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Old 07-07-2007, 08:59 AM   #1
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Why a Dutch Oven?

Hi everyone,

I just retired and, believe it or not, will be beginning my cooking "career" at this point in my life.

I have a receipe that I want to try that calls for a Dutch Oven, my question is: What does a Dutch Oven do that neither a casserole, slow cooker or regular pot can do - as in do I really need to go buy one and if so, any recommendations?

Thanks everyone,


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Old 07-07-2007, 10:02 AM   #2
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Most "Dutch Oven" recipes are designed for outdoor cooking, either in a pit, surrounded by hot coals, or on a heat-proof surface of some kind with hot coals on top and underneath.

That said, enamelled, cast iron Dutch Ovens are becoming all the rage for use inside the home. I have one. I like the fact that it's deep, holds a lot of food, and can go from the stove-top to the oven, and back again. It's holds heat very well, for searing, and is deep enough to hold a small roast and broth. Beans cook very well in one.

While a Dutch Oven isn't a necessary pot, because it's so versatile, it can be used for a wide range of things.

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Old 07-07-2007, 11:28 AM   #3
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I second everything Allen said. To continue on and answer your question about recommendations for a Dutch oven I will lett you that Le Cruset is the most popular brand, and for good reason. Their Dutch (also known as French) ovens are excellent. The downside is that they are very very expensive. There are many other brands out there that are less expensive and will perform just as well. The main thing you want is for it to be heavy. That is very important. The heavier it is the better. A lighter pot will not perform as well as a heavy one.
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Old 07-07-2007, 11:33 AM   #4
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I love my enamelled cast iron dutch oven. It is a little heavy, but use it for everything - NY Bread, roasts, chili etc. Got mine at "Kitchen Galore" ! Welcome to the cooking world - enjoy !!
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Old 07-07-2007, 12:47 PM   #5
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Hi, Pam. Welcome to DC

For indoor cooking, a dutch oven is any big heavy pot with a tightly fitting lid. Prefereably with oven-proof handles. You'd use it to make stews, chilis or pot roasts, etc.

They are available in cast iron, coated cast iron, stainless, aluminum and who knows what else. If you have a 4 or 6 quart sauce pan, you can probably make any recipe that calls for a 4 or 6 quart dutch oven.

In a pinch, you can use a deep roasting pan with a tightly crimped foil cover.
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Old 07-07-2007, 03:02 PM   #6
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beware the cheaper dutch oven. Just as we are learning to be careful of Chinese imports of foods because of contamination and use of antibiotics not recognized as safe by our FDA, beware cookware made in China. I seriously doubt we are getting contaminated metals, but we are getting cheaper manufacturing...disc bottoms peel off, enamel cracks and chips off iron easily, tri ply warps and bubbles under normal cooking conditions.

You do get what you pay for, and Le Crueset, Straub, Lodge, and Lafont, do give you what you pay for...top quality and a guarentee they will honor.
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Old 07-09-2007, 09:29 AM   #7
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I LOVE cooking in my Lodege Cast Iron and Rachael Ray Oval Enamal Dutch ovens, especially soups, stews and pot roast!

Just remember to keep the fire or electric burner on low when not boiling, to keep food from sticking aqnd or burning.
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Old 07-15-2007, 12:49 PM   #8
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I don't use mine a whole lot. But when I do its usually for a beef stew. I know that there also pretty good for making broths if your to lazy to do it the old fashioned way. I usually throw in a turkey or chicken carcass after its been carved with some water and mire poix. Great after thanksgiving dinner.
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Old 07-15-2007, 02:03 PM   #9
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If you are looking to buy one, look at the Lodge website or if you have good good camping/ hunting supply store like Bass try looking there. You will find that they are less expensive at these type of stores then at store selling kitchen equipment. Try not to buy mail order unless they ship prepaid, the weight will eat up what you saved in shipping.
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Old 07-15-2007, 03:20 PM   #10
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Also, try Cooking.com, Target, Kmart and Walmart. Also, Bed Bath & Beyond.

I bought a ton of stuff from Cooking.com, including small appliances!

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