Do I Need a Dutch Oven?
Today we are looking into why you need to invest in a Dutch oven, especially if you love to prepare fresh, wholesome and flavorsome home cooked meals for your friends and family. There really is nothing that is more practical, multi-purpose or enduring than a Dutch oven. If you do already own one and are just reading this article out of curiosity, no doubt you will be nodding your head right now in agreement.
We’re sure you already have a strong affinity and love for your own Dutch oven and probably use it daily. For the rest of you who’ve stumbled across this site as part of your cookware research, we’ll be answering below the question you currently have in your mind, “Do I need a Dutch oven?”
The ultimate in versatility, a Dutch oven is a truly multi-purpose piece of cookware. Dutch ovens have been around for many centuries, and before they were even given this name, instant-style pots were used in all kinds of global culinary styles. The absolute beauty of a Dutch oven is its exceptional versatility.
You will struggle to find any other one piece of cookware in which you truly can fry, stew, braise, bake, boil, slow cook and poach food. It’s this all-around versatility that makes the Dutch oven such an essential piece of cookware and a highly recommended investment piece.
You will literally find yourself swapping out most of your other cookware once you get a Dutch oven. Imagine preparing the crispiest Southern fried chicken, a chili prepared with mouth-watering, pull-apart tenderized beef or a no-knead freshly prepared artisanal style loaf of bread? All of these and so much more can be easily created at home just using your imagination, a few fresh ingredients and your Dutch oven.
So What Exactly is a Dutch Oven and Why Do You Need One So Much?
A Dutch oven, which is also known as a cocotte in France and a casserole dish in the United Kingdom is a heavily constructed large ovenproof pot typically constructed from cast iron, cast-aluminum or heavy ceramic. It will further by typified by a very tight fitting lid and may come ready seasoned but will certainly require regular seasoning. You want to ensure that your Dutch oven continues to deliver perfect cooking results for many years to come. After all, a Dutch oven could be a significant investment.
If you buy a quality constructed one from one of the very established cookware brands, you might need to stretch the budget a bit. That’s why a Dutch oven features so regularly on many a wedding gift list. It really does make the perfect gift for anyone getting set up in their new home.
A Dutch Oven is a Lifelong Investment That Has Been Built to Last
When you take the sensible decision to invest in a new Dutch oven, you are quite literally investing in something that is built to last and will reward you in the kitchen every day with its workhorse style ethics and performance. If you have opted for a ceramic-finished pot, the big advantage is that they are much easier to clean and look after and don’t require pre-seasoning.
That said, they are not quite as hardy as the cast iron versions and can be prone to chipping and more wear and tear over time. Again though, they are supremely robust and reliable, which is yet another reason why we recommend you personally invest in your own Dutch oven.
So whether your preference is to go fully traditional with a heavy-gauge cast iron or pick up one of the more modern style varieties with a nice colorful coated ceramic finish, you can be assured of one thing – that you are investing in quality and longevity and will have many happy hours of cooking for your family to look forward to.
You’ve Decided to Invest in a Dutch Oven But What Size Do You Need?
This is an excellent question as Dutch ovens, beside coming in the different materials we’ve already discussed, do also come in a range of sizes. We are pretty confident that you won’t be just investing in the one size either; you will love your Dutch oven cooking experience so much and appreciate their supreme versatility to such an extent, we imagine you will want to purchase a few sizes.
As a general guide, most Dutch ovens will hold a liquid capacity of anywhere from 2 to 8 quarts. If you are into industrial, or shall we say professional-style home entertainment then you can even get a 13-quart oven – perfect if you have a small army to feed, or you have the kind of family that just loves entertaining and always finds space at your table for extra friends and unexpected guests.
We would say that for a family of three a 5.5-quart Dutch oven should be adequate and for a family of say four to six, you’d be better going for an 8-quart version. You might see the size referenced by the measurement of the diameter of the pot itself, especially if you are purchasing in Europe.
However, for the most part, they are referred to by their quart capacity. Don’t forget though, that the bigger the pot, the heavier it is going to be to handle, so make sure you don’t end up buying something that you can’t easily transport from the stove to the table top.
The Dutch oven really is so versatile you can literally go direct from preparing to serving with no interruptions.
One of the most significant advantages of the Dutch oven isn’t its versatility or its durability, not even its total dependability when it comes to delivering exceptional cooking results every time. It’s the fact that you can physically prepare your meats and vegetables in your Dutch oven, then transfer them directly onto your stovetop or the center of your oven with no other cookware vessels or added processes required.
When your meal is prepared and simmering away to perfection, simply remove and transport directly to your tabletop ready to serve. It really is that simple. Prepare, cook, serve, then eat.
Now, do you see why you need a Dutch oven in your life, and your kitchen of course?