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Old 10-09-2008, 07:08 AM   #1
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Dutch ovens

I was thinking of picking up one of these Right now my only DO is the camping style with the three legs on it and a 12 in the lid. I'm not sure if that means inches or quarts, it could go either way as it's quite big. I want something a little more "kitchen friendly".
The only use I foresee right off the bat is for the NYT bread I'm still trying to get a handle on. Would a 5 qt model be OK for that? The dough swims in my other DO. And then I am wondering if I will use it for more things.... maybe grab it when I make stew or chili instead of one of my big non-stick pots, but I am wondering if the ceramic coated ones would be better for all around use... easier cleanup, no seasoning worries (not that seasoning is a worry, but it does add another element to the care of the DO).
I'm also wondering how they do for roasts. Right now my roasts take two pieces of cookware, one to sear the meat, then it goes in either the slow cooker or pressure cooker with the veggies. I love the way they come out either way and want at least equal satisfaction using the DO if I am going to eliminate an extra piece of cookware to clean. I'll "assume" the cooking time would be somewhere inbetween the two?

Any input?
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:50 AM   #2
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You may want to consider This model. it's the same oven as the bail handle model, except it has loop handles that make it easier to handle going in and out of the oven if you do your braising in the oven rather than on the stove top...You will learn to love and use it for everything. Stews, chilis, etc.

The "Camp" Dutch oven you have now is 12" in dia. It can be either a 6 qt. or an 8 qt. depending on the depth...5 in. deep is the 8 qt. 3 3/4" deep is the 6 qt. one.

Enjoy!
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:51 AM   #3
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DO's are great for most all of the things you mention. I suggest buying a 7 quart CI CO ( Griswold or Wagner) perhaps on e-bay. If you buy a new Lodge, I suggest you buy an unseasened one, finish the interior yourself with abrasives and then season it with lard. I have two 4 quart Griswolds and a 7 quart Lodge. Bear in mind that for most purposes you can't cook more than 80% of the pots stated capacity. EG 5 to 6 quarts of chili in a 7 quart pot. They are also good for deep fat frying. Looks like the unseasoned ones aren't all that commonly available any more.
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:30 AM   #4
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Good point, UB. I didn't realize the one I posted did not have handles. I better get that out of my shopping cart while I'm thinking about it (lol). And by the info you gave, the one I have now is an 8qt, which is why I want something smaller, Bill. It's just too big when you're cooking for one. I'd rather cook more often and freeze less when it comes to chili or stew. Advice heeded though. If it ends up being too small I'll let you know and you can give me a, I told you so

And I see no one said to go with a ceramic one. Thanks.
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Old 10-09-2008, 11:33 AM   #5
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I have been accused of being "fiscally retentive" by many who know me, so I tend to shop for NYT baking containers in Thrift stores where the selection is always changing and the price is right. That being said, my most-used NYT bread vessel is an enameled 3qt DO (Rachael Ray model)that I got at Kohls when they had them on sale and we had a 30% off coupon. I think it was something like $29.99. It makes a beautifully high loaf of bread and cooks evenly. I had to remove the lid knob and replace it with a screw & nut, because it melted down in my 450 F oven even with gobs of foil wrapped around it. Boy did that stink! As soon as I finish restoring an old lathe in my basement, I'll make a appropriate knob for it out of metal. It's the blue pot in the picture below.



If I want to make NYT in the shape if a loaf, I use the La Cloche Clay Baker that I bought from Breadtopia.com. It was a bit pricey, but I just could not find one in the thrift stores. With shipping it came to $51.00, but is worth every penny of it, and Eric is a great guy to deal with. Obviously, it's the long model in the picture. He also carries a round model in stock.

I recently found a Schlemmertopf 839 clay baker at a thrift store for $6.99, and it makes a great shaped loaf of NYT. It's the oblong loaf on the left, and the 3qt DO made the round loaf just above it. This unit is the red vessel in the top picture. You can also find Romertopf clay bakers in the thrift stores or online. I know a thrift store that has had a small Romertopf on the shelf for about 3 weeks, and it's $10. I may pick it up just to have a spare if it's still there the next time I stop in.





If you stay in the 3-4 quart range, you should be able to make the standard NYT recipe and have it come out with decent height to it. As you said, the bigger containers tend to allow the dough to spread out.

Hope this helps. If you need more advice, I can dish it out all day long at no charge. I'll PM you if I get the Romertopf and see if you want me to ship it to you. My neighbor works at the Erie Sports Store a couple days a week, and if you live near there I could have him take it and you could pick it up there and save the shipping.

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Old 10-09-2008, 11:41 AM   #6
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Thanks, Joe. I appreciate the offer. I don't think I'll ever get into baking like you, so you better keep it for a spare

Good to know the 5qt will work and now I know I may have to go down to 3 to get the perfect loaf, in shape anyway

One of my buddies owns a thift shop in Erie. I think I'll give him a call and see if he has any smallish DOs on hand before I pull the trigger on a new Lodge.
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Old 10-09-2008, 11:50 AM   #7
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I have a LeCrueset enameled CI dutch oven (they call it a French oven). It's a 7.25 qt. model. I use it all the time for pot roasts, chili soups, etc. stews. It's non-reactive and will last forever. It also costs about 8 times as much as a CI version.
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Old 10-09-2008, 01:39 PM   #8
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Thanks, Joe. I appreciate the offer. I don't think I'll ever get into baking like you, so you better keep it for a spare

Good to know the 5qt will work and now I know I may have to go down to 3 to get the perfect loaf, in shape anyway

One of my buddies owns a thift shop in Erie. I think I'll give him a call and see if he has any smallish DOs on hand before I pull the trigger on a new Lodge.
No Problem. It sounds like you wanted the DO anyway.

I went to the thrift store and the Romertopf was gone, but I did pick up this clay baker by Gallery Originals for $10, and a proofing basket for $.69 (I get all goose-bumpy when I find a good deal). Interestingly, this one has a glazed interior, and is BRAND NEW.I couldn't believe when I picked it up and lifted the lid. In the bottom was the original hang tag with care and use instructions. Can you say WOWZA?

It was a great buy at the right time, since we have another bake sale coming up at church on the 18th & 19th, and I'll be be baking a lot of bread for them.







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Old 10-09-2008, 01:44 PM   #9
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Andy, when you mentioned "non-reactive".... Do you think I would have a problem in a CI DO making chili (so we have the acidic tomatoes), and letting the chili sit in the DO overnight until it cools down? When the colder weather hits I often set a pot of someting out on the porch to cool down overnight. Do you think that would ruin the seasoning on a straight CI unit?

Nice find, Joe. I forgot about the bake sales. I was thinking to myself, Just how many baking vessels does Joe need... (lol)
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Old 10-09-2008, 01:49 PM   #10
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I was thinking to myself, Just how many baking vessels does Joe need... (lol)
He who dies with the most toys wins! Now I have to hide it from DW who thinks I'm a little eccentric.
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Old 10-10-2008, 01:53 PM   #11
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I haven't received any more feedback on ceramic coated DOs, and the two second hand shops I went to today were both out of business, so I just pulled the trigger on the Lodge regular cast iron DO. I think I'll be happy with it once it gets good and seasoned.

Thanks for your advice.
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Old 10-10-2008, 02:43 PM   #12
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I have't cooked anything with tomatoes in my CI DO's and we've experienced some staining in the enameled French oven which we use to make cacciatore and paprikash.
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Old 10-10-2008, 05:19 PM   #13
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Andy, when you mentioned "non-reactive".... Do you think I would have a problem in a CI DO making chili (so we have the acidic tomatoes), and letting the chili sit in the DO overnight until it cools down? When the colder weather hits I often set a pot of someting out on the porch to cool down overnight. Do you think that would ruin the seasoning on a straight CI unit?...

I think it could. In addition, and more important, if there was a reaction between the tomato or other acidic ingredient and the CI, it would ruin the food.
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Old 10-10-2008, 05:35 PM   #14
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I think it could. In addition, and more important, if there was a reaction between the tomato or other acidic ingredient and the CI, it would ruin the food.
Well, I guess I'll find out
I'll try to get it good and seasoned before I do that.
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Old 10-12-2008, 02:35 PM   #15
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The only use I foresee right off the bat is for the NYT bread I'm still trying to get a handle on. Would a 5 qt model be OK for that? The dough swims in my other DO. And then I am wondering if I will use it for more things.... maybe grab it when I make stew or chili instead of one of my big non-stick pots, but I am wondering if the ceramic coated ones would be better for all around use... easier cleanup, no seasoning worries (not that seasoning is a worry, but it does add another element to the care of the DO).
I'm also wondering how they do for roasts. Right now my roasts take two pieces of cookware, one to sear the meat, then it goes in either the slow cooker or pressure cooker with the veggies. I love the way they come out either way and want at least equal satisfaction using the DO if I am going to eliminate an extra piece of cookware to clean. I'll "assume" the cooking time would be somewhere inbetween the two?

Any input?
I just today made the Cook's Illustrated version of the NYT "No Knead" bread using my 10.25" Lodge Dutch Oven. Interestingly enough, I made one yesterday in my 7.25 qt. LeCreuset. I used the Lodge because I needed the LeCreuset for something else. Size of the plain lodge pot was fine, and I see no diffence in the outcome. If you look at Williams-Sonoma's recipe for No Knead, they put it in an even smaller (2.75qt.) LeCreuset pot.

I primarily use my Lodge cast iron for deep frying (which I don't do a whole lot of), and almost always find myself using the enamaled cast iron for soups and stews, and especially chili - I am not sure if the concern over reactivity of the cast iron vessels with acidic is practical or academic considering a well-seasoned cooking vessel, but since I have both, I usually opt for the enameled cast iron (and it makes me feel better to get some use out of the expensive pots!).
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Old 10-12-2008, 03:10 PM   #16
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Thanks for your input BigPapi.
And welcome to the forum!
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:32 PM   #17
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Thanks for your input BigPapi.
And welcome to the forum!
Glad to be here. I've now got some catching up to do here reading through old posts.
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Old 10-13-2008, 12:49 PM   #18
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If well seasoned, you shouldn't have much trouble with cast iron. I have cooked tomato base meals in my cast iron Dutch oven with out any problems.
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:15 PM   #19
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I'd love to buy one of the enamaled dutch ovens, but I'm waiting for a decent sale price.
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Old 10-13-2008, 04:28 PM   #20
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Thanks for another endorsement, Elf. It's been shipped already, so hopefully any day now....
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