Tuesday, February 27, 2024

What Are Dutch Ovens Used For

Must read

The Best Dutch Ovens Money Can Buy: Le Creuset And Staub 55

7 Ways to Use a Dutch Oven

Into the idea of owning a piece of cookware thatll last for generations to come? Le Creusets iconic Dutch ovens are genuine heirloom pieces. Ive had mine for over a decade, my mom has had hers for 40, and I know lucky folks using Le Creusets that have been passed down from grandparents. Le Creuset Dutch ovens are more lightweight than competitorswhich is key if you have an enormous family and are in the market for a 13.25 quart potand come with that lifetime warranty . We use them in the Bon Appétit test kitchen. The downside is, of course, the pricewhich is partly due to the quality and partly due to the fact that these things are still made in France, where the cost of labor is high. If you dont have a Dutch oven and a $350 pot is not in the cards, get yourself a Misen, Lodge, or Milo and upgrade when youre ready. Le Creusets are built to last, and no doubt when Im 80, Ill be using mine to stew prunes. MacKenzie Chung Fegan, senior commerce editor

But What About Those Pretty Oval Dutch Ovens

If youve made it this far, you might have noticed that every one of these best cast-iron Dutch ovens, from the 5-quart through the big boy 7.25-quart, is round. Weve found that while oval-shaped Dutch ovens are nice for roasting oblong cuts of meat in the oven, they can easily lead to uneven cooking on the stovetop, unless theyre large enough to stretch over two burners. So if youre going to own one only, swing for a round one to get the most out of your shiny new Dutch oven.

What Is A French Oven

If you think that the description of the Dutch oven sounds a lot like a French oven, youd be right. In essence, a French oven is a type of cast iron Dutch oven that has a porcelain enamel coating. Created in the early 1900s, the enamelled surface of the French oven greatly improved the stick-resistant performance of the already durable and versatile Dutch oven. Locally known as a cocotte, the French oven became the perfect tool for popular recipes of the time like boeuf bourguignon, which involved browning the meat on the stove before transferring the dish to the oven to finish cooking.

The enamelled coating also eliminates the need for seasoning, which made these newer Dutch ovens easier to maintain, and also allowed for the endlessly useful Dutch oven to be produced in a wide range of delightful colors. While theyre usually circular, these days casting technology can give us Dutch ovens in all sorts of shapes including oval, square, heart-shaped, or even shaped like pumpkins.

Read Also: Cooking Chicken Legs In The Oven

This Versatile Pot Is A Kitchen Workhorse And A Must

Ananda Eidelstein is a vegetable-loving food writer, recipe developer, and editor. She is the former Senior Food Editor at REAL SIMPLE magazine. Prior to writing and editing feature stories, having her own monthly vegetarian column, and developing over 300 recipes during her time at RS, she was the Assistant Food Editor at Rachael Ray Every Day. She has also gained experience in the test kitchens of Martha Stewart’s Living, and Saveur magazines, in catering, TV, and a Michelin-starred restaurant in New York City. Ananda is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute, now known as the International Culinary Center, with nearly a decade of culinary and food media experience.

Dutch ovens are stunners in the kitchen. These thick-walled, large potsusually made of cast ironcome in a variety of colors, captivating home cooks everywhere. But as gorgeous as they are, they’re also truly worth it, thanks to their wide range of capabilities in the home kitchen. The heavy, tight-fitting lid makes it difficult for steam to escape, making a Dutch oven the perfect pot for moist-cooking methods like braising or stewing. Plus, its wonderful ability to retain heat also allows for perfect golden-brown searing or frying.

According to Barron’s Food Lover’s Companion, Dutch ovens are thought to be of Pennsylvania Dutch heritage, going back to the 1700s . Tried and true, here is your guide to your new favorite kitchen companion, the Dutch oven.

How Should You Clean And Care For A Pure Cast


If you already have a pure cast-iron pan then you know that it must first be seasoned. Taste of Home recommends spreading vegetable oil over the lid and pot with a paper towel. Then, bake it for one hour in an oven at 400 F, letting it cool for 30 minutes with the oven off before removing it. This step helps create a non-stick surface while preventing rust.

Every time you clean your Dutch oven after use, first remove food remnants with a spatula or paper towel . Next, pour some water inside and bring it to a boil to dislodge any extra food. Give it a good scrub , rinse the contents, and dry it with a paper towel. Finally, to keep your Dutch oven in good shape, use a paper towel to spread on another thin layer of oil.

Read Also: 27 Inch Gas Double Wall Oven

What Material Is Ideal For Your Needs

Although the distinction is not commonly specified, Allrecipes clarifies that a Dutch oven is a cast-iron vessel while a French oven is coated with enamel. Pure cast-iron is highly praised by cooks, however, it needs to be treated with care in order to stand the test of time. Everything Kitchens points out that the material’s durability makes it an option for campfire cooking. If you’ve ever cooked with cast-iron then you will know that the surface affects flavor to a certain extent. Unfortunately, it is not suitable for cooking highly acidic foods so if tomato sauce is regularly featured in your cooking repertoire, then you might want to rethink bare cast-iron.

If you want the benefits of cast-iron without any flavor transfer and simpler maintenance, then enameled cast-iron is your best option. Allrecipes warns that they are the priciest option but are meant to last a lifetime or more. Plus you’ll get to pick from a rainbow of colors! Ceramic Dutch ovens are another option, however, anyone who has accidentally cracked ceramic cookware is aware of its potential fragility. Nonetheless, these are certainly lighter than cast-iron, so if you want to avoid heavy kitchenware then ceramic is a good choice. Finally, there are some stainless steel options but they don’t have the advantage of uniform heat distribution which is part of the appeal of a Dutch oven.

What Are Dutch Ovens Used For

Dutch ovens are commonly used to braise foods, but they are also used for soups and stews. A Dutch oven is sometimes used for making stocks and broths. Dutch ovens are great for roasting vegetables and meats, baking pizzas or breads, and simmering foods slowly in the oven.

An enamel Dutch oven on a wooden cutting board.

Recommended Reading: Built In Microwave Convection Oven

Best Dutch Oven Shape

Dutch ovens can be round- or oval-shaped. An oval Dutch oven is great for cooking large cuts of meat like whole chicken and beef tenderloin. However, due to its shape, it may not fit on a coil stove or induction burner. A round Dutch oven is best for cooking stews, curries, and saucesand it’s ultimately more versatile because it will fit on any stovetop.

How We Tested Each Dutch Oven

How to Use a Dutch Oven | Consumer Reports

First, we rounded up top-rated Dutch ovens from popular brands like Le Creuset, Staub, Lodge, Cuisinart, Tramontina, and AmazonBasics. Our selections included Dutch ovens made from enameled cast-iron, raw cast-iron, and stainless steel and all ranged between 5 ½ and 7 quarts.

Next, Rachel prepared Chef John’s Coq au Vin in each Dutch oven to gauge how they handled tasks like searing and braising meat, as well as their ability to conduct and retain heat. For each test, she considered these metrics:

  • Overall feel: How heavy is the Dutch oven? How well does it retain heat during and after cooking?
  • Durability: Does the surface scratch or chip easily?
  • Cleanup: Is it dishwasher safe?
  • Storage: Does it fit inside a cabinet? Or is it pretty enough to store on your stovetop?
  • Overall value: Is the Dutch oven worth the price point?

We also conducted a survey of the Allrecipes staff and editors to gauge personal experience with these Dutch ovens and others.

Below, find our picks for the best Dutch ovens of 2022 at every price. See one that you like? Simply click the link below each description to snag one for your own kitchen.

Also Check: How To Cook Kale In Oven

Cook The Perfect Meal

Made out of bare or enameled cast iron, a Dutch oven is a versatile kitchen tool thats a must-have for any avid home cook. These heavy-bottomed pots have been used in a variety of forms to prepare food for hundreds of years. Outside of the United States, theyre generally referred to as casserole dishes.

While theyre popular for slow cooking at low temperatures, Dutch ovens can serve a wide variety of purposes when it comes to cooking, baking, and more. Read on to discover all of the ways to use this timeless kitchen must-have.

Best Dutch Oven For Boiling Water

All of the Dutch ovens are able to quickly heat 4 quarts of room-temperature water to a near-boil, earning scores of Very Good to Excellent on this test. The best heat water in less than 10 minutes, but even the slowest accomplish it in 12. So you can skip getting out a pasta pot and use a Dutch oven instead. The Le Creuset model below is one of the top performers in this test, and one of the easiest to clean.

Recommended Reading: Boneless Pork Chops In The Oven Recipes

Why Every Home Cook Needs A Dutch Oven

This versatile all-in-one pot is the original multi-cooker

When you shop through retailer links on our site, we may earn affiliate commissions. 100% of the fees we collect are used to support our nonprofit mission.Learn more.

Long before the Instant Pot came on the scene as a master of multitasking, there was the humble Dutch oven.

With the exception of pressure-cooking, a Dutch oven can do everything a multi-cooker can do and then some: brown, boil, braise, bake, and deep-fry.

A cast-iron Dutch oven will give you better results than an Instant Pot any day, says Lance Nitahara, an assistant professor at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. In fact, this one pot can replace your slow cooker, stock pot, pasta pot, loaf pan, and deep fryer.

And this type of cookware goes way back: Lewis and Clark carried Dutch ovens on their journey across the American West in the early 1800s, and you can still buy reproductions of the three-legged ovens they used. Todays Dutch ovens look a lot nicer, though most are enameled cast iron and come in a variety of colors. But theyre just as multifunctional, and theyre a good choice for simple tasks and more complicated recipes like braising meat, baking bread, cooking soups and stews, and deep-frying chicken.

Soups Stews And Chilis

The 10 Best Le Creuset Dutch Oven Used

When it comes to soups, stews, and chilis, there’s nothing quite like the intensity of the layered flavors that a cast iron Dutch oven brings forth. You’re able to start with ingredients like veggies, add your meats, beans, or whatever you’d like, then top it all with cheese or additional fresh herbs. Whether you’re going for a beef stew or a hearty vegan chili, you’ll be able to cook a variety of different recipes with this piece of cast iron cookware. Bob’s Red Mill Vegi Soup Mix is made from a hearty combination of yellow and green split peas, barley, lentils, and pasta, and makes for a great base for soups, stews, and chilis that can be cooked right on the stove.

You May Like: Microwave Oven Over The Range

Considerations Before Buying A Best Dutch

The best dutch ovens have several key characteristics, including a tight fitting lid, round loop handles, and an even weight distribution. They are also easy to clean and come in a variety of sizes and colors. Perfect for displaying on your stove top. If youre looking for a cast iron enameled dutch oven, be sure to look for one with a stainless lid knob that is easy to grip. These are heavy., but a good dutch oevn is perfect for slow cooking and braising meats, and the even heat distribution makes it ideal for soups and stews. But with so many different brands and models on the market, how do you know which one is right for you?

  • Tight Fitting Lid
  • Price Range $175 $350

What is a dutch oven used for?

  • Deep sears, gentle cooking: our dutch ovens are perfect for a variety of dishes
  • Sauces and soups: keep the pot covered to cook gently, or position the lid so its slightly ajar
  • Dicing, chopping, mincing, deboning: our chef knives are specially designed to help with all your prep needs
  • Baking breads, pies and even cakes

How Do You Use A Dutch Oven

Dutch ovens can be used the same way you use stock pots or saucepans. The main thing that sets them apart is you can get them really hot to sear meat and then ultimately finish cooking by simmer or transferring to the oven. Here are Good Housekeeping’s top tricks for using your Dutch oven:

  • For a deep sear, heat the pot first, then add a little bit of oil before adding in the meat right away. This will help prevent the oil from overheating and burning. Another option is adding oil directly to the meat instead.
  • Keep the pot completely covered when making soups and other foods you want to cook gently. Careful, the lid’s handle gets hot, especially if it’s made of metal.
  • Position the lid so it’s slightly ajar when making sauce to allow for some evaporation â don’t use it all when trying to reduce liquid in the final stages of cooking.
  • The entire Dutch oven may be placed in the oven to cook for long periods of time. Use the lid to keep in moisture, and remember to always handle with oven mitts or dry dish towels.
  • Dutch ovens make excellent serving dishes because they keep food hot for a long time, but always use a sturdy trivet and warn guests that the pot is hot.
  • Clean enameled cast iron by hand, regardless of what the instructions say, to preserve the luster of its colorful finish.

You May Like: Cubed Sweet Potatoes In Oven

How To Find The Best Dutch Oven For You

Taste of Home

Before you buy a Dutch oven, there are a couple of considerations to think about. Things like price point, size, brand, features and reviews will all influence your purchasing decision. Here are some ideas that can help you narrow down your search:

  • Price: How much are you looking to spend on a new Dutch oven? Most Dutch ovens are between $40-350, which is a huge range. Price is influenced by brand, materials used, size and where its purchased from. Not to worry, though, you can easily find a quality Dutch oven under $100.
  • Size and type: Dutch ovens can have a capacity of 1 quart, up to 10+ quarts. The standard size is between 6-8 quarts. Also, consider if youre more comfortable with a cast-iron Dutch oven or an enamel-coated one.
  • Lid: While the Dutch oven may be oven-safe up to 550°F, the lid handle might not be. Additionally, some brands offer Dutch oven lids that can be flipped over and used as a skillet or grill pan.
  • Style: There are a ton of options when it comes to the color and shape of a Dutch oven! Some brands also offer patterned Dutch ovens or lids with decorative handles.

After doing your research, says Sarah, look to see which stores carry the brand and size you are hoping for. Storefronts like Kohls, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond will typically carry these items, but its also very easy to use for this sort of purchase.

Our Recommended Dutch Ovens

Find more reviews of the best Dutch ovens to buy, according to the experts.

Countless Uses Of Dutch Ovens

Our Testing of Dutch Ovens

There are endless possibilities when it comes to using a Dutch oven. Here are just a few of the many things you can do with this kitchen powerhouse.


Braising is a cooking method that involves cooking food in a small amount of liquid over low heat for a long period of time. This method is often used for tough cuts of meat that need to be cooked slowly in order to tenderize them. Braising can also be used for vegetables, fruits, and grains.


Roasting is a cooking method that involves cooking food in an oven at high temperatures. Roasting is often used for meats and vegetables. When roasting meats, it is important to sear the meat before cooking it in the oven. This helps to lock in the juices and create a delicious crust on the outside of the meat.


Baking is a cooking method that involves cooking food in an oven at lower temperatures than roasting. Baking is often used for cakes, cookies, pies, and breads. Baking requires precise measurements and timing in order to achieve the desired results.

Deep Frying

If you’re looking to fry up some chicken, fish, or French fries, a Dutch oven is the way to go. The heavy pot ensures even cooking and helps to prevent your food from sticking. Plus, the lid traps in heat, so your oil won’t cool down as quickly.

Making one-pot meals

Also Check: How To Make Pizza In Oven

More articles

Latest article