Tramontina Cast Iron Dutch Oven
We bought our Tramontina 5.5 quart enameled cast iron dutch oven at Walmart and although it was clearance priced, it still seemed way too cheap for such a quality brand name. We did some research and there seems to be two versions of Tramontina's 5.5 quart enameled dutch oven - the more expensive model that's listed on the Tramontina website, and the cheaper model that's available at Walmart and a few other retailers.
Different Tramontina dutch ovens:
The model number for the dutch oven on the Tramontina website is 80131-047DS. Our model from WalMart is 80131-661 which is listed right on the box. The differences aren't huge but they do impact the price and if you're paying for the more expensive model, that's what you should get.
Here are some of the specs for the more expensive Tramontina dutch oven:
- the lid knob is made of solid-cast stainless steel
- it's oven safe to 450°
- it's compatible with induction cooktops
Here are some of the specs for the cheaper Tramontina dutch oven:
- the lid knob is made of composite material
- it's oven safe to 400°, not 450 °
- induction cooktop compatibility is not listed on the box
The interior enamel is the same on both models, and both have the self-basting lid, but there are a few extra coats of glaze on the expensive model and the lid has a sleeker profile. Although both models have solid cast oversized handles, the handles have different shapes. The image below shows the expensive Tramontina dutch oven model on the left and the less expensive model on the right. The rest of this post is an overview about the cheaper Tramontina dutch oven we bought at WalMart.
The outside of the dutch oven is covered in a porcelain enamel finish with a nice gradient coloring that's darker on the bottom of the pot and on the outside of the lid. The inside of the dutch oven is coated with a smooth, easy-to-clean enamel finish in an off-white/almond color. The dutch oven has solid-cast oversized side handles that makes it easy to lift the pot even with oven mitts on, and the lid knob is also large and easy to grab. Like many of the Tramontina products, this dutch oven has self-basting condensation ridges on the lid to collect and disperse the steam vapors back towards the food to help keep the food moist and tender.
Tramontina dimensions and weight:
The 5.5 quart dutch oven measures 8.5" tall overall with the lid, and 5" tall without the lid. It's 10.25" across the pot and 13.25" from outside of handle to outside of handle. It weighs just over 13 pounds overall with the pot weighing 8.23 pounds and the lid weighing 4.71 pounds.
Seasoning the cast iron:
The outside edges of the lid's interior and pot's rim have exposed cast iron that needs to be seasoned. Tramontina recommends lightly rubbing the cast iron surfaces with cooking oil, placing the dutch oven in a 350° oven for an hour, then allowing it to cool. It's a good design feature not having the enamel covering on the edges of the lid and pot because the cast iron lid is fairly heavy, and if the enamel covered the edges it would eventually start to chip due to the repeated impacts of the heavy lid on the pot's rim.
Cleaning the dutch oven:
According to the instructions, the dutch oven needs to be hand washed with warm soapy water and left out to dry before being stored. For cleaning stuck-on food, Tramontina recommends soaking the pot in hot soapy water and re-seasoning as directed once pot is clean. Use only nylon or soft abrasive pads or brushes to remove residues. Don't use metallic pads or abrasive cleaners. We haven't used the oven yet so haven't had to clean it, but some of the reviewers on Amazon have used everything from Bon Ami, to Bartender's Friend, to baking soda, and even Clorox, so the Amazon reviews might be a worthwhile read for real-life cleaning instructions.
There's a lifetime limited warranty and the box said the dutch oven is assembled in America (with an address in Texas), but the dutch oven itself is made in China. The instructions are on the box flap so don't recycle the box until you've read and saved the instructions. Most of the instruction info is common sense stuff like use oven mitts, don't drag the dutch oven across glass or electric cooktops, and don't use metal utensils to stir the food.
Where to buy the Tramontina dutch oven:
You can't buy retail products from the Tramontina website but they're available at many retailers such as Target, Kohls, Wayfair, and Williams-Sonoma, and there's a 'Where to Buy' button on the site so you can see the whole list of retailers. It's also available on Amazon and that listing has several Tramontina products on the same page. If you're looking for the less expensive model, try Walmart.
The Tramontina cast iron dutch oven is designed to go from oven to table and since we only use the dutch oven during the autumn and winter months, the red gradient will look really nice with the various holiday colors. It's an added plus that the cast iron will be able to keep a pot full of stew or chili hot during the course of the many football games we watch. The less expensive dutch oven works for us, but if you want the more expensive model at least you now know how to tell them apart.
Tramontina dutch oven unboxing:
Here's a basic unboxing of the Tramontina 5.5 quart dutch oven :