While centuries-old brands like Staub and Le Creuset are market leaders in the world of cast iron kitchenwares, a handful of new brands are stirring the pot.
Lately, we’ve noticed a plethora of cool, unique start-ups giving those classics a run for their money.
“The issue seems that kitchenware brands have been historically ruled by a couple of mega incumbents that rule the marketplace and dictate pricing,” says Zach Schau, founder of the upstart cast iron company Milo. “Casting iron is a centuries-old technology, and modern innovation allows us to deliver a product lineup that can compete quality-wise, with the best of the best for a fraction of the price.”
Here are a few new favorites we can’t wait to proudly display in our kitchen.
Milo Dutch Oven, $95
The California-based upstart Milo launched in April, and already their cast iron Dutch ovens have sold out not once, but twice—even with the ‘limit 2 per customer’ notice on the site. Created around the simple (but pretty revolutionary in this day in age) idea of giving the highest quality materials for the most accessible prices, Milo’s sleek matte black and glossy eggshell $95 enameled cast iron Dutch Oven cuts no corners when it comes to design and excellence.
“We started Milo because we were unhappy with the status quo for premium kitchenware,” says Schau. “We felt with Dutch ovens especially, you were getting ripped off by luxury-priced brands charging an arm and a leg for really beautiful pieces (that shouldn’t cost $300-400+) and alternatively, getting ripped off buying junky no-name Dutch ovens from Amazon for $50 with inferior quality and support.”
He spent two years figuring out how to create a product that could last a lifetime, at a price that is accessible to all. Two sold-out runs later, and they’re doing just that. Milo will be launching a few new additions to their site come December 1st, so mark your calendars now. Bonus point: It’s entirely dishwasher safe.
Great Jones The Dutchess, $145
Great Jones was created to help reflect your strong personal style. If black or white shades aren’t an extension of your own daily color scheme, perhaps forest green, mustard yellow, millennial pink, earl gray, or Yves Klein blue is more your style. The brand is only a week old, but they’ve already been selling out of products from their five-piece line (including a stainless steel stock pot, stainless saucer, stainless deep sauté pan, and ceramic nonstick skillet). One of their most impressive pieces is colorful, $145, giant enameled cast-iron Dutch oven The Dutchess.
“So many people live in small spaces where cookware, like art and furniture, is on display,” says co-founder Sierra Tishgart. “The luxury, heritage brands are beautiful, but we couldn’t find a modern kitchen brand that offered a compelling combination of design, accessible pricing, and quality.” Tishgart, a previous food editor (and winner of a James Beard Award for her writing) and her co-founder Maddy Moelis, want you to feel equipped, but also empowered, to take on any recipe that looks good enough to eat.
Honestly, is there anything Chrissy Teigen can’t do? Apparently not, as proven by her new kitchenware line for Target. We’re partial to the ombre green enameled finished cast iron Dutch oven, which is the perfect accompaniment to Teigen’s best-selling books.
The weight of a cast iron pan tends to indicate its quality, but that’s not the rule anymore. This handy collection from GreenPan is 50 percent lighter than traditional cast iron thanks to its aluminum base. Aluminum might seem like a stange addition for cooking, but this version is oven-safe up to 600 degrees and designed specifically to be entirely toxin-free—even when put in extreme heats.
If you still want to keep your Dutch oven French and old school, look to less-known brand Emile Henry, a classic company founded in 1850 that’s still handmade and owned in Burgundy, France. The secret to their long-lasting Dutch ovens is a mix of old and new: classic Burgundy clay but now made in a state-of-the-art manufacturing studio.