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What's the Difference Between a Dutch Oven and a Stockpot?

By Chase Brightwell Published

The most common answer: materials. But when you search for a lightweight option, what should you keep in mind?

By traditional definition, cast-iron Dutch ovens are heavy and durable, retain heat well, and have tight-fitting lids that trap steam and moisture. Dutch ovens also traditionally have fairly low sides, so cooks can easily maneuver food inside the pots. Stockpots, in comparison, are generally lighter and have significantly taller sides. In practice, the differences are more subtle—especially when talking about lightweight Dutch ovens. We found that there’s no rhyme or reason to naming these pots; they’re often labeled as stockpots, casseroles, or Dutch ovens. When shopping for a lightweight Dutch oven, focus less on terminology and more on size and shape. Look for a wide cooking surface and low-enough sides (between 4 and 6 inches) to maneuver food easily.

Equipment Review Lightweight Dutch Ovens

Our favorite Dutch ovens are reliable and versatile—but heavy. Could we find a great lightweight stand-in?

Equipment Review Best Stockpots of 2021

Which stockpot is best? To find out, we boiled, stirred, and sautéed in every pot, ending up with gallons upon gallons of chicken stock and a new winner.

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JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.