As a seasoned restaurant chef with a decade of experience in the kitchen, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a variety of kitchen tools and equipment. Among these, Dutch ovens have been a constant, proving their worth in numerous dishes. In this article, we’re going to take a close look at two popular Dutch ovens: the KitchenAid Dutch Oven and the Crock Pot Dutch Oven. Our goal is to help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of each, making it easier for you to choose the right one for your cooking needs.
To ensure a thorough comparison, we’ll evaluate these Dutch ovens based on several crucial aspects:
- Heat retention and compatibility
- Lid fit
- Handles and product design
- Maintenance and cleaning
- Durability and performance
Crock-Pot is a well-established and iconic brand with a long history, celebrated as the pioneer of the slow cooker. Let’s find out why this Dutch oven is a popular option among home cooks.
KitchenAid is a renowned kitchen appliance brand known for its premium-quality products. Their Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven is a popular choice for cooking enthusiasts. This Dutch oven offers functionality and aesthetic appeal, making it a trusted brand for culinary enthusiasts and home chefs.
Despite not making it to the TOP-5 best Dutch ovens list for a few reasons, this Dutch oven is still a great choice.
We’ll explore each of these factors and conduct a practical cooking test to see how each Dutch oven performs in a real kitchen setting. Let’s dive in and compare their qualities.
Crock Pot VS Kitchen Aid: Material
|The Crock-Pot Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven is made of strong and durable cast iron. The enamel coating adds an elegant touch, prevents rust, and makes cleaning easy.
|The KitchenAid Dutch oven is made of cast iron with an enamel coating. It offers a robust and rust-resistant build. However, I find its cast iron thickness slightly less substantial than other Dutch oven brands.
Crock Pot VS Kitchen Aid: Weight
|Crock-Pot is a bit heavy.
|This Dutch oven‘s weight is manageable. It can be easily lifted and maneuvered even if loaded with food.
Crock Pot VS Kitchen Aid: Heat Retention and Compatibility
|The Crock Pot Dutch Oven is great in heat retention, maintaining a steady temperature. It is highly compatible with various heat sources, including gas, electric, ceramic, and induction cooktops, and it can handle high oven temperatures up to 500°F (260°C).
|The KitchenAid Dutch oven demonstrated good heat retention capabilities, maintaining a consistent temperature during braising for optimal results. Additionally, its wide heat compatibility, suitable for various stovetops and oven use up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, ensures versatility in cooking methods.
Crock Pot VS Kitchen Aid: Lid Fit
|The Crock-Pot Dutch Oven includes a self-basting heavy lid, which helps maintain even heat distribution and preserve moisture.
|The self-basting lid creates an effective seal to retain moisture and flavor in the Dutch oven. However, there’s a minor issue with lid stability, causing steam leakage when the pot is moved, especially during extended cooking sessions.
Crock Pot VS Kitchen Aid: Handles and Product Design
|The Dutch oven‘s robust, user-friendly handles and thoughtful design ensure easy handling. Overall, its design is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
|The Dutch oven‘s side handles lack secure grip holes, making it challenging to hold firmly. Despite this, the overall design is elegant and minimalistic, making it visually appealing for serving dishes.
Crock Pot VS Kitchen Aid: Colors
|The Crock-Pot Enameled Dutch Oven comes in various appealing colors, allowing you to select the one that complements your kitchen decor. You can choose from Aqua Blue, Blush Pink, Pistachio Green, Scarlet Red, Teal Ombre, Lavender Purple, Sapphire Blue, Slate Gray, and Sunset Orange.
|The KitchenAid Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven is available in a few color options, such as pistachio and blue velvet. The color choices are relatively limited compared to other Dutch ovens that offer a more extensive selection of shapes, sizes, and colors.
Crock Pot VS Kitchen Aid: Maintenance and Cleaning
|It is advisable to handwash this Dutch Oven due to its enamel coating. Cleaning it is simple, as food residue doesn’t stick much on its surface. I usually wash it with a gentle soak and scrub. To prevent scratches, avoid using metal utensils.
|Cleaning the KitchenAid Dutch oven is easy due to its enamel coating, but it displayed signs of chipping after a few uses.
Crock Pot VS Kitchen Aid: Durability and Performance
|The Crock Pot Dutch Oven can withstand frequent use without chipping or cracking. It consistently delivers exceptional cooking results during the six months of using it.
|The KitchenAid Dutch oven performed adequately for a specific cooking task but felt less robust and substantial compared to premium options. It’s suitable for occasional home use but may not be as durable for professional kitchen demands.
Crock Pot VS Kitchen Aid: Warranty
|While a one-year warranty backs this Dutch oven, it might not offer the same level of coverage as some other Dutch oven brands. However, considering its price point, the warranty is reasonable.
|This Dutch oven includes a one-year warranty for added reassurance regarding its durability. Nevertheless, it is best to invest in high-end brands that offer better value for the price.
Crock Pot VS Kitchen Aid: Price
|The Crock-Pot is more affordable than the other Dutch Ovens. It is ideal for home cooks looking for a Dutch Oven without breaking the bank.
|The KitchenAid Dutch Oven is affordable.
The KitchenAid and Crock-Pot Dutch ovens both showcased outstanding abilities for browning. Their cast iron makeup enabled an impeccable sear on the short ribs from all angles. Each oven produced a deeply caramelized crust, contributing greatly to the richness and complexity of the flavor in the dish.
The Crock-Pot Dutch Oven demonstrated superior performance in maintaining moisture throughout the cooking process. Thanks to its tightly fitting lid and robust build, the braising liquid was effectively retained inside the pot.
Conversely, the KitchenAid Dutch Oven exhibited a slight steam leakage issue. Although this wasn’t a major defect, it did result in the short ribs cooked in the Crock-Pot Dutch Oven being more tender.
Although the Red Wine Braised Short Ribs turned out to be exceptionally flavorful in both Dutch ovens, the ribs prepared in the Crock-Pot Dutch Oven were notably more tender and had a richer taste.
How We Tested
We began by placing both Dutch ovens side by side on a stovetop and heating them to the same temperature. Our first task was to sear short ribs in each oven, closely watching how well they distributed heat and seared the meat to develop a rich flavor.
Throughout the slow cooking process, we kept a close eye on how well each Dutch oven retained moisture. This included observing the effectiveness of their lids in maintaining a seal that kept the right amount of steam and moisture in the dish.
After the cooking period ended, we conducted a detailed evaluation of the short ribs cooked in each Dutch oven. This taste test focused on assessing the meat’s tenderness, flavor, and overall quality, specifically looking at the results of cooking the Red Wine Braised Short Ribs in each oven.
Concluding our comparison of the KitchenAid and Crock-Pot Dutch ovens, the Crock-Pot Dutch Oven clearly takes the lead. After evaluating factors like material quality, heat retention, lid fit, durability, and more, the Crock-Pot outperformed KitchenAid, particularly in our cooking test with Red Wine Braised Short Ribs.
The Crock-Pot excelled in moisture retention, resulting in short ribs that were notably more tender and flavorful. Its robust construction, variety of colors, ease of maintenance, and affordability further solidify its position as the superior choice. While the KitchenAid Dutch Oven is a viable option for occasional use, the Crock-Pot Dutch Oven’s combination of performance, quality, and value makes it the top pick for both home cooks and professional chefs.
Chef Bradley Thompson highly recommends to check his list of the best Dutch ovens.