Cast iron dutch ovens, originally created in the Netherlands during the 17th century, have long become a standard in kitchens around the globe. Once cast out of expensive brass using molds made from sand, these age-old pots have morphed throughout the centuries by refining the casting process and materials. Modern dutch ovens are now made from less expensive and readily-available cast iron, which conducts and holds heat at a steady temperature.
Dutch ovens are a must-have for anything you need to saute, sear, simmer or cook low and slow. When well cared for and used properly, a quality dutch oven can last for generations, which makes it a great investment. But how do you choose an oven that will stand the test of time while maximizing it’s potential? Here’s what to look for!
Withstands Up to 500 Degrees
Non-toxic, hard-wearing protective coating seals it inside and out. Smooth, non-stick surface. No seasoning required. Le Creuset
One of the greatest benefits of cast iron is how well it retains and conducts heat. Thick cast iron walls heat evenly, which ensures your food cooks consistently—no matter if it’s in the oven or on the stovetop. This superior heat retention also means you can get a hard sear on proteins and caramelize veggies, or bring something to a boil quickly. Most enamel coated dutch ovens can be used on induction burners, gas stoves, electric grills and even over an open flame with the correct set up.
Durable porcelain coating protects the pot while ensuring nothing adheres to it. Round shape with great depth for optimum versatility. Safe for use up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Lodge
Dutch ovens offer endless versatility. You can use your pot to brown or saute food and leave it on the burner or in the oven for hours, which makes it ideal for easy one-pot meals. Dutch ovens can even be used to bake a crusty loaf of bread or batch of fluffy cinnamon rolls.
Use the cover as a pan while the main vessel is used for simmering. Versatile, dynamic design with eye catching color and function. Bruntmor
Finding non-stick cookware is challenging to say the least. Enamel-coated dutch ovens are naturally non-stick and provide a smooth, hard-wearing layer between the food and the cast iron that releases food without leaving behind a mess. As an added benefit, the enamel protects the cast iron from rusting or degrading, which is a common frustration when using non-enameled vessels.
Easy to clean, hand wash only. Safe to use up to 480 degrees. Best Choice Products
Works with All Heat Sources
Condensation ridges on the lid help to direct steam and vapors directly to food. Tramontina
Features wide, easy-to-hold handles, a stainless steel lid for easier removal and a high heat rating. Hand wash only. SAVEUR SELECTS