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How we test casserole and dutch ovens

We test casserole pots and dutch ovens to find out which give the best results.

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Casserole or Dutch ovens have been around for a while and have cemented their worth as a handy piece of cookware to have in your arsenal. They're generally round in shape and can be used on your cooktop or in the oven. They're induction compatible and are available in a range of sizes and colours to make a statement in your kitchen. We've tested a range of casserole or Dutch ovens in our kitchen lab and here we'll tell you how we put them to the test to give you results.

Our expert testers

Our test officer Chantelle Dart teams up with our home economist Fiona Mair to put kitchen products to the test. They sure do know their way around a kitchen with endless knowledge about kitchen appliances. Between them they have over 30 years of experience and have seen lots of new technology enter the kitchen space. They know how to put any appliance, big or small, through its paces to see if it's worth a spot in your kitchen.

How we choose what we test

With so many to choose from, what makes us choose one casserole or Dutch oven to test over another? As with most of our product testing, our aim is to test the most popular models on the market and what you're most likely to see in the retailers. We survey manufacturers to find out about their range of models and check market sales information, and we also check for any member requests to test specific models. From this information we put together a final list that goes to our buyers. They then head out to the retailers and buy each product, just as a normal consumer would. We do this so we can be sure they're the exact same product any consumer would take home and not 'tweaked' in any way.

How we test casserole and dutch ovens

Performance 

Brown rice We cook brown rice to assess the Dutch ovens ability to cook evenly and maintain the desired level of heat at the lowest temperature setting. The test also assesses the interior coatings capability, whether rice sticks to the bottom or not, as well as how well the lid seals. 

Bolognaise sauce We cook a bolognaise sauce to assess the Dutch ovens ability to slow cook while maintaining low temperature for a long period of time as well as its ability to brown the meat evenly. We also records if any staining caused by the tomato sauce occurs. 

Oven baked bread We also bake bread to assess the Dutch ovens ability to withstand time in a very hot oven as well as its ability to prove and bake a loaf of bread. 

Ease of use

We assess the durability of the lid and pot edge by lifting the lid on and off 25 times and then hitting the side of the bowl 50 times with a metal spoon. We then check for any damage to the pot. We also check how comfortable the handle is to hold, the size of the knob and how close it sits to the lid, if it and the side handles are easy to grip with an oven mitt and if the threading of the knob becomes loose. We also assess how easy it is to clean.

Testing criteria explained

The overall score is made up of:

  • Performance (40%)
  • Ease of use (60%)

Our test lab

We maintain a kitchen lab that is up to date with the latest reference machines and calibrated measurement tools for our testers to bring you the right results.

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