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If you love to cook and don't already have a Dutch oven in your kitchen, you might be doing yourself a bit of a disservice. They're a favorite of food pros for a reason.
A Dutch oven is not just pretty to look at: It also heats evenly, retains a steady temperature and can easily go from stovetop to oven. But do you have to spend a fortune on a pricey pot that goes for $300 and up?
The short answer: No. This bestseller from Lodge — which has a near-perfect 4.6-star rating — caught our eye and is on sale at Target right now for just $40. We repeat, $40. But don't wait too long to add it to your cart! You can only shop this deal online through tonight — it will be gone by tomorrow.
If you're eager to try, I've already tested one out. After cooking a few recipes, I have to admit, it really lived up to the online reviews. Here’s what I found.
It comes in gorgeous colors
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: A lot of people like the other models out there because of their lovely colors. And to be fair, a lot of people leave their Dutch ovens out on the stove, so they should look good. Lodge offers more than 20 cheerful colors, but the red and blue ones are the ones you can find on sale right now. In person, the color held true, and it has a beautiful finish.
It browns food beautifully
Compared to the pricier models I also used in the kitchen, the Lodge did an identical job caramelizing a big batch of onions, and the stone-colored enamel interior allowed me to monitor the browning. The cast iron heated quickly and evenly — and its weight and generously sized handles made it easy to carry across the kitchen, without feeling like I might drop it on my foot.
Cleanup was a cinch
After caramelizing a batch of onions, I was a little nervous when I looked at the pan, with delicious-looking but seemingly hard-to-clean bits at the bottom. I was pleasantly surprised when I was able to clean it all up in about 15 seconds — with just a few passes of a sponge, it looked good as new.
It's easy to handle
Weight-wise, at just over 14 pounds, the 6-quart Lodge isn't the lightest on the market, but the handles, which are nicely sized and well-shaped, make it easy to lift out of the oven. However, if you're looking for a smaller option, the brand also makes a 5-quart pot that is pre-seasoned and features dual loop handles.
Over 24,000 verified reviewers gave the smaller oven a perfect rating. One commented on how versatile it is while another says they made the "best baked potatoes ever in the Dutch oven. One person, who admitted to "snobbery" about her cast-iron pots, said the larger 6-quart oven is the perfect size for some of their favorite dishes and is a sturdy, "attractive addition to my kitchen equipment that I’ll enjoy for years!"
I couldn't agree more.
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