Cooking

Milo's New Cast-Iron Dutch Oven Comes Without the Buyer's Remorse

And it cooks just as well as cookware 4 times the price
Best Cheap Dutch Oven
Photos: Milo

Step into the hallway that doubles as my apartment kitchen, and you won't find a block of shiny knives, lavish wood cutting boards or anything remotely fancy feeling. The closest thing to an expensive stand mixer? The cabinet where I imagine I'd store one. But if there's one thing my kitchen does have going for it, it's Milo's new Dutch oven—a $95 piece of cookware that only feels like it cost a paycheck.  

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You see, an enamel Dutch oven is the stretch goal of the kitchen world: the thing you ask for on your wedding registry or pray someone gets you as a housewarming gift. But Milo's founder, Zach Schau, is trying to change all that with his version, which launched earlier this week. Schau, an avid home cook, spent two years visiting foundries all over the world to see why traditional Dutch ovens can run upward of $400. But as it turns out, those extra Benjamins don't get you much. 

Taking a cue from brands like Misen and Made In, Milo's low price comes from a direct-to-consumer approach, which cuts down on overhead costs and the hefty department store markup without skimping on build quality.

"Once I fell in love with the Dutch oven project, I started building a war chest of samples that I liked and disliked in qualities of build, shape, size, color, et cetera," he tells Hunker about the development process. The end result is a solid-feeling, 12-pound vessel that for now comes in a jack-of-all-trades, five-and-a-half-quart size. But how does it cook? 

As a disclaimer, our test unit came shipped with a few chips on the outer surface, which Milo was quick to replace (the pot, which comes with free shipping, also has a lifetime guarantee). But once we took our new one out of the box, the Dutch oven performed just as well as any name-brand model: The heavy base held onto heat until it turned rocket-engine hot, stains that come only from daylong braises wiped off with a breeze and the enamel coating took a few accidental scrapings from metal tongs like a champ.

"It took a ton of iteration before we landed on our classic Dutch oven and we couldn't be more proud to share it," Schau says. Hunker notes that Schau will eventually branch out into more types of cookware, meaning the decked-out kitchen of your dreams is coming sooner than you think.

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