I love cooking with cast iron due to its heating properties and durability. But I don’t like that it can be more difficult to maintain.
Enter enameled cast iron. While maintaining the heat transfer of cast iron, the enamel coating prevents the cookware from rusting and doesn’t require seasoning.
It’s way easier to clean as well.
The Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven is excellent at heat transfer and easy to clean. Perhaps most importantly, it provides good value. I’d be happy with the Tramontina oven in my kitchen.
Yet, I do prefer the, normally more expensive, but more durable Le Creuset Dutch Oven.
Keep reading to find out more about the Tramontina Dutch oven, and the alternatives.
Things To Consider Before Buying an Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
An enameled cast iron Dutch oven is perfect for the home chef who wants the heat conduction of cast iron without the risk of rust.
But it does require some maintenance, so it might not be ideal for a novice chef. Let’s look more into what the considerations.
Look and Maintenance
Some Dutch ovens are safe to use in the dishwasher, but manufacturers recommend washing them by hand to protect the enamel coating.
If you choose to hand-wash your Dutch oven, let it cool before placing it in cold water. If the cooling cast iron contracts too fast, you risk cracking the pot or the enamel coating.
If you’re struggling with burn marks, a little Bar Keeper’s Friend applied with a soft sponge will do wonders.
Also, stick to using wood or silicone utensils since metal ones might scratch your cookware’s finish.
Cast iron cookware has the best heat retention of all pots and and pans. This means it takes longer to warm up, yet retains its heat longer.
This heat retention can really help cooking performance. For example, if searing a steak, cast iron’s ability to retain heat works a treat.
It’s also incredibly durable with many pieces of cast iron cookware being passed to the next generation.
What’s more since it’s so tough, there’s no limit to where you can use it. For example I’d be happy to use a bare cast iron Dutch oven in a campfire or on top of a Chiminea. I certainly wouldn’t use an enameled Dutch oven there.
If you want something so versatile and tough you can leave it in / over a fire, then perhaps Tramontina isn’t for you. Check out my guide to cast iron pots instead.
Enameled Cast Iron
Enameled cast iron is basically cast iron with a coating of glass particles applied through a high heat process.
The porcelain enamel layer protects your cookware and has great wear resistance. It also doesn’t rust and comes in various colors, making it a stylish addition to your kitchen.
Both the interior and exterior of a Dutch oven are coated with enamel, but sometimes the rim isn’t.
Another useful feature is the enamel coating prevents the pot from absorbing strong aromas as bare cast iron does.
Note that there are temperature limits when cooking with enameled Dutch ovens. You can’t use your pot over open fires either.
Generally, enameled cast iron is safe to use up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (230 degrees Celsius) but make sure you look over the heat limits for a specific product before buying it since it varies from brand to brand.
Enameled cast iron can last generations, if you look after it. Yet bare cast iron is more durable; it’s easier to fix and less likely to chip.
For more details on the differences between the two, check out this video:
Cast iron, including enameled cast iron, is naturally non-stick if treated correctly. This means all enameled cast iron Dutch ovens are PTFE-free. (PTFE is the active ingredient in Teflon.)
Make sure the Dutch oven you buy is appropriately sized for your needs. They typically come in a range of sizes:
- ¼ quart (0.25 liters): Perfect for a single serving of French onion soup.
- 2 quart (1.9 liters): Great for sides.
- 3-4 quart (2.8-3.8 liters): Ideal when cooking for one.
- 4-5 quart (3.8-4.7 liters): Cooks for two people with some leftovers.
- 5-7 quart (4.7-6.6 liters): Just right for a family of four, including some leftovers.
- 7+ quart (6.6+ liters): A good fit if you’re cooking for a crowd of six or more people. Also, great if you want to batch cook.
Also, consider the shape of your cookware; a round oven will have a better heat distribution as it fits well on a single burner. It’s often deeper and easier for stir-frying.
An oval shape is specifically made for cooking long cuts of meat, and they do best in the oven; they don’t fit as well on stovetops. They’re usually wider and shallower than your standard round Dutch oven.
Note that while the pots themselves usually withstand at least 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius), the knobs might have a lower heat threshold. Metal knobs are generally capable of withstanding higher heat, so you can replace your knobs with ones made from stainless steel to counter this.
You should also make sure that the handles are easy to grip and don’t burn your hands.
Invest in thick oven mitts and potholders to handle your Dutch oven when it’s hot.
Also, consider if you want a glass lid for cookware. This lets you have a better view into the cooking process without letting heat escape.
The Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven has a 6.5 quart (6.2 liters) cooking capacity and is a covered round Dutch oven. This piece of cookware is made from cast iron coated with porcelain enamel.
The interior and exterior of both the pot and the lid are covered with porcelain enamel. Yet the rims of both aren’t. This means they should be seasoned to stop the rusting.
Even though this Tramontina Dutch oven is assembled in the USA, the components are manufactured in China.
Of course things change over time; Tramontina used to manufacture its cookware in Brazil.
The market leader Le Creuset Dutch Oven is manufactured in France. (Le Creuset is a French brand.)
Since Le Creuset is the market leader, I’ve used it a few times as a comparison for the Tramontina enameled cast iron Dutch oven. If you are interested in Le Creuset, check out my specific comparison below.
The oven is not dishwasher-safe and should be washed by hand. It’s compatible with all stovetops and safe to use in the oven up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (230 degrees Celsius.)
Users like the beautiful colors and sleek design of the cookware. They also feel like it heats up evenly, and it’s very easy to clean.
But buyers also think that this Tramontina 6.5 quart Dutch oven is heavy and that the handles get hot when you cook. There are also reports of the enamel coating chipping.
This Dutch oven is well designed, with self-basting condensation ridges on the lid. These condensation ridges really help retain moisture. In fact they are great for self basting food, like turkey, as they drip the liquid back in a “rainfall” effect.
- Even heating
- Compatible with all cooktops
- Comes in a variety of colors
- Beautiful design
- Oven safe up to 450 degrees
- Lifetime warranty
- Decent build quality
- Not the most durable enamel coating
- Handles heat up easily
- Not dishwasher friendly
- Some complaints of lid knob overheating
Tramontina Dutch oven Features and Benefits
Let’s take a closer look into the features and benefits of the Tramontina Dutch Oven.
Look and Maintenance
This oven has a beautiful design and comes in a variety of colors, including cobalt blue, red, dark blue, dark red, light blue, and matte white. Users especially like the look of the cobalt-colored Dutch oven.
Users report that the enamel coating tends to chip rather easily, so don’t use metal utensils or steel wool when cleaning it.
Note that you should not put this pot into the dishwasher either.
Compared to regular cast iron pots, enamel-coated ones don’t need to be seasoned. Also, you can clean them with soap and water. Users find it easy to clean this oven, but they also report that food tends to stick to it easily.
Even though the cooking surface has a layer of enamel, the rims of the pot and the lid don’t. You should coat these areas with oil and season them in the oven for durability purposes before use.
Shapes and Sizes
The Tramontina Dutch Oven comes in the following sizes:
- 3.5 quart (3.3 liters): Perfect for a single household, according to customers. Also good for side dishes such as potato dishes or roasted veggies, and baking bread.
- 4.5 quart (4.3 liters): Great when cooking for two or three people; there’ll be some leftovers too. Users also report that it’s a perfect fit for the oven and for braising meat.
- 6.5 quart (6.2 liters): Ideal for a family of four, including leftovers. If you want to batch cook stews or soups, this is also a good size.
I’m reviewing specifically the Tramontina 6.5 quart round Dutch oven here, but most observations apply to all the sizes.
Tramontina Dutch ovens are slightly taller than their competitors. This does result in a smaller surface area at the bottom of the pot–something to consider if browning. On the other hand it may be easier to fit a roast in.
Oven and Stove Compatibility
The Tramontina Dutch Oven is compatible with all stoves, including induction, gas, and electric. Buyers feel like it heats up very evenly on the stove as well.
There were some reports of the Tramontina Dutch oven having trouble heating on induction stoves. I’ve not seen this, and I suspect it is fine on most stoves.
It’s safe to use in the oven as well, but only up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (230 degrees Celsius.) Any higher temperatures may risk the pot cracking or the enamel coating coming off. This heat threshold is lower than the market leader Le Creuset Dutch oven.
There are several reports of the enamel chipping off on this Dutch oven, even when it’s only been used with wood utensils and hand-washed. Some users find that the inner coating comes off, while others have more trouble with the exterior coating and the paint chipping.
Customers also report rust building up on the edges of the pot; this is because the area is exposed cast iron and isn’t covered by enamel.
Tramontina just doesn’t beat the Le Creuset Dutch Oven in terms of durability.
Users feel like this Tramontina 6.5 quart pot is heavy and definitely heavier than the Le Creuset. This makes it difficult to lift when it’s filled with stew; you’ll need two hands to handle it.
The knob on this Tramontina pot is made of stainless steel, so it gets very hot. But customers like that it’s big and easy to grip with an oven mitt.
Also, the handles are sturdy and support the weight of the pot but tend to get hot. They have perfectly sized holes for grabbing them with oven mitts, which buyers like.
The Tramontina 6.5 quart pot is a more affordable alternative to the equivalent Le Creuset Dutch oven, but it’s not the cheapest option on the market either.
All in all, you get a good quality Dutch oven for a reasonable price. It’s great at even heat transfer but might not be the most durable option out there.
Note that the Tramontina Dutch oven comes with a lifetime warranty, so you can replace it if any problems occur. Users report good experiences when dealing with customer services.
Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven Alternatives
Le Creuset is the market leader when it comes to enameled Dutch ovens. Le Creuset Dutch ovens are known for their outstanding quality. Their Dutch oven is an oval shape, comes in various colors, and has a 6.75 quart (6.4 liters) cooking capacity. It’s oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius.)
Customers love the durability of the Le Creuset and that the enamel coating doesn’t chip off, even after years of use. They also think that the pot has excellent even heating. Le Creuset is significantly pricier than Tramontina, and some users report details on their oven being a different color than expected.
Le Creuset vs Tramontina Dutch Oven
- High quality pot that will stand the test of time
- Oven-safe up to 500 degrees
- Great at even heat distribution
- Le Creuset products are all made in France
I love Le Creuset and that’s why I always recommend them. Yet they are very pricey! Tramontina is definitely the more affordable, but I feel the Le Creuset is so great it may even offer better value.
Le Creuset also offer an oval-shaped enameled cast iron Dutch oven, useful for roasts.
If you want to find out more about the Le Creuset Dutch oven, then check out my comparison with Staub.
Tramontina vs Lodge Dutch Oven
The Lodge Dutch Oven comes in 3 quarts (2.8 liters), 6 quarts (5.7 liters), and 7.5 quarts (7.1 liters) sizes. It’s available in many pretty colors and is oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius.)
This Lodge Dutch oven is a more affordable option than the Tramontina. Buyers praise it for being so easy to clean but report that it’s not very durable and the enamel coating chips easily. Customers also report their Dutch ovens have cracked.
Lodge, apparently, doesn’t have as good build quality as Tramontina.
Tramontina vs Lodge Dutch oven
- Available in large 7.5-quart size
- Very affordable
- Enamel chips
- Tendency to crack
If you’re looking for a super affordable enameled cast iron Dutch oven, then the Lodge Dutch oven is an OK choice. When it comes to Tramontina vs Lodge Dutch ovens, I prefer Tramontina.
Tramontina Gourmet Ceramica Deluxe Covered Dutch Oven
This is another Dutch oven from Tramontina, but this one uses ceramic covered aluminum. While aluminum transfers heat well, it’s not very strong. Ceramic coating also tends to chip off and break easily. But it’s also non-reactive and cheaper than enamel.
This Tramontina Dutch oven has a glass lid allowing you to better monitor the cooking process. It’s available in a 5 quart (4.7 liters) size. Users like this pot’s nonstick properties but don’t like that the ceramic chips off and that the handles come off easily.
- Cheap ceramic coating
- Glass lid
- Nonstick works well
- Ceramic chips off
If you want a Dutch oven with a glass lid, check it out for yourself!
Which Is the Best Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven?
An enameled cast iron Dutch oven brings together high-performance with efficiency and is way easier to clean and look after than a regular cast iron pot.
Tramontina offers a decent product, yet you can’t beat the quality of the Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. Though expensive, it’s an investment that will last you for a lifetime due to its incredible durability. The Le Creuset Dutch oven combines even heating from a cast iron base with a beautifully colored exterior and enamel coating that doesn’t rust.
If you want for the best enameled cast iron Dutch oven then I recommend Le Creuset.
Best Affordable Dutch Oven
The Le Creuset Dutch oven is expensive, and it isn’t unbreakable. So, yes it’s the best choice if you are going to look after it, but you might also consider a more affordable Dutch oven.
The Tramontina enameled cast iron Dutch oven hits all the spots for me, and I’d be happy to have it in my kitchen. If you want something affordable then Tramontina is one of the best Dutch ovens you can find.
Given the lifetime warranty, perhaps the durability isn’t such a big factor.
Are Tramontina Dutch ovens safe?
Yes. Tramontina Dutch ovens are made from cast iron which is a safe material to cook with. Many are coated in porcelain ceramic – also a safe cooking material.
What is an Enamel Dutch oven?
Enamel Dutch ovens are cast iron Dutch ovens coated in a layer of porcelain enamel.
How do I clean a Dutch oven?
I recommend warm soapy water. For bare cast iron cookware be especially careful not to use harsh detergents. In all cases dry immediately.
Is the Le Creuset Dutch oven better?
The Le Creuset enameled cast iron Dutch oven is the best one of I’ve seen in terms of quality, look and durability. But Le Creuset is also one the most expensive. If another, more affordable Dutch oven, tickles your fancy, it could be worthwhile.