How Do I Choose Between an Oval Dutch Oven VS Round?

Both the Le Creuset oval dutch oven and the round dutch oven have their unique benefits. Here’s a breakdown of the advantages of each:

Le Creuset Oval Dutch Oven:

  1. Versatile: The elongated shape of the oval Dutch oven makes it perfect for cooking longer cuts of meat, such as whole chickens and roasts.
  2. Surface Area: The oval shape provides more surface area, so you are able to fit larger cuts of meat or poultry comfortably.
  3. Space Efficiency: The oval Dutch oven fits better on narrow burners.It’s a good choice for cooktops with limited space.
  4. Heat Distribution: Just like the round Dutch oven, the oval shape produces consistent cooking results through even heat distribution.
  5. Elegant Shape: The elongated shape of the oval Dutch oven is elegant. It fit better on your table when serving if you have a number of dishes or tabletop space is limited.

Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven:

  1. Classic Design: The round Dutch oven is the iconic piece Le Creuset is known for. It’s a timeless design and has aesthetic appeal.
  2. Versatiile: The round shape is ideal for a wide range of cooking techniques, including braising, roasting and baking.
  3. Easy Stirring: The rounded edges of the round Dutch oven make it easy to stir and mix ingredients during cooking.
  4. Heat Retention: The cast iron construction of the round Dutch oven ensures superior heat retention, resulting in tender and full-flavored dishes.
  5. Widely Available: The round Dutch oven is available in a wide range of sizes and colors.

Ultimately, the choice between the oval and round Dutch oven depends on your specific cooking preferences and needs. Both offer exceptional performance and durability, allowing you to create delicious meals with ease. 

How do I decide which size Le Creuset to buy?

Consider the size of your cooktop, your oven and the number of people your usually cook for.

The benefits of different sizes of Dutch ovens depend on your specific cooking needs.  Here are some general benefits of different Dutch oven sizes:

  • Smaller sizes (1 – 3.5 quarts):
  • Individual servings or small households
  • Ideal for making sauces, small sides, or cooking for 1 or 2 people
  • Easier to handle and store due to their compact size

3-4 quarts

  • side dishes
  • soups

Medium sizes (4.5 – 5.5 quarts):

  • One pot meals
  • Versatile for everyday cooking – roasting, braising, baking, and making soups or stews.
  • Small to medium-sized families.
  • Chicken (5lb)

Larger sizes (6.75 – 9 quarts):

  • Ideal for larger families, gatherings, and batch cooking
  • Perfect for cooking large roasts, whole poultry, large batches of soups and stews
  • Great for entertaining or preparing meals in advance

Still confused? Your’re not alone. There’s such a fabulous range available. Lets breakdown sizes even further: 

1 quart: Perfect for individual servings, small sides, or sauces.

2.75 quarts: A good size to cook for small families or couples. For example dishes like soups, stews, and side dishes.

3.5 quarts: A versatile size for everyday cooking; small roasts, whole chickens, and larger batches of soups or stews.

4.5 quarts: A popular choice for medium-sized families, suitable for roasting, braising, and baking.

5.5 quarts: A versatile size for larger families or gatherings, (5 to 6 people), perfect for roasts, whole poultry, and larger batches of soups or stews.

6.75 quarts:  A generous size for entertaining or cooking larger meals, great for pot roasts, large poultry, and bigger batches of chilli or stews.

7.25 quarts: Similar to the 6.75, suits larger families and gatherings, ideal for slow-cooking and braising.

9 quarts: A large option for special occasions and batch cooking. Large roasts, multiple chickens, or large quantities of soups or stews.

The most popular sizes are generally between 5.5 and 7 quarts. 5.5 is a good weight, not too big but still a generous size. Our household loves left overs for lunches and batch-cooking. So we ere on the larger side to cater for the occasional dinner party or every-day family and left-overs meals.

How many people are you cooking for?

 1-2 qt – 1 to 2 people  

3-4 qt – 3 to 4 people

5 – 6qt – 4 to 6 people

7 – 8 q – 6 to 8 people

9+ qt – more than 8 people

Which Style is Better? What do you want to cook?

Now let’s get to cooking

Round is Dutch ovens are the top choice for soups, stews, sauces, even baking desserts.

Braises and Stews: The round Dutch oven is perfect for braising meats or simmering stews, as the rounded shape promotes even heat distribution and allows for thorough cooking.

Breads and baking: The round shape is great for baking bread, as it helps the dough maintain its shape during rising and baking. Although this will depend on the final shape loaf of bread you prefer.

Soups, stews and sauces: The rounded edges of the round Dutch oven make it easier to stir and mix ingredients, making it ideal for preparing soups, sauces, and reductions.


The elongated shape of the oval Dutch oven provides more surface area to comfortably fit

Longer cuts of meat: larger poultry such as whole chickens, turkey, or ducks. Slow-cooking lamb shanks (Mmmm) or rack of ribs is delicious. Even bread can be baked in an oval if you prefer that shape. Special occasion roasts fit into this shape well.

The oval shape is also well-suited for

Layered dishes and casseroles: as it provides more space for even layering of ingredients.


Both shapes will fit into conventional ovens.


If space is limited on the cooktop, the oval shape can save a little space there

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