That Fancy Dutch Oven Is Finally on Sale — but Should You Buy It?

Dutch ovens are the opposite of the buzzy gadgetry you typically see trotted out by retailers on Black Friday. They’re low-tech, timeless, and subtle in their aesthetic appeal. They’re also somewhat of a status symbol, as far as kitchen tools go: Le Creuset, the industry gold standard, is very expensive and iconic, as is the only slightly less popular Staub. And even those more affordable versions, by Lodge and other lesser-known brands, carry a certain cachet inherent to the item itself: If you’re a serious cook, you cook in a Dutch oven.

Which means it’s the kind of item one might prowl for on Black Friday. Should you spring for one? Below, some FAQs to consider as you mull over whether to shell out for the heaviest pot you’ve ever owned — and the deals to know about, should you decide to proceed.

What is a Dutch oven? What we know as the Dutch oven today is a cast-iron pot coated inside and outside with smooth, stick-free enamel, often in beautiful colors. It’s got a lid and two handles, making it only somewhat easy to lift, as it is generally extremely heavy. Also, expensive.

Why would I bother with a Dutch oven when I have a regular pot? Because it’s nice and thick, a Dutch oven can keep food warm for a long time. Plus, it can be put directly in the oven as well as on the stovetop. You can cook pretty much anything in it — a slow-cooking stew or soup, braised short ribs, roasted vegetables, hefty casseroles, deep-fried anything. For many bakers, it’s also an essential tool for baking bread.

So this magical one-stop pot is pretty much perfect? Well, Dutch ovens tend to be super heavy and on the larger side, so if you have a tiny kitchen with inconvenient storage, moving one around in tight spaces isn’t the easiest. They can also be expensive: A Le Creuset (again, the most aspirational of Dutch ovens) runs anywhere from $ 150 to $ 250 for the most useful sizes (4.5-quart, 5.25-quart), and Staub cocottes, as they’re called, are only slightly cheaper.

But if I can get a deal…?? Then go for it. Especially because (and you’ll have to dive deeper into the research) Le Creuset and Staub aren’t the be-all, end-all of Dutch ovens. Here’s what you’re looking at so far, in terms of Dutch oven sales for Black Friday:

  • Kohl’s will have the Food Network brand’s 5.5-quart enameled cast-iron Dutch oven for $ 33.99.
  • Staub’s 4-quart round cocotte will be on sale for $ 99 — a price that’s already available at Williams-Sonoma, Sur la Table, Amazon, and plenty, plenty more stores.
  • Food52 has the Food52 x Staub round cocotte in a few sizes and shades (turmeric, white, black, cherry, turquoise) for $ 99 through the end of the year.
  • Other retailers, such as Amazon and Macy’s, will likely discount some of their Dutch ovens (Le Creuset, Staub, etc.), judging from last year.
  • And last year, Le Creuset put its round deep Dutch oven on sale for $ 200 (down from $ 325) on what it dubbed “Colorful Friday” (their Black Friday), so keep an eye out and watch this space.

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