Can You Use a Dutch Oven on the Stove? Is It a Good Idea?

| |

For your information: When you buy through links on Clan Kitchen, we may earn a commission.

If you’re new to Dutch oven cooking, you might be wondering if you can use a Dutch oven on the stove. The simple answer is yes, you can use most Dutch ovens on all heat sources, including electric, gas, and induction stoves.

The Dutch oven is one of the most versatile cookware pieces in a home cook’s arsenal. You can use a Dutch oven for slow-cooking all types of dishes, braising meats, baking bread, and much more. It’s an all-in-one type of pot.

Dutch ovens can also be pricey, especially if they’re enameled cast iron. If you’re going to invest in a “forever pan,” you want to make sure it works on the stovetop.

Fortunately, I’ve answered all your questions related to using a Dutch oven on the stove. I’ve also provided some tips for getting the most out of your Dutch oven when using it on the stovetop. You’ll be ready to whip up a batch of delicious Potato Soup in no time!

Ready to learn more? Keep reading to get all the information you need.

Can You Put Enameled Dutch Ovens on the Stove?


Yes, you can use an enameled Dutch oven on any type of stovetop. They’re great for all types of dishes, and since the enamel is non-porous and non-reactive, you can cook acidic foods without worry.

In addition to baking bread, enameled Dutch ovens are great for stovetop dishes such as beef bourguignon, Louisiana red beans and rice, or clam chowder.

What Should You Not Use a Dutch Oven For?

Even though Dutch ovens are suited for a variety of recipes and cooking styles, there are certain tasks you should avoid with your Dutch oven. In all of the following cases, copper cookware would be a better option.

Preparing Sauces, Chocolate, Caramel

Sauces, chocolate, and caramel require rapid heating and cooling, which means the cookware used should be the most responsive to heat.

Most Dutch ovens are made of cast iron, which is not heat-responsive. A Dutch oven gradually heats and cools, making it unsuited for sauces.

Cooking Fish & Seafood

Fish doesn’t require much cooking time, and it’s easy to overcook. So the last thing you want is to wait for a cast iron Dutch oven to heat gradually and then cool gradually. Fish also requires a large cooking surface. Dutch ovens are deep pots, but they don’t have the same wide cooking surface of a frying pan.

Frying Eggs

Eggs are sticky, delicate, and easy to overcook. And no one likes rubbery eggs! A Dutch oven won’t cook eggs evenly, leading to a runny mess. Stick to a non-stick fry pan for scrambled eggs or omelets. If you want to boil water for boiled eggs, you can use a Dutch oven for that.

Can You Use Cast Iron Dutch Ovens on an Induction Stove?

Yes, a cast iron Dutch oven is compatible with an induction stovetop. In fact, cast iron is a great material for induction. Here’s why:

An induction cooktop transfers heat via magnetic waves. The burner is smooth, flat, and uses a magnetic field to create energy and transfer it to the cookware. The heat is instant, cooking food quickly and efficiently.

In order for a pan to be compatible, it must be ferromagnetic. That means the cookware must have a magnetic bottom. Cast iron is ferromagnetic, making it compatible with induction hobs. Enameled cast iron Dutch ovens are also induction-compatible.

Learn more about induction pans and how they work.

Advantages of Using a Dutch Oven on an Induction Stove

There are several reasons a Dutch oven is a great match for an induction stovetop. First, the food cooks much faster than on a traditional stovetop. You don’t have to wait for the induction plate to heat up like an electric stove.

Secondly, an induction stove provides precise heating, so your food will be cooked exactly the way you like it. Third, you don’t have to worry about open flames or an exposed heating element. Once the Dutch oven is removed, the heat source is eliminated.

Can You Use Dutch Ovens on Electric Stoves?

Yes, Dutch ovens are compatible with electric stoves.

With an electric stovetop, the electric burner heats up and transfers that heat to the Dutch oven. An electric stove can either be a coil stove or a smooth glass top stove.

Smooth-top electric stoves tend to be more common than coil stoves. Although a glass stovetop is the most common smooth-top electric stovetop, the material can vary.

I should note that there is an exception. Ceramic Dutch ovens are technically considered bakeware and not cookware, so they’re not compatible with any type of stove top, including electric.

Your Dutch oven might experience a bit of discoloration after a while, but not to worry. This won’t affect your Dutch oven’s performance, in the oven or on the stove top.

Never drag or slide your Dutch oven across a glass stove top. Whether it’s a plain cast iron or enameled Dutch oven, the heavy pot could damage the glass. Instead, lift the Dutch oven to avoid scratching.

Find more cookware suitable for electric plates in my complete guide.

Can You Use Dutch Ovens on Gas Stoves?


If you have a gas stovetop, there’s no need to worry. You can use a Dutch oven on a gas stovetop (as long as it isn’t ceramic). Dutch ovens will rest on the burner hobs, protecting the stove top from the heavy weight of the cast iron pots.

Like electric stoves, gas stoves heat cookware indirectly. But instead of using coils, a gas burner has an open flame that heats the cookware on the bottom and around the sides.

A gas burner heats quickly, although not as efficiently as induction. (Read more about gas vs. induction heating elements in my comparison review.) There is a lot of heat lost in the air around the pots and pans, so there might be more hot spots.

However, a gas stove top can produce consistent heat for your Dutch oven. Gas burners can produce high heat. It’s best to stick to low or medium-low heat and to never heat an empty Dutch oven.

If the contents of your Dutch oven spill over, learn how to clean your gas cooktop.

Can I Use My Le Creuset Dutch Oven on the Stovetop?

Absolutely! Le Creuset is among the top names for Dutch ovens. The brand’s signature enameled Dutch oven is beautiful, durable, and versatile.

You can use your Le Creuset on any type of stove. It’s best to cook on low or medium heat to avoid sticking. Use wooden or silicone utensils to avoid chips on the enamel coating.

One of my favorite ways to use a Le Creuset Dutch oven on the stovetop is to slow-cook food like chilis, stews, and soups. These dishes are made for the slow cooking process at low temperatures. You can also use this pot to boil a whole chicken or prepare braised meat.

Cast iron retains heat beautifully, so “low and slow” method of cooking is perfect for most Dutch ovens. The tight-fitting lid means you’ll have tender, delicious foods full of flavor.

Your guide when using dutch oven on the stovetop

Tips for Using Your Dutch Oven on the Stovetop

If you want to get the best results when using a Dutch oven, follow these cooking tips (plus cleaning & maintenance) to help you take your stovetop recipes to the next level.

Bloom Spices to Elevate Flavor

From rosemary and thyme to oregano, cumin, and chili powder, spices take dishes from painfully bland to boldly delicious. However, they can lose some impact if you simply stir them into the Dutch oven while cooking.

Instead, heat the spices in oil, butter, or cooking fat rendered from meat. This process is referred to as blooming spices, and it will give a punch to the flavors in your recipe. It’s super simple but makes a huge impact.

Cook in Stages

I’m as big a fan of “dump and bake” recipes as anyone, but that simply won’t get you the same flavorful results as Dutch ovens can when you stagger the cooking times.

For instance, it’s common to cook onions, celery, or other root vegetables first before adding broth or tomatoes. Soft, delicate herbs like cilantro or parsley should go in at the end of the cooking time.

One nice thing about stage cooking is that it gives you time to make sauces or other sides while you let the dish simmer.

Let Your Dutch Oven Multi-Task

Dutch ovens have deep walls, so they can typically hold a lot of volume. You can use that to your advantage and cook multiple dishes at once, maximizing efficiency in the kitchen. For instance, you can use a steamer basket or wire rack to simmer soup in the bottom and steam leafy vegetables at the top.

Avoid High Temperatures

A high temperature is only necessary for boiling water or for reducing stocks and sauces. Dutch ovens are cast iron pots, so they work best when they heat slowly. Preheat your Dutch oven on a low temperature to prevent food from sticking to the bottom.

Let It Simmer

A cast iron pot has excellent heat retention, meaning you can keep food warm for second servings or for a late dinner. Simmering food allows the flavors to develop and blend. A tight-fitting lid also helps retain heat and moisture. Just remember to use oven mitts when handling a hot Dutch oven!

Heat and Cool Gradually

Cast iron can handle extreme temperatures, so it can go in the fridge or freezer as easily as it can go on the stove top. However, you should NEVER switch between the two extremes without letting the Dutch oven come to room temperature. The sudden temperature change could cause thermal shock and crack the enamel or the cast iron.

Use Oil

Enameled Dutch ovens can take on non-stick properties, but they aren’t as non-stick as PTFE (a.k.a. Teflon). It’s best to use oil, butter, fat, or liquid to coat the cooking surface before adding ingredients. It will help release food more easily and make the Dutch oven easier to wash afterward.

Speaking of cleaning, you should hand wash your Dutch oven whenever possible with warm soapy water. Use a non-abrasive sponge to loosen food particles. Rinse with hot water and towel dry immediately.

Handle with Care

A Dutch oven might be sturdy, but it’s not indestructible. Certain precautions can protect your investment.

If you drop your Dutch oven or drag it across the stove top, you could chip or scratch the enamel finish. A plain cast iron Dutch oven could scratch a cooktop, as well. Instead, lift the Dutch oven, using oven mitts if hot.

When stirring, wooden or silicone cooking utensils are the way to go. Metal utensils could scratch an enameled Dutch oven. Some brands claim their pots are metal utensil safe, but I would err on the side of caution.

Finally, as previously mentioned, hand wash with non-abrasive sponges and mild detergent to avoid damaging the pot.

Consider the Accents

If your Dutch oven has plastic, wooden, or other metal accents, be sure to check if they are heat-resistant. Cast iron can handle high heat, but other materials can only deal with low or medium heat before breaking down.

For instance, some Dutch ovens have a plastic knob on the lid or wooden side handles. These accents might not be suited for stovetop cooking or baking at high temperatures.

Can You Use Cast Iron Dutch Ovens on the Stove? Final Verdict

Can you use a Dutch oven on the stove? Yes, you can. You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and cook at lower temperatures when possible.

Looking for a new Dutch oven? Find my comprehensive list of the best Dutch ovens by material, purpose, and size. Not sure which size you need? Visit my in-depth guide to choosing the right Dutch oven size.