I tried the Amazon Basics Dutch Oven — here's what I've learned

A versatile piece of cookware

Off white Amazon Basic Dutch oven
(Image: © Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Amazon Basics enameled cast iron Dutch oven is a versatile piece of cookware that can be used on the stovetop or in the oven. The enamel coating eliminates the need to season the pot and makes it easy to clean.

Pros

  • +

    Versatile

  • +

    Different sizes available

  • +

    Good color choice

  • +

    No seasoning required

Cons

  • -

    Heavy to lift

  • -

    The handles are hot

  • -

    Not dishwasher or microwave safe

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Amazon Basics Enameled cast iron Dutch oven

Capacity: 4.3 quarts - 7.3 quarts 4.3 quarts - 7.3 quarts
Dimensions: 12.44 in (W) x 4.25 in (H) - 14.44 in (W) x 7.6 in (H)
Weight:
11.18 lbs - 16.3 lbs
Temperature rating: 500°F
Material: Cast iron
Finish: Enamel
Color:
Blue, Gray, Green, Matte Navy, Navy, Matte White, White, Pink, Purple, Red

A Dutch oven is an indispensable piece of cookware that provides versatility with cooking many dishes in one pot. Sear, braise, stew, roast, fry and bake — it’s up to almost any kitchen task. 

However, the price point can often discourage people from investing in a Dutch oven, as hefty cast iron comes at a cost. Enameled versions are also more expensive than ‘raw’ cast iron, as they require an extra finish.

Despite the cost, Amazon Basics has come up trumps with its budget version, which I put to the test.

Amazon Basics enameled cast iron Dutch oven: Price and availability

With a current household of three, I opted to try the smallest capacity Dutch oven in white. The 4.3-quart version was perfectly adequate for my needs, with space for smaller daily meals and larger batch cooks, and it's available at Amazon for $47.

It’s also available in two other sizes: a 6-quart ($56, Amazon) version and a 7.3-quart ($67, Amazon) version. It’s worth noting that there are some slight price differences in the 7.3-quart version depending on the color you select, but these are fairly marginal.

Although more expensive than a stainless steel casserole pot, like the Cook N Homes 5-quart stainless steel casserole stockpot ($29, Home Depot), a Dutch oven is far more versatile with added benefits. This Amazon Basic’s version is also far cheaper than LeCreuset and Staub — two highly acclaimed brands renowned for their Dutch ovens —  with a similar round 4.5-quart oven retailing for $390 at Le Creuset.

There are cheaper alternatives, including the Lodge 4.5-quart Dutch oven in Caribbean Blue, available from $69 at Amazon, although, here again, watch which color you select as prices vary.

Amazon Basics enameled cast iron Dutch oven: Design

The design of the Amazon Basic Dutch oven is impressive and won’t look out of place kept on your stovetop. It has an attractive steel handle that bolts onto the lid and two side handles on the pot, allowing for a comfortable grip. However, the heat is transferred to both, so I’d recommend using heat-proof oven gloves, as grabbing a tea towel won’t protect your hands from the heat.

It also has a ribbed design on part of the lid and at the bottom of the pot, which adds to the aesthetic. I reviewed the white version, which is ‘cream’, and just like the matte white and matte navy versions, the whole pot is one solid color. However, the other color options have an attractive graduated tint. 

All have a cream interior, which makes it easy for you to see what you’re cooking and how well it’s browning.

Amazon Basics enameled cast iron Dutch oven: Functionality

You expect a Dutch oven to be heavy and sturdy as it’s made of cast iron, and this follows through for the Amazon Basics version. I was also impressed with the quality of the enamel coating, considering the budget price compared to high-end models. The lid's underside is also studded, similar to Staub’s Dutch oven, which allows condensation to drip onto the food evenly, encouraging self-basting. 

The joy of using a Dutch oven is that it can be used for many cooking methods — from searing meat to baking bread. 

Amazon Basics enameled cast iron Dutch oven: Performance

Baked bread in a cast iron oven

(Image credit: Future)

The Dutch oven has gained over 45K reviews on Amazon, with an overall rating of 4.7 stars, with 85% of reviewers giving a 5-star rating. It’s a popular choice with a lot of purchasers. The overall feedback is that customers like the quality, color, heat resistance, and value of the Dutch oven, find it easy to clean, and are happy with its performance. However, some have noticed the enamel chipping. 

I’ve been using this Dutch oven for several weeks and haven’t noticed any issue with the enamel, although I have been careful not to use metal utensils.

I’ve made various dishes in the oven to see how it performs. I fried onions, steamed meat, and cooked slow-cook curries and chillies. I even baked a loaf of no-knead bread. It’s been my go-to cooking pot and continues to be used regularly.

I found the lid fitted securely, with minimal steam escaping, and food was moist and tender. The no-knead bread was a success, with the steam inside the pot forming a good crust.

The pot also retained heat well without burning food on its bottom, and it can be transferred from the stovetop straight to the oven. It’s perfect for making a casserole, allowing you to quickly sear the meat on the stove before placing the pot in the oven for a slow, tender cook. 

Amazon Basics enameled cast iron Dutch oven: Ease of use

I found the Amazon Basics Dutch oven easy to use. Although heavy, as mentioned above, it’s what you’d expect when using cast iron cookware.

One aspect I particularly liked was the pot’s curved bottom. It made mixing and stirring food easier, as nothing got caught or stuck in the corners. Although some reviews mention this leaves less room to sear meat, I didn’t find it a problem as the space lost is minimal.

When heating it on the stovetop, I found it best to preheat it with some oil to start, as if it is empty, it can cause the pot to crack. I did not need to add oil when I preheated the Dutch oven before cooking bread, as the heat was more evenly distributed.

Amazon Basics enameled cast iron Dutch oven: Cleaning

Dutch oven being wiped clean with kitchen towel

(Image credit: Future)

Even though it can’t be placed in a dishwasher, the pot is easy to clean with hot, soapy water. However, Amazon warns against using citrus cleaners, which can dull the glossy exterior finish of the enamel, although the pot’s cooking performance won’t be hindered. 

The rounded base made it easy to clean, as food didn’t get stuck where the base would normally meet the sides. Although, to avoid having to clean off burnt-on food, it helps to keep the heat on a low to medium setting; I chose a medium-sized burner on my gas stove for the 4.3-quart oven. 

Amazon Basics enameled cast iron Dutch oven: The verdict

Off white enamelled cast iron pot with lid to side

(Image credit: Future)

For the price, this budget Dutch oven can’t be faulted. Compared to its high-end rivals, it offers a lot of clout per dollar.

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Camilla Sharman
Staff Writer, Homes

Camilla Sharman has worked in publishing and marketing for over 30 years and has covered a wide range of sectors within the business and consumer industries both as a feature, content, and freelance writer.  


As a business journalist, Camilla has researched articles for many different sectors from the jewellery industry to finance and tech, charities, and the arts. Whatever she’s covered, she enjoys delving deep and learning the ins and out of different topics, then conveying her research within engaging content that informs the reader. In her spare time, when she’s not in her kitchen experimenting with a new recipe, you’ll find her keeping fit at the gym. In the pool, stretching at a yoga class, or on a spin bike, exercise is her escape time. She also loves the great outdoors and if she’s not pottering about in her garden, she’ll be jumping on her bike for a gentle cycle ride.