Why the love for Dutch ovens? Because of what they do best. They're sturdy and hefty and provide almost perfect heat distribution and retention.
They're made for braising meats, baking bread, deep-frying, slow-cooking, simmering, roasting, browning and will cook soups, stews, casseroles and even whole chickens - evenly and with ease.
We just tried Made In Cookware's newly launched (February 1st), Limited Edition, Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. This particular piece they've labeled as "Limited Edition with Brass Knob".
To be honest, our first impression after unboxing it was 2 things - 1), we loved how solid and quality-built it felt, and, 2), we couldn't stop looking at it! Truly. It looked like a work of art with it's Navy Blue exterior, enameled black interior and stunning Brass colored stainless steel knob.
But, we eventually had to give it a wash and break it in. We started easy. A simple no-knead, artisan bread recipe that required only water, flour, yeast and salt.
So let's get started. In this article:
The new Made In Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven weighs just under 14 pounds and has a 5.5 QT capacity. This is a good size for most home kitchen needs.
It's made in Northern France from porcelain and cast iron using a process that dates back over 200 years. Other key features to note:
Oven safe to 475 degrees
No seasoning required
Not dishwasher safe (just use warm water & soap)
14.5" wide, 4.84" high
8.75" cooking surface area
Versatile & multi-purpose
KEY FEATURE: The cloud-shaped lid is constructed with pea-sized dimples. What does that offer? The design is perfect for trapping and evenly distributing steam, giving you evenly cooked, baked or braised food.
Because Made In cuts out the middle man and sells direct-to-consumer, the upside is extreme, high-quality cookware at reasonable, affordable pricing.
The Limited Edition, Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, beats out the competition not only on craftsmanship, but on price. At $199, we feel there is no argument on awarding this Dutch oven a best value award in it's category.
Also, we like that at checkout on their website, they offer a 4 interest-free payments option through Sezzle.
And Made In has a generous 45-day trial / return policy, too. They'll even pay return shipping costs.
WHY THIS DUTCH OVEN
First, we're fans of the brand. They started in 2016 and are based in Austin, TX. They make professional-quality cookware for home cooks and professional chefs alike.
They also have a Restaurant Supply Program and a Design Trade Program.
Second, real chefs like and use Made In and recognize the quality craftsmanship. Chefs like Tom Colicchio (Craft, New York), Nancy Silverton (Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles), Matt Horn (Horn Barbecue, Oakland) and Stephanie Izard (Girl & The Goat, Chicago) all use and/or have partnered with Made In. That's a great endorsement!
We also like that this Dutch oven is made in the tradition of it's earliest ancestors dating back to the early 17th century. This was when the the first patent was issued for the Dutch process of making cast iron, specifically for a "Dutch" oven.
And finally, in our research, we were hard-pressed to find another 5.5 Qt Dutch Oven that met this level of craftsmanship and detail at this price. No other brand could match it. Oh, and it baked an amazing loaf of bread!
So how did the Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven perform?
We made bread. A true test of the Dutch oven's heat and steam distribution abilities.
First we made the dough from quality, basic ingredients: yeast, water, salt, flour. Then we let it rise.
We pre-heated the Dutch oven in a conventional oven at 470 degrees, then transferred the dough to the Dutch oven and topped it with the lid. We let the rest of the work begin.
The end result was a perfectly rounded loaf of bread. The outside of the loaf had a slight, delicate crunch which complimented the soft, doughy inside. And the scent of freshly baked bread permeated the kitchen.
The top was flaky and appealing. The appearance was professional. We could envision the loaf sitting in the best bakery counters across the globe. The Dutch oven passed the test. Out of 5 Stars (5 being the highest), we give it:
Performance: 5 Stars
Design & Construction: 5 Stars
Value: 5 Stars
It's not often we give a perfect score...
Our next test will be pot roast with potatoes and carrots and also a simmering, winter-time potpourri (not at the same time!).
Should you give it a try? We say yes if you're equipping a kitchen with the best essentials. And we say yes if you want a versatile piece of cookware that's solidly constructed and has been used by professional and home chefs everywhere.
We also reviewed the Made In Serving Platter, which came out in 2021. And, we just reviewed the Made In Square Baking Dish. You can read about them here.