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I purchased one as an anniversary gift to my boyfriend and I a year or so ago and love it. I use it for damn near everything. Mine is smaller than the one shown, but it only cost me about 50$ on Amazon. Here's the link to the one I purchased. It's actually on sale currently.
The lid can also be used as it's own, smaller cast iron. Only real downside would be the weight. It's quite heavy, but that's to be expected of cast iron.
I would go with the lodge. It's made in the USA, and they have very high quality control. Their products is very consistent, Chinese iron can often be rough and uneven.
If you need something slightly larger, consider the lodge double dutch. [link]
Amazon, Walmart, Target, home Depot, and Lowe's all have close to the same price on lodge products, but that gives you some local pickup options, you can check store inventory online.
A lot of people use a Dutch Oven for the same effect. I bake this kind of loaf in a preheated cast iron dutch oven like this only upside down so like the lid is the bottom of the pan. It's easier to get the loaf in a hot pan that way and there's less chance I'll burn myself.
This is one I bought for a friend getting into sourdough - Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven With Loop Handles, 5 qt [link]
Just make sure to get one without feet so it can slide into the oven
I also use a Lodge combo cooker. If I had to do it over again, I'd buy this: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven With Loop Handles, 5 qt [link]
Not much more expensive, more versatile, and I really dislike the fry pan handle on the combo cooker.
If you are concerned about the handle and such, there's this guy which is what I have. It's plenty big for deep frying and cooking up large batches of chili and sauce (yes, you can simmer all day tomato sauces in bare cast iron, just don't do it every day). My only complaint is that it has loops instead of a handle, so it's hard, but not impossible to toss food in it.
Dunno. I like the pan. You can always look on their website. I have this Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven With Loop Handles, 5 qt [link] for a Dutch oven. It bakes bread great but that is all I use it for.
I love my Le Creuset dutch oven and they are worth the investment. However, I do understand not being able to afford it. Like I said, it’s an investment piece. While it’s worth it in my opinion, there are many other comparable DO’s out there. Maybe not “the best” or “exactly” like the beloved Le Creuset. For an everyday beginner DO, I recommend Lodge double dutch oven. It works well to bake breads (I’ve used it with the shallow pan on the bottom, deep on top. Plus, it’s less than $40 (current US Amazon price). While I do own LC’s, I don’t mind using my Lodge to bake breads. It works well and I honestly sometimes prefer it over LC’s to bake my breads. It’s easier to score on the shallow side if you prefer scoring the bread after transferring it to the DO’s. I have done it on parchment paper, then transfer the dough, just depends on my mood really. The size I use is 5-quarts and it works with most bread recipes I use. The one I own has somewhat had only 1 job, just baking bread. I haven’t cooked anything else with it, though I would be okay with it. The obvious downside is...no fancy smooth colorful enamel coating. You will feel a bit more roughness and maybe some sharp edges. It will need to be seasoned thoroughly, as with any cast iron cookware. However, it’s a great starter cookware for breads and any soups, stews, roasts, etc. Just my 2 cents.
sorry I am a serious beginner - what is the dutch side? This is used on amazon for $35 and I think it may be worth it but I guess I just don't understand the point of the dutch oven since I've so far only made a sandwich loaf.
What does everyone think of these vs the slightly larger double dutch oven without the frypan-style handles? I'm about to buy one or the other for upside-down bread baking and not sure which to go for.
I used a cheap enameled dutch oven from Target for years, and never had any problem with it. I heated it empty all the time, and I just wrapped the plastic handle in foil. However, if you're using it exclusively for baking I'd recommend getting the Lodge Combo Cooker instead. I find it much more convenient to place the loaves on the shallow "lid" part and use the deep "pot" part as the lid. Fewer burned hands and lopsided loaves.
Hmm maybe it's a lot easier in the Dutch oven I have, which is this one: [link]
It's still quite heavy, but easier to shake together as one unit since the handles on the lid align with the handles on the pot, allowing you to grab both together.
But still... ��
I have this one and only use it for bread:
It can be used right side up or down.
If you're just using it for bread, you don't really need to worry about washing and reseasoning it. Just wipe the crumbs out between baking and carry on. If you're using parchment paper, you don't even have to worry about crumbs. Just remove the paper and move on.
I just like that cast iron won't shatter from temperature shock if you want to drop a cold loaf into a blazing hot preheated pan.
Oh haha yes I am happy with it. Made a pot roast and some other stews in it. It’s been great. Especially for the price.
I looked at my amazon order history and found the link for you. It’s actually a 5 qt not 6 like I said before. The price is currently $40, same as my new flat 14” pan.
Lodge L8DD3 Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 5 qt [link]
That's the one I use. When I bake my bread I actually use it upside down, so I put the dough in the lid. It makes it a lot easier to insert and remove the bread without burning the shit out of your hands.
Thank you! Do you use a spray bottle to wet the top?
I was having problems with the the slashing in a 500 degree dutch oven (ow hot!), but my brother pointed me towards a cast iron dutch oven from Lodge that has a flat lid. That means I use the "lid" as the bottom. I dump my bread out onto the lid, slash, and then put the "bottom" over the top and I'm good to go. It's kinda hard to explain - just look at this.
I even found another one that's oblong so I can do baguettes :)
Thanks again! I'm looking forward to baking this weekend!
You're right. I was originally looking at the 3qt combo cooker but saw the 5qt as a "Related item". I didn't realize it was a different name.
This is the one i'm getting: [link]
$40 make you holler. Lodge L8DD3 Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven, 5-Quart [link]
This is what I use. Lil bigger than the 4q and you also get a cast iron skillet. I put my dough on the skillet and pop the lid on top. Most restaurant supply stores I've been to in my area keep these in stock too for about the same price
This is not really answering your question, but if you're looking for something versatile, Lodge has a double dutch over whose lid can also be used as a skillet: [link]
I recently bought one as my very first cast iron and have already fallen hard for it.
Get this dutch oven!
I have it and I love it! I regret not buying it first!
I would still get a stock pot though. I use the inserts as colanders and I love making stock in it, but it's also super convenient for pasta, and I can steam things in it as well.
So my advice, the lodge dutch oven skillet combo and a stock pot. You won't want to boil water in the cast iron. Maybe a small pot too.
Since I already had a nice cast iron skillet with a handle, I bought this one a few months ago and love it. I've done a ton of bread in it (It's in the oven as I type) and also some great braised dishes so far and it's been wonderful.
Rice. Rice:Water ratio is 1:2 so 3 cups of rice to 6 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil. Stir in the rice. When it comes back up to a boil, put the lid on and turn the heat down to low (2). Set timer for 25 minutes. When the timer goes off, turn the stove off and let it stand for 5 minutes. Do not remove from burner and do not remove the lid. Perfect rice every time.
Total cost $94.99 before tax.
It’s currently out of stock, but I’ve found this to be the most useful. I bake with the smaller side on the bottom and it comes out great every time.
You’ll want cast iron, either seasoned or enameled.
Here is my favorite. They’re usually $50, so shop around a bit. When you’re making a boule, cook with the smaller piece on the the bottom.
I like this one. I use it with the small side on the bottom so the loaf gets maximum exposure when you open it up.
Here's the excellent silver-lining to the dutch oven saga!
You know that last day of packing and moving where one is just like, "fuck it just throw shit in a moving blanket and I'll deal with this shit in the next city"? That's precisely where I was with the dutch oven I had that was new-ish and that I needed to scrub out and re-season, but f all of that noise on the Night Before Big Move, so I just threw it in a moving blanket with a bunch of my other baking stuff like a proper gross person.
So FUCK THOSE GUYS because when my renters' insurance money came in, I then also got to get the BETTER dutch oven that I wanted in the first place. It's two in one, $50, it's super baller.
I would have been *so pissed* if I'd bothered to re-season before moving, and even better I got the cooler pan, hooray.
Left pan is the lid from this
This one is my most useful one
This one is very handy for eggs while camping, shakshuka, cooking up bits and pieces for one, and I also use it for making pies
Decent prices, they come preseasoned and ready to use and they're pretty hardy so far. No complaints from me :) Probs cheaper in USA since Lodge is a US company.
Thanks! It's completely new, just got it from Amazon. You can see more photos in the product link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000LEXR0K/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
This one, the lid doubles as a skillet. So it's even more bang for your buck IMO
5 or 3-quart or somthing in between. I love this enameled piece over my Le Creusets
I only have Lodge and Le Creuset dutch ovens.
EDIT: Go to Walmart and look at the sizes if you can.
Lodge 4.73 litre / 5 quart Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven (with Loop Handles) [link]
Use this, except use it upside down so it is easier to load.
I use this guy. The Lodge double dutch. Bonus, you can use the lid to make rolls!
Dutch ovens are the bomb.
This one has a lid that's also a skillet. It's pretty cheap too and will last long after you're dead.
I have this. It was a hard choice between the two. I like the size of yours but I'd rather not have that handle on the bottom portion.
I have the lodge 5 qt dutch oven and the boules are about 1Kg each.
I have this sitting on the back of my stove filled with oil at all times. Never not a good time for deep fried chicken tenders or fried pickles.
Maybe under a year ago? This one? Most of the photos added by users look similar too.
I use the 5 quart
I just bought my first cast iron (the 5 quart Lodge dutch oven) about a week ago and have used it twice. I'm hooked.
If you're considering getting one, I'd go for either this one or this one.
The second is better if you like a handle on your skillet. I got the first one, and it's perfect. It lets me do virtually every cooking task I'd need to, and with proper care ought to last pretty much forever.
Check out /r/castiron for cleaning/reseasoning tips.
I looked at my local stores and couldn't find it. I finally wound up ordering it from Amazon. Here's the link: [link]
Thanks. You and others have really given me a reality check. Much appreciated. I'd be very grateful for your thoughts on these:
What about this combination?
Skillet - [link]
Smaller frying pan - [link]
Smaller saucepan - [link]
Thanks a lot for the reality check. You're right, I don't need more than 2 sauce pans.
1 and 4: [link]
2 (smaller frying pan) [link]
3 (smaller saucepan) [link]
Since we're moving back to the UK from HK, we'll be getting a wok or two from here!
I am actually considering buying the 5 qt Lodge Double Dutch Oven. I already have the 3.2 qt Lodge Combo Cooker from a few years back and I feel it may be a bit on the small size. The nice thing about these two models is that you can place the dough in the shallow side and invert the deep pan over the top.
Has anyone tried both or have experience with the double dutch oven? $40 seems like a very good price for something that will last forever.
If anyone has recommendations for another option with the shallow base I would be interested. I would also be interested to know what type of oven mitts people are using. It's always a nerve-racking process to place the inverted top on the base at 500 degrees F.
You absolutely, positively must purchase this and nothing else ever created. This is more true than anything ever written since the dawn of time.
Here is the oven: [link].
I'm all about trying new things to see what works and your thoughts helped shape the experiment.
I'd second a pork butt. Make some nice pulled pork sandwiches out of it when it's done. I'd also suggest some sort of a heat deflector before you go the low and slow cooking route, but wouldn't spend the money that some of the OEMs are asking for- a handeless frying pan like this lid could be something that works for you, and it'd double as a skillet, and lid for the dutch oven. A good duel sensor thermometer is another nice thing to have. I've been using this one for a few months and really like it. The stock thermometers on the grills are notoriously inaccurate over time, and it's really nice to sit inside and watch the game and have the wireless unit beep when the grill is too hot or cold, or when the meat hits the target temp.
Since you already have a crock pot, you can go for a (preferably cast iron) dutch oven. Besides being an in-the-oven slow cooker like your crock pot, you won't believe all the remarkable things that can be cooked in a covered dutch oven. I'm talking fantastic chicken and turkey (baked, boiled, braised or fried), pork so thoroughly cooked and tender that you don't need a knife to cut it, stews, sauces, cakes, breads (especially no-knead bread)...the list goes on and on. And of course it can be used as a stovetop cooking pot as well. I use a bare iron dutch oven for my roasts, though I also have an enameled pot for making tomato-based sauces and dishes. If you're on a low budget and can't afford both, I'd suggest going for the bare cast iron dutch oven first, because you can use your crock pot to make tomato sauces and acidic dishes. An enamel-coated pot can come a little later if you have these two necessities.
And since I'm biased in favor of cast iron, I'll simply suggest that if you get only one cast iron pan, make it a full-sized 12-inch cast iron skillet. A big pan like this will give you plenty of room to fry anything on the stovetop, including steak, bacon, pancakes, eggs, chicken, vegetables, and anything else; and the heavy cast iron also makes a good in-the-oven baking pan as well.
(The Lodge "double dutch" oven deal at Amazon is the best deal around for a cast iron dutch oven, especially since Amazon sends it with free shipping. You get the pot and an oversized cover that also serves as a second cooking pan, including a pie plate. The Lodge 12-inch skillet can usually be found for $16 to $19 at any Wal-Mart, which is a better price than Amazon.)
I understand about being a poor student. But a Dutch oven should be 1st on your pots and pans list because it is so useful. You can do soups, chili, pot roast and a zillion other dishes in it. And a heavy cast iron or aluminum one will last a lifetime.
HERE'S a basic one that has a lid that doubles as a skillet. If this is still too much, consider putting it on your birthday wish list.