ALDI Kitchen Living 6 Quart Dutch Oven – Review

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It works.  Is there anymore to say?

Of course there’s more to say.

This was sort of an impulse purchase.  The price was right.  The moon was full.  And I wanted to find out what was so special about a Dutch oven.

Without actually comparing to another Dutch oven, this one does not look cheap.  It looks like a quality product. There are no visible flaws in the enamel finish.  The finish is bright and shiny.  There were two colors offered at my ALDI, this blue and an even bolder red.  The weight suggests there’s plenty of cast iron.  The cover has a metal knob (but check the picture on your box before purchasing), which allows the Dutch oven to be used in a real oven up to 500 degrees F.  The inside is white.  The lid is not warped which allows it to produce a good seal with the body.  There are two handles on the side which you’ll need to lift it.  The top edge of the body and the bottom edge of the cover, where the two come together to form the seal, are not the same color as either the inside or the outside.  The black color of these areas appears to be  just unfinished cast iron.  That makes sense as this is the area where the top will make contact with the bottom and if there was an enamel finish there, it would likely get chipped.

To keep the finish looking good, inside and out, don’t use any metal utensils or metal cleaning pads or abrasive cleaners for that matter.  All of these will damage the enamel.  Also be gentle when moving.  Bumps into other heavy or sharp objects will eventually damage the enamel on any product.

My first try at cooking in the Dutch oven came out excellent.  This was even after having to improvising a recipe and cooking instructions.  Aside from some use and care instructions, there are no recipes or cooking charts that come with oven.  You’re on your own and the internet and my one (so far) recipe to figure out what to do with the darn thing.  I was really surprised, after doing some internet research, that most recipes call for the Dutch oven to be placed in the real oven.  That’s not what I was expecting to find.  I was expecting to find the same type of low and slow cooking that can be done in an oven (without the Dutch oven), being done on the stove top in the Dutch oven.  Improvising the stove top instructions was a further challenge.  Regardless of my perceptions or false perceptions, the food, on the stove top, came out just fine.  Here’s the link to my Stove Top Dutch Oven Pot Roast recipe.  Two more,  Stove Top Dutch Oven Chicken CacciatoreStove Top Dutch Oven Hamburger Stew.

That brings us right down to the clean up.  Clean up was easy.  Some hot water, a little dish detergent, a soft nylon pad, a rinse and a dry, cleaned up the oven quickly.  Be sure to dry with a towel by hand right after cleaning.  The Dutch oven cannot be washed in the dishwasher.  That’s probably a good thing for the oven and for the dishwasher.

The one disadvantage of a cast iron Dutch oven is, it’s heavy (about 12 pounds).  And the six quart one is big.  Together that’s big and heavy, even empty.  You’ll want to have a well thought out storage place, big enough and easy to get to, before buying one.  Or learn to like the looks of it on top of your stove and learn to use it for most of your cooking needs.  I was surprised to learn many people use Dutch ovens to boil water for pasta.  There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just a Dutch oven seems like a little overkill for boiled water.  But it all makes sense when you consider this is not a pot that you’ll want to move back and forth from some out-of-the-way storage location.

But on the other hand that big heavy mass is what allows the Dutch oven to mask many of our cooking mistakes, making Dutch oven cooking a relatively easy technique to use, especially when low slow cooking is needed.

As mentioned at the start, the price was right.  This one was $29.99.  That’s about half of what similar Dutch ovens cost when not on sale at other stores.  It’s about 6 times less than the high-end Dutch ovens.  Time will tell how good $30 really is.  For now, for one meal, that $30 worked well.

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9 Responses to “ALDI Kitchen Living 6 Quart Dutch Oven – Review”

  1. Arizona Williams Says:

    I would like to buy one of these pot. The Dutch oven

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    • steveo Says:

      I’ve only seen these at ALDI about once a year. I last saw them within the past two months. I suspect it will be next fall before they’re sold again. If you’re new to ALDI, they rotate in different seasonal or special items every week. And the ones from the prior week are typically gone. You’ll have to keep watching their ads and be quick once you see them.
      If you can’t wait another xx months until they show up again, take a look at the Lodge enamel cast iron dutch ovens. I’ve never owned one, but they get good reviews. The Lodge enamel dutch oven is made in China unlike the rest of the Lodge cast iron line. I believe the ALDI dutch oven is also made in China. The downside to the Lodge is, it will cost about twice as much as the ALDI dutch oven, but still less and far less than some of the other name brands. Target and Amazon are two places which seem to carry Lodge. The current Lodge price is a little over $70 for a 6 quart.

      Happy cooking

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  2. Karen McElravy Says:

    I want one! Where do I buy it??

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    • steveo Says:

      An ALDI near you. However they only have them once or twice a year. And then they’re only in the store for about week. Call your local ALDI and ask when they’ll be in next. If you can’t wait, try shopping for a Lodge porcelain enamel over cast iron Dutch oven. It will cost more, but Lodge has a good reputation. However, I’ve never used the Lodge.

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  3. Connie Aigner Says:

    I bought the same one! I’ve been looking at dutch ovens for a couple years, and they are always $130+ in the dept stores. I LOVE this one!! No problems at all, excellent quality. Thank you ALDI!!

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  4. Rich Says:

    I bought the six quart model and love it so far. I’ve made beef stew in the oven and yoghurt on the range. Pretty cool being able to make a gallon of yoghurt at a time!. I still want a Lodge 9 quart for directly on coals and bigger projects though. I’m not sure how the enamel would hold up to a coal bed..

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    • steveo Says:

      I think it would only take about 5 seconds before you regretted putting an enameled oven on coals. Besides, the outdoor dutch ovens are designed differently. They have “feet” on the bottom, a wire loop handle and a lid designed to hold additional coals which helps cook down from the top also. There’s a science to cooking on coals, and it works well. Do some internet research. There are plenty of outdoor recipes and tips on the web.

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      • Rich Says:

        That’s kind of what I thought. This one will be my handy indoor oven and I’ll find another for rough duty 🙂

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      • steveo Says:

        Good luck. One of your local Boy Scout troops may have an old timer who might teach you the ropes. There’s some amazing stuff that can come out of a Dutch oven on coals.

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