What is a Dutch oven? How to choose the right one for your kitchen

© rudisill/Getty Images What is a Dutch oven? How to choose the right one for your kitchen

  • A Dutch oven is an cast iron pot great for braising, stews, sauces, and more.
  • They come in different sizes, materials, and shapes that serve different culinary purposes.
  • Oval-shaped Dutch ovens are great for roasting, while round ones are better for stovetop cooking.

If you have foodie friends you may have heard the phrase “Dutch oven” a time or two – alongside heaps of praise about how wonderful they are to cook in. But what is a Dutch oven, and should you be adding this one-pot-wonder to your own culinary arsenal?

A Dutch oven is an extremely versatile piece of cookware that has a place in every modern-day kitchen, despite its old-school roots – we’re talking 17th century old. It’s made from enameled cast iron, meaning it has a cast iron core with ceramic enamel on the outside. Its construction makes it great for braising, baking, casseroles, sauces, and more.

The cast iron heats evenly and retains heat well, and the enamel makes it non-stick and easy to get a sear. The lid typically is ribbed or has dots or dimples on it, so when steam rises, it encourages condensation from the top down and reintroduces flavor to baste the meat.

So how has the Dutch oven made its way into becoming a household name?

History of the Dutch oven

Guess what? A Dutch oven isn’t actually Dutch.

According to Chef Shon Foster of Wood.Ash.Rye, the early origins of the modern Dutch oven was called a braadpan in the Netherlands, which roughly translates to “frying or roasting pan.” It was mainly used for frying meats or making stews.

“The modern French design transformed it to an enamel-coated cast iron pan, mainly used for braising meats and casseroles,” says Foster.

He further explains that the Dutch did produce a cooking vessel made of brass in the 17th century, creating a range of pots, pans, and casserole dishes. Their process used sand to make the molds and produced a high-quality pot with a smooth surface, compared to the English at the time who were using loam and clay.

An Englishman Abraham Darby visited the Netherlands to observe this casting process. He returned to England, and in trying to create a cheaper product, further refined the process to use the more economical metal of cast iron.

“Darby eventually patented a casting procedure and named it the ‘Dutch oven’ in 1707, thus explaining where the Dutch name originated for this cooking pot,” says Foster. “The Americans then brought these English pots to their new colony and continued to make changes to the English style Dutch oven during the colonial era.”

Fun fact: Paul Revere is credited with adding legs to the pots and designing a flat lid with a ridge for holding coals.

What is a Dutch oven made of?

© EntropyWorkshop/Getty Images

There are a few different competing materials that are used to make a Dutch oven: enameled cast iron and raw cast iron.

Enameled cast iron

Cast iron or enameled cast iron is the preferred material for Dutch ovens, says Meredith Abbott, chef and Manager of culinary content at Sur La Table. Enameled cast iron Dutch ovens cost a bit more, but with that comes no limitations for what you can make in it. Enameled doesn’t need extra seasoning, but you should take care to not chip or crack the enamel.

Raw cast iron

Raw or seasoned cast iron pieces are very affordable and are one of the few cookware pieces that get better with age and proper seasoning. ​​One major limitation with raw or seasoned cast iron is that you shouldn’t cook overly acidic foods in them, advises Abbott, “…so please don’t think about making your Nonna’s traditional Sunday Tomato Gravy in one,” the sauce will pick up a metallic taste and all of the seasoning you worked so hard at developing will dissolve.

Many confuse the traditional Dutch oven with the French oven, and rightfully so. A French oven is a cast iron Dutch oven that is enamel-coated.

Both cooking accessories are enameled and have very similar functions and looks. Unlike a French oven, you can put a Dutch oven directly in or over an open fire with coals directly on top – hence why they are beloved by campers.

Quick tip: Our Insider Reviews team tested different dutch ovens to determine the best one you can buy. The top pick is the Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven:

Signature Enameled Cast-Iron Dutch Oven (small)

What to cook in a Dutch oven

© MichellePatrickPhotographyLLC/Getty Images

According to Institute of Culinary Education chef Christopher Arturo, Dutch ovens are great for a variety of applications from braising to soups, sofrito, cacio e pepe or other pasta favorites, one-pot meals, and even baking bread like sourdough.

“When I make sofrito, I can cook it over extremely low heat for hours – which is another benefit to this cookware,” says Arturo. It provides consistent, even heat at low temperatures for long periods of time. Soups are also great to make in Dutch ovens, because the pot heats evenly, and there aren’t any hot spots.”

For example, when you’re making sourdough, the heavy lid doesn’t allow steam to escape which contributes to a crisp texture.

Because Dutch ovens are so hefty, it does need time to preheat on the stovetop or in the oven. However as oven temperatures often fluctuate, the heft of the material gives it high heat retention and will ensure consistent temperatures inside the Dutch oven, says Abbott.

What about size?

Dutch ovens come in a variety of sizes – so how do you know which one is right for you? Arturo prefers an 8-quart Dutch oven, but it depends on what you’re using it for. He may reach for a wider pot if he wants to intensify flavor by reduction, or a taller pot if he wants to keep the liquid and infuse flavor without reducing it. But it really is about what fits with your lifestyle and needs:

“If you are only going to purchase one piece, I would recommend a round 5- to 6-quart enameled Dutch oven,” says Abbott. Depending on your household needs, she recommends the following:

  • For families of two to four: 4- to 6-quart capacity
  • For families of four or more or big-batch cooking: 6- to 8-quarts capacity

What shape should I pick?

Oval shaped: Perfect for roasting chickens, or large cuts of pork or beef since it more naturally mirrors their shape which allows for circulation and even cooking. An oval shape is great in the oven. Oval shaped Dutch ovens do not have as efficient stove top heat distribution, so this cookware should be an addition to your collection after purchasing a round Dutch oven.

Round shaped: Round pots usually fit better on the stove since the shape matches with the shape of the burner. They also take up less space and tend to have deeper sides while oval shapes will be wider and shallower.

How to care for a Dutch oven

© rudisill/Getty Images

When cooking, make sure to heat it slowly. Do not put a hot Dutch oven into water to avoid thermal shock, which can cause the porcelain enamel to crack. And use wooden, silicone or plastic utensils while cooking to avoid scratching the finish.

To care for this cookware, make sure to wash it by hand when it’s hot. You don’t want to be too abrasive with the enamel or it can chip. Detergents may degrade the gloss on the porcelain over time. If food is really stuck, and you need to give it some more elbow grease, do not use steel wool.

Instead, soak your Dutch oven after it’s cooled, fill it with hot water and about two tablespoons of baking soda. Cover the pot and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then, use a dish scrubber or sponge with hot water.

If your Dutch oven is not enameled and is made of raw cast iron, scrub the pan while it’s still warm with a sponge or stiff brush. After washing your skillet, dry it immediately with a towel or on the stove. In this case, never soak or put non-enameled cast iron cookware in the dishwasher, because that may cause rust.

To season or protect raw cast iron’s cooking surface after cleaning, coat cast iron with a thin layer of oil and throw it in a hot oven to seal the seasoning.

Insider’s takeaway

Dutch ovens are wonderful for everyday cooking and to create a depth of flavor. Their heft and versatility make them a welcome addition to any kitchen – and they look stunning atop your counters or even for serving straight out of the pot.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


Vakratunda Sankashti Chaturthi 2021: Puja Vidhi, Shubh Muhurat and Significance

© Provided by News18 Vakratunda Sankashti Chaturthi 2021: Puja Vidhi, Shubh Muhurat and Significance The Chaturthi Tithi that falls after Purnima or full moon during Krishna Paksha of Kartika month ... Read more »

‘Are You Proud of India or Not?' Union Minister's Dig at Siddaramaiah Over India's 100 Cr Vaccination Milestone

© Provided by News18 ‘Are You Proud of India or Not?’ Union Minister’s Dig at Siddaramaiah Over India’s 100 Cr Vaccination Milestone Taking a jibe at senior Congress leader and ... Read more »

Michael O Snyder: We've started to think about the pandemic the same way we think about environmental issues

© Provided by Entertainment Times The recently concluded All Living Things Environmental Film Festival saw a lineup of films and docu-films that focused on the growing concerns about the environment ... Read more »

From footpath, Vidarbha offie Ganesh Bhosale finds home in 22 yards

© Provided by The Times of India NAGPUR: From living on the footpath outside Akola Cricket Club to representing Vidarbha, Ganesh Bhosale has risen through the ranks subsisting on match ... Read more »

At Dravid's behest, six teams to play in U-19 Challenger this time

© Provided by The Times of India MUMBAI: Set to take guard as the coach of the Indian team, Rahul Dravid has signed off from his previous innings with a ... Read more »

'Yeh toh shuru hote hi khatam ho gaya': West Indies' 55-all out collapse inspires hilarious meme fest

© Provided by DNA England skipper Eoin Morgan won the toss and chose to bowl first and it proved to be a magical decision for the 2019 World Cup winners ... Read more »

Pratik Gandhi wants to be known by his characters, not his name

© IANS Pratik Gandhi.(photo:instagram) New Delhi, Oct 24 (IANS) Actor Pratik Gandhi, who gained stardom overnight with his portrayal of Harshad Mehta in the web-series ‘Scam 1992’, says he has ... Read more »

'Govinda ji will get good work once he fires his current manager': Kashmera Shah takes a dig at Sunita Ahuja

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: The family rift between actor Govinda and his actor comedian nephew Krushna Abhishek doesn’t seem to end. Krushna’s wife actress Kashmera Shah has ... Read more »

'If he clicks, he will make the match one-sided and finish it': Sehwag names 'first pick' player for India vs Pakistan

In a matter of few hours, the mother of all cricketing battles will re-ignite as India and Pakistan begin their T20 World Cup campaign with what promises to be a ... Read more »

WBBL round-up: Harmanpreet Kaur stars with all-round show; Darcie Brown hat-trick in vain

© Getty Images Quick bowler Darcie Brown celebrates a maiden hat-trick for Adelaide Strikers in the WBBL © Getty Images Brisbane Heat 5 for 104 (Voll 31*, Brown 3-28) beat ... Read more »

Elon Musk Shared His Favourite 'Nerdy Pickup Line' and Netizens are Cracking Up

© Provided by News18 Elon Musk Shared His Favourite ‘Nerdy Pickup Line’ and Netizens are Cracking Up The current richest man in the world, Elon Musk, is a true multitasker. ... Read more »

5 Weekend Courses for Satiating Your Gourmet Experience

Home Chefs are an emerging and rapidly growing part of the food industry. This trend of budding home chefs has recently seen a sharp rise leading to several short-term cooking ... Read more »

Crafty with cocktails: Try these famous tipples from our favourite books

© Provided by Lifestyle Asia If you’re one for being whimsical, these best cocktails from books are for you to try. Every great cocktail has a story, and interestingly enough, ... Read more »

Online Banking Frauds: Here's how to protect yourself from phishing attacks

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: For hundreds of millions of Indians, going online to buy things or just send money to family and friends has been a boon. ... Read more »

THESE states likely to receive thunderstorm, light rainfall today; predicts IMD

© Provided by DNA Parts of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana will likely receive light to moderate intensity rainfall today (October 24, 2021), said the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday. ... Read more »

Yogi Adityanath hits out at Opposition parties, asks people to maintain distance from 'Ram-drohis'

© Provided by Zee News Lucknow: Accusing opposition parties of being against Lord Ram, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday said that such “Ram-drohis” not only harmed the ... Read more »

‘Men Are Stupid And Impulsive': Vicky Kaushal On 5 Common Myths About Men

© Provided by MensXP Vicky Kaushal is among the most promising stars in Bollywood now. It hasn’t been an overnight success story for the actor as he had to struggle ... Read more »

KBC 13: Amitabh Bachchan says ‘Save me' after a contestant starts discussing marital problems; Watch

© Provided by Pinkvilla Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan who also hosts the game reality show Kaun Banega Crorepati 13 surely enjoys talking with contestants. He often encounters funny questions, but ... Read more »

2 more die after getting trapped in snowfall in J K's Anantnag; death toll reaches 5

Two people have been killed, and two others were rescued after the vehicle they were travelling in got trapped in snowfall last night in Jammu and Kashmir’s Simthan pass. The ... Read more »

Amid dating rumours, ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah' fame Munmun Dutta's photo with Raj Anadkat goes VIRAL

© Provided by DNA People have been speculating for months that Munmun Dutta and Raj Anandkat, stars of ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’, are dating, but the two have denied ... Read more »

Watch: Newly-weds Make Roti Together in Unique Kashmiri Wedding Ritual

© Provided by News18 Watch: Newly-weds Make Roti Together in Unique Kashmiri Wedding Ritual Weddings are full of rituals. Some of these rituals place the bride and groom in fun ... Read more »

Increasing publisher monetisation by stepping into the OTT market

© Provided by The Financial Express OTT advertising is a new perspective that is reshaping the paid media landscape By Amitt Sharma The successful launch of new streaming apps has ... Read more »

#BLRecommends: Loving The Five Juanas? – check out The Handmaid's Tale, Big Little Lies, Churails and more web series where women get together to kick a**

© Provided by BollywoodLife.com Mexican web series The Five Juanas has emerged from nowhere to catch on like wildfire everywhere it has become a phenomenon and is on everyone’s lips ... Read more »

Amit Shah's rally moved back to Bhagwati Nagar ground in Jammu

© Provided by Hindustan Times Jammu and Kashmir: Union home minister Amit Shah will attend a rally to be organised at Bhagwati Nagar ground in Jammu on Sunday. (ANI Photo) Union ... Read more »

'He is Getting Better': Virat Kohli Gives a Major Update on Hardik Pandya's Bowling Ahead of Pakistan Clash

© Provided by News18 ‘He is Getting Better’: Virat Kohli Gives a Major Update on Hardik Pandya’s Bowling Ahead of Pakistan Clash Team India captain Virat Kohli has dropped a ... Read more »

‘Feel Sorry For Them' Virat Kohli Slams Speculators Who Question His Resignation After WC

© Provided by MensXP One day before the Indian cricket team could start their T20 World Cup 2021 campaign against Pakistan, Virat Kohli decided to set things straight against those ... Read more »

T20 World Cup: England cruise to six-wicket win after Windies blown away for 55

© Provided by The Times of India There’s a theory in team sport that a bunch of talented players doesn’t necessarily make a good unit. West Indies, along the course ... Read more »

RJD, Congress Could Be On The Warpath Or Attempting to Hoodwink Nitish Kumar Ahead of Bypolls

© Provided by News18 RJD, Congress Could Be On The Warpath Or Attempting to Hoodwink Nitish Kumar Ahead of Bypolls Ahead of the by-polls for two assembly seats in Bihar, ... Read more »

Another civilian shot dead by gunmen in J K's Babapora

Civilian shot dead by gunmen in J-K’s Babapora A civilian was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Babapora, Zainapora area of Shopian on Sunday. Till now, at least 11 civilians ... Read more »

CTET 2021: CBSE to close registration window tomorrow

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will close the registration window for the Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) on October 25, Monday. Candidates who wish to appear for the ... Read more »

‘Must prepare': Defence chief says Afghanistan crisis can ‘overflow' into Kashmir

© Provided by Hindustan Times Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat  (File Photo / HT) Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat said on Sunday that an ... Read more »

Win people's hearts through work, not 'jumlas': KT Rama Rao to BJP's Raja Singh

© Provided by The Statesman Win people’s hearts through work, not ‘jumlas’: KT Rama Rao to BJP’s Raja Singh Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader and Telangana Cabinet Minister KT Rama ... Read more »

Army Jawan, 2 Cops Injured in J&K's Poonch on Day 14 of Anti-Terror Operations

© Provided by News18 Army Jawan, 2 Cops Injured in J&K’s Poonch on Day 14 of Anti-Terror Operations Two policemen and an army jawan have been injured in a gunbattle ... Read more »

Indian footballers need a longer season, playing time but is anybody listening

© Provided by The Indian Express Ahead of India’s opening match of the Under-23 Asian Cup qualifier against Oman on Sunday, a form guide: since November last year, half of ... Read more »

Little girl's adorable video singing Manike Mage Hithe goes viral. Have you seen it yet?

Manike Mage Hithe exploded on the internet and there is no doubt about the fact that it is one of the most popular songs of this year. By now, a ... Read more »

Olivia Munn and John Mulaney's relationship in trouble amid pregnancy?

© Provided by Pinkvilla Olivia Munn and John Mulaney recently became a trending topic on social media following unknown reports claiming that the duo may be parting ways amid their ... Read more »

T20 World Cup: Hazlewood shines as Australia beat South Africa in low-scoring opener

© Provided by The Times of India There’s never a good time to encroach on someone’s privacy and check out a person’s old school grades. But Saturday would have been ... Read more »

Kate Beckinsale: Are we still requiring women to dumb themselves down?

© IANS Kate Beckinsale.(photo:IMDB.com) Los Angeles, Oct 24 (IANS) Actress Kate Beckinsale shared that she had an IQ test as a child that confirmed she had a “very high” IQ ... Read more »

Paris Hilton's wedding registry totals a whopping $60,000

© IANS Paris Hilton.(photo:Instagram) Los Angeles, Oct 24 (IANS) Socialite-entrepreneur Paris Hilton’s wedding registry totals a staggering $60,000, as she and her beau Carter Reum have added items including a ... Read more »

Vicky Kaushal wishes Nayanthara, Vignesh Shivan as Koozhangal is India's Oscars pick over Sardar Udham

India’s official entry to Oscars 2022 was announced on Saturday and Tamil film Koozhangal (Pebbles) will be representing the country at the 94th Academy Awards. The film was shortlisted by ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic