Our Editors Love This Budget-Friendly Cast-Iron Dutch Oven—and It's 39% off on Amazon
Over the last year, when everyone I knew traded in dining at restaurants for posting glamorous photos of their home-cooked meals, I decided it was time for some kitchen upgrades—on a college student's budget. I bought a nicer coffee maker and decided to invest in an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven.
After consulting friends, family and lots of Facebook groups, I finally landed on the perfect Dutch oven for me. My Lodge 6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven (buy it: on sale for $70, was $119; Amazon) is basically my go-to sidekick in the kitchen. It's just as beautiful as some similar French-made cookware, so I can proudly display it on my stove. If you're the type to keep your cookware out of sight, have no fear—this Dutch oven comes with a set of rubber brackets to keep your pot and lid from knocking against each other while tucked away.
Buy it: on sale for $70, was $119; amazon.com
While the Dutch oven isn't dishwasher-safe, it cleans up super easily with a little soap and hot water. And it can take on anything from the simplest jobs, like evenly caramelizing a boatload of onions, to longer projects, like making slow-braised carnitas in the oven. I've kept my Dutch oven in heavy rotation for well over a year now, and it shows no signs of scratches or dings.
You don't have to take only my word for it—our Test Kitchen named the Lodge 6-Quart Cast-Iron Enameled Dutch Oven one of the very best when it comes to a budget-friendly option. "This affordable Dutch oven is great for cooking on any surface, from the oven to a gas range to an induction cooktop," Test Kitchen editors wrote. "In the oven, the Lodge can withstand temperatures up to 500°F, which is perfect for braising, baking, broiling and any other cooking a recipe calls for."
Plus, there are a whole slew of reviewers (by which I mean tens of thousands) who adore their Lodge Dutch oven, praising it for its long-lasting quality and ability to cook breads, soups and large cuts of meat evenly. "I was looking for a good Le Creuset alternative, and I'm very, very happy with this purchase," one reviewer writes. "With Le Creuset, sure, it's nice, but you're spending hundreds of dollars more for a brand…This Dutch oven does exactly the same thing. I've tried a bunch of different recipes in this pot and [they've] all come out perfectly.