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

If you’re looking for a Dutch oven but are put off by the weight of cast iron you’re not alone. As much as I love cast iron, I’m 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’ll cover later on. And this article will also cover the following.

Table of contents

  • learn more about Émile Henry
  • why you need a ceramic oven
  • uses for the Flame Top Dutch Oven
  • pros and cons
  • product comparison
  • conclusion

Table: 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 their chip-resistant ceramics

Signature color

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

Why you need an Emile Henry Dutch oven

Dutch ovens really are useful. 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. It’s functionality makes it a kitchen staple and due to its versatility. 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 but their Flame Round Dutch Oven/Stewpot is a favorite for the reasons mentioned above. It’s not hard to see why this pot resonates with many cooking enthusiasts. 

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

Emile Henry is a French cookware maker that still make 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 just click for 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 a metal base to conduct heat, your Emile Henry Flame Top cannot be used 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 to bake desserts and other delicious dishes in the oven that will make your family gravitate towards the kitchen whenever they get home! The Flame Round 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 built to last  

Like all other high-fired ceramic cookware from Emile Henry, the Dutch oven can withstand extreme temperature. So your Dutch oven can go into the freezer, in the oven or 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 all suitable for a ceramic Dutch oven.

The glaze besides being really attractive also helps in preventing 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 to use on 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, requirement of minimal fat to grease the bottom and it doesn’t get more natural than clay. The latter ensures that vitamins and nutrients in your food are retained.
  • The stewpot is made using natural products such as non-treated clay, sand and filtered water ensuring non-toxic, light, non-porous and high resistance (HR) ceramic.
  • 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

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 huge 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 amazing ovens to use and are lighter than their cast iron counterparts.

Emile Henry also take great pride in their cookware, 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 on 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 huge 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. Lodge manufacturing also makes an amazing oven, although I would recommend their bare cast iron over their enameled products. No one currently does enamel like the French.

Cooking with clay it 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.

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 stove tops and of course your oven. However, please follow the preheat instructions for correct use. If you’re interested in purchasing your own oven, I’d go for the 5.5-quart oven, This is a great size for most daily tasks but the 4.2-quart oven is great for couples or young families.

Are you looking for a ceramic Dutch oven?

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



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