Is cast iron too heavy? Try the Emile Henry Dutch oven.

Emile Henry Dutch oven is a great alternative to cast iron.

The Emile Henry Dutch oven, who says you need cast iron when you can use Burgundy clay

Are you are looking for a Dutch oven but are put off by the weight of cast iron? Then you are not alone. As much as I love cast iron, I am first to admit the bigger pots can be too heavy for many. This is where the Emile Henry Dutch oven fills the gap perfectly. Their Dutch ovens are made of clay, and therefore a lot lighter to move around.

The lighter weight is just one of the benefits of the Emile Henry oven, which I will cover later on. And this article will also cover the following.

Table of contents

  • Learn more about Émile Henry
  • Why do you need a ceramic oven?
  • Uses for the Flame Top Dutch Oven
  • Pros and cons
  • Product comparison
  • Conclusion

Company background


Emile Henry was founded by Jacques Henry in 1850.
Henry established his pottery in the French town of
Marcigny in Burgundy, France (Wiki).


The company proudly remains in the safe hands of the Henry Family.

Location of manufacture
Emile Henry has several workshops around Marcigny France.

The company is well-known for its chip-resistant ceramics.

Signature color

Burgundy red
Emile Henry casserole dish/ Dutch Oven
Emile Henry makes a wide range of ceramic cookware. Including a selection of casserole dishes. Although many like myself call them Dutch ovens.

Why do you need an Emile Henry Dutch oven?

Dutch ovens really are handy. You can use them to braise, bake, and roast. And you can also use your Emile Henry flame top oven on some stovetops like you would a regular pot. Its functionality makes it a kitchen staple and due to its versatility. And if you are looking for a Dutch oven or stewpot that is of the highest quality. Then consider Emile Henry.

Emile Henry has a range of Dutch ovens/stewpots, and their Flame Round Dutch Oven/Stewpot is a favorite. It’s not hard to see why this ceramic pot resonates with many cooking enthusiasts. 

Just like Staub and Le Creuset, Emile Henry makes some of the finest Dutch ovens. Except that Emile Henry pots are made with clay.

Emile Henry is a French cookware maker that still makes their Dutch ovens, or cocottes as they say in France since 1850. Needless to say, they know a thing or two about making pots.

And the best thing is they still make their products in France, preserving their rich cultural heritage and only for a little more than low-cost manufacturers. If you want to learn more about Emile Henry ceramic cookware, click on the link for another researched article on the site.

Do you love companies that hold on to their cultural heritage and continue to make quality cookware like their founders would have wanted? Many of us do, but we also want our cookware to look good and perform well. Just like Staub and Le Creuset, people buy Emile Henry ovens for their beauty and quality. Aside from the gorgeous look, the pots are also highly functional and are designed for:

  • Slow cooking
  • Even cooking temperatures
  • Heat retention

Do you have a gas or electric stovetop? Then your Emile Henry flame Top Dutch oven can go on your stove as well.

Emile Henry Dutch Oven
You can use Emile Henry Flame Dutch Ovens on many heat sources.

You can use your Dutch oven on your electric and gas stovetops just like your pots and pans. However, without metal to conduct heat, the ceramic oven will not work on an induction cooker. But this is one of the benefits of Emile Henry. The pots do not contain metal and are made using natural clay. It is one of the oldest, most natural ways to make wholesome meals.

Besides using it on your stove, you can use the Flame stewpot for baking desserts and other delicious dishes in the oven. The Round Flame stewpot is 11 inches in diameter and holds up to 7 quarts making it a great choice to cook large family meals.

A Ceramic Dutch Oven that is built to last.  

Like all other high-fired ceramic cookware from Emile Henry, the Dutch oven can withstand extreme temperatures. So your Dutch oven can go into the freezer and on your stove. You can even use it in the microwave. Now that’s something cast-iron fans can’t do with their traditional Dutch ovens.

You can use the stewpot to simmer food to perfection while retaining its natural flavor, aroma, and nutrients. Meat, vegetables, desserts, fish, soups, pot roast, and stews are suited for a ceramic oven.

Sure the glaze is attractive, but it also helps prevent food from sticking to the bottom of the Dutch oven. Which makes it unnecessary to coat the bottom with too much oil, making for healthier meals. It’s not going to be as non-stick as bare cast iron. But it’s going to be a lot easier to clean than stainless steel cookware.

Pros of Emile Henry Flame Dutch Ovens.

Benefits of Emile Henry Ceramic Dutch Ovens
If you want an alternative to cast iron, a ceramic Dutch Oven is a great choice. In many parts of the world, such as Japan, a ceramic Dutch Oven is widely used.
  • The ceramic Dutch ovens are safe on most stovetops, grills, microwaves, ovens, and broilers.
  • It can go directly from freezer to oven/microwave due to its ability to withstand thermal shock.
  • It ensures healthy meals due to low, slow, and gentle cooking. And retains vitamins and nutrients in your food.
  • The stewpot is made using natural products. Such as non-treated clay, sand, and filtered water ensuring non-toxic, light, non-porous, ceramic ware.
  • It is dishwasher safe.
  • The pot is resistant against color fading, thermal shocks, and mechanical shocks extending its durability.
  • Ceramic Dutch ovens do not react to acidic food like bare cast iron.

Cons of Emile Henry Flame Dutch ovens.

  • More expensive than Chinese-made cookware.
  • Ceramic pots can chip more easily than enameled cast iron.

Let’s compare the ceramic Dutch Oven with cast iron cookware.

Emile Henry 5.5-quart
Round Dutch Oven
Crock Pot 5 Quart Round
Enameled Cast Iron
Dutch Oven

8.8 pounds12.25 pounds

Ceramic ClayEnameled Cast-iron

Location of Manufacture

Requires seasoning

Suitable heat sources
Oven, gas stovetop, electric stovetop, microwaveOven and multiple stovetop heat sources.

Have a look at the current prices on Amazon (affiliate link).Check out the wide selection of colors on Amazon (affiliate link).

Ceramic Dutch Ovens are the best alternative to cast iron.

If you’re looking for a ceramic Dutch oven, then look no further than Emile Henry. They are great ovens to use and are lighter than their cast iron counterparts.

Emile Henry also takes great pride in their cookware. And they still make their cookware using Burgundy clay and with traditional pottery methods. The French company also thoroughly checks each oven for any imperfections before it leaves the factory.

If I still haven’t convinced you of the benefits of a ceramic Dutch oven. Well, I have information on cast iron cookware. If you’re familiar with the site, you’ll know I’m a cast-iron fan.

Here are some interesting articles on the Staub cocotte and Le Creuset cocottes. They make amazing enameled cast iron with many of the benefits of a ceramic Dutch oven.

Cooking with clay doesn’t get any more natural. It also happens to be lighter, non-reactive, and safe to use in the microwave.

Emile Henry Dutch Oven flame infographic
Buying a ceramic Dutch Oven? Check out this infographic.

Buying a ceramic Dutch Oven? Check out this infographic.
If you are looking for an alternative to cast iron, then the Emile Henry Flame Top Dutch oven could be just the ticket. It can be used on most stovetops and in your electric oven. However, please follow the preheat instructions for correct use. If you’re interested in purchasing your own ceramic Dutch oven. I would choose the 5.5-quart Emile oven. This is the perfect size for most daily tasks.

Are you looking for a ceramic Dutch oven?

If you’re looking for a ceramic Dutch oven without the weight of cast iron, that can go from freezer to stove. And go from the fridge and into an electric oven the next day. The natural clay ceramic Dutch ovens are a great choice, and none do it better than Emile Henry.



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