The All Purpose Dutch Oven

green-dutch-ovenWe have extolled the virtues of the Le Creuset Dutch Oven in the past. The cast iron construction is superior to other cookware because it absorbs and retains heat more efficiently as your pot roast, chicken and vegetables slowly braise and stew in the oven. Braise, stew, brown…do it all in this all-purpose pot. It’s perfect, and its heat retention is amazing. The oven also cleans up really well.

The artisans at Le Creuset have been making richly enameled cast iron cookware in the French village of Fresnoy-le-Grand since 1925. Each piece from their line is individually created, coated, fired and inspected in order to bring you the finest quality cookware-to-tableware available.

The 6.75-qt. oval Dutch oven is fitted with two loop handles and comes with a domed lid to seal in the juices while your dish cooks. Oven-safe to 450 degrees.

The Dutch oven has one drawback in that it is heavy.

About the Dutch oven
Tips for using your Dutch Ovens
How to store your Dutch Oven
What can I cook in a Dutch Oven
What to look for when buying a Dutch Oven


Le Creuset 3.5-qt. Enameled Wide Round Dutch Oven, Kiwi

Tips for Using Your Dutch Oven

red-oval-dutch-ovenMany people in America have an unused Dutch oven in their loft that they have either inherited or bought. Dutch ovens are often be found in garage sales which is an inexpensive way to pick one up.

One of the reasons that some people don’t like using a dutch oven, is that the meat looks uncooked and there is nothing more unattractive than a white lump of chicken or meat even if it is cooked.  So the best way to overcome this is to always brown  the meat before putting it into the Dutch oven – just as you would when cooking meat in  a Slow Cooker.

Another reason people tend not to use their Dutch oven is because it may need to be seasoned, especially if it is cast iron. This must be done prior to use. Seasoning provides a non-stick surface and prevents foods from reacting with the cast iron. If you have purchased an enameled cast iron Dutch oven then this will not be necessary.

Season your dutch oven in the same way you season your other cast iron cookware and the more you use it the better the non stick finish and rust preventative properties will be.

A dutch oven is a remarkable piece of kitchen cookware – don’t let yours waste away in the cupboard. There are so many delightful recipes you can cook in it.

How to Store your Cast Iron Dutch Oven

dutch-oven-1It’s important to store your cast iron Dutch oven with the lid slightly open to allow air to circulate into the pot.

Use a length of kitchen paper towel that is long enough to go across the rim of the pot. Fold it like a fan, lay it across the rim and put the lid on. This will also act like a wick and will draw any moisture out of the oven.

This is necessary because without a good air supply, the oil that you used to season it may turn rancid. If your pot goes rancid, you mustn’t cook in it and will have to clean it and re-season it.

How Should I Care For My Dutch Oven?

orange-dutch-oven
The first thing you need to do is to check if your Dutch Oven needs seasoning. If it does, heat the pot until it is hot but still touchable. Coat the inside and outside of both pot and lid with cooking oil and leave it to cool completely.

Some Dutch ovens are now manufactured in such a way that they don’t need seasoning.

How you need to clean your your Dutch Oven depends on what it is made from. If it is cast iron, then you firstly need to remove any stuck on food by boiling warm, clean water in the Dutch oven. Don’t use any soap as this will strip off the seasoning and may impart its scent to your next Dutch oven meal. Gently scrape off any food and rinse the pot in clean, warm water. Leave it to air dry and then re-season before storing.

• Don’t ever allow the pot to sit in water or let water stand it – it will rust!
• Don’t ever put an empty cast iron pot over a fire. It will crack or warp.
• Don’t ever put cold liquid into a cast iron Dutch oven that is very hot – it will crack immediately!

Read more about Dutch ovens

Here are some excellent buys in Dutch Ovens:



Why are Dutch ovens called ‘Dutch’?

why-are-dutch-ovens-called-dutch1No-one is quite sure but there are various theories.

  • In 1704, an Englishman called Abraham Darby, travelled to Holland to see a Dutch casting process. On his return home, Darby refined the method and began casting pots. He shipped them to the new colonies in America and all over the world. The name may have originated from the Dutch casting process.
  • Early Dutch traders and salesmen peddled cast iron pots hence the name.
  • Dutch settlers in the region of Pennsylvania used cast iron pots or kettles.