Lodge vs AmazonBasics Dutch oven…a close battle between the two but the cooking performance of the Lodge Dutch oven gives it the edge. Read the full review below.
Here we have it…the battle of the budget Dutch ovens…Lodge vs AmazonBasics Dutch oven. Lodge have had a clear run for a long time with their budget offering dominating the market.
With the arrival of Amazon into the market, this shapes up to be a real battle. Lodge with their history and heritage in Dutch ovens…Amazon with their brand and reach.
Both brands with their budget Dutch ovens are hugely welcome in the market. They serve a need and allow people to experience the wonders of Dutch cooking without the hefty price tag it used to have.
The pricing may be great from both brands, but the important question will always surround the cooking performance. That is ultimately what customers want.
So, lets see which the best Dutch oven is out of the two. I will give you my analysis based on my cooking test and will also consider a few factors. I will give you my verdict based on the following;
- Cooking performance
- Build quality
- Design and aesthetics
Both ovens I tested were the same size…6 quarts.
Cooking Performance – Lodge vs AmazonBasics Dutch oven
To make this test as equal as possible, I made a beef stew. However, all the ingredients were from the same source…so from the same cut of beef, the same packet of vegetables etc.
The beef stew was chosen as the recipe as it allowed me to test a variety of functions. It stats with the searing process on the stovetop and finishes in the oven. It is a recipe that will offer different flavors based on how well it cooked. It is therefore a good choice to conduct the test with.
It was generally a surprise that something so cheap could cook so well. The searing of the beef was done beautifully. The browning was consistent all the way around albeit the first side was done quickly with the rest of the sides taking slightly longer.
The oven performance was excellent and this was reflected in the final stew. It was thick and tasty. This is a result of some moisture loss but that is through design not error. It loses the same amount of liquid as a Le Creuset Dutch oven.
The AmazonBasics Dutch oven performed well and given the price, you could argue really well. The searing process was a little slower but the results were good. It seems to be something that all Dutch ovens do, the sear the first side quickly and the rest take a little longer.
Oven performance was good with the flavors infused and a real layering of tastes. It lost more liquid than the Lodge but only marginally. The result was a thick sauce but the taste was good. This is easily remedied next time by adding slightly more water. It does point to the lid fitment though which was not as good as the Lodges.
Build quality – Lodge vs AmazonBasics Dutch oven
With both Dutch ovens made in China, is there a difference in the build quality? Let’s have a look…
I was pleasantly surprised with the build quality…yes you guessed it…considering the price. The lid fitment was good and that the paint was a decent glossy two-tone finish. Available in a dozen or so colors, there is a color to suit you.
It is also stated by the manufacturer that it is dishwasher safe…although I would recommend against that to prevent the paint dulling.
The enameling was consistent all the way around which is not always the case with budget Dutch ovens. It probably wasn’t as smooth as you would want for example on a Le Creuset…but that is to be expected.
Overall, I was happy with the build. It is always worth reading feedback on from users on Amazon just to get an idea of common themes.
Now, you have to understand that this is the lowest priced Dutch oven so you have to set your expectations accordingly. As a result, i was pleasantly surprised. The finish was eerily similar to Lodge…almost like they were built in the same factory. It is possible they were…i can’t say for sure.
Therefore, the build was more than acceptable and better than expected. I have a feeling people will be quite happy with this purchase. They are only available in two colors as I write this…blue and red.
As with the Lodge, the lid fitment was good and the glossy paintwork was two tones. Obviously, it wont match up to Le Creuset or Staub standards but it was good.
The whitish interior looked good but the concern always remains around staining. Not a deal breaker but something to think about.
Design – Lodge vs AmazonBasics Dutch oven
I looked at the overall appearance and features of the Dutch oven to give an idea of how versatile and easy they are to use.
It appears to be a well thought out design which is a little different to those you normally find. The shape of the vessel is curved and bows out slightly. As a result, the surface area of the base is slightly smaller. The design though does make it easier for mixing within the pan.
The handles are a plus point, large and easily accessible. Plenty of finger room too so handling can be done easily and safely.
As I mentioned earlier, the lid was a good fit and I was happy with that. The design was nice too but the biggest benefit is that the lid knob is oven safe to 500F. This means it is versatile enough to handle lots of different recipes.
Overall, a well thought out design which stands out.
The basic design is very similar to the Lodge…almost as it they were influenced by it. The main body bows out slightly…again reducing the surface area of the base but making mixing easier.
The lid design was nice…again very similar to the Lodge. The biggest difference was the maximum temperature. It is 400F which is not high enough for certain activities such as no knead bread.
The handles were nice and wide, enough to get a solid grip whilst wearing oven mitts. The finger holes were pretty tight though.
Overall, the design and build are on par with Lodge so it is only fair to score them similar. The maximum temperature issue may swing it for some, but not others.
These two are the keenest priced Dutch ovens on the market so it would be easy to excuse their cooking performance or poor build. In both these cases, I don’t. They are both well built and more than good enough for a higher price bracket.
The AmazonBasics Dutch oven is newer to the market but has great reviews on Amazon – Read them here.
The Lodge Dutch oven has been around much longer with thousands of feedback reviews on Amazon. Read them here.
As I stated earlier, I was pleasantly surprised by the build quality and design of both Dutch ovens. The big question… Lodge vs AmazonBasics Dutch oven…which would I choose?
Personally, I would opt for the Lodge for a few reasons. Lodge’s whole identity is with Dutch ovens…it is what they do. I suspect they care more about their reputation in this market.
Lodge also offer a greater range in sizes and importantly colors with approximately twelve to choose from. AmazonBasics offer a measly two.
I scored the design and build very similar but the cooking performance was won by Lodge. When all said and done, if you are paying similar money, get the one with the best cooking results.
Since you are here…can I ask you a favor?
It would be really nice if you could share this image on social media…it’s just a couple of clicks for you but it means the world to me.
Thank you so much
What should I read next?
If you found this article useful but want to consider more options, have a look at my article Best affordable Dutch oven…$100 challenge.
You may also want to look at my overall article on Best Dutch ovens.
For a full review of the AmazonBasics Dutch oven