This is a Martha Stewart Dutch oven review to help you find the best heavy-duty cookware for your favorite oven-to-table dinners.
As a mom and wife, my Dutch oven is often called into action both on busy weeknights and for more elaborate weekend or special occasion meals. A Dutch oven is a kitchen workhorse, reliably delivering succulent roast chicken dinners, delicious soups, and even rustic desserts.
In this Martha Stewart Dutch oven review, I found this product to be an adequate piece of cookware. However, I have found two alternatives I recommend more highly: the Tramontina Dutch oven should be more affordable, and I believe the Le Creuset Dutch oven is better quality.
Before we dive into the review, I will help you understand what to look for in a Dutch oven. We will also discuss the pros and cons of these Martha Stewart pots, compared to other great options available.
If you’re in the market for a great Dutch oven, this Martha Stewart Dutch oven review has all the details you need to make the right decision for your kitchen.
What to Look for in Enameled Cast-Iron Dutch Ovens
If you are a cook who likes to braise meats or simmer stews or kimchi, a Dutch oven is a must-have tool. Do you want to make restaurant-quality pasta at home? Bon Appetit recommends using a Dutch oven to combine your perfectly cooked pasta and starchy water into the sauce.
Because browning meat means tasty meals, Dutch ovens are a great multitasker for cooks to sear meat on the stove in the Dutch oven, then transfer to the oven without losing any juices. Dutch ovens truly help you deliver delicious dinners at home like a professional.
Dutch ovens are a versatile and handy piece of cookware. However, these objects are typically made of cast iron, making them very heavy. Those who have trouble lifting about 15 pounds should look for another product. Dutch ovens only get heavier once you fill them!
If the many benefits of a Dutch oven appeal to you, we have a few things you should consider before investing. Because this is a piece of heavy-duty cookware, you can expect to spend more on this item than a non-stick frying pan, for example.
Cast-iron Dutch ovens come in a variety of sizes. Consider what you think you will use the Dutch oven before to determine the best size for you. Each Dutch oven comes in sized in quarts sizes, ranging from as small as one quart (0.9 liters) to as large as nine quarts (8.5 liters).
For my family and me, the seven-quart (6.6 liter) size is a great fit. This size is enough to feed at least six people, which means there is enough for our favorite thing – leftovers!
A secure lid will help seal the heat in your Dutch oven. If heat escapes from the Dutch oven, all the Dutch oven magic leaves too! You need a slow, even cooking method with a reliable temperature to deliver the best results.
A well-fitting lid is also important for safety. Just like the rest of the Dutch oven, the top is made of heavy cast iron. A lid that does not fit securely or slides around presents a risk to toes and children alike! You don’t want the hot liquid inside to slosh around without a lid, either!
Similarly to the concerns about an ill-fitting lid, you must be able to rely on the handles of a Dutch oven. If the handles are molded into the sides of the Dutch oven, check for cracks or signs of weakness on the body.
Some larger cast-iron Dutch ovens feature a metal handle that rests against the side of the Dutch oven and is lifted up for use. Make sure the handle does not have any rust or other signs of wear. Pay special attention to where the handle attaches to the cookware.
Many popular Dutch ovens, like the Martha Stewart pots, are now available in enameled cast iron. This adds additional material to the outside of the cast iron that enthusiasts say eliminates the need to season the cast iron and promotes a deeper clean.
The Martha Stewart cast-iron Dutch ovens come in a dozen beautiful colors, similarly to the other competitors, which we will discuss later in this article.
Martha Stewart Dutch Oven Review—Product Overview
The Martha Stewart cast-iron Dutch oven scored highly with customers in online reviews. Many customers report that it is easy to clean. Other owners mentioned how easily the Martha Stewart pots go from the stovetop to the oven, then simply into the fridge as leftovers!
What do you get?
Martha Stewart supplies two Dutch ovens, one 7 quart and one 4 quart. Other brands will typically supply one.
However you pay extra for the additional Dutch oven.
One of the most notable criticisms of the Martha Stewart cast-iron Dutch ovens is its price point. While these pots are not as expensive as luxury brands, critics, including the New York Times, stated the Martha Stewart pots were too pricey to be included in their comparison.
Marth Stewart Dutch Oven Recall
In 2011, almost one million Martha Stewart cast-iron Dutch ovens were recalled. This Martha Stewart Dutch oven recall happened because the enamel on the Martha Stewart pots could shatter and cut others or injure bystanders with flying enamel or hot liquids from the meal.
The Martha Stewart cast-iron Dutch oven is noticeably heavier than other competitors, including about one-third heavier than the iconic Le Creuset option.
Keep in mind that this weight is when it is empty, and it only gets heavier depending on what you put inside.
The lid of the Dutch oven is similarly heavy, like the rest of the pot. If you are someone who experiences weakness or gripping issues, bear this in mind.
Ease of Clean-Up
These cast-iron Dutch ovens feature straight sides, which is a departure from the other famous brands. Most Dutch ovens have sloped sides, like a bowl.
Some customers enjoy this feature and claim the Martha Stewart Dutch oven is easy to clean. The enamel surface also removes the need for seasoning the cast iron, but the enamel quickly dulls, according to some reviewers.
However, others were disappointed in the straight-sided design. Reviewers said the sloped sides of other Dutch ovens made clean-up even easier. These straight sides are harder to scrub and make the person doing dishes get tired more quickly.
The Martha Stewart Dutch oven is rated as dishwasher safe, making clean-up even more straightforward. Non-enameled cast-iron Dutch ovens would never, ever go into a dishwasher!
Although, you may think twice about using the dishwasher because of the Martha Stewart Dutch oven recall. To be safe, we recommend soaking these dishes and simply hand washing them to avoid any extra stress on the enamel coating.
Heat Resistance and Distribution
Because of the extra thickness of the Martha Stewart cast-iron Dutch ovens, these pieces of cookware are great conductors of heat. Food placed inside will be effortlessly cooked evenly each time.
Amazon reviewers talked about the stews, roasts, and chicken dishes they have prepared in the Dutch ovens with excellent results.
You may think that after this Dutch oven has been on the stove for a while, it will be too hot to touch.
Yet, these Martha Stewart pots were thoughtfully designed with a heat-resistant lid and knob. This means you can easily touch the knob at the top to remove the lid and check the recipe inside.
The handles on the Martha Stewart cast-iron Dutch ovens are also friendly to home cooks. You can touch the handles because they are heat resistant.
If you want to be on the safe side and use oven mitts, that works too! The handles are wide enough to easily slip your fingers inside while wearing oven mitts.
If you like the straight-sided look of the Martha Stewart cast-iron Dutch ovens, this Tramontina option is a more affordable alternative. Amazon reviewers give this Dutch oven a high grade, with many saying they use it several times a week.
Reviewers were so excited about how the Tramontina Dutch oven is lightweight compared to others and usually is significantly more affordable than the Martha Stewart cast-iron Dutch oven. Some commenters called the Tramontina Dutch oven “the only pot I ever use.”
If you are looking to truly invest in a Dutch oven, choosing the premium Le Creuset is a no-brainer. These pots have mastered the art of the Dutch oven, all while doing it in a rainbow of irresistible colors.
Because Le Creuset has mastered the art of enameled cast-iron cookware, the risk of shattered enamel, like with the Martha Stewart Dutch oven recall, is much less likely.
Customer reviewers say it “cooks like a dream” and they expect to have these pieces of cookware for a lifetime.
The Le Creuset option will likely cost significantly more than the Martha Stewart Dutch oven, or the Tramontina.
This investment brings restaurant-quality food into your home, making dishes like a gorgeous beef bourguignon possible for you and your family!
The Martha Stewart cast-iron Dutch oven is an expensive and heavy piece of cookware that will deliver results for your favorite Dutch oven recipes. However, its higher price and history of recalls have us considering other alternatives.
The Tramontina Dutch oven is a wonderful option at an affordable price point.
If you’re looking for a luxury splurge, the Le Creuset Dutch oven is the gold standard.