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Old 01-15-2018, 12:29 PM   #1
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Crock Pot vs. Dutch Oven

I got an 8 Qt. Crock Pot for Christmas and have been using it once a week. My Wife just won a 7 Qt. Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. This thing is beautiful. Only problem, what do we do with it?

It seems whatever recipe goes into a Dutch Oven, I can do the same thing in a Crock Pot. Long cooking times are no problem. Plus the Dutch Oven is hand wash only while I can throw the liner into the dishwasher.

Is there any reason to keep and use a Dutch Oven?

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Old 01-15-2018, 01:01 PM   #2
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Can you brown or sear in your crock pot?
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Old 01-15-2018, 01:23 PM   #3
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I don't like the way most food tastes after it's cooked for so long in a slow cooker. It generally seems to have cooked all the flavor and moisture out of the food. Sauces don't help overcooked foods.
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Old 01-15-2018, 01:26 PM   #4
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I prefer to cook in a DO vs. a slow cooker. The linked article also includes pressure cookers in the discussion.

Here is a report that slow cooker results do not measure up to DO results. Why Anything Slow Cookers Can Do, Others Can Do Better | Serious Eats
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Old 01-15-2018, 01:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milford View Post
I got an 8 Qt. Crock Pot for Christmas and have been using it once a week. My Wife just won a 7 Qt. Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. This thing is beautiful. Only problem, what do we do with it?

It seems whatever recipe goes into a Dutch Oven, I can do the same thing in a Crock Pot. Long cooking times are no problem. Plus the Dutch Oven is hand wash only while I can throw the liner into the dishwasher.

Is there any reason to keep and use a Dutch Oven?
I prefer a 2 or 3 hour braise to a 4+ hour slow cook. It's already been mentioned that a Crockpot won't sear or brown meats - they have to be started in another pan first.

I use my dutch oven far more than I use the Crockpot.
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Old 01-15-2018, 01:48 PM   #6
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^^^^^ Interesting article.
Perhaps that's why my wife has a couple of SC's tucked away in the pantry, never seen her use them for some reason. She only uses her PC and DO, on the stovetop.
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Old 01-15-2018, 02:25 PM   #7
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A Dutch oven is good if you are going to be there to keep an eye on it. If you're going to be leaving the house, the crock pot doesn't need a baby sitter.
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Old 01-15-2018, 02:27 PM   #8
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It's already been mentioned that a Crockpot won't sear or brown meats - they have to be started in another pan first.
That's not entirely true anymore. There are slow cookers (such as the Cuisinart Multi-Cooker) that has a metal insert that can sear.

Slow cookers are popular because they don't require any monitoring, where a DO does. Instant Pots in part are popular because they fall into the same set and forget category, where a stovetop pressure cooker requires monitoring and temperature adjustment.

I have and use them all (except an electric pressure cooker). My selection depends upon what I'm making and the circumstances I'm making them under. When entertaining, it's nearly impossible to keep something warm in a DO (such as chili or meatballs), where the slow cooker is ideal. It's nice to have a variety of tools to do the job.
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Old 01-15-2018, 03:05 PM   #9
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A Dutch oven is good if you are going to be there to keep an eye on it. If you're going to be leaving the house, the crock pot doesn't need a baby sitter.
That's not what Kenji concluded in the article Andy linked to. What's the difference between leaving one appliance on for several hours versus another? He provided statistics, too.
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Old 01-15-2018, 03:35 PM   #10
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My Le Creuset enameled cookware is dishwasher safe. I don't usually wash it that way, because of its size, but I've done it with no problems. My crockpot insert is the same, I can wash it in the DW, but usually hand wash, because it eats up to much space in the DW.

As for cooking, I have both, but the crock pot is rarely used, anymore. I now just use it for keeping things hot for a party, or slow cooking a pot of beans on the side.

As Craig mentioned, I can sear my meats and aromatic veggies in the cast iron DO, and then use the same DO to slow cook my food, either in the oven or on the cooktop.

As for set-it and forget it, that's what I do when I use my cast-iron DOs in the oven.

I have nothing against crock pots, but if I had to chose between one or the other, I'd keep my cast-iron DOs. I can simply do more with them than I can with a crock pot.

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