Round Dutch Oven, 5.5 qt., Flame

Built with a combination of cast iron overlaid with enamel material. Cast iron allows for consistent heating, and the enamel provides for the free release of bread even without seasoning.

This product ensures excellent heat distribution. The lid is tightly fitted to the pot and secures all the hot air within it. The knobs on the lid and handles allow for easy maneuvering. It comes in different color options that can suit any kitchen countertop. This product is aesthetically designed and is ideal for serving meals. It is dishwasher safe and compatible with all heating sources, including a conventional oven with up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

The round shape gives your bread a definite form. The large handles prevent your hands from getting burnt and provide a secure grip. The polished sand-colored interior is resistant to wear, scratch, and chipping. The knob withstands heat less than 500 degrees. The lid offers a non slip fit.

The 5.2 capacity can serve 4 to 5 people. Avoid the use of harsh cleaning agents for durability. This made in France Dutch oven does not leak chemicals into food. It is a lightweight Nonstick, premium quality

Pros

Superior heat retention

Uniquely design

Dishwasher safe.

Rust resistant

Various color options

Cons

Pricier

6. Le Creuset Signature Enameled Round French, 7-1/ Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Round Dutch Oven, 7.25 qt., Oyster

Another signature Dutch oven from Le Creuset but bigger than the first. Le Creuset is renowned for its premium quality and elegant design. This product is made with cast iron and enamel. The interior is overlaid with enamel, and the exterior is designed with cast iron sand mold with enamel.

Even with oven mittens on, your hands can fit into the side handle for easy transport. It resists any form of chipping, stain, dulling, and cracking. Enameled cast iron delivers superior heat distribution and retention. It distributes heat within the pot evenly and retains the hot air even when it’s not on a heat source.

The Dutch oven needs to be placed atop the heat source properly to avoid overheating of the handles. Please avoid the use of harsh cleaning agents for cleaning, rather use mild soap.

This product is easy to maintain and clean. The handles and knob ergonomically design for easy handling. The size is capable of serving 7 people in a bake. Suitable for low heat and high temperature. Ideal for other cooking styles such as frying, searing, and roasting. It requires no seasoning before or after use.

Pros

Suited for all heating source

Chip resistant

Elegant design

Easy maintenance

Tightly fit lid

Cons

Expensive

7. Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron Round French (Dutch) Oven

Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Round Dutch Oven, 9 qt., White

This is the largest Dutch oven from Le Creuset on this list. The enamel coating is easy to clean by hand. It comes in a vast range of colors.

The interior is nonstick, which makes it ideal for most baking and cooking tasks. Works effectively with different heating sources and produces consistent results. The metal knob is safe for use in the oven. The large side handles offer a secure and easy hold when handling the pot.

The self-basting lid seals in steam and heat for the best dough rise. This product is perfect for different kinds of foods, but especially for baking a crispy brown loaf of bread. Features substantial handles for safe transport. This product gives your bread a well definite shape.

This 9-quart capacity can serve a large group of about nine people.

The enamel is non-reactive to the bread and ensures even baking and browning with exceptional heat circulation and retention. Constructed with premium quality enamel coated cast iron, the dough does not stick to the surface.

The securely fitted lid has a nonslip feel. It is ideal for temperature below 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

The knob is heat resistant. It features built-in cover stabilizers and heavy thick walls for consistent heating.

Pros

Offer an easy grip

Available in different colors

Superior heat distribution

Last longer

Suited for baking large loaves

Cons

Not dishwasher safe

Types Of Dutch Ovens

Dutch ovens can be classified based on their construction. They are made of either cast iron, enameled cast iron, stainless steel, or ceramic.

Cast Iron

Cast Iron retains heat for longer hours than other materials. It also emits nutrients into the bread in the form of iron. Cast Iron needs to be seasoned regularly and requires special maintenance for effective heating results. It lasts for generations and can be preheated before use.

Although cast iron is quality material, it is not safe for dishwashers and needs to be seasoned with oil before and after each use to prevent rusting. The seasoning also creates a nonstick surface and prevents the bread from sticking to the pot. This type of Dutch oven is durable and easy to use. It has an excellent heat conductor and is utilized in making tons of cookware apart from a Dutch oven.

Enameled cast iron

Enameled cast iron is constructed with both enamel and cast iron for maximum performance and durability. The core of this Dutch oven is covered with either ceramic or enamel, a superior heat conductor.

You don’t have to bother about seasoning this Dutch oven like a cast iron. It is expensive and heavyweight because of the dual materials. It often comes in a wide variety of colors to match any kitchen design and countertop. An Enamel Dutch oven is not intended to cook dry. It must be filled before placing it on a heat source.

Enamel cast iron requires low maintenance and is nonstick. It doesn’t leach any substance into your bread.

The enamel may start to chip if not handled properly. It is not ideal for preheating this Dutch oven when it’s dry.

Ceramic

Ceramic Dutch ovens are lightweight and do not retain heat for long. They are prone to cracking and stain if not handled properly. The ceramic is ideal for ovens and other cooking tips. Ceramic is ideal for a dishwasher, making it the best option for those who don’t like hand washing. The ceramic interior is easy to clean and maintain.

Stainless steel

This material is not suited for baking bread because of its uneven heat distribution retention. The cover of the stainless steel Dutch oven does not fit tightly. Although it is easy to maintain, it is lightweight and cannot retain heat properly.

Things To Consider Before Purchase a Dutch Oven

Before you buy a Dutch oven to suit your needs, there are some factors to consider. Let’s look at some of the factors to look out for.

Size and Shape

The question of how many people you want to bake for and the shape of your loaves must be answered. Some prefer an oval-shaped bread, and others love a round shaped loaf. The shape of your bread is dependent on the kind of Dutch oven you use. The depth should be able to give room for your dough to double in size.

The number of servings also matters to avoid baking multiple times. There are various sizes of Dutch ovens. The most popular sizes range from 4-quart to 8-quart, depending on your family size.

Ensure you get the size that is suitable for your family size. The capacity of the Dutch oven must be put into consideration.

Handle

Check the material utilized in constructing the handle. Don’t buy any handle made of plastic because they can easily melt and cause a kitchen hazard.

Ensure the handles are sturdy and secured enough for transferring the Dutch oven from the heat source to your countertop. The handle should be able to resist heat. The handles should be wide enough for easy lifting even with mittens.

Lid

You need an enclosed environment when baking so that the loaf can rise and double in size as it bakes. Before buying a Dutch oven, ensure the lid fits securely to enable the loaf to rise properly. The tight lid allows for even distribution of maximum heat.

Some of the lids are suitable for cooking other food and serve as a skillet. Others are used for serving a meal. The lid helps to seal in moisture and ensure the temperature within the pot is constant.

Temperature

The maximum temperature setting differs for a different brand, but a premium quality Dutch oven should be able to heat up to 500 degrees. Others below 500 degrees Fahrenheit still bake properly.

Design

The aesthetic design of your Dutch oven should suit your preferences and stand out on your kitchen top. The conventional design of most Dutch ovens has a flat bottom with inbuilt legs for convenience. The modern design often comes without inbuilt feet. It sits comfortably on any counter.

Conclusion

Freshly baked bread tastes better than a day old bread with addictive. You can turn your kitchen to a bakery with the right Dutch oven from our top 7 products. This will help you complete a wide range of kitchen tasks aside from baking bread. It is a workhorse in the kitchen.

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