Tramontina vs Lodge Dutch oven – a showdown between two budget heavyweights in the Dutch oven world.
In the blue corner is the Tramontina 6.5-Quart Covered Round Dutch Oven…and in the red corner, the Lodge Color 6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. So let’s start the Tramontina vs Lodge Dutch oven showdown.
Tramontina 6.5-Quart Covered Round Dutch Oven
Lodge Color 6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
These two have already gone head to head in our Best Dutch oven test along with a few others. Click here if you want to read that review.
Even before I offer a comparison, I already know that they are closely matched. Two products with very similar qualities, the reality is that you will be perfectly happy choosing either.
Today, I will compare the performance and design of the two and make a recommendation to you. I will compare them on the following criteria:
- Cooking performance
- Build quality
Cooking performance – Tramontina vs Lodge Dutch oven
We ran both the two through a test making Beef stew. This was chosen as the test as it allowed us to check the stovetop braising ability and then the oven cooking performance. It was a controlled test using exactly the same ingredients and process.
The cooking performance was generally good in the Tramontina Dutch oven. The searing process was good and the beef browned evenly and very well. Much as you would expect to see in more expensive Dutch ovens.
The straighter sides of the Tramontina resemble the shape of the Le Creuset Dutch ovens. This meant it was a little trickier to mix the contents because of the corners but this is not a deal breaker.
The final stew was excellent. It was slightly thicker than the rest we tested, a result of moisture loss with the lid. Nonetheless, it was excellent and made it into our top 5 Best Dutch oven list.
The performance of the Lodge was very similar to the Tramontina. The browning of the meat was excellent and simple given the shape of the Dutch oven. It does have a slightly smaller surface area to the base and is generally a little smaller anyway by half a quart.
The final Beef stew was excellent and on par with the premium Dutch ovens we tested too. The Beef was tender and the sauce was thick and tasty. One thing we did notice was the amount of liquid it retained, slightly more than the Tramontina. This points to a better lid fitment on the Lodge.
Build quality – Tramontina vs Lodge Dutch oven
With both the Tramontina and the Lodge at similar prices…and with similar cooking performance, the build quality is important. Both are enameled inside and out and both are reassuringly heavy.
The build quality was fine but I think the Lodge edges it slightly. This is based on a side by side comparison and it was a marginal decision. If you do opt for the Tramontina, you have nothing to fear as it is well built.
In terms of negatives, there has been feedback suggesting that the outside can scorch on a stove at high heats. Although Dutch ovens should never be used at on a high heat on a stovetop, you can argue it is user error. However, this could be considered a negative.
Another possible area of concern is the color dulling when used in a dishwasher. Now the manufacturer state that it is dishwasher safe…and it is in that no harm to the fundamental pan…but they do say that you should hand wash them. Again, you can argue this negative is user error.
Generally, we thought the build quality was good and very good when you consider the price.
In general, we were slightly happier with the build quality of the Lodge and we were reassured by the quality checks and demands at Lodge. Having said that, the difference was marginal so you can be happy with either.
If you look at the reviews, the overwhelming reviews are positive for the Lodge. There are a couple of issues that you should be aware of. Some feedback suggests that the enamel can chip. In most cases, this is again user error and is done by heating the vessel while empty. This is a big no-no for any enamel Dutch oven, not just Lodge. If it is a manufacturing fault, you are covered by the Lodge warranty.
The sand enamel inside is also prone to staining. Again, this depends entirely what you cook but it can be cleaned to new condition should that happen.
So, to conclude, we were happy with the build quality. The finish was decent and the color was a deep gloss. Everything was as it should be.
Design – Tramontina vs Lodge Dutch oven
Tramontina vs Lodge Dutch oven – I looked at the design factors that helped the performance and ease of use. I looked at three aspects, the body, the lid and the handles. Done correctly and with some thought, they can make a real difference to how the Dutch oven performs and how you interact with it. The easier it is to use, the more you are likely to use it.
The first thing about the body of the Tramontina that was immediately apparent was the height of it. It was taller than the others which resulted in a smaller surface area with the base. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing…in fact, there are some positives to this like even heat distribution. It does however make searing meat a little more difficult and large cuts of meat may not fit easier than might do in some other Dutch ovens.
The straight sides mirror the Le Creuset design which means everything is accessible. The insides are Coated with PFOA and PTFE-free porcelain enamel.
The Lid was good and fitted the body very well. The knob on the lid is metal and can handle heat up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. This is decent but bear in mind that some no-knead bread recipes need to cook at 475 degrees.
The handles were a little short and stubby for our liking. Yes, they will store better and take up less room but the reality is when using oven mitts, you want a reassuring grip. This was not the case here.
Overall, the Lodge just seemed like a well-designed Dutch oven. The patterned design of the lid was a nice touch and overall, the glossy red made it an attractive piece.
The body was nice too. It is slightly different in shape in that it bows out slightly. This makes mixing easier but does reduce the surface area at the bottom. It’s not that big of deal but something to be aware of. At first, it seems the rim of the body is exposed cast iron but it is not. It is black matte enamel so the rim is protected.
The lid was a very good fit and the loss of liquid was less than the Tramontina in our cooking test. The knob on the lid is made out of metal and is safe to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it more versatile for oven use so baking bread is possible in this.
The handles were the best out of all the ones we tested. They were large with a large gap between the body and the edge of the handle. It was reassuring to pick up with oven mitts and easy to get your fingers in them.
Facts at a glance
|Dimensions||15.9 x 8 x 13 inches||14 x 7 x 12 inches|
|Weight||16.3 pounds||14.75 pounds|
|Material||Enamel Cast Iron||Enamel Cast Iron|
|Country of manufacture||China||China|
This was close comparison between Tramontina vs Lodge Dutch oven. In fact, there was very little to call between the two. If you bought and owned either, you would be happy with your choice.
Obviously, the biggest attraction of the two is the price. They both make Dutch cooking accessible which is a major plus for me. The value you get from the Tramontina and Lodge is amazing…especially when you compare against the premium brands like Staub and Le Creuset. Yes, they are better made but essentially, they are producing very similar results.
In our main test, I declared the Lodge the winner as the overall package was better. I will stick with that finding here.
The Lodge just seemed to have a little more than the Tramontina especially the maximum temperature range. I must confess that I am a huge fan of Lodge and I own cast iron skillets and outdoor Dutch ovens made by them.
So, Tramontina vs Lodge Dutch oven…I would buy the Lodge…but if somebody bought me the Tramontina, I would not be disappointed.
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!
I thought Lodge was an American company?
Yes they are. However, according to their website they struggled to find an American supplier that could provide the enameling they needed. For that reason, they outsourced their production to China under their strict control and oversight.
Do these Dutch ovens do the same as Le Creuset Dutch ovens?
They do exactly the same as them. At the end of the day, a Dutch oven will do the same as any other to some degree. The difference in the price is a reflection of their brand and product quality. They are better made and better finished products but you are paying significantly more for them.
What is the benefit of enamel?
The main benefit of enamel Dutch ovens is that they protect the cast iron beneath. This means you get all the qualities of cast iron without the responsibility of seasoning. It also means that they are safer to put on glass stove tops and you can use them in a dishwasher…albeit that is not recommended. They are also easier to clean.
What is the warranty?
Tramontina vs Lodge Dutch oven warranty – They are quite similar but it is worth checking before you buy. Essentially, they protect you against manufacturing defects and defects in the enamel. Under normal use, if it was to crack you could be entitled to a replacement.
Where is the best place to buy them?
They are available both offline and online. I personally bought mine from Amazon as that is where i found the best price.
Why does the maximum heat temperature matter?
For most people it won’t as they normally cook at 350F. It really only matters when it comes to baking bread in the Dutch oven. Many no-knead Dutch oven bread recipes need you to bake at 475F. This is where it becomes relevant.
Can I use them in the dishwasher?
Yes, you can but I would not. In fact, the manufacturers warn against it as it will eventually dull and damage the enameling. They are simple to clean using hand washing anyway so you shouldn’t feel the need to use a dishwasher.
I heard you should not heat an empty Dutch oven in the oven but I need to preheat to bake?
That is correct, do NOT heat an empty enamel Dutch oven in the oven. It will damage it. If you need to do that, place a couple of inches of water in it before you do. Then remove the water when it comes time to use it.
If you had the choice between the Tramontina vs Lodge Dutch oven – What would you choose?
I would not mind either, they are both very good. Personally, I preferred the Lodge Dutch oven but that was just my opinion. Tramontina vs Lodge Dutch oven – it’s a close call but both very good. I would be happy with either…or both 🙂
Is there a video review of this?
I found the following review which was really well done.
How can I protect my Dutch oven?
Never use metal utensils…never. Silicone all the way or nylon coated. If the enamel scratches, it is prone to cracking and food getting baked on. Also, handle them with care to avoid chipping the enamel and protecting the paintwork.
Where can i find your full review on Lodge Enamel Dutch oven?
You can find the full review by clicking the following link Lodge Enamel Dutch oven
Where can i find the review of the best Dutch ovens?
You can find that review by clicking the following link Best Dutch Ovens
Wikipedia – Lodge Cast Iron