Kitchen Hacks

This Modern, Affordable Dutch Oven Can Braise with the Best of Them

It’ll be oh-so-at-home on the range.

December  7, 2018
Doesn't the marinara look right at home? Photo by Rocky Luten

If it wasn’t already completely obvious—we’re all a little Dutch oven-obsessed over here. Wait, you too? Welcome to the clubhouse (password: “fall-apart-tender”). For the uninitiated, it’s a comfy-sized pot made of cast iron. It has a heavy lid to keep steam trapped for unparalleled slow-cooking, and was named for its origins in the 1700s with the Pennsylvania Dutch. Fast forward a few hundred years and most of your modern-day types (and even those stashed in your grandparents’ cupboard) are enameled for even heat distribution and easy cleaning. They also stew, roast, and braise—hey, they even bake bread—and still won’t turn up their noses at everyday tasks like, well, boiling water. Crash course in Dutch oven-ry complete, you’ll wanna hang on to your socks for this newcomer: the Milo.

Apart from its let’s-get-down-to-business design (read: no frills, no 20 colorway decision angst) you can expect it to feel and cook right along with the likes of its pricier peers. Handling up to 450℉, it distributes heat so well you might ask yourself why you ever braised in anything else the minute you smell the onions browning oh-so-evenly.

Behold, the LBD(O)—little black dutch oven. Photo by Ty Mecham
Brass knob? Be still our hearts. Photo by Ty Mecham

Of course, you don’t have to take our word alone for it: The New York Times calls the newcomer "Dead-set on disruption, one kitchen cabinet at a time" and My Domaine dubs it "Premium kitchenware at a fraction of the cost” while Domino assures us it "Cuts no corners when it comes to design and excellence." And that’s just a drop in the bucket.

Like most good things, the Milo came to be when L.A.-based Zach Schau (who dreamed up the oven after touring factories in Europe, the U.S., and Asia) decided to make a radical move and offer an either/or world a both/and solution: something made with centuries-old technology that came with a century-long warranty. Above all, he hoped to feature all these qualities without the crippling price tag—and that’s something we can get behind. Did we mention the ease of cleaning? Yep, it can happen with no more than hot water, a scrub and, at worst, a drop of soap (or just toss it in the dishwasher and call it a day). All these things are helpful because a Dutch oven gets put through its paces like no other cookware. And being enameled means it’s coated with a type of slick, lower-maintenance glass, granting it the superior heat retention of cast-iron without the need to season ‘til death do you part.

Because white matches everything (think: clouds, Andy Warhol's hair, clean sheets). Photo by Rocky Luten

Think of the Milo as a kind of analog version of the crockpot, crafted for long, slow braises, stews, and soups that taste better thanks to the heat retention of the cast iron and the slow release of water, leaving nothing but the good stuff behind. And hey, this is actually kind of an apt metaphor for the Milo itself: accessibly priced, stripped-down, non-gimmicky cookware the company call a “100 year investment for your kitchen.”

Have a favorite Dutch oven recipe? Please share with us in the comments below!

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Mariellen
  • Matt
  • 702551
  • txchick57
  • Phyllis
Maggie Slover

Written by: Maggie Slover


Mariellen December 13, 2018
I’m sorry but you lost me when I found out this product is made in China. Not buying it.
Matt December 8, 2018
450 degrees is low. They're not going to be doing much disrupting at that temperature.
702551 December 7, 2018
I am totally satisfied with my Lodge Dutch oven, now ten years old. It will outlive me.

Lodge Dutch oven (6L): $60 at Amazon
Milo Dutch oven (5.5L): $95 on their site
txchick57 December 7, 2018
I know, right? The product flogging here is really annoying.
702551 December 7, 2018
I have no problem with people trying to make an honest buck. This is a free market economy and America relies on consumer spending.

Food52's current business model is to drive reader to their online store.

In this case, the article author specifically solicited comments about what Dutch ovens readers enjoy so I posted my own thoughts.

I'm sure the $95 Dutch oven will do a splendid job. Same with the $200 Dutch oven.

But it is helpful to know that there are credible alternatives.
Phyllis December 9, 2018
Yes and I totally agree with you.
tony October 8, 2020
Me too