How to Deep-Clean Your Dutch Oven (and Keep It Looking Like New)

We researched the best ways to clean your Dutch oven (including how to remove stubborn stains).

A person scrubs the interior of a dutch oven with dish soap, water, and a sponge.
Serious Eats / Abigail Clarkin

In many kitchens, a colorful, enameled Dutch oven is an irreplaceable staple used to stews, soups, and braises, and even to bake loaves of crusty bread

And, if properly cared for, a Dutch oven can last many, many years (in fact, most manufacturers offer lifetime warranties). But how does one properly care for and clean a Dutch oven? What about tough stains or burnt on bits? Are dings, chips, and dents normal? To find out how to preserve and care for this kitchen workhorse, we chatted with folks from popular brands Le Creuset and Staub (the makers behind two of our two favorite Dutch ovens) to get the best tips for cleaning your pot.

First, Let’s Cover the Basics: What is a Dutch Oven?

Dutch ovens (also sometimes referred to as cocottes) are pots made out of enameled cast iron that can be used on the stovetop and inside the oven (both Staub and Le Creuset boast that theirs can withstand up to 500°F). Dutch ovens come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and are known for being hefty, sturdy, and for excelling in distributing and retaining heat. Plus, their enamel coating helps make them somewhat naturally nonstick, without any chemicals. And, a well-made Dutch oven can last a lifetime—if you take proper care of it.

Basic Daily Cleaning and Care

a hand using a sponge to clean a white dutch oven in the sink.
Serious Eats / Abigail Clarkin

Nate Collier, director of marketing communications and culinary for Le Creuset, told us hard-to-clean stains often form on Dutch ovens due to improper heating. 

“One of the most common reasons for stuck-on food is using a heat setting that is too high,” he says. “Because Le Creuset enameled cast iron has exceptional heat distribution and retention, you only need to use low or medium heat while cooking.”

In addition to taking care not to blast the heat on your Dutch oven, Staub, another legacy Dutch oven brand, has a few tips to ensure your pot's cleanliness and longevity. 

In a short, informative video on cleaning Dutch ovens, Staub recommends the following: 1. Soak using hot water and your choice of dish soap. 2. Wash with a non-abrasive cloth or sponge. 3. Put the dish away when completely dry.

And while many Dutch ovens—including those from Le Creuset and Staub—are technically dishwasher-safe, we caution against using the dishwasher, as this can cause the enamel finish to dull. (If your Dutch oven is looking a little dull and needs a refresh, rubbing a tiny bit of vegetable oil on the interior with a paper towel will do the trick.)

While many stains can be taken care of by hand cleaning with soap and water, repeated use of any beloved Dutch oven can lead to normal wear and tear such as scratches, faint stains, and general dulling of the enamel.

For Tough Messes

Chicken sticking to a Dutch oven, and shredding as it's being lifted.

Perhaps you accidentally left some sauteing onions unattended for too long, and now they are crispy and stubbornly burnt to the bottom of the pan. In this case, it’s time to move beyond the simple soap, soak, and wash method. Collier at Le Creuset suggests “filling the pot with warm water and a tablespoon or two of baking soda, and bring the water to a simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes” before scrubbing, rinsing, and drying. This can be repeated as necessary.

Alternatively, the team over at Staub suggest boiling a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water in the Dutch oven. After, once the cookware is completely cooled, clean it with basic dish soap and then thoroughly rinse and dry it.

For Stubborn Stains

If stains on either the inside or outside of your Dutch oven won't go away no matter how many times you try the soap, baking soda, or white vinegar solutions, then it may be time to go another route. In this case, Staub recommends using Bar Keepers Friend, a soft cleanser. Simply rinse your Dutch oven with water, and while it’s still wet, sprinkle some of Bar Keepers Friend Cleanser on the bottom of the pot or whatever spot you’re trying to clean. Then, scrub the Dutch oven with a sponge using a circular motion. Finally, rinse and dry the pot completely. (These steps can be repeated if necessary.)

America’s Test Kitchen suggests using an easy bleach solution (especially for Dutch ovens with a light-colored enamel interior). They say to “make a solution of one part bleach to three parts water and let it sit in the pot overnight. If it’s extremely stained, you might have to do it again the next night.”

What to Avoid When Cleaning

Three Dutch ovens sit on a countertop next to a sponge and dish soap.
Serious Eats / Abigail Clarkin

There are a couple of ways to ensure that your Dutch oven lives a long, beautiful life. One simple way to avoid damaging it is to not use steel wool or any other sort of abrasive cleaning cleaning pad that can scratch the enamel. Instead, opt for a regular sponge, dish rag, or soft brush. When you're finished cleaning, make sure that the Dutch oven is completely dry before storing it, as to avoid rusting on the upper rim. 

To avoid cracking the enamel, Le Creuset suggests steering clear of putting a hot Dutch oven in direct contact with cold water or air. Collier says that a “drastic change in temperature may result in cracking of the enamel. So if you are storing your cookware in a particularly hot or cold place, allow it to slowly acclimate to the ambient temperature before using.”

One more trick to preserve the enamel is, as we said above, to avoid cleaning the Dutch oven in the dishwasher. While many Dutch ovens—including much of Le Creuset’s cookware—are indeed dishwasher-safe, repeated trips through the washer can wear out the enamel finish. (Side note: we don’t recommend placing many things that are purportedly dishwasher-safe in the dishwasher. Here’s why.)

When to Replace a Dutch Oven

two hands with oven mitts on removing a Dutch oven from an oven
Serious Eats / Will Dickey

Dutch ovens can withstand quite a bit of heat (no pun intended; some can sustain up to 500°F). With regular cleaning and maintenance, a Dutch oven can last for a good chunk of time. As to be expected, though, using a Dutch oven often can result in some light dings and scratches, but often the dish is still safe to use. However, if the damage is severe enough that there is actual chipped or peeling enamel on the bottom, then continuing to use the dish is not recommended. After all, no one wants to gamble with the possibility of chipped enamel ending up in their food. Make sure to check your particular Dutch oven’s warranty to see what's covered.

In Short, Taking Care of Your Dutch Oven Can Ensure Its Longevity

a red Staub dutch oven on an oven's rack
Serious Eats / Will Dickey

Dutch ovens are versatile kitchen workhorses that have a place in any kitchen. And, if taken care of, they can last years on end. It is normal for there to be some wear and tear in the form of faint stains, dulled enamel, and light marks from utensils. And if you’re using your Dutch oven for baking or stovetop-to-oven applications, it’s also likely the pot will get brown specks on the exterior, which is a result of oil polymerization, which, while tough to remove, doesn’t hinder performance. 

But it isn’t hard to keep your Dutch oven’s interior clean; hot water and soap will do the trick most of the time. For more challenging messes—such as staining or burnt on bits—Bar Keepers Friend, or various mixtures of baking soda, vinegar, or bleach are effective. Above all, make sure to avoid abrasive cleaning materials and don't rely on the dishwasher to keep your pot clean. Do all this, and your Dutch oven could last a lifetime.

FAQs

What is the best way to clean a dutch oven?

The simplest way to clean your Dutch oven is to soak it with hot water and dish soap. Then, wash it with a cloth or sponge that is not abrasive (you don’t want to accidentally scratch the enamel). When the dish is rinsed, let it completely dry before storing.

How do you clean a badly stained Dutch oven?

There are a couple of straightforward fixes for attacking any major staining on your Dutch oven. One is to simmer warm water and a few tablespoons of baking soda in the pot for 8 to 10 minutes. Another option is to combine a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water, and bring it to a boil. After it cools, clean it with water, dish soap, and a non-abrasive sponge or cloth. If you’re still having trouble with stains, then try making a paste with this cleanser from Bar Keepers Friend and letting it sit for a while before rinsing it off. Alternatively, try a solution of one part bleach to three parts water soak inside your Dutch oven overnight before cleaning with soap and water.

How do you clean a non-enameled Dutch oven?

While many popular brands offer enameled cast iron Dutch ovens, there are also uncoated Dutch ovens that require a whole different set of cleaning rules. Our guide to cleaning uncoated cast iron can be found here (we reference a skillet, but the same rules apply to a cast iron Dutch oven).

We Reviewed Anyday Cookware: Are the Microwavable Dishes Worthwhile?

We tested the Anyday Cookware set (for microwave cooking) to evaluate its performance, usability, and cleanup.

four Anyday cookware dishes of varying sizes on a blue countertop
Serious Eats / Abigail Clarkin

Microwave cooking can either go very badly or surprisingly well. Personally, I’ve had my fair share of questionable microwaved meals and dishes; one time I tried to make a dessert my sister and I can only think back on as a strange, wet, banana concoction in a mug. 

But I’ve also had great experiences making simple things in the microwave (like chocolate cake and steamed broccoli). So when I found out about Anyday Cookware, which promises to make all manner of meals in the microwave, I was intrigued. Did these dishes truly cook ingredients as well as claimed using only a microwave (including eggs and chicken)? Was using the cookware actually going to make cooking easier and more convenient?

I set out to find answers to these burning (no pun intended) questions by testing the Everyday Set, which includes four dishes: a large deep dish, large shallow dish, medium deep dish, and medium shallow dish. Each dish is made from frosted borosilicate glass—with glass lids banded with microwave-safe stainless steel and silicone rims underneath—and all claim to cook up meals in a matter of minutes, sans turning on your stove or burner. 

The Testing

a pumpkin pie in an Anyday dish that's set on a blue countertop
Serious Eats / Abigail Clarkin

I made five different recipes from Anyday’s website, which has quite the array of options, including poached salmon, macaroni and cheese, and even birthday cake. What’s cool is that recipes can be adjusted for the desired serving size, as well as your microwave’s wattage. Just input how many people you want to serve, the microwave wattage, and voila: the recipe will adjust the ingredient quantities and cook time. Recipes are also broken down by dish, so if you’re looking to feed a family of three, they might suggest using the large deep dish.

One thing to know before you get started cooking is your microwave’s wattage (mine clocks in at 1000 watts). You can often find this on the door, the back, or the front panel of your microwave. Once I knew my wattage, it was time to get cooking. First, I used the medium shallow dish to make poached eggs and a pumpkin pie. Then, I tested the medium deep dish by making asparagus with lemon butter. In the large deep dish, I cooked up a mac and cheese. Lastly, and perhaps most controversially, I made honey mustard chicken wings using the large shallow dish. Following cooking, I cleaned the dishes by hand and evaluated how easy it was to do so, while also taking note of its durability.

What We Learned

How Anyday Cookware Works

An Anyday dish in the microwave with its lid on
Serious Eats / Abigail Clarkin

Anyday Cookware boasts a variety of microwave- and dishwasher-safe dishes and corresponding lids. And the dish's sturdy, frosted borosilicate glass is “thermal-shock resistant,” meaning it won’t crack when exposed to fluctuations in temperature. 

The lids are made of glass as well, and feature a stainless steel rim, silicone knob, and silicone lining on the underside. The silicone lining helps ensure a tight seal, keeping moisture and heat inside each dish, while the knob can be pulled up or pushed down to allow for venting. 

The most surprising aspect of the dishes’ design is the metal ring around the edge of the lid. Most people, including myself, grew up being warned about putting metal in the microwave. The reason this metal band doesn’t cause sparks to fly is likely due to its type of metal, thickness, and round shape. Stainless steel isn’t as conductive as, say, gold, and the round shape of the metal ensures that energy stays contained and has no way to jump off (in contrast, if you put a fork in the microwave, the sharp prongs encourage electricity to jump from them, which is known as arcing). But why did Anyday feel the need to put metal on the lid? What’s the point of it? According to their website, the stainless steel rim helps hold silicone and glass together, ensuring your lid doesn’t fall apart (important!).

Anyday Dishes Cooked a Variety of Foods Well (Including Chicken)

A plate of chicken wings with an Anyday dish full of chicken wings behind it
Serious Eats / Abigail Clarkin

While I had no worries about a microwave baking a small mug cake sufficiently, eggs and meats were a different territory altogether—I envisioned rubbery chicken wings and overcooked eggs. But, I was pleasantly surprised. The honey mustard chicken wings were cooked well with absolutely no dryness, nor rawness, and the sauce thickened and was quite flavorful. While they weren’t air fryer crispy wings, they were still tasty. 

When I made poached eggs, I thought they'd be somewhat rubbery and the yolk completely soupy or hard. However, cooking the eggs for three minutes and 30 seconds (the recipe recommended between two minutes and 30 seconds to three minutes and 30 seconds) led to firm egg whites and yolks with a lightly hardened edge and jammy center. The asparagus was also great: instead of being rubbery, the vegetables were simultaneously cooked well enough to be fork tender and not so overdone that the lovely bright green color was sacrificed.

A hand holding a spoon and scooping macaroni and cheese out of an Anyday dish
Serious Eats / Abigail Clarkin

The mac and cheese was also a pleasant surprise: the noodles cooked through perfectly in the allotted time. I expected a crunch to the noodles due to the water evaporating too quickly, leaving them high and dry. But the amount of water was perfect: just a little bit of water had to be drained between cooking the noodles and adding the cheese sauce ingredients. Since the dish was in the microwave for over 12 minutes, the glass did heat up a bit, and I had to use oven mitts to take it out to drain the water. But since the glass is frosted, it had more of a textured grip to it, making it easy to grasp, even with bulky mitts. 

Recipes Required Some Flexibility

A hand using a fork to whisk a sauce in an Anyday dish that's in the microwavef
Serious Eats / Abigail Clarkin

While the Anyday recipes were very easy to follow and simple in theory, the cook time for every single dish required some adjustments. Microwaves can range in power and wattage; the microwave I used had a standard 1000-watt output, but I still had to add extra time to some dishes. (Again, each of Anyday’s recipes did include options to alter them according to serving size and microwave wattage.)

Most of the dishes I made required just 30 seconds of adjustment, but the pumpkin pie was a challenge. This recipe had an additional step to change the power level to four (my microwave is usually set at 10). At the lower level, the pie failed to reach the desired doneness. Instead of the top of the pie darkening and the mixture looking set on top, the center of the pie continued to wiggle, jiggle, and shimmy. It wasn’t until I added an additional seven minutes of cooking time to the initial recommended 15 minutes that the top of the pie firmed up. The whole process required much poking of the pie and peering through the microwave window.

This is to say: there may be a learning curve and adjustments may be required, as microwaves just aren't all the same.

Dishes Were Easy to Use and Clean

Four Anyday dishes on a blue countertop (one with its lid off)
Serious Eats / Abigail Clarkin

One fantastic aspect of the Anyday Cookware was just how easy the dishes were to clean. Thanks to the frosted exterior of the glass, the dishes didn’t get slippery even when wet and soapy. Aside from some stubborn bits of melted cheese stuck to the large deep dish from the mac and cheese, each dish and lid were painless to hand-wash (and they were all dishwasher-safe, too).

For those who like to use a minimal amount of dishes while cooking, the Anyday Cookware would likely appeal. Each recipe required only measuring spoons or cups alongside using the dish itself. Meals could also be stored in the very same dishes they were cooked in, which was quite nice (and thanks to the thermal-shock resistant borosilicate glass, there was no fear of the dish cracking when put into the refrigerator). 

When it came to handling the dishes, the frosted glass was easy to grip while moving into and out of the microwave. Unless the recipe required over five minutes of cooking, the dish and lid did not get overly hot to the touch. (I did have to be wary of the steam that released when I opened the dishes, though.)

The Verdict: Is Anyday Cookware Worth It?

Anyday Cookware’s Everyday set turned out to be wonderfully functional, easy to clean, and a great purchase for those hoping to make meal preparation microwave-friendly and uncomplicated. We were happy with how well the cookware handled a variety of dishes. Chicken wings, poached eggs, asparagus, and more turned out well. Simple dishes, such as steaming raw vegetables, can easily be made in an Anyday dish without specific directions. But we do recommend following an Anyday recipe–or at least using it as a jumping off point–when it comes to more complicated meals (like those with raw meat).

Key Specs

  • Materials: Dishes are made from frosted borosilicate glass, and lids are made from borosilicate glass, platinum-grade silicone, and microwave-safe stainless steel
  • Weight: 2-3 pounds
  • Care instructions: Both dishes and lids are dishwasher-safe
  • Price at time of publish: $120

FAQs

Where can you buy Anyday Cookware?

The best place to buy Anyday Cookware is directly from their website. Dishes come in a variety of colors–including kale (that’s what we reviewed), blueberry, and black sesame. They can be ordered as a set or individually.

Is Anyday Cookware dishwasher-safe? 

All of the Anyday Cookware is dishwasher-safe. We found that the dishes and lids were very easy to hand-wash, but also well sized to fit inside dishwashers.

How do I find my microwave’s wattage?

There are multiple ways to find both the output and the input wattage for your microwave. (Pay attention to the output for the Anyday recipes.) The wattage can often be found on the machine itself: check along the front panel, the back, or on the door. If you’re unable to find the information directly on the microwave, read through your appliance's user manual or locate the model number and search the internet for the wattage.

The Best Water Filter Pitchers of 2022

We tested seven models to find water filter pitchers that filtered fast, poured smooth, and ensured clean, fresh water.

the lineup of water filter pitchers on a blue countertop
Serious Eats / Abigail Clarkin

It’s hard to go any amount of time without needing water for something, whether you’re hydrating after a workout or freezing ice cubes for cocktails. But not all water is as clean as it could be and there are chemicals (like mercury and lead) and other contaminants that can make their way into your tap. And while we won't go into things like whether chlorination is good or bad or safe or not, if you're worried about the quality of your water or don't like the smell or taste of your water, a water filter pitcher may be right for you.

To find the top water filter pitchers, we tested seven popular models. They ranged from seven to 10 cups in capacity and were made from plastic, bamboo, and/or polystyrene. We explored how these filters worked, identified their certifications, taste-tested filtered water, and reviewed each pitcher’s ergonomics. Before we dive into the details, here’s a look at a few of our favorites.

The Winners, at a Glance

The Best Overall Water Filter Pitcher: Brita Longlast Everyday Water Filter Pitcher

Also available at Target.

This Brita pitcher housed an impressive 10 cups of water and had both an excellent handle and spout. It was easy to use, from assembly to cleaning, and we felt confident that our water was being filtered well due to multiple certifications from the Water Quality Association (WQA).

The Best Budget Water Filter Pitcher: PUR Water Pitcher Filtration System

This PUR pitcher filtered rapidly. The size and shape of the pitcher was great for anyone with limited counter or refrigerator shelf space, and the handle and spout made both transporting and pouring effortless.

The Tests

Filling the brita pitcher and filter with water.
Serious Eats / Abigail Clarkin
  • Flow Rate Test: After assembling each pitcher, we examined and recorded the flow rate. We used a stopwatch to record how long it took for each pitcher to fill and then to empty.
  • Filtration Taste Test: We conducted a blind taste test to see if there was a noticeable difference between our unfiltered tap water, bottled water, and water filtered by the pitcher. 
  • Usability and Cleaning Test: We poured from and cleaned each pitcher in order to determine how easy they were to use on a daily basis.

What We Learned

The Best Filters Were Fast

The Brita filter and pitcher in a sink as seen from overhead
We preferred pitchers with filters that took minutes to work rather than hours.Serious Eats / Abigail Clarkin

No one likes standing around waiting for water to filter. As we reviewed pitchers, we discovered that each one varied in filter time. We were shocked to find that the PUR Ultimate Filtration Water Filter Pitcher took one hour and 15 minutes to complete filtration. But others were refreshingly fast: The Soma Pitcher filtered in two minutes and 53 seconds, followed by the Nakii Water Filter Pitcher, which filtered in four minutes and 20 seconds.

Certain Pitchers Filtered Out More Pollutants Than Others

four full water pitchers sitting on a blue surface
Some water purifying certifications hold more sway than others.Serious Eats / Abigail Clarkin

According to the WQA, drinking water often has traces of pollutants in it. To avoid ingesting such pollutants, the WQA recommends the use of “devices that have been rigorously tested and certified to independent standards.” Both the WQA and the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) conduct rigorous testing in order to certify qualifying water filters. So what certifications should you look for? 

According to the NSF and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the following are key certifications: 

  • The NSF/ANSI 42 certification covers pollutants that may affect the appearance, taste, and odor of water. This ensures the reduction of chemicals such as iron, chlorine, zinc, and chloramine.
  • When it comes to contaminants that may lead to health risks, the NSF/ANSI 53 certification ensures that the filter allows only the minimum amounts of lead, chromium, and cryptosporidium, to name a few.
  • The NSF/ANSI 401 certification considers contaminants that “have been detected in drinking water supplies at trace levels.” These include herbicides, prescription drugs, pesticides, and more.

Proportionate Handles Were Best for Easy Pouring

the brita pitcher in the side door of a refrigerator.
The handle on the Brita filter was nicely thick and balanced, making it easy to grip and pour with.Serious Eats / Abigail Clarkin

When it came to pouring, the water pitchers with proportional handles performed best. Using a pitcher can require lifting it out of the refrigerator, placing it in the sink for a refill, or even toting it across the room to serve someone. During testing, it quickly became apparent which pitchers had handles worthy of such tasks. Our winner, the Brita Longlast Everyday Water Filter Pitcher, had a rounded, moderately thick handle that nicely balanced the weight of the rest of the pitcher. Less ergonomic pitchers included the LifeStraw Home 10-Cup, which was tall and had a pleasing curve to the pitcher. However, its thin handle was hard to grip, most likely due to its small size and slick, plastic surface.

Some Spouts Were Superior to Others

a water filter pitcher pouring water into a glass
We preferred pitchers that poured smoothly and at a steady pace.Serious Eats / Abigail Clarkin

Although a number of the pitchers were lovely to look at, it turned out that looks weren’t everything. Both the Soma Pitcher and the Nakii Water Filter Pitcher looked gorgeous and filtered quickly, but each performed poorly when pouring, and both had needless spout covers. In the case of The Soma Filter, tipping the filter too far forward led to water spilling from both the spout itself and the seam between the spout and the spout cover. But if we tipped too little, the water simply dribbled sadly down the front of the pitcher.

The Criteria: What to Look For in a Good Water Filter Pitcher

Brita water filter pitcher: Filters quickly, WQA certified, easy to assemble, ergonomic, balanced handle, and pours smoothly and cleanly.
Serious Eats / Abigail Clarkin / Grace Kelly

The ideal water pitcher filled in a reasonable amount of time and did not require too many refills of the filtering reservoir. Our favorites were easy to assemble, pour from, and clean, and they filtered fairly quickly. They were also ideally WQA-certified against certain pollutants and had affordable replacement filters.

The Best Overall Water Filter Pitcher: Brita Longlast Everyday Water Filter Pitcher

Also available at Target.

What we liked: This sturdy, simple water pitcher checked nearly all the boxes for us. While taste testing, we found that it removed all traces of the less-desirable flavors found in our unfiltered tap water. Although this pitcher fell solidly in the middle of the pack when it came to filling and filtering (it took 14 minutes), we found that the wide, slow-curving spout was excellent to pour from. The handle was proportionate to the size of the entire pitcher, making it comfortable to grip. It was also easy to remove the filter and give the whole pitcher a wash. We especially liked the filter itself: it’s made from a combination of activated carbon surrounded by absorbents, a pleated filter, and fibrous matrix—in short, it’s heavy-duty. Brita recommends replacing the filter after six months of use, and a replacement filter costs around $20.

What we didn’t like: While we didn’t uncover any major issues with this pitcher, we weren’t huge fans of the appearance; it’s relatively bulky and by no means pretty (especially when tested alongside The Soma Pitcher). Dare we say the simple, grooved black plastic on the cover reminded us of a knock-off Darth Vadar costume?

Price at time of publish: $45.

Key Specs

  • Capacity: 10 cups
  • Weight: 2.29 lbs
  • Product dimensions: 11.94 x 7.38 x 16.75 inches
  • Materials: Polystyrene
  • Care instructions: Hand wash pitcher with soap and water after removing filter
  • Certifications: Certified by WQA against NSF/ANSI 42, 53, 401
the brita pitcher on a blue surface
Serious Eats / Abigail Clarkin

The Best Budget Water Filter Pitcher: PUR Water Pitcher Filtration System, 7 Cup

What we liked: This pitcher impressed us immediately. The filter takes a mere four minutes and 35 seconds to filter and fill. As we conducted our taste test, we discovered there were no discernible remains of the flavors often found in our unfiltered tap water. The pitcher was compact enough that it fit snugly in refrigerator doors and on crowded countertops. When using it, we found that its handle was optimal for gripping, and it poured beautifully with no spillage. Disassembling the pitcher to clean was also an easy and straightforward process. 

What we didn’t like: Our one challenge when using this pitcher involved the initial install of the filter itself. It was important to line up the handle on top of the filter with the seam running the length of the pitcher. If the filter was not properly lined up and tightened, then it came loose during heavy pours (as we found out the hard way). It was also a tad smaller than the Brita.

Price at time of publish: $17.

Key Specs

  • Capacity: 7 cups
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs
  • Product dimensions: 9.6 x 4.5 x 10.1 inches
  • Materials: Plastic
  • Care instructions: Dishwasher-safe after removing filter
  • Certifications: Certified by WQA against NSF/ANSI Standards 42, 53 and 401; certified by NSF International against NSF/ANSI Standards 42, 53, and 401
A full water filter pitcher sitting beside an empty glass
Serious Eats / Abigail Clarkin

The Competition

  • ZeroWater 10 Cup Ready-Pour: This pitcher was a contender for one of our top picks, but, in the end, the weight and awkward shape proved too cumbersome for daily use.
  • LifeStraw Home 10-Cup Pitcher: This pitcher was elegant, statuesque, and by far the largest we tested; in fact, it was too heavy and large to fit on the shelves in our refrigerator. And, alas, it took more than 45 minutes for the pitcher to filter enough water to fill the reservoir.
  • The Soma Pitcher: While we were pleased to find this filter boasted the fastest filtration time during our testing (a speedy two minutes and 53 seconds), we found some issues: the wide spout led to major drippage while pouring, and the top sealed so snugly to the filtration reservoir, that we struggled to disconnect the two for cleaning.
  • Nakii Water Filter Pitcher: This pitcher filtered quickly and was visually attractive, with an elegant combination of plastic and bamboo. However, there was a fair bit of spillage when pouring. When it came to cleaning the pitcher, we had difficulty cleaning the multiple indentations on the top.
  • PUR Ultimate Filtration Water Filter Pitcher: From the proper certifications, to the functionality of the spout, to the dimensions, this filter ticked off many of the boxes for a great water pitcher. Unfortunately, the pitcher took well over an hour to filter and fill the water reservoir; it was just too slow.

FAQs

Are water filter pitchers worth it?

If you're worried about the quality of your water or don't like the smell or taste of your water, investing in a water filter pitcher may be right for you. Refilling a reusable water pitcher can also help reduce the amount of plastic bottles purchased and ultimately recycled or thrown away. Plus, if you’re a cocktail guru, you might use a water pitcher to make the freshest, best-tasting cocktails and/or ice.

Do water filter pitchers remove bacteria?

Water pitchers certified by the WQA have a number of certifications that ensure numerous common pollutants are removed. Bacteria, however, is a tad trickier to get rid of. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, activated carbon filters do not remove bacteria. On the other hand, a distillation unit does remove bacteria, but they can be quite expensive.

How can I find out what is in my tap water?

If your water supplier does not already provide you with a yearly Consumer Confidence Report, you can find out through the United States Environmental Protection Agency website. If you’re curious about whether or not you have hard water, there are various self-administered tests, such as this Premium Water Hardness Test Kit.