Posted in Tips & Tricks

Dutch ovens and why every kitchen should have one.

At long last, lunch

I was pretty clueless regarding Dutch ovens (also called French ovens by the Le Creuset crowd) until I became a huge fan of Cook’s Illustrated magazine, website and America’s Test Kitchen on PBS.

Since then I have learned that if there is one piece of cookware EVERY serious cook should have it is a good piece of enameled cast iron. I own a 7 1/4 quart Le Creuset oven in the cherry tomato color, but Lodge also makes an excellent Dutch oven at a fraction of the price and Tramontina makes a best-buy rated oven that can be picked up at Wal-Mart for about $40.

Now, the big question, why should I have a Dutch oven? Very simply because it is one of the most versatile pieces of cookware, useful for frying, baking, roasting, steaming, browning and sauteing. Per Cook’s Illustrated, “They’re heavier and thicker than stockpots, allowing them to retain and conduct heat more effectively, and deeper than a skillet, so they can handle large cuts of meat and cooking liquid. These qualities make Dutch ovens the best choice for braises, pot roasts, and stews, especially as they can go on the stovetop to sear foods and then into the oven to finish cooking. Their tall sides make them useful for deep-frying, and many cooks press Dutch ovens into service for jobs like boiling pasta.”

I can honestly say that when I head into the kitchen to cook my Dutch oven is more than likely the first thing I grab from the cabinet, followed by my ingredients.


Thinker, reader, investigator, teacher, father.