Are you limited on storage space in your kitchen? Are there food dishes that you love to cook that require using both the stove top and the oven? In either case, you should consider buying yourself one of these things
A Dutch oven is a type of pot that can be used both on the top of the stove and in the oven. If you’re limited on storage space, this two-in-one pot will eliminate the need for extra pots and pans. If you are a chef who loves to cook one-pot meals, soups or braises, this is an absolute must.
A Look at the Different Types of Dutch Ovens
When you’re shopping for a Dutch oven, don’t be surprised when you go to pick one up. This cookware is a whole lot heavier than the pots and pans that you’re used to. The reason for this is because these things are made out of heavy metals. The heavier the metal, the better it is at retaining heat. The Dutch oven is heavy on its own; when it’s loaded with food, it’s even heavier. Here’s a look at the different types of metals that they'recommonly made out of.
- Cast Iron – Classic Dutch ovens are made out of cast iron and will last you a lifetime. When you first purchase one, you will have to ‘season’ it with oil, as this will prevent the food from sticking to it. If you do use it often enough, it will hold its seasoning pretty well. It should be noted that acidic foods should not be cooked in a cast iron oven. The acidity of the food will cause an adverse reaction with the metal and will ruin it.
- Porcelain Enamel-Coated Cast Iron – A Dutch oven made of porcelain enamel will also last a good, long time. It cooks and browns food evenly and they don’t need to be seasoned, thanks to the coating. This coating also makes cleanup a cinch. You’ll also love that the porcelain enamel-coated cast iron Dutch oven distributed heat evenly, which means that there won’t be any hot spots or cold portions of your dish.
- Stainless Steel – Another metal that is used is stainless steel. Dutch ovens that are made of stainless steel are extremely durable, will last a long time and heat very well. Some stainless steel ones are made with a copper core, which is housed between the layers of steel. This copper core gives it excellent heat conduction.
- Copper – Copper is an excellent heat conductor, which is what makes it an ideal metal to use for a Dutch oven. It’s also easy to control temperature in a copper Dutch oven.
When purchasing one, keep in mind that you want to make sure that the material is authentic. If it isn’t, you could end up wasting your money because there’s always a chance that the Dutch oven will chip and corrode.
Things to Consider When Buying a Dutch Oven
Don’t be surprised by the price tag on these things. These cookware items are a lot pricier than other pots and pans, and there’s a good reason for that. Since the metals that are used to make them are more expensive, it only makes sense that the expense will reflect in the price tag. However, rest assured that if you choose onen that is made of an authentic metal, it will be well worth the cost. Dutch ovens are designed to last a lifetime. In fact, it could very well end up that this piece of cookware will be passed throughout your family.
Since this cookware will last you a long, long time, you want to make sure that you are buying one that will best meet your needs. Here’s a look at some important things that should be taken into consideration when purchasing a Dutch oven. With these things in mind, you’ll be able to purchase one that you will love cooking in for decades.
- The Shape – This type of cookware is typically round or oval in shape. There really isn’t a difference between the two shapes. Whichever shape you choose really comes down to your personal preference.
- The Size – There are various sized Dutch ovens available to purchase. The sizes range anywhere from 1- ½ quarts up to 9 quarts. For single, average sized meals, one that is between 4 and 6 quarts will be fine for you. If you are planning on using it to make large amounts of food, you should probably purchase a larger pot. After all; the larger the pot, the more food it will hold.
- The Lid – Make sure that the lid weighs a lot and that it fits snuggly on the pot portion. These two features will ensure that the moisture is sealed into the food. When the moisture is sealed into the cookware, the food will come out more flavorful and more tender. Additionally, you want to make sure that the handle is very easy to grip. There’s nothing worse than grabbing the lid of a hot pot, only to have your hand slip and be scalded by the heat.
- Know About Nonstick – Many stainless steel models feature a nonstick interior. While this nonstick surface does make it easier to remove your food and clean the pot, it also does require exceptionally care in order to ensure that they pot is not damaged.
Best Dutch Ovens
There are tons of brands on the market. In an effort to make choosing the best Dutch oven an easier task, here’s a look at some of the best on the market:
- Lodge L8D0L3 Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven – This one received exceptionally high ratings on sites like Amazon. It is praised for being easy to cook with, for the self-basting domed lid and because it is per-seasoned.
- Calphalon Contemporary Stainless Steel Dutch Oven – With a roomy interior, easy grip handles and a clear lid, this stainless steel Dutch oven is a great pick.
- Amoretti Brothers Copper Dutch Oven – This is the mac daddy of copper ovens. It is awesome for cooking and reducing sauces perfectly. The copper is 2 mm thick and it is hand-lined with tin. It also comes with a lifetime warranty, so you’re protected should something happen to it.
Improve your cooking repertoire with one of these things today! You’ll be so happy that you made the investment.