Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Last updated: November 20, 2019
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We looked at the top Cookware: Hard Enamels and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Cookware: Hard Enamel you should buy.
The popular Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven offers convenience with its easy-to-clean properties, sturdy handles and heavy-duty lid. The large capacity is ideal for feeding a large group or making stocks and sauces. And, it is aesthetically beautiful for an easy transfer from oven to table.In our analysis of 86 expert reviews, the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven placed 1st when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
This 6-Quart enamel Dutch oven is great for cooking, marinating, refrigeration and freezing. The color porcelain enamel on cast iron can be used on gas, electric, ceramic and induction cooktops, as well as in the oven. Not recommended for use on outdoor grills or over open outdoor flames. Not for use in microwaves. Lodge Color Porcelain Enamel on Cast Iron cookware is cast from molten iron in individual sand molds. The porcelain surface eliminates the need to season cast iron. The cast iron vessel has superior heat distribution and retention, evenly heating bottom sidewalls and even the lid. Tightly fitting lid seals in moisture. The excellent heat retention reduces the amount of energy needed for cooking. Three layers of very hard, glossy porcelain enamel are chip resistant and easy to clean. Lid knob is oven safe to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The black rim on the pot is matte porcelain, not exposed cast iron. Hygienic porcelain enamel is non-reactive with food. Although dishwasher safe, hand washing with warm soapy water is recommended to preserve the cookware’s original appearance. 10 3/4″ diameter, 4 1/2″ deep. Caribbean Blue
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Our Expert Consultant
Julie Chernoff is a long-time member of Les Dames d’Escoffier (past president of the Chicago Chapter, and current co-chair of the LDEI Legacy Awards Committee), the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ) and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
Chernoff is the dining editor of Better, a lifestyle website and print magazine. Her journalism started in the test kitchens of Weight Watchers Magazine. She holds a BA in English from Yale University and is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy. She has spent the last few decades styling, photographing, teaching, developing recipes, editing, thinking and writing about food.
Cookware: Hard Enamel Rankings
Hard enamel cookware is one of the most popular choices among cooks right now. But deciding what cookware to purchase is a huge decision with countless factors to think about. Not only are cookware sets something you invest in for the long term, but they also reflect your personal cooking style. Your eating habits and the types of food you eat will greatly influence the type of cookware you need and want for the best results. Moreover, your cooking appliances will require specific cookware for their designs.
For starters, you will need to check the compatibility of the cookware with your cooking appliances. There is a variety of stoves and ovens that you might have in your kitchen. If you have a flat-top stove, you really need to purchase flat-bottomed cookware for the best distribution of heat. For induction stove tops, you must have cookware with magnetic characteristics. If you frequently use a Wok, a gas stove stop is best for equal heat distribution around the round bottom pans. You will need an adapter piece called a vented ring to accommodate a Wok on a flat-top stove. With all this in mind, you can determine what hard enamel cookware will work for you.
When you are shopping, it is important to keep in mind the difference between a coated set of cookware versus a cladded set. When you see that a set is hard-coat anodized, it just means that its aluminum material goes through a hardening process. Whereas a cladded set of cookware has a few layers of different metals that are fused together. Both are quite effective for excellent cooking.
Furthermore, you’ll find you have several options for cookware surfaces. This refers to the material used on the surface that your food will touch. There are options such as stainless steel, cast iron, nonstick and enameled. Most consumers enjoy the convenience of Teflon nonstick interior cookware such as the Paula Deen Signature Set. This set also features a porcelain exterior for stain resistance and durability. Depending on what you want to cook, each surface offers different results.
Our resident culinary expert Julie Chernoff, a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, as well as the past president and current co-chair of the Chicago Chapter of the Les Dames d’Escoffier Legacy Awards Committee, is a big fan of porcelain-enamel cookware.
“Porcelain-enamel cookware, also called hard-enamel cookware, is considered a ‘greener’ option than traditional Teflon-coated pans,” she says. “They are metal pans lines with a hard coating, and sometimes covering the outside as well, which opens up a whole world of color possibilities.”
Chernoff also points out that this cookware is easy to clean in hot soapy water, and that the surface is non-stick and scratch- and peel-resistant.
Since we know that different cookware sets are better for different foods and cooking techniques, you might be wondering what you would use the hard enamel cookware for in your kitchen. Really, the hard enamel cookware is great for most types of cooking.
As Chernoff shares, “I have a hard-enamel Dutch oven that’s awesome for braising and oven cooking, especially for stews like bouillabaisse, coq au vin and boeuf bourguignon.”
You will find the Lodge 6 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven to be a good option for this type of cooking. This Dutch Oven dish will not only be the perfect cooking tool but also shines as a serving dish. You can go from oven to table seamlessly with this pot.
One of the bigger concerns with cookware is that the aluminum content can often discolor sauces and may even change the taste of the food. Although most hard enamel cookware has some aluminum in it somewhere, you will want a set that does not discolor or distaste your food while it cooks. The Racheal Ray Cucina Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware Pots and Pans offers hard anodized aluminum that keeps your food tasting as it should with a coating over the aluminum. Rachel Ray also makes the Rachel Ray Cucina Nonstick Cookware Pots and Pans with a hard enamel porcelain on the exterior of the aluminum for a more durable and longer-lasting set.
With all these considerations, finding the best hard enamel cookware for you should be a breeze. These recommendations are tried and true favorites of chefs everywhere and will give you excellent results in your kitchen.
- When making an investment in cookware, it is important to always look for a warranty or satisfaction guarantee. You will feel more confident with a set that is good for life, but some only offer a year or two warranty which is still pretty good.
- Before buying a set online, be sure to visit a store and hold the cooking set in your hands. Cast iron is extremely heavy and if you aren’t comfortable handling it, you will want to stay away from it. The Rachel Ray sets mentioned have grips on their handles for cooking comfort, but they can’t transfer into an oven like the cast iron pots and pans. These are all reasons to consider checking them out in person first.
- If you already have a set of cookware you like, consider shopping just stock pieces for what you need. Stock pieces can come with or without lids so be sure to read the box contents carefully before making your purchases.
- Many brands have been making sets with clear, glass lids. This is a true advantage for cooking since you won’t have to lift lids to check on progress and lose moisture in your food.