What is Dutch Oven Cooking?
Dutch ovens have been used as low-tech cooking appliances for generations, if not centuries. In fact, the Dutch oven was the original one-pot, multi-cooker.
Read on to learn more about the Dutch oven, a list of the best Dutch ovens, as well as a look at the recipes and dishes this multi-cooker is best suited for.
What is a Dutch oven?
Invented over 400 years ago, the Dutch oven was the original multi-cooker.
Dutch ovens are rounded, heavy-set cooking pots with fitted lids that are made to keep steam from escaping. They are typically made from metal or ceramic which provides the constant, even, and all-encompassing heat that they are known for. This also explains why they are so heavy.
You can use a Dutch oven on your stovetop, place it in the oven and back again. This versatility is what gives it a major advantage over other cookware/cooking appliances.
Dutch ovens are slow to heat up and slow to cool. But once heated to the preferred temperature, they can retain that heat for long periods. The heavy material it's constructed out of allows it to heat whatever is inside more evenly than other materials, which gives it a huge advantage when cooking something like a roast.
Also, Dutch ovens can be low maintenance (if made out of ceramic or coated enamel), and they are virtually indestructible.
Dutch ovens can handle cooking large chunks of meat or holding copious amounts of broth. If youve got several mouths to feed, a Dutch oven can be a Godsend for batch cooking and freezing.
Stews, braises, roasts, bread, you name it, your Dutch oven can handle anything you throw at it with ease. Many homemakers and professional chefs alike swear by their Dutch oven and consider it an essential kitchen tool.
How to Choose the Best Dutch Oven for You
Dutch ovens are available in a variety of sizes and are either circular or oval-shaped. One helpful tip for figuring out how big of a Dutch oven to buy is thinking about how many mouths you have to feed. The bigger family you have, the bigger the Dutch oven youll probably need.
If you just have to take care of yourself you should go for a smaller size, like a 5 quart. If you choose one that is too small you might not be able to fit all your ingredients in it. On the other hand, if its too big for your stove, you could struggle with heating it evenly if your burners arent big enough
A good-sized standard most people go with is a 6- to 8-quart Dutch oven. One more thing to consider is how much storage space you have in your kitchen. (Even though you might love cooking with it so much it never leaves your stove or oven!)
Dutch ovens are available in several different materials, but the two main categories are cast iron or ceramic.
Cast Iron Dutch Ovens
Cast iron is known as a great heat conductor and this material is preferred by many professional chefs. The cast-iron Dutch oven is known as the original Dutch oven. It can withstand high temperatures without degradingit is reliable, sturdy, and durable.
Cast iron is useful for a wide variety of applications and cooking methods. It can be used to cook virtually anything. You can even bring it along with you on camping trips to use over an open campfire without the fear of it warping.
As with all cast iron cookware, you must take special steps to clean and maintain the integrity of your iron, otherwise, they are prone to rust and will lose their nonstick surface. To achieve a proper nonstick coating on your cast iron you must also do something called seasoning.
Seasoning is a process in which you clean your cast iron thoroughly, lightly coat it in oil and bake it in the oven for an hour. After completing this process your cast iron will have a nonstick cooking surface.
Once youre finished cooking, your cast iron must be scrubbed and dried by hand without the use of soap. Soap will strip the iron of its seasoning. If properly cared for, your cast iron cookware can last through generations.
A Dutch oven made from cast iron is more affordable than those made out of ceramic or enameled material.
Ceramic or Enameled Dutch Oven
Similar to cast iron, ceramic cookware conducts heat extremely well. But unlike cast iron, ceramic Dutch ovens do not require special cleaning techniques.
Enamel-coated Dutch ovens are cast iron with an enamel coating. They are available in tonnes of different colors to suit different personalities or styles.
Be aware that while enamel Dutch ovens are durable, some are not made to withstand extremely high temperatures, so its best to check with the manufacturers recommendations of use.
Ceramic and enameled tend to be more expensive because of their convenience and aesthetic. There is no special care necessary for them and they can be washed with soap.
What is Dutch Oven Cooking?
As mentioned above, Dutch ovens are multi-purpose pieces of cookware that can be used on the stove or in the oven. Because they are made with durable materials, they can withstand high temperatures.
A multitude of cooking tasks can be completed using your Dutch oven, such as:
Simmering Soups and Stews
Dutch ovens have the necessary size and structure to cook a soup or stew from start to finish. They can conduct heat very well, and keep food warm for long periods which is useful for simmering.
Dutch ovens are perfect for roasting juicy, tender meats and vegetables because they can provide even heating. Having a tight lid also keeps the moisture in and prevents any drying out during the process.
Because the Dutch oven is so heavy, it can hold heat longer. This gives it an advantage during any slow cooking methods since it will allow you to use less energy.
You can also use your Dutch oven as a deep fryer as it will heat your oil in an even and controlled manner. Being able to keep your oil at the right temperature can be the difference between success and failure.
Keep in mind some enameled dutch ovens cannot be used to heat oil to high degrees, so check with your manufacturer before attempting this.
Yes, you can even use your Dutch oven to bake bread! They have long been used to make sourdoughs and boules as well as other baked goods. Dutch ovens act similarly to bread or pizza ovens. Just like a bread oven, the Dutch ovens heavy lid keeps moisture in which results in a flaky crust.
The versatility of a Dutch oven makes it great for preparing casseroles in one pot. You can saute your ingredients in it, assemble the rest of the casserole, and then put it straight into a hot oven with no fuss and without the need for any other pots or pans.
Where do I buy a Dutch oven?
To match the ever-increasing popularity of Dutch ovens over the past few decades, weve begun stocking a wide variety in our online store.
We now feature brands like Crock Pot and Martha Stewart in a variety of colors, sizes, and materials. Once you decide which Dutch oven will suit you, have fun playing around with all types of recipes and cooking styles. What will you cook first?
If you want to learn more about the best Dutch ovens, contact Vacuum Cleaners Market here.