It's fairly simple to understand why home cooks love Dutch ovens. The durable pots can seamlessly move from the stove to the oven and are deep enough to simmer stews and soups and even roast whole chickens. Plus, the tall, sloped sides keep hot oil in the pot, preventing messes on counters.
But like all good things, Dutch ovens are often relatively expensive, especially favorites from Le Creuset and Staub. Luckily, there's no need to spend upwards of $400 when you can buy a Lodge pre-seasoned cast iron Dutch oven for just $70 on Amazon.
The 7-quart Dutch oven boasts unparalleled heat retention that lends itself well to even heating. It's built with loop handles that provide secure control when moving the pot from place to place. Plus it's already been pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil, so even the most uninitiated cast iron home cook can feel confident that food won't stick. The Dutch oven can be used for just about anything, from searing and sautéing to simmering, braising, baking, roasting, and frying.
To buy: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Dutch Oven With Loop Handles and Cast Iron Cover, $70 (originally $95) at amazon.com
Like any piece of cast iron, you'll need to take care of it properly. When you're done cooking, wash the pot by hand with mild soap, dry promptly with a lint-free cloth, rub with a light layer of vegetable oil, then hang in a dry place. The more it's used, the better the seasoning will develop.
Amazon shoppers can't get enough of this cast iron Dutch oven. Over 10,000 reviewers gave it a five-star rating. Many have dubbed it a "one-pot wonder" and "perfect for bread baking." Plus, several reviewers say they expect it to "last a lifetime."
"I expect this thing to outlive me," one five-star shopper shares. "This stuff is indestructible and works great. This one is very large but can really do work preparing some foods. It also holds a ton of heat so you can have steaming warm food for well over an hour after leaving the oven."
"This is a true value," another shopper says. "It does everything that the $300 Le Creuset does but costs about 15% of the fancy unit. Those of you that have used cast iron skillets for years will have no problems seasoning it, using it, and caring for it. I don't know why it has taken me so long to get one."
Whether you're looking to bake bread or simply want a hefty vessel for stews, shop the Lodge 7-quart Dutch oven on sale for $70 on Amazon.
This article originally appeared on Food & Wine.