Dutch ovens are very similar to modern-day crock pots, in that they are generally most often used for cooking roasts, casseroles, stews, and other longer-term slower cooking. They have very thick walls and very tight-fitting lids, which make them able to cook foods for a long period of time without losing moisture, and they are able to retain heat very well, for longer, slower cooking.
Dutch ovens can also be used in campfire cooking, allowing for the cooking of breads and biscuits and other baked goods. Some dutch ovens are called cowboy or chuck wagon dutch ovens, and these are meant for cooking over a campfire, with legs at the bottom to fit coals under, and a bowl-like lid to add coals to the top of the oven in cooking. This allows the entirety of the dutch oven to be at uniform temperature, allowing for better baking.
Dutch Oven Information – History
Dutch ovens have been made since the 1600s, and in modern times they continue to be produced. They oftentimes have legs to keep them above the heating source, although they also can be similar to everyday pots, except that they have much thicker walls and tight-fitting lids, to maximize heat retention and minimize moisture loss, making for an excellent, crock pot sort of slow cooking.
Dutch Oven Information – Materials
Today’s dutch ovens are made of either aluminum or heavy cast iron. They are oftentimes coated with enamel to prevent reaction with acidic foods. Cast iron is known for its ability to hold heat and to apply it slowly to the food which is being cooked, while aluminum is easier to work with in some ways, because it is more light-weight. Most people prefer the traditional cast iron, as it has been established since ancient times as an excellent cookware material.
Dutch Oven Information – Dishes
Dutch ovens are a wonderful addition to any kitchen, as they are one of the best tools for making tasty stews and braises, they can be used to bake bread, they can be used to roast foods like chicken, beef, and other meats, they can also be used to make excellent stews, or they can be used to prepare a batch of yogurt, and many other uses.
Dutch Oven Information – Buying
They cost anywhere from $30 for the cheapest models, to $280 for the highest-end models. The difference between the cheaper ones and the most expensive is quite large, as the cheaper models do not retain heat and moisture as well, while the most professional models will produce the most tasty, well-cooked dishes.
The dutch oven has stood the test of time as an excellent tool for your kitchen. It has many uses, and many cooks would not go without having one at hand.