A Dutch oven is a heavy kitchen tool designed to be able to slow cook at high temperatures, perfect for making soups, stews, baking bread and even to fry food in it. This pot is designed to be super sturdy and durable, which makes it very heavy, so not necessarily your everyday pot. Dutch ovens are not only popular because of their durability and how much you can use it for, but also because it allows you to cook on almost any surface, from stove, ovens and even on a campfire. This tool is a must-have for anyone who loves to cook!
History of the Dutch Oven
In the 17th century the Dutch started producing cast cooking tools such as pots and pans typically using brass. An Englishman interested in their cooking techniques visited the Netherlands to study this and he later brought it back to England where he experimented with other materials like cast iron, which he later patented and named a “Dutch Oven”.
Why is the Dutch oven a must-have? As stated above, a Dutch oven is a super versatile pot and has many uses. Even if you are not the greatest cook in the world, using a Dutch oven does not have to be hard. There are many easy recipes online, which require few steps. Another popular thing about ‘some’ Dutch ovens are the durability. If you do your research and choose one of the better brands, you may have just made an investment of a lifetime, as some Dutch ovens can last generations. With the right seasoning and care, they should last you forever!
Enamel vs. Cast iron - Which one is Best?
Most Dutch ovens are made from cast iron, which is known for being quite difficult to clean. But as long as you follow proper cleaning protocols as well as keeping your cast iron seasoned properly, you really shouldn’t have any issues. Some Dutch ovens are finished off with an enamel coating over the cast iron, which is supposed to make it much easier to clean. With the enamel coating, you don’t have to worry about rust like you do with the cast iron only, but what tends to happen is a discoloration of the bottom of your enamel pot, which is almost impossible to clean. However, this is just a question about how important it is for you to have a clean or new looking pot, as it does not affect the braising and is not unhealthy for you.
Does Size Matter?
That depends on what you need it for. Dutch ovens come in all sizes and depending on what you need it for as well as how many you’re cooking for, there’s really no right answer as to what size to get. However, keep in mind these pots tend to be quite heavy, so of course the bigger the pot the heavier, especially once they’re full of food!
Which Heat Sources are Recommended?
The answer to this is quite easy: MOST. Because these pots are so sturdy and are able to withstand high temperatures, they’re almost indestructible (IF you treat it with care, of course). They are safe to use on most cook tops, ovens or even on an open flame (campfire). Just keep in mind that the pot gets very hot, so make sure to take proper safety precautions when handling your Dutch oven.
How to Clean Your Dutch Oven
Cleaning your Dutch oven properly is ESSENTIAL! If you have invested in one of the more expensive brands like Le Creuset, you know that these Dutch ovens are a few hundred dollars, BUT if you take good care of it, it’ll last you decades. The number one rule is DO NOT put it in the dishwasher! This will most definitely ruin it. Second rule is to avoid scratching the precious enamel when cleaning it. If you have a cast iron, food tends to stick to the rough surface a little more than enamel, but with the right seasoning as well as proper cleaning techniques you’ll be able to clean it right off. Wipe the oven after each use, using dry paper towels. If food is still sticking to it, fill it with water (make sure to cover any burnt residue) and bring to a boil. The boiling water should loosen the stuck-on food and afterwards you can remove from heat and rinse it out. Scrub the interior GENTLY using a mesh dish scrubber to remove any remaining food. Rinse again and dry with paper towels. You’ll need to season it after its dry. A simple way is to pour a small amount of cooking oil and rub it into both exterior and interior of the pot. Do not leave any excess oil in the pot, before you put it away.
Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates