Dutch Oven Comparison

Dutch Oven Comparison

We've Tested 12 Dutch Oven Brands:
Here's what we found

By Eric Steckling
Posted at 11:00 • 24 March

"I spent $1,642.12 on 12 Dutch Ovens to test and destroy so we can find out how they stack up against one another."

While cast iron cookware is all the rage, navigating the ever-growing universe of models and brands is downright enraging. Over the years, I have read a TON of reviews on cast iron Dutch ovens. I’m taking the time to make my own because they all suck.

Here’s why.

Most reviews focus on imperceptible differences in cooking tests but fail to test the variables that set this Dutch oven apart from that other Dutch oven. This is generally because the individuals testing them are chefs and have little, if any, knowledge of the manufacturing processes involved. The other reason? Only a handful of Dutch oven reviewers buy and test the products. Most just read about the products on the internet, which makes for unoriginal opinions. Not to mention the slight possibility that their reviews might be skewed toward one goal: earn affiliate dollars.

In this article, what you'll find is the definitive 2022 cheat-sheet, comparison chart and basically everything you need to know to make an informed decision.
Which you should want to, given that the thing will likely outlive you.

Cast iron for generations to come

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Why Enameled Cast Iron?

Let me preface this with a reminder: nothing performs like enameled cast iron. It is heavy and slow to heat, which means it is great at retaining heat and not scorching food. It is this specific quality that allows cast iron to excel at recipes that require long simmer times or extremely high heat. Cast iron pots spread heat more evenly (read: up the walls of the cookware) than other cookware materials, which are prone to hot spots on the bottom. Enamel is also a ridiculously durable and functional coating. It is basically melted on glass and can only be applied to substrates (like iron) that have a very high melting temperature. Enamel has an extremely long life and is very easy to clean and maintain, making it the perfect coating for iron cookware. Lastly, it comes in endless colors and textures.

My favorite comfort food would have been braised beef. You know, beef, slow-cooked in a Dutch oven or in a slow cooker until it falls apart with simple mushrooms, some onions and lots of fresh thyme and garlic.

Tyler Florence

Models We Tested

For this review, we chose Dutch Ovens between 5.5 and 6 ¾ quarts in round models, as these are the most popular size and shape. (To note: our findings do apply to the other sizes in these manufacturers' lines.)

Le Creuset Signature Round Dutch Oven (5.5 Qt.)
Misen Dutch Oven (7 Qt.)
Staub Cast Iron Round Cocotte (5.5 Qt.)
Lodge Enameled Cast Iron (6 Qt.)
Amazon Basics (6 Qt.)
Crock-Pot Artisan Cast Iron Dutch Oven (5 Qt.)
Cuisinart Chef's Classic Enameled Cast Iron (5 Qt.)
Martha Stewart Enameled Cast Iron (6 Qt.)
Great Jones The Dutchess Oval Dutch Oven (6 ¾ Qt.)
MC’s Dutch Oven (6 Qt.)
Tramontina Dutch Oven Cast Iron (5.5 Qt.)
Milo Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven (5.5 Qt.)

What We Tested

Casting Quality (thickness, finish)
Design Considerations (volume, depth, handles, lids, colors, etc.)
Enamel Quality (finish, durability, scratch resistance, etc.)
Support / Service / Company (warranty, delivery time, responsiveness, etc.)

How We Tested

I have been designing and manufacturing various types of cast iron cookware for nearly a decade. In working with chefs, industrial designers, foundries and enameling companies, I have learned everything there is to learn about what makes pieces of cookware different.

I have decided NOT to include any actual cooking tests in this review because none of the results are quantifiable. As a consumer, you should know there is NO functional difference between the generic $50 Dutch oven and the French made $350 Dutch oven. To put it another way, none of these options will actually make food better than another. While there are many other differences, the results of the food you cook is not one of them. I know this from heating empty pots and examining them with a thermal camera. [insert thermal image] All the pots we tested had the same heat distribution profile. More on this.

What I’m digging into here is: what are the real, quantifiable differences between some of the most popular options for Dutch ovens available? There are a few points of differentiation between the Dutch ovens tested that I thought important to focus on, such as weight and thickness, enamel durability, design and shape considerations, price, customer service and support.


Materials and methods have real consequences on the resulting product"

  • Casting Thickness – Despite what some manufacturers suggest, there is no functional difference in iron formulations between any piece of cast iron cookware. The differences in heating and cooking between cast iron pieces come from the differences in thickness in the walls and bottom.

Thicker profiles will heat slower but retain heat longer, while thinner castings may heat up faster but not have the capacity to retain as much heat. The practical answer here is that nearly all Dutch ovens tested here have wall thickness that are similar enough that there would not be perceivable differences in cooking. I also heated the pots while they were empty over a high burner and tested the heat disbursement at 1 minute and 5 minutes and found very little difference using thermal imaging between the thicker castings and the thinner ones. The thinner castings are slightly lighter, which I think is more beneficial than the slightly improved heat retention of the thicker castings. The pots did vary in weight, but I found this mostly from design differences in the handles, rim and lid. My preference here would be towards thinner castings.

  • Heating considerations – Heavier pots will take longer to heat, there’s no way around this. The more mass of iron the longer it will take to heat up and cook. We recommend sizing the pot correctly with the recipe: Don’t use that 8 qt beast for everything you do. That would be like driving a semi-truck to pick up your kids at school. Bigger is rarely better unless the recipe calls for that size.
  • Casting quality – When it comes to casting quality, it should be noted that all Dutch ovens in this test are cast in the same way, using an automated casting line like this DISA system.

What this means is that the entire process is automated, and the parts (pots) have to be produced within the limitations of this casting process.

After casting, all parts need to go through some level of hand finishing before they are ready for enamel. This is where you will see the differences between factories. {find pics of finishing errors} Some are better at this than others. A serious flaw in the casting that should have been corrected at the factory is rare – although it does happen from time to time. With ANY manufacturer. Be sure to understand the company’s warranty and replacement policy before ordering.

  • Enamel – As I was unboxing Dutch ovens in our test, I did notice some differences in how the exterior enamel looked. [click here for unboxing videos] Some colors were solid and flat, others had fade and depth. Different enamel colors can have very different finishes. Most manufactures make a range from solid matte colors to glossy fades. Make sure you can find some close-up pictures or see it in person before you buy. Check out our article with links to close up videos of the enamel finishes of all the Dutch ovens we reviewed so you can get a closer look.

The MOST COMMON PROBLEM with enameled cast iron cookware is...

The properties of the enamel are one of the most important differentiating factors when choosing a Dutch oven. Enamel quality determines how the piece looks and preforms, and even how long its lifespan may be. Chipping has to be the MOST COMMON PROBLEM with enameled cast iron cookware. During normal use, it is pretty easy to bump a cast iron pot in a way that will cause a chip. Not all enamel is the same! We tested the durability of the enamel in several different ways and found some fairly significant differences in enamel durability between the brands.

We applied impact tests to both the outside and inside of the pots, tested hardness and tested the enamel’s ability to withstand thermal shocks. All real and practical tests that mimic the experience your Dutch oven will have after years in the kitchen.

In order to consistently apply the same amount of force to the outside of the pots, I made this enamel whacking device where the hammer can be stopped at a consistent point – so we can smash each pot with the same force.

  • Enamel Thickness – We also measured the thickness of the enamel coatings and found a fair bit of variation between the brands. These results didn’t seem to have direct correlation with durability, with some of the thinner enamel preforming very well in testing.
  • Design Considerations – Many of the design considerations are up to user preference, but after getting feedback from a number of chefs, there were some themes that came out with design. Here’s some design considerations that most chefs noted as important:
    • Flat cooking area – having larger flat area on the bottom of the pot, makes it easier to brown meat and evenly sear ingredients. Sloping bowl shaped pots weren’t quite as good at this task
    • Light colored interior – most chefs preferred a lighter colored interior to help monitor the food cooking inside. Matte enamel generally won’t be as easy to clean as a glossy enamel.
    • Large loop handles – larger handles are easier to grip – especially with oven mitts.
    • Low walls – lower walls and larger diameters work better for most recipes. We found that Dutch oven’s in our tests have VERY similar wall heights.
    • Lid Pulls – lid pulls should be solid metal. Plastic lid pulls may not be able to withstand extreme temps and may age quicker.
    • Lid Fit – evaporation test – some lids fit tighter than other. Tight fitting lids can be good for making bread, but struggle to evaporate enough liquid when making soups or stew. Dishes with long simmer times generally need and benefit from some level of evaporation.
    • Packaged for gifting – everything we tested we ordered online. Not all arrived in a package worthy of gifting.
    • Colors available – color will totally change the way these pieces come across. Some brands have many more choices than others.
  • Evenness of heating/scorching etc. - Other reviews have suggested differences in Dutch ovens based on how they have seared food. I can tell you from experience from examining the thicknesses of major Dutch ovens as well as heating empty pots and using a thermal imaging camera to analyze heat distribution that there are NO significant differences on how one will perform over the other as it pertains to “evenness”, “searing ability” or scorching food” because of two basic facts. 1) All cast iron Dutch ovens have very similar bottom thicknesses. 2) Cast iron Dutch ovens are made of the same material (gray cast iron) and therefore have the same thermal properties.
  • The details - In our tests there was a variation of about 2 mm between the thinnest (quickest heating) and the thickest (slowest heating) Dutch ovens. We also found that larger Dutch ovens heated slower, even if they had thinner bottom profiles, due to their overall mass. So if one Dutch oven “scorches” food while another doesn’t its because either the heat settings were different, not closely monitored or simply not correct for the cookware that was being tested. It is possible to burn food in any cookware, if improper heat was applied to the cookware, the cookware itself cannot be blamed for the poor results.
  • Real considerations with heat - Comparing different types of cookware and different materials with real-life cooking scenarios can be useful. For example, cast iron’s ability to retain heat and heat slowly makes it perfect for long stove top simmering where other materials would apply too much heat to the bottom and not enough to the sides. Thicker cast iron does have the ability to hold more heat and provide more “searing power” than thinner iron, but the practical application of this is that even the thinnest cast iron will sear very similarly to the thickest and both will outperform any aluminum pan.

The RIGHT amount of evaporation...? No such thing.

  • The Lid Fit Issue – When it comes to the lid fit, all Dutch ovens will allow different amounts of moisture to escape. There is no one RIGHT amount of evaporation. Given the versatility of the Dutch oven, for some use cases a very loose-fitting lid is ideal for high evaporation and condensing flavors. In other situations, a tight-fitting lid works best when you want very little moisture to escape (baking bread for example). Lid fit can be adjusted for the situation with the creative use of tinfoil. Either make bumps around the edge of the pot to lift the lid off a bit more, or run a band all the way around to make a tight seal. Nearly all Dutch ovens are designed to allow some evaporation. You can notice usually 3 very small bumps cast into the underside of the lid. This holds the lid off the rim of the pot just enough to help steam escape. So, next time you read a review noting that a pot left a recipe “too watery”, you can blame the chef for not using the cookware properly.

Other Considerations

  • Warranty/Support - One thing we found contacting the brands was that a not all “lifetime Warranties” are created equal! With some brands, you will need a defense attorney to prove to the company that the damage was not your fault (jk)! Most brands that sell on Amazon, rely on Amazon for customer support and warranty claims. The chart below outlines some basic warranty questions and how each company responded. At Marquette Castings, we decided that we didn’t want customers to have to prove the damage wasn’t their fault, so we adopted an extremely lenient warranty policy.
  • Price - Here’s what the price breakdown looked like for the Dutch Ovens we tested – we can group these in 4 categories. Starting on the low end, we looked for the cheapest enameled cast iron Dutch oven that we could find in the 6 qt range. We found many on Amazon that were in the $45-$55 range and picked one from a brand called “Ober” which was also the same price as the Amazon Basics. Most of the Dutch ovens in our test fall in the second category with price points between $79-$99 for a 6 qt size. There were 3 outliers that were made in China and a bit more expensive between $135-$165. And the 2 French Dutch ovens were far and away the most expensive at $285 and $355. I think there are good options for people at all price points EXCEPT that third tier where the 2 most expensive Chinese made pots didn’t outperform their less expensive counterparts on any metrics.

After all of our testing, we came up with a few different conclusions. There wasn’t one Dutch oven that outperformed any others in a way that could be described as being “Best”. But we do have top picks. And we broke our findings into a few different categories.

  • Budget-Friendly – Buy the Amazon Basics instead of the Lodge. If you are on a tight budget, it makes sense to stick with the Amazon basics over the Lodge. Because it's about half the price. Amazon did a phenomenal job copying the design of the Lodge Dutch oven and even making slight improvements on the lid pull. If you are buying Lodge, you are likely buying it from Amazon anyway, so you are stuck with the same warranty situation. Our tests show the exterior enamel on the Lodge may be a bit more durable, but that point alone likely isn’t worth twice the price, given that every other element on the 2 pots is the same.
  • Best Overall - For the best pick overall, I would recommend the Tramontina or the Marquette Castings. Tramontina offers a good array of colors, favorable design and good shape characteristics at a very reasonable price point. Buying from their website is the same price as Amazon and will get you better customer service and warranty support. The Marquette Castings is slightly more expensive but tested much better in terms of enamel durability. The Marquette castings pot had similar design characteristics but was slightly larger at 6.1 qts. vs Tramontina’s 5.3 qts. Marquette Castings also has by far the most lenient warranty policy, replacing cookware even if the damage is the fault of the consumer.
  • Retail Picks – If you want to buy the Staub or Le Creuset and don’t mind paying for it, I would not steer you away from these options. They are great Dutch Ovens and tested above average when it comes to durability and the appearance of the enamel finishes. Between the two, pick the design that you like better. The LC is a fair bit more so that is something to consider. Don’t expect them to make you an expert chef. Our tests show that none of these products will make better food than another. I would not recommend buying either of these online. The LC took forever to ship (even thought I bought it from amazon), and there is always a chance of getting a counterfeit, Plus both LC and Staub have less then stellar customer service and warranty policies, so I would highly recommend buying from a local authorized distributer if you are choosing one of these products. They can offer recommendations AND support that you won’t find from the brands.

Final Thoughts

  • Le Creuset - $354 - Without a doubt a great Dutch oven. Durability is above average, its lighter weight and the range of colors this comes in is fantastic. It is however considerably more expensive than any other product we tested. Get the LC if your bank account can handle it and you love cooking. Would highly recommend buying from a local retailer rather than rely on LC or Amazon for customer service. Feel free to be skeptical of anyone who tries to tell you that the LC is WAY better than other options. It's not. Sure, I like that the casting is light, but there really isn’t that many more actual differences in the product. Its also worth mentioning that this product won’t be any better at actually cooking food.
  • Staub - $284 - A great alternative to LC if you really want French-made cast iron. Fantastic durability, good color selections but still really pricy. The interior enamel is darker and has less sheen than almost all other Dutch ovens tested. This may make it harder to monitor food and clean. Its enamel was thinner than others but very resistant to chipping.
  • Lodge - $79 - Once an inexpensive option, it no longer is. Lodge’s quality isn’t any better than the much lower cost, no-name brands available on Amazon. Lodge’s enameled line isn’t made in America and doesn’t benefit from any of the experience or expertise of their American casting operations. The design is stuck in the 80’s and, in my opinion, really doesn’t look good. The shape of the pot is one of the most pronounced bowl shapes we tested and really limits the cooking surface on the bottom. They DO have lots of color options, but many are not always available. If you buy one, it may be made in either Vietnam or China – If they continue to manufacture in Vietnam, it is possible that they won’t have the durability that people have come to expect from the Chinese enamel.

That's what you get when you put zero effort into design...

  • Amazon Basics Enameled Cast iron Dutch oven - $46 - Although the Amazon basics didn’t fare well in the durability testing, it did no worse than the Lodge – in fact, their design and shape are nearly identical (Amazon did a great job copying that one...) I’m sure that makes Lodge feel great about selling on Amazon – knowing that they completely copied one of their best-selling products. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Amazon basics is made in the same factory as the Lodge. They even finished it with this very nice machined stainless lid pull, which was one of the nicest lid pulls in our tests – including the expensive brands. Buy the Amazon basics if you attach no emotion to cookware and are just looking for a functional and inexpensive piece. I wish they didn’t copy the Lodge exactly and made the shape with steeper walls and more cooking area – but that’s what you get when you put zero effort into design.
  • Cuisinart Chef's Classic Enameled - $99 - At the time of writing this Dutch oven only comes in one color with the blue version costing $50 more. The exterior enamel proved durable while the interior enamel failed a bit earlier than others in our test. It was also the smallest actual capacity in our test at 4.86 Quarts. With no colors to choose from, unclear warranty its hard to recommend this product as it doesn’t stand out in any category. At this price point it can’t compete with the Marquette Castings Dutch oven given that its bigger, available in more colors and carries a better warranty.
  • Great Jones The Duchess Oval - $160 - The Great Jones was the largest Dutch oven in our test – the only oval shape (although they recently released a round 3.5qt that was too small for our test.) Given the price and characteristics, it is really easy to recommend you avoid this option. The exterior enamel on all color options is a matte finish and was proven to be very durable. Given this sheen it definitely lacked the beauty found in glossier finishes. The interior enamel however, was far less durable than others in the test, failing at the first impact level. At $160 I can’t find any reason to recommend this option to anyone. With the company being on uncertain footing, Whether Great Jones will be around to actually support the lifetime warranty is anyone's guess. {Don’t Buy Graphic}
  • Amazon "Generic" "Ober -$45 - I purchased this for $46. At the time of writing, the price went up to $55. I believe this is the same piece as the “Best Choice” Dutch oven which is selling for $60. Unsurprisingly, one of the lowest priced enameled cast iron Dutch ovens available is of very generic design (looks just like Lodge), in few color options (1). ...Not bad for a brand that sells treadmills. Prices on Amazon fluctuate a bit but this is basically the least amount you can spend to get into this product category. All corners are cut from finish to packaging to customer service to be able to get this to your door for $46. When it comes to durability, the “Ober” generic option was one of the first to fail the exterior enamel durability, but it fared well in the interior enamel durability, matching the resistance of the top performers. Here’s what you get - a fully functional Dutch oven with all the legendary properties of cast iron and enamel for a fraction of the price of the fancy brands. Here’s what you don’t get: any support or warranty.
  • Marquette Castings - $99 - The enamel on the 6qt differs quite a bit between the color range with the Red and Gray having the most depth and the matte finishes in the white and black. The 6qt is priced at $99 which was just a bit more than the least expensive options but well below pots on the higher end of the price list. The interior enamel is bright white which you will either love or hate, love because it’s a lot easier to monitor the food or hate if you obsess over every discoloration that will naturally come with time. The larger than normal lid pull has the added benefit of being able to hold the lid upside down on your countertop if you don’t want a drippy lid making a mess. Enamel durability held up with the most durable pots we tested. Other metrics like wall thickness, weight and capacity were right on par with others in the test. I think what sets Marquette Castings apart here is the extremely lenient lifetime warranty they offer – including replacements if the damage is the customer’s fault. {Buy Graphic}
  • Tramontina Enameled Dutch Oven - $79 - Rated as one of our top picks, the Tramontina is mid-range in terms of price, has favorable shape characteristics and performed well in durability tests. The enamel had a deep rich color and it is available in a good array of colors. The company is the 2nd oldest among our test brands and will likely be around to live up to that lifetime warranty. The shape of the pot had favorable design characteristics with steep walls and decent cooking area even thought the pot was a bit smaller than most others in our test at 5.3 quarts.
  • Milo Enameled Dutch Oven - $135 - I wanted to love the Milo Dutch oven. The depth of the color on the enamel was fantastic, it has a great shape and a very good lid pull. From a “Looks” perspective the Milo is a winner. The interior enamel on the Milo is dark, which is less than ideal for monitoring food and it also has more of a matte finish on the inside which could make cleaning more difficult. Where it starts to go wrong is the durability of the exterior enamel. It failed on our first test. Just like the most inexpensive options, yet the Milo was one of the pricier options on the list. The lid pull has a funny silicone ring under it which made it come loose – not sure why they put it there. On top of that their warranty was less than Steller. Their customer service team basically said screw off if it wasn’t damaged in shipping.
  • Misen - $165 - Big, heavy, expensive. The Misen undershot their 7qt claimed capacity by more than a half quart yet was still the heaviest Dutch oven we tested, at 15.6 lbs (with the traditional lid). Using their offered “Grill pan lid” option would make the weight unbearable in comparison to the others we tested. I was excited to test out the enamel since Misen has made some claims about their enamel durability. Their enamel thickness and durability was in line with other brands tested. Not superior as claimed – failing the interior ball drop test at the same point as the other most durable brands. At $165 Misen sells the most expensive Chinese made Dutch oven we tested. This is especially surprising given the brand’s previous commitment to “incredible kitchen tools at honest prices”. I didn’t find a use for the included silicone lid, as opposed to using the cast iron lid it came with.

Here's the unformatted data table for all the Dutch ovens in the test

March 25, 2022 — Michel Sitruk
Stay Cool

Stay Cool

It took some effort, but we designed a handle that will stay cool for loner.


With the help of our industrial designer Boris Crowther we created the most comfortable and functional handle ever cast onto a piece of cookware. 

The 10.5” is our second-generation design and came after several experiments with handle design. The top priority was how it fit and how it felt in the hand. We noted that many types of cookware change the handle size throughout the range of sizes – this seemed odd since the size and shape of your hand does not change. You will find the same handle design on all our cookware no matter what the size of the cookware is.

Through practice we learned that by having a mass of iron at the end of the handle was the best way to keep it from getting hot on the stove top. Heat is not able to transfer through the thin section of iron at the forked connection to heat up the larger mass of iron at the end of the handle. No other casting method can achieve a design like this. In sand casting, the iron would freeze in the narrow sections, not completely filling the handle cavity. With lost wax casting the molds are pre-heated before the liquid iron is poured in allowing the mold to fill all the way before the iron solidifies.

We loved the design so much, we made a matching handle investment cast from sold  304 stainless for our carbon steel skillet and this one works even better. The solid stainless steel is MUCH slower to transfer heat than the standard die-cast handle found on most other cookware. The riveted connection also helps slow down heat transfer. Our extremely precise casting process allows fine details like the lettering on the handle. You will notice a few imperfections on the stainless handle as it is polished by hand. unlike other cookware the handle has NO plating or coating meaning that it won't ever chip or peel off. 


March 09, 2022 — Eric Steckling
Cleaning Your Dutch Oven

Cleaning Your Dutch Oven

Stains on any cookware are inevitable and that’s okay! The more you use your Dutch Oven the dimmer the shine on the enamel will become, it’s a sign that the oven is well used and well loved. Stained by twenty years of family meals or fresh out of the box, your Dutch Oven is going to cook you the same great tasting meals.

January 23, 2022 — Sydney Katzenmeyer
Have Dutch Oven, Will Travel

Have Dutch Oven, Will Travel

'Tis the season for visiting friends and relatives. Arrive empty-handed? You were raised better than that. And you know that nothing will please your hosts more, nothing says "we appreciate you" more than a hand-delivered, cooked to perfection hot dish. How to get it there, you ask?
January 19, 2022 — Sydney Katzenmeyer
The Dutch Oven Torture Test

The Dutch Oven Torture Test

Torture Test Proves It All

Are expensive Dutch ovens really any better or different than less expensive brands? We created some torture tests to see how a few different brands would hold up.

To test our products, we looked at the enamel, the casting method and where the products were made. We also considered the weight and design and even warranty when comparing our brand to Le Creuset.


What separates an inexpensive oven from a pricy French prize? A few coats of melted glass. Enamel is ground up glass and colorants sprayed on raw castings and baked at a temperature that melts the glass into a smooth, non-porous coat. Most enamelware has three layers of enamel. But more layers may not benefit the product and instead create more potential for chipping and cracking.

Enamel is designed to expand and move with the iron as it heats and cools. The first layer of enamel, the base coat, seals the iron and provides a great surface for the second layer to stick. The second layer is the color layer, and the third layer is the glossy topcoat which adds that beautiful finish.

So, what is the enameling difference between Le Creuset and Marquette Castings? Color. Over the years, Le Creuset has come up with hundreds of colors and rolls out about twenty colors a season. Marquette Castings, on the other hand, keeps the color selection focused on the ones our customers have told us they love most - five color options carefully designed and developed to embody the location where our company is based. With colors such as Superior Blue and Shipwreck Gray, it is hard to deny that these products embody Michigan.


Nearly all enameled cast iron is made in an automated casting line. There is little difference between the casting capabilities of any company using this method. Both Marquette Castings and Le Creuset are cast on automated casting lines. Every manufacturer has the same limitations in terms of casting thicknesses, shapes and of course alloy formulations. The good news here is that the surface finish is less important because they are covered and smoothed by the enamel. Care needs to be taken to smooth sharp edges and remove the gates from the rough castings. Even the least expensive options seem not to have trouble getting this right!

Now we know you are wondering about where the products are manufactured. There are two locations in the world that predominately enamel cast iron cookware, France and China. It is important to mention that no enameled cast iron products are currently being mass produced in the United States. So, does it matter which country it comes from? The difference is in sentiment only.

When we were searching for a partner, we evaluated numerous foundries by meticulously checking samples, evaluating their equipment, production processes and their procedures. We are proud to note that our Chinese partner is known to be one of the best in the world turning out quality castings and enamel coatings using modern equipment and strict quality assurance processes.


When designing our Dutch ovens, we had a lot to consider. We began by identifying exactly how thick our pot needed to be so that it would not be too heavy and would conduct heat well. Most designs have a slightly thicker bottom with thinner walls. This allows the pot to heat evenly across the bottom and spread the heat up the walls. Each piece will heat differently, you must get to know how your cookware performs on your personal cooktop. Most companies take these two key components into consideration which is why you will not see a huge variation in weight between brands.

Once we identified the proper thickness and weight, the fun began. Creating the perfect shape was next on the list. We used a variety of cooking tests to make our unique shape. You will notice it has a large flat bottom for more contact with the heat source. We also wanted to keep the pot wide and low to make it easier to work in. We know once filled, the pot is heavy, so we added large loop handles, big enough to safely grab with oven mitts. Our interior is light in color, so it’s easier for customers to monitor their cooking and finally we designed the lid. Our lid is designed to fit securely but still allow for necessary evaporation with three unique ridges. The pot is finished off with our custom pull, made out of solid investment cast stainless steel, not the oven safe plastic Le Creuset uses on their enamelware.

Warranty and Support

Finally, we looked at both warranty and support. Marquette Castings offers a lifetime warranty on all our products. While the French are not renowned for their customer service, Le Creuset does offer a lifetime warranty as well.

What Le Creuset covers:

The enamelware to be free from defects in material workmanship at the time of purchase. For the warranty to apply however you must follow their care and instructions provided, to a tee. The warranty also only covers normal household use. Their warranty also does not cover shipping.

Marquette Castings also has a lifetime warranty. Here is what it covers:



We have taken the approach that allows some leeway if you need your product replaced, even if the damage was caused by the customer’s mistake, the first time. We will also work with you, so those mistakes do not happen again in the future giving you tips or ideas to help you get the most out of your cookware. Our goal is to make it useful to you forever. If you do have problems, please reach out.

Final Comparison

After using the Rockwell hardness test, an Arc Spectrometer, a creative home-made impact hammer, a thermal shock test and even cutting the two products in half, we concluded what we anticipated. We cannot find any major differences in the castings, enamel, or design. There is no indication that one product would cook food differently than the other. 

If you absolutely need to have a Dutch Oven made in France or are looking for that hard to find color and you are not scared off by the price tag, go with Le Creuset. If you are looking for a top-quality Dutch Oven backed by a no-hassle lifetime warranty and five unique color options, check out Marquette Castings Dutch Oven.

November 06, 2020 — Torrie May
There’s more to enamel cookware than you think.

There’s more to enamel cookware than you think.

We love the Dutch. They gave us amazing beer, those wooden shoes and of course, the Dutch Oven. Because the Dutch Oven is made of enamel (just like our popular griddle and grill pan) there’s a few things to know to make this cookware last forever and perform at high levels.

First of all, don’t let their great looks fool you; enamel is more durable than you think. Stovetop, grill, or oven. It doesn’t matter what heat source you use. Plus, it’s almost impossible to hurt with chemicals because it’s non-reactive to acid and bases. That means it’ll always clean up easy.

It does have its Kryptonite - scratches. That doesn’t mean you should baby it because a little chip isn’t a big deal. It won’t effect anything about how the cookware performs and is still completely safe with a chip in it. In fact, if the chip - or ‘frit’ - gets into your food, it’s even edible.

Trust our ridiculously hassle-free lifetime warranty. You can’t go wrong with Marquette Castings.

September 10, 2020 — Torrie May
What’s a car doing in your kitchen? A lot, actually.

What’s a car doing in your kitchen? A lot, actually.

Your cast iron pan and most cars have something in common. The cast iron pan and the cast iron brakes aren’t that much different of a material. That doesn’t mean on a hot day you should fry an egg on the hood of your car. What it means is that cast iron is ridiculously strong and has unique thermal properties. Scientifically speaking, that means it retains heat like crazy. Which is great for your pan, but not so good for your brakes.

Tip: pre-heat your cast iron pan for a good, long while and the heat distribution becomes even across the pan. Don’t worry, unlike aluminum, cast iron is hard to warp or damage. 

Right now, you might be saying, “But I ruin everything in the kitchen.” Trust us, you can’t ruin our cast iron pan - there’s always a way to fix it. So since it’s going to last forever, you might as well buy the best - hint, hint - and enjoy it for a lifetime.

And you’ll use it for everything from pan pizza to fried chicken to pies.

One thing to avoid? Foods with high acidity such as tomatoes and wine. They can loosen trace amounts of molecules from the metal and leach into the food when cooked for long periods in a cast iron pan. Don’t worry - you won’t get sick from that, but the flavor of whatever you’re cooking can be affected.

September 10, 2020 — Torrie May
Carbon steel. Why the pros trust it.

Carbon steel. Why the pros trust it.

Sneak into the kitchen of any top restaurant in the world, especially outside the U.S., and you know what you’ll see? Chefs are cooking award-winning dishes with carbon steel cookware. It’s happening everywhere from Italy to Japan to France and beyond - basically, the places people travel to because of the food! 

For whatever reason, carbon steel has been slow to catch on here in the U.S. 

We’ve gone for faster, less flavorful food, and our cookware is proof. Inexplicably popular non-stick does not hold flavor. Period. That’s not good for whatever you’re cooking because sometimes you want the food to stick. That stuck-on food is called ‘fond,’ and it’s where flavor is born.

How to fix this? Simple. We made a carbon steel pan that looks great, performs better than non-stick and comes with a handle you actually want to hold. Plus, you can save the beeswax - ours arrive at your door fully-seasoned

Frying. Searing. Sauteeing. Your Marquette Castings carbon steel pan will do it all. 

September 10, 2020 — Torrie May
Enamelware 101

Enamelware 101

Enamel cookware has been in kitchens around the world for decades. But what makes this protective coating so strong and versatile? Today we are going to talk about why you should have it in your kitchen and how to care for it.


Enamel is a highly durable coating that is a mix of finely ground glass and water. Sprayed on and baked at 1,700º, it can be applied to almost any material that can withstand the heat. Prior to the 50's and 60's, most cookware was made from steel or raw iron, but when chemists developed non-stick coatings that could bond to the cheaper and lighter aluminum, it quickly became the most common metal for creating inexpensive cookware. However, aluminum melts at 900º making it impossible to apply a higher quality coating, such as enamel. But not all enamel is the same. There are many different Formulations with different thicknesses and surface finishes ranging from thin and flat to thick and shiny. Our enamel has a glossier surface than most others which makes food way less likely to stick.


Because enamel finishes are extremely hard and smooth, clean up is a breeze. For most things you cook, you can simply deglaze the pot or pan with water when you are done. If it needs a little help just grab a plastic or wooden spoon and lightly scrape the tough spots. After you are done, simply dump it out and give it a good scrub with soap and water. Dry it off well and you are ready for next time. Enamel really is that easy to clean. It takes hardly any time at all and there is no seasoning to worry about.


Because enamel is glass it is possible for it to stain. If you see stains in you enamel don't worry. Getting them out is easy.  Start by getting it as clean as you can get it with soap and water. Then fill your pot up to just above the stains with water and put it on high heat. Grab some baking soda and put a liberal amount in the water. Let this boil for 10-15 minutes until all the stains are gone. Pour out the baking soda and water and let your pot cool down. You should have a beautiful shiny pot, just like new. Enamel is completely resistant to any chemical cleaner. just like the inside of your oven, if you run into a tough spot, don't be afraid to use something stronger, like oven cleaner.


Because there is raw cast iron underneath your enamel, there is a chance of rust forming on the edges that meet with the lid. If you find rust don't worry, there is a solution. Grab a lemon, cola, or other strong acid and simply rub away the rust.


Now if by some tragic event you get a chip in your enamel, it's not the end of the world. Simply rub a little oil on to the chipped spot to protect it from possible rust and keeps it sealed. Our Dutch ovens are triple coated to ensure a lifetime of use.


Since the surface is glass, it can be scratched by heavy abrasives or sharp metal tools. We recommend you keep these away from your enameled cookware. It's best to use plastic or wooden utensils.

June 02, 2020 — Eric Steckling
Restoring Cast Iron

Restoring Cast Iron

Restoring a Cast Iron Skillet


Everyone loves a good old fashion cast iron skillet. We love ours so much we left it outside for a month. While you probably won't let this happen to yours, it's the perfect way to show just how hard it is to ruin cast iron.


If your skillet does get some rust on it, it's trying to tell you something. Raw iron will rust very quickly when exposed to air and moisture so you need to make sure you aren't soaking it in water or putting it away before it's dried completely. A good seasoning is the best defense against rust, and baking on a coat of oil should do just the trick.


Restoring a skillet is actually a fairly straightforward process. All we are going to need is some fine grit sandpaper, soap, a nonabrasive scrubber, and warm water. Taking the first layer of rust off is a messy process so make sure you cover your work surface to make clean up a breeze.


Take your sandpaper and clean off as much rust as you can. Don't be afraid of hurting your skillet, it's plenty durable. Once you have the majority of the rust off, give the skillet a good rinse and wash it with your non-abrasive scrubbing pad. Continue alternating the sandpaper and non-abrasive scrubbing pad until all of the rust is off. This process is simple but will require some elbow grease and time.


The next step is to season your skillet. Make sure that is it completely dry before applying any oil. We are going to use flaxseed oil as it has a very high smoke point and will make sure we have a good, long lasting seasoning. Seasoning is really just the process of sealing your skillet and giving it a non-stick coating. For more information about the seasoning process and how to care for your cast iron, make sure to watch our "seasoning cast iron" video.


For this skillet, we are going to go through the seasoning process three times to ensure a good solid coating of protection. Once the seasoning process is finished, you are ready to cook.


Cast iron is an incredible tool, and if cared for properly can last a lifetime. For information on how to care for cast iron go to Marquettecastings.com.

April 15, 2020 — Eric Steckling
Using Cast Iron on a glass cooktop

Using Cast Iron on a glass cooktop

Using Cast Iron on a glass cooktop


There are many different kinds of cooktops and people like them for different reasons. A common misconception is that you cannot use cast iron on a glass stovetop.  Today we are going to talk about why that might not be true.


Cast iron can warp while cooling during the casting process preventing it from sitting flat. Some manufacturers add a thin ring which allows the skillet to sit flat but raises it off the burner slightly. Making the ring, the only part contacting the burner. One of the biggest myths about cast iron and glass stovetops is that the skillet must be in full contact with the glass, in order to evenly heat. But this isn't true.


Another worry about using cast iron on a glass top is that it might scratch or break the glass. While this is possible, it is not likely as long as you are careful while cooking and your cookware is not sliding around.


On electric stovetops, there are heating coils under the glass that send heat through the surface to the cookware. This allows you to cook with a vast variety of things, including cast iron, on a glass top stove with little difference in performance. so whether your cast iron has a ring or not. It will still work with electric ranges.


With induction cooktops, the heat does not actually come from the burner. Because induction burners produce an electromagnetic field they do not generate heat. however, when using a conductive material such as iron, the current travels through the cookware and generates heat. So it's not the burner that is creating the heat, but the skillet itself.


Another worry about using cast iron on glass is that it might scratch or break the glass. But as long as you are careful you should be ok. Make sure your skillet is clean and dry before setting it down, as food particles burned onto the glass are hard to clean off.


Electric tops heat up slowly, so it is important to let the cast iron preheat. This also means that you will need to cook things a little longer.


Induction tops, however, heat up very quickly. so make sure you don’t overheat your skillet and damage your seasoning.


A cast iron skillet is a great tool and an asset to any kitchen, no matter what time of stove you have.

February 03, 2020 — Eric Steckling
Cast iron 101

Cast iron 101

Cast Iron 101


Cast iron has been around a long time and everyone has an opinion on how to take care of it. Today we are going to talk about the basics of cast iron care, and how to go above and beyond to give it that extra love.


Because cast iron is made from bare metal, it is easily susceptible to rust whenever exposed to air and moisture. Baking on a thin layer of oil prevents your skillet from rusting and gives it a smooth, non-stick surface. This is called seasoning your skillet. Seasoning is simply the process of heating a neutral oil to the point where it becomes a polymer and bonds with the surface of the skillet.


One of the biggest advantages of a good seasoning on your cast iron is having a smooth non-stick surface. Many mass-produced skillets today are heavy with a rougher surface, making this harder to achieve. Before cast iron was mass produced, each skillet would be hand poured, and ground smooth, allowing you to achieve a non-stick surface much quicker. At Marquette, we wanted to create a better skillet. We use a precision method called investment casting. This allows us to make our skillets thinner and smoother, just like the old days.


Whatever condition your skillet is in we need it completely clean before we can start applying an oil. Grab a non-abrasive scrub pad with a little dish soap or just the rough side of a sponge. Give your skillet a good scrub all over making sure to get every little bit of dirt and grime off. Using oven cleaner or letting your skillet soak in lye overnight will remove any leftover food or damaged seasoning. Just make sure to follow all instructions and safety precautions. Scrub again with soap and water and rinse well. Even though cast iron is extremely durable the only method we don't recommend using to clean your skillet is extreme heat – like throwing it in a fire.


Once your skillet is clean and dry, it's time to start the seasoning process. This is simple but does take time. The best way to season your skillet is to use an oil with a high smoke point, such as grape-seed, flaxseed, or coconut oil. These oils let you cook on a higher heat without damaging your seasoning.


First things first, preheat your oven to 475º. Then pour some oil onto the pan and with a lint-free cloth to wipe the oil over the pan. Now grab a clean side of the cloth and wipe as much of it off as you can. I know it sounds weird, but it's important to get all of the extra oil off so you don't end up with a sticky skillet. Put your skillet face down in the oven, and let it bake for one hour. The result should be a smooth shiny surface. Repeat this process two or three more times until you have a good coating on the skillet. After that, you are good to go.


Properly cleaning and oiling your skillet is just as important as a good seasoning. Many people think that you can't use soap to clean your cast iron, but while soap will remove surface oil, it does not hurt the seasoning. This doesn't mean you should soak it in soapy water overnight, but it does mean you can use a drop or two when cleaning if needed.


You should always clean and dry your skillet after you are done using it. If you want to go above and beyond, you can wipe on a thin layer of oil and heat it up to its smoke point. This will add to the seasoning and keep you skillet looking and performing great for years.


Cast iron is not as hard to use as many people think. As long as you take care of it, it will be around for decades.

December 07, 2019 — Eric Steckling