Even with all the fancy new pots and pans available today, the Dutch oven is still the veritable workhorse of cookware. It seems these days that you can’t turn on the television without tuning in to a cooking show featuring a master chef preparing some kind of mouth-watering morsel.
They span every genre of cuisine, from bake-offs to children’s competitions, pioneer women and every type of dish in between.
There are entire cooking channels devoted to making you salivate before running to the store to grab up all the utensils to make your culinary experience the same as theirs.
They have you believing that with the right pan or knife, you’re just a chop away from being the next Gordon Ramsay or Rachael Ray. It has inspired an entire new industry of kitchen and cooking gadgets that will literally make you have visions of sugar plums dancing in your head.
But do you really need all these new gadgets to make a MasterChef worthy meal? No, sometimes all you need to turn your cuisine dreams into reality is something as simple as a Dutch oven.
Dutch Oven FAQs
What Is a Dutch Oven?
History of Dutch Ovens
Why Do I Need a Dutch oven?
Types Of Dutch Ovens
Let’s face it, cast iron is tough as nails. Maybe that’s because it’s made of the same material as nails…iron. It’s almost impossible to ruin.
However, if you don’t properly season it, the cast iron can sustain damage. It can rust over time and flake off into food. Nobody wants that.
That’s why some Dutch ovens take the cast iron process a step further and use enameling to coat both the inside and the outside.
This makes them easier to clean than traditional cast iron. It also helps with durability and keeps iron from leaching into the food you’re cooking. And, well, they look really nice too.
Variety is the spice of life and enameled Dutch ovens come in nearly every color you can think of. You can find one that meets the color-coordinating needs of just about every kitchen.
But of course, with variety comes a heftier price tag. Standard, basic cast iron Dutch ovens can run for a relatively modest $20-60. Enameled versions, on the other hand, can run upward of nearly $400, depending on the manufacturer and colors. Yet another reason why we hand these heirloom quality items down from generation to generation.
Caring For Your Cast Iron Dutch Oven
It is essential to season your cast iron Dutch oven. The process of seasoning is what gives cast iron its nonstick properties and keeps your cookware in tip-top shape. Most cast iron Dutch ovens come pre-seasoned, meaning the manufacturer has taken care of this step for you.
As a result, they are ready to use right away. However, the day may come where your cast iron cookware needs to re-seasoned. If this sounds daunting, don’t worry. The process is actually very simple.
To season your Dutch oven (or any other cast iron cookware), all you have to do is coat it in oil and bake it. Any type of cooking oil will do the job, but vegetable oil and olive oil are the most common.
Rub the oil in with a lint-free cloth. Then bake it in the oven at 425 degrees for about an hour. Easy peasy. If necessary, repeat this process two or three times.
Dutch Oven Mania
“I know it’s weird to be excited about a cast iron pot, but…”
Need a little extra encouragement before delving into Dutch oven ownership? You have to look no further than your nearest online retailer. There, you’ll find that the Dutch oven has an almost a cultish following.
So maybe it’s time to look into the mystery of the Dutch oven and add one to your kitchen staples. I have a feeling, you’ll be wondering how you lived without one for so long too.