Dutch ovens are a staple tool in the repertoire of the professional (and amateur) home cook. While popular stoneware and cast iron cookware today are available in a variety of colours to suit any kitchen aesthetic, there are legit considerations when shopping for your next Dutch oven, in addition to price. When searching for your next Dutch oven keep in mind: it must be easy to clean, well made, and it should perform well. But, the hard pill to swallow is a good Dutch oven — or ‘casserole’ dish — is going to set you back at least over R1,000. At the same time, a Dutch oven will come to be the work horse of your kitchen after it becomes your go-to for steaming soups, simmering curries, and vibrant pasta dishes.
When shopping for your Dutch oven, no matter your price bracket, consider what kind of dishes you cook the most because this can influence whether you prefer a round or oval Dutch. The former is great for stove top, saucy dishes, and the former is best suited for roasting meats and can be tricky to cook on the stove.
Save: Boardmans Cast Iron Round Casserole 26cm Pot, R1,299
A good place to start price wise, when shopping for a new Dutch oven is anywhere from R1,200 to R1,800 because this will ensure you are buying a vessel that is made from cast iron, and is a decent size. This Cast Iron Round Casserole from Boardmans is 26cm, making it large and deep enough for any saucy recipe. Available in a variety of colours, this pick for R1,299 is a great starter Dutch Oven if you are not regularly using it.
Available through www.boarmans.co.za
Spend: Le Creuset Signature Round Casserole 22cm Pot in Lapis, R2,349
Few cast iron casserole dishes come close to the classic Le Creuset 24cm round casserole dish. Not only do they come in the largest variety of sizes and gorgeous colours, but they regularly go on sale. As one colour is introduced to the brand’s repertoire of cast iron Dutch ovens, another makes its way out. If you are not sensitive to your colour choice, you can always find a colour of Le Creuset’s classic casserole dish on sale online. As of October 2023, we’ve found the signature Round Casserole 22cm Pot in Lapis is marked down to R2,349. When you are on the market to spend a little bit more in an iconic kitchen tool, you cannot go wrong with a Le Creuset Dutch oven.
available via www.lecreuset.co.za
Splurge: Staub Dark Blue Cast Iron 24cm Casserole, R4,139
Handmade in Northern France, Staub Cast Iron Dutch ovens are the crème de la crème of Dutch ovens, with a price tag to match. Staub casserole dishes are a serious splurge made for home cooks who are serious about food, and the experience of creating divine dishes with the utmost care. If you are cooking “en cocote” (when a meal is cooked in a small cast iron dish from which food is served), then a Staub Cast Iron 24cm Casserole might just be worth the splurge.
Available via www.culinarydirect.co.za