Using a Dutch oven as your implement of choice when preparing a meal is one that many home cooks share. Whether it is indoors during inclement weather or used to add some flavor to an alfresco experience, a Dutch oven, if well made, will serve you well. These are just some of the many reasons why you should invest in a Dutch oven of your own, or make better use of the one that you have.
Choose a Good Brand
It is important to invest in the best dutch oven you can afford in order for it to last you for many years to come. You can tell a lot about a Dutch oven just by holding it. When holding it, it should feel heavy. It should have thick walls and a thick bottom. Keep in mind that your Dutch oven will get very hot; thick mitts or hot pads are necessary. Make sure that you can easily and securely grip the handles before you try to pick up the Dutch oven.
In order to use your Dutch oven to its fullest and create the best dishes possible, you will have to garner inspiration from somewhere. A lot of people tend to follow a grilling blog to get the latest recipes and tips surrounding the use of a grill or a Dutch oven. If you prefer a more hands-on approach, inspiration can be gained from really anywhere. You can find insight from the ingredients that you have in abundance to the smells of the season around you. While your inspiration may lead you to cook or prepare a meal outside, it is also important to realize that the weather does not always allow for this. Many recipes that use a Dutch oven are quite lengthy, so it is a good practice to look at the forecast in case your laborious preparations are ruined.
New or Used?
Knowing whether you should spend a huge amount on a sturdy, big-name brand Dutch oven or a used one from an estate sale, a thrift store, or other sources is an important consideration. Of course, a lot of it depends on your budget, but also on how you want our overall kitchen to look. If you are going for a sleek look with new appliances and shiny surfaces, it may be worth investing in a fancy new one; however, if you re just looking for reliability and do not mind the pre-owned look, a used one might be up your alley. However, one thing is for sure, people really seem to be nuts about cast iron, so be sure to look for this material.
What Are You Making?
One thing that gets home cooks raving about their Dutch ovens is their ease of use. Indeed, many of the most popular recipes that are made using a Dutch oven are one-pot meals with minimal preparation and clean up required. From a braised meat with vegetables, slow-cooked in its broth, to stewed new potatoes in condensed soup stock, this workhorse of the kitchen has earned accolades from some of our biggest culinary stars. Whether you want to use it as a step in preparing an elaborate meal for outside dining, or as the main dish prepared for a cozy dinner for two inside by the fire, the Dutch oven can prepare any ingredients that you put into it.
How do They Cook the Food?
Whether your Dutch oven is a supporting character or the main star of your meal, you may be wondering how exactly it works. A Dutch oven is made out of properly tempered cast iron with a coating of enamel to not only ensure the heat can travel freely and evenly but that it also does not lose that heat very quickly. An enamel coating, as well as making a Dutch oven look chic, is very good for this heat retention.
Whether you choose to cook a meal in your kitchen or bring it outside, a Dutch oven is aptly named the workhorse of the kitchen owing to its versatility and ease of use. Take a look at how you can use yours.