The 7 Best Eco-Friendly Dutch Ovens of 2022

Our top pick is the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven.

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Pasta in red Dutch oven

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Loved for their heat conductivity, heat retention, and versatility, Dutch ovens are indispensable in any kitchen. Many come in beautiful color options and are great for stews, large quantities of soup, roasting, baking bread, frying, braising, and even for cooking casseroles. Winter or summer, they're a versatile tool for any home cook. Another plus? They can go from stovetop and oven to table top because they're so attractive.

Some cookware contains Teflon and other non-stick coatings, chemicals which you may wish to avoid. If you're looking for safer alternatives, a Dutch oven made from cast iron and enamel is an excellent choice. If you purchase a non-enameled Dutch oven made from cast iron, you might have to season it, but the extra effort is worth it for flavorful dishes and a pot that will last a lifetime.

Here are our picks for the best eco-friendly Dutch ovens:

Best Overall: Lodge 6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

4.8
Lodge EC6D43 Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 6-Quart, Island Spice Red

Amazon

The 6 quart capacity with this Dutch oven allows you to cook enough for a crowd. This Dutch oven performs comparably to its pricier competitors but comes at a great price point. You can roast, braise, broil, or bake with it in the oven up to 500 degrees and also use it on the stovetop.

The large loop handles offer sturdy control, and the smooth, glassy surface doesn’t react with ingredients. It has good heat retention for even cooking.

The company’s environmental efforts include a comprehensive recycling program that’s saved tons of cardboard, motor oil, plastic bottles, and metals. For more than 10 years, Lodge has used paper instead of foam packing inserts and brown paper and corrugated packing material instead of bubble wrap and Styrofoam peanuts in its packaging. Lodge also has a zero-hazardous waste foundry and takes measures to reuse its foundry sand in sustainable ways.

Best Luxury: Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron 5.5-Quart Round Dutch Oven

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Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron 5.5-Quart Round Dutch Oven
Le Creuset

Although the Le Creuset has a higher price tag than many Dutch ovens, Treehugger staffers say it's worth the investment, if you can invest the extra money. Crafted in France, these pots can used for decades and then passed down as an heirlooms.

Le Creuset is known for producing one of the top Dutch ovens on the market, with impeccable heat distribution and retention. The large handles make it easy to grip, even with oven mitts on or using potholders. Feel safe using the Dutch oven in the oven or stovetop up to 500 degrees, with metal utensils, and cleaning it in the dishwasher. This is the lightest weight cast iron by quart on the market, and the tough exterior enamel resists chipping, scratching, dulling, and cracking. Choose from multiple gorgeous color options, too, from pure white to cobalt blue and everything in between.

Best Budget: Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron 6.5-Quart Round Dutch Oven

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Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron 6.5 Qt Covered Round Dutch Oven

Amazon

The price point on Tramontina’s Dutch oven makes it a winner, especially for its 6.5 quart size. The self-basting condensation ridges on the lid allow collecting steam to gently roll back down into the pot, which creates flavorful, moist meats and stews. It’s oven safe up to 450 degrees, scratch resistant, and compatible with electric, gas, and induction cooktops.

Tramontina’s Dutch oven is also PFOA and PTFE free and available in beautiful colors.

Best for Camping: Lodge 6-Quart Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven

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Lodge Camp Dutch Oven

Courtesy of Amazon

Cook your favorite stews, soups, pastas, and other campfire favorites with Lodge’s Camp Dutch Oven, which has a heavy wire handle that makes it easy to rotate the Dutch oven over coals. The flanged lid holds hot coals well and even inverts, so you can multii-task and use it as a griddle.

The oven’s legs keep it at a perfect distance from hot coals, and the Dutch oven itself is pre-seasoned with natural vegetable oil. Smaller and larger sizes are available. Best of all, this is a budget investment, made in the USA, that will last a lifetime. Cast iron can be re-seasoned indefinitely for decades of dependable use.

Best Large: Le Creuset 13.25 Quart Round Dutch Oven

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Le Creuset 13.25 Quart Round Dutch Oven

Courtesy of Amazon

Great for potlucks or large families, the 13.25 round Dutch oven by Le Creuset is one of the largest on the market. It's made in France and comes ready to use and requires no seasoning. It's easy to clean and dishwasher safe, though handwashing is recommended.

The tight-fitting lid circulates steam and returns moisture back to food in a self-basting design, and large handles and the stainless steel knob help with easy lifting. Use it on the stovetop, or throw it in the oven up to 500 degrees. The light-colored interior allows you to monitor the cooking process as well.

Best Compact: Staub Cast Iron Petite French Oven

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Staub French Oven

Courtesy of Amazon

Want to make rice or chili for one? This is the Dutch oven for you. The petite 1.5 quart Dutch oven from Staub is perfect for individual portions, too. The lid pattern features a raised, textured surface that returns moisture back to food, and the oven doesn’t require seasoning.

Suitable for all heat sources, the oven is made in France and is dishwasher safe with excellent heat distribution and retention. Take your dish directly from the oven or stovetop to the table for easy, one-pot wonders.

Best Nonstick: Caraway Dutch Oven

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Caraway Dutch Oven

Amazon

Relatively new to the cookware world, Caraway’s stylish Dutch oven is lauded by for its superior nonstick abilities. Free of PFAs, this Dutch oven is made with a nonstick, mineral-based coating and free of cadmium, lead, and other toxic materials as well.

The ceramic-coated interior makes cleaning a breeze, and the Dutch oven is oven safe up to 550 degrees. You can choose from six lovely colors including sage and marigold . Caraway products release up to 60 percent less carbon dioxide when produced compared to traditional nonstick coatings.

Final Verdict

Our top Dutch oven pick is the Lodge 6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron. However, if you’re interested in making an investment in an heirloom-quality item, consider Le Creuset’s Enameled Cast Iron Round Dutch Oven

What to Avoid When Shopping for a Dutch Oven

PFCS: Some cookware has non-stick coatings that contain perfluorocarbons (PFCs), which have been linked to liver damage, cancer, and developmental problems. If heated at high temperatures, cookware containing PFCs can release fumes that have been known to kill pet birds and cause people to develop flu-like symptoms. Furthermore, the manufacturing of PFCs and the products made from them poses risks to nature and wildlife. 

PFAS: Nonstick cookware can also contain chemicals called perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which have been linked to high cholesterol, weight gain, hormone disruption, effects on the immune system, and even cancer.

Why Trust Treehugger?

Amanda Ogle has written for National Geographic, Travel + Leisure, Virtuoso Traveler, Texas Highways, OZY, Women's Health, Greatist, and other publications. She loves writing about sustainability and believes it is important that we all strive to be as environmentally friendly as we can. Before going freelance, Amanda was an editor at American Way magazine and has been tackling the freelance world since 2016.

Arricca SanSone updated this article, researching reader reviews, company sustainability practices, and durability. Her Le Creuset Dutch ovens are her all-time favorite pots, unmatched for their beauty and versatility for cooking everything from cornbread to cassoulets to perfection.