I currently have this on order and plan on using it for stocks, broths, and boiling grains/vegetables.

My question is: what are the advantages of a dutch oven / sauce pot over this when it comes to most other types of cooking? Rather than the advantages of cast-iron vs. stainless steel I'm more interested in the general question of why a stock pot isn't ideal for braising, sauteing, or stew/chili, especially when the one I ordered has a clad bottom and is oven-safe. Does it just come down to the tall, narrow shape and clunky size?

If it really does make sense to also have a dutch oven / sauce pot on hand, would I be wiser to start with stainless steel or enameled cast iron?

  • According to Wikipedia "A Dutch oven is a thick-walled cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid." So depending on how you define thick and tight-fitting lid, what you have may already be a Dutch oven in everything but name. Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 19:47

3 Answers 3


The answer is that both can be used just fine for the same purposes, however stock pots tend to have much thinner walls than the bottom and thinner than those found on Dutch ovens. The thinner walls mean that they retain less heat and so are less efficient at cooking on the stove top (e.g. soups), and more likely to burn or stick around the walls if placed in the oven - because of the faster heat transfer on these thin surfaces.

Stainless steel is more prone to sticking for some items too (e.g. eggs, meats), and is relatively difficult to season (it's generally not done to stainless), whereas cast-iron can be seasoned very easily, it's more or less mandatory for this material and essentially makes it more or less non-stick.

Enameled/ceramic-coated cast-iron pots such as the Le-Creuset ones are generally non-stick from the shop and have the same benefits as cast-iron.

Having said that I use an oven-safe stock pot for making things like pasta-bake, where it is in the oven for relatively short periods of time (~40 min - 1h), and don't generally have any problems.


If you want to do stocks I would get the stainless steel one, biggest that'll work on your stove/have room for? If you want to do soups/stews roasting frying bread casseroles ...get the dutch oven ... you can do "stocks, broths, and boiling grains/vegetables" in either.


This article by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt (from Serious Eats and author of The Food Lab) may be helpful:

I am fortunate to have a Le Creuset Dutch oven that I received as a gift from my wife. In my opinion, it beats anything else out there. I seem to recall reading (America's Test Kitchen?) that the Tramontina brand ranked second to Le Creuset and is considerably less expensive, but have not personally compared them.

Though costly, I use it for a lot of different things (i.e., pot roast; chili; braised short-ribs; etc.) and have no complaints.

  • Welcome to the site. Please summarize the information in the link as they tend to go stale after a while, so having a more permanent record of that information here is useful to us.
    – bob1
    Commented Mar 17, 2020 at 3:13
  • I dislike the article linked because it's very biased against slowcookers. It complains about the dishes being watery and lacking maillard browning. While the general advice for slowcooking is: brown your meat and everything else before you put it in the slowcooker and be very conservative in liquid, use half, if not less liquid you would use in a traditional recipe.
    – Pieter B
    Commented Mar 17, 2020 at 10:10

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