Do You Need A Dutch Oven? Here Are 4 Reasons That You Do!

Do you need a dutch oven?  Before answering that question, let’s explore another one first. What is a dutch oven? A dutch oven is a thick-walled, heavy cooking pot with a lid that fits tightly and is made from cast iron This type of pot has been used for centuries for cooking. It is the very first multi-cooker with the exception of pressure cooking of course. This wonder pot can brown, braise, make soups and stews, fry, braise, slow cook, and deep fry.

do you need a Dutch oven

The pioneers used this pot for most of their cooking. Back then they were made of cast iron.  These days most dutch ovens are made of enameled cast iron. The difference between the two?  The plain cast iron can be used over an open fire where the enameled is best on medium heat and should not be used on an open fire.

Do You Need A Dutch Oven?

1.A dutch oven is actually the very first multi-cooker with the exception of pressure cooking.  This versatile cookware can brown, braise, slow cook, fry, and bake. So with one pot, you can get rid of several that are just sitting in your cabinet collecting dust. 2. With a dutch oven, you can start your meal on your stovetop and then into the oven to finish it, all with the same pot. 3. And did you know that you can bake bread in a dutch oven? 4 They are easy to clean.

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A Dutch Oven, A Multi-Cooker?

You can cook anything in a dutch oven.  Have a tough piece of meat? Cooked slow and low in a dutch oven and that piece of meat will just melt in your mouth. 

Most households have a slow cooker(crockpot) and to be honest they can be handy for that busy mom.  But I have to tell you that I prefer my roasts made in a dutch oven. I brown my roast first and I can just brown it in the dutch oven without having to “dirty” another pan.  Add the rest of my ingredients such as potatoes, carrots, onions, and a little broth, cover that baby and put in a low-temperature oven, and let it cook.  Best roasts ever! It is the only way I make my roasts.

Making a sauce that needs to cook down? Yep, you guessed it, a dutch oven works great for those sauces that need to simmer and cook for a while. Did you know that you can make your pasta while making your sauce?  Thus eliminating that stockpot. 

Roasting a whole Chicken?  Deep frying potatoes? Making a stew or maybe chili?  Braising that tough piece of meat? A dutch oven can do it all. 

Dutch ovens are made from cast iron and cast iron heats quickly and retain heat keeping your food hot.  

From Stovetop To Oven

As I stated above, no need to “dirty” another pan.  Brown your meat on the stovetop, add the rest of your ingredients, and into the oven to finish.  

Dutch ovens, of course, I’m referring to the enameled dutch ovens, come in many colors to compliment your kitchen giving you the option of serving right out of the dutch oven. Since dutch ovens retain heat well, they will keep your food hot.

 So not only from stovetop to oven but then from oven to table. Most dutch ovens can go in up to a 500-degree oven but enameled dutch ovens work better with medium heat. 

Baking Bread

I was intrigued. So I made some bread in my dutch oven. I looked all over the internet for recipes and suggestions.  I really do not care for sourdough bread and there are many recipes out there for no-knead bread making it that you mix your bread dough right in the dutch oven,

But I wanted to use a basic white bread recipe. I wanted a nice rise to my bread and I believe kneading helps with this process.

As I get older, I find that my wrists are weaker and I tire easily with kneading bread.  So I have to be honest here.  I used my stand mixer to do the kneading for me. 

So I made my basic white bread dough in the stand mixer, letting the mixer do the kneading.  I then transferred the dough to the lightly oiled dutch oven to rise. 

After the first rise, I punched the dough down and reshaped it into a ball for the second rise.  After the second rise, transferred the dutch oven into a pre-heated 450-degree oven and let the bread bake for 15 minutes then turned the oven down to 375 degrees and baked it for another 30 minutes.

I have to say that was the best tasting bread that I have ever made.  I do have to say I was a little put off by the round shape but the taste more than made up for that!

A tip here:  Make sure and put some parchment paper in the bottom of the dutch pan.  I didn’t and I had some difficulty getting the bread out. I did finally get it out but it wasn’t pretty:) But I will the next time!

Easy To Clean

Enameled Dutch ovens are easy to clean.  If you have some stuck-on food, let the pan cool, and then add some warm water and just a little dish detergent.  If the food is really stuck on there, let the pan soak for a while. Most times it will just wipe off with some gentle brushing. 

Always wait for the pan to cool before adding water for cleaning. You run the risk of the dutch oven cracking or chipping. 

Most manufacturers state that their dutch ovens are dishwasher safe but hand washing is recommended.

Enameled Dutch ovens do not need to be seasoned. 

Final Thoughts

Do you need a Dutch oven? What do you think?  I hope that this article helped you with your decision on whether to buy a dutch oven or not.

In my opinion, everyone needs a dutch oven.  They are considered the workhorse in the kitchen. They can bake, roast, braise, slow cook, fry and so much more.  Can go from stovetop to oven to table with ease. Bake bread and they are so easy to clean.

What’s not to like in this wonder pot? I honestly don’t know what I did before getting mine. It is the only way I make my roasts. So tender and good.  And the bread, Oh my. 

Please leave me a comment below with your thoughts on the dutch oven.  Do you have one?

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