Dutch Ovens, a truly versatile piece of cooking equipment used for oven cooking, stove-top, grill and campfire, if cast iron. This cookware will be your go-to when cooking large recipes like soups and stews with high sides and generous capacity. Ever use your Dutch Oven as a deep fryer; most cooking experts will agree is best frying big batches. Dutch Ovens vary by materials such as stainless steel, hard anodized aluminum, aluminum, copper and cast iron, both non-enamel or enamel coated and non-stick. Stainless steel and aluminum are lighter in weight while cast iron can be quite heavy.
Popular brands include All-Clad, Calphalon, Cuisinart, Anolon, Lodge, Le Creuset, and Staub among others. Dutch Ovens vary in price as well, ranging from $50.00 to several $100 dollars depending on make like copper is pricey. Size can vary in ranges from 1 quart to 20 quart. Oval sizes are available but work best in the oven and on stoves with oval middle burners. Commercial sizes are also available. Most popular sizes range between 6 and 8 quart. Base purchases on your cooking style and your wallet. You can always upgrade later. Check out selections locally where cookware is sold (click here) and (click here).
Most clean up easily no matter material with hot soapy water and lemon-free dish washing liquid. Use only non-abrasive sponges or cloths. Follow manufacturers instructions if unsure what to use. However, do not use soap to clean uncoated cast iron as a soapy taste will remain in cast iron not enamel coated. By all means, don’t let food dry in your Dutch Oven. Ever cleaned off cement?…not fun and most often your pan will be ruined.
What makes Dutch Ovens so versatile is they can go from stove-top, to oven, to table all in one pot. How easy?…Go ahead serve it up! Stainless steel and enamel coated cast iron is non-reactive when cooking tomatoes or using citrus but Aluminum will react to both and leave a metal taste to your dish. Not pleasant… Cast iron has great heat conducting properties, creating moist and evenly roasted chicken, for example, or a little oil and a handful of popcorn makes for awesome popcorn for movie night. Forget the popcorn popper…Kung Fu Panda anyone?
Lastly, build your Dutch Oven collection over time as your wallet, kitchen space and cooking style allows. I know I’ve said this previously but this helped me purchase the pieces I needed in my kitchen and ones I use over and over pictured in this post. I love them. Become one happy domestic goddess and from my kitchen to yours…Create, Conquer and Satisfy.