ATK Reviews

What's the Difference Between a Dutch Oven and a Stockpot?

The most common answer: material. But when you search for a lightweight option, what should you keep in mind?

Published May 14, 2021.

By traditional definition, cast-iron Dutch ovens are heavy and durable, retain heat well, and have tight-fitting lids that trap steam and moisture. Dutch ovens also traditionally have fairly low sides, so cooks can easily maneuver food inside the pots. Stockpots, in comparison, are generally lighter and have significantly taller sides. In practice, the differences are more subtle—especially when talking about lightweight Dutch ovens. We found that there’s no rhyme or reason to naming these pots; they’re often labeled as stockpots, casseroles, or Dutch ovens. When shopping for a lightweight Dutch oven, focus less on terminology and more on size and shape. Look for a wide cooking surface and low-enough sides (between 4 and 6 inches) to maneuver food easily.

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