Today’s gadget is one that many of you may already own. A staple piece among cookware, the Dutch oven is a reliable and very versatile tool. The Dutch oven is perfect for cooking stews, soups and chili on cold winter nights.
Dutch ovens have been in use for hundreds of years all around the world. Most countries have their own version of this heavy-duty cooking vessel that are also known as casserole dishes. The French cocotte, the Japanese tetsunabe, and the South African Potjie are all very similar designs.
The thick walls of the Dutch oven are usually made of cast-iron which is ideal for keeping the innards hot. They tend to be on the heavier side of the pots n’ pan scale, but there are lighter options available.
Originally designed for cooking over an open fire, Dutch ovens have since shape-shifted with time, but the general idea remains. Their versatility accommodates almost any form of cooking from boiling and roasting to baking and frying. The Dutch oven could be used to simmer a stew one day and bake a pie the next!
The Dutch oven was brought from Europe by early American settles who later spread it around the continent. And even with all of today’s technology and innovative cooking gadgets the Dutch oven remains a fan favorite.
The Dutch oven is also very useful for camping and any form of outdoor cooking. And by placing a smaller baking pan inside the Dutch oven it can be used more as an actual oven rather than a pot.
A slow-cooking stew is perfected when using the Dutch oven. Meats become tender and vegetables become full-flavored. A larger 5-quart Dutch oven is sizable enough to cook supper for the whole family and then some!
So whether you’re cooking on your stove-top, or over hot coals in the great outdoors, a Dutch oven is the only tool you’ll need to make a meal: just add ingredients.
Caring for your Dutch oven is very important in maintaining it’s durability. Clean it with boiling water and a brush, and use no, or very little, soap. Apply a thin coating of cooking oil after it dries and store it with the lid off to avoid moisture building up inside.
As your Dutch oven ages the surface will become shiny and black and will be like a non-stick pot. If a Dutch oven is properly cared for it can be used for years and years to come.
Dutch ovens are sold at most cookware retailers, department stores and at a
number of online sites. Beware of enamel-coated options, some have been known the chip and rust. Prices vary but a good quality Dutch oven is often priced around 75$. They come in different shapes and sizes and they make fabulous gifts!