- Food and Cooking
Shopping for Dutch Ovens
Dutch Ovens, why they're great to have.
Have you been looking at Dutch Ovens lately, interested in buying one or wondering if you really need one? Dutch ovens have been used as a cooking pot for hundreds of years and are generally made from cast iron. Stainless steel and aluminum ovens are also available but if purchasing an Aluminum Dutch oven remember that the aluminum pot cannot withstand the same high heats. A temperature of 900 degrees F would melt the aluminum pot, whereas the cast iron and Stainless Steel Dutch ovens will hold up under this heat.
You can buy enamel coated Dutch Ovens, Aluminum, Stainless Steel or plain cast iron ones, the choice is up to you; on the plus side if you are buying Enamel coated Dutch Ovens you will not have to season your new oven. As far as cleaning your Dutch Ovens goes, the cleaning of the enamel coated oven is pretty straight forward and relatively easy to do, whereas with a cast iron one only specific methods of cleaning should be used once your Oven has been seasoned. There are those that claim and rightfully so that 'Dutch Ovens which are properly seasoned are easier to clean' and this may be so in different situations. In my experience I find with the way I cook it all depends on how well seasoned your plain cast iron Dutch Ovens are, what you are cooking and if you are using the right methods of preparation for the meal at hand.
I personally prefer the enamel coated Dutch ovens and I think for me it mostly has to do with looks and the cleaning options available. One important factor to take note of is that you must be careful when choosing your enamel coated Dutch Ovens, depending on the quality you purchased your enamel coating can crack over time. If you opt for enamel coated Dutch ovens you need to remember that they can’t withstand extremely high heat.
With a Dutch Oven, depending on the size you buy, you can prepare a large stew, portion it out, have some for dinner and freeze the rest for a later meal. I personally love my stews and casserole type dishes and especially love having some left overs for the freezer to use on the days where I am simply short on time. There are so many Dutch Oven Recipes out there, you surely won't run out of menu choices with your Dutch Oven.
Dutch Oven Style and Size
Enamelled, cast iron Dutch Ovens are not a necessity but are getting more popular for use inside the household. I like a deep cooking pot and one that goes from stovetop to oven makes it all the more desirable to me. You have a wide variety of sizes to choose from ranging from around 3 quarts, on up to 12 quarts. Dutch Ovens may not be a must have but because of their versatility many opt to have a least one because these ovens can do a wide range of things.
I like my stews and sometimes indulge in the creation of a delectable pot roast on special occasions and when using a Dutch oven that’s big enough oven I can throw in enough veggies and potatoes to make a full meal. I am in the process of looking into a Lodge L Series Enamel 6 Quart Dutch Ovens in Liberty Blue, one because I like the blue, two the size is ideal for what I need the pot for, three the price is reasonable to me and four I need and want the stovetop to oven feature in this size of pot.
As for as the oven lid handles go, please ensure that the handles on your Dutch ovens can withstand the temperatures that you expose them to, some people have found the need to change the pot handle to accommodate for higher heats. Read through the material that comes with you Dutch Oven so you adhere to the rules of the warranty in case something goes wrong and a replacement is needed.
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