Dec 31, 2009

Dutch Oven Heaven

Isn't she beautiful?

How can you not love something that can bake bread, sear steaks, slow cook a pot roast, cook rice, or deep fry french fries?  A true kitchen multitasker, the Dutch oven can be used to cook just about anything that you can cook in the oven or on the stove top.  Although there are aluminum Dutch ovens, they are typically made from solid cast iron wherein lies their ability to hold and conduct heat more effectively and are typically known for cooking in the great outdoors.  However, this little beauty is not designed for surviving in the wild, unless you consider a home with four small children "the wild".

My Tramontina 6.5 quart cast iron Dutch oven is enameled with porcelain on the inside and out and is pretty enough to serve in.  Top-of-the-line enameled porcelain Dutch ovens can run $200-$300 (the best is made by Le Creuset, 7.25-Qt for $229.95).  You can find the Tramontina 6.5-Qt at for around $50.  With such a price difference, you might be inclined to think that Tramontina is an inferior knock-off.  Au contraire!  Cook's Illustrated Magazine put Dutch ovens to the test and found that the Tramontina performed beautifully and recommends it as their top choice for inexpensive Dutch ovens. 

My hubby christened ours by making chili this week.  YUM!  If you buy one, make sure to read the manufacturer's directions for use and cleaning.  The enameled porcelain needs to be babied a bit but if you take care of it, this little cast iron pot should last you for the rest of your cooking days.

P.S.  Happy New Year!


Alison said...

I love my Dutch ovens... I have 4 beautiful Le Crueset pots in various sizes. Some were gifts, and some I found fairly inexpensively at home decor seconds stores and/or outlets (home goods and Tuesday mornings someti
es has them). I use them everyday and couldn't cook without them...well I could I suppose, but everything is so much better because of them!

Angie C said...

Thanks for the tip. I'll definitely check the Tuesday Morning near me from time to time. I already want another Dutch oven.

BKD said...

I just bought one and am in love with this pot, but it sticks like a SOB! What can I do? I can't even cook in it. Everything sticks. It says that there is no need for it to be seasoned. Help!

Angie said...

Is your Dutch oven enameled? If not, then it definitely needs to be seasoned. If it is, remember that porcelain is NOT a non-stick surface so food is going to stick no matter what. I coat the inside liberally with oil before adding any food and after cooking, I fill it with hot, soapy water and let it soak awhile before scrubbing. Anything left after that is simply not going to come off and isn't worth worrying about. The inside is not going to stay purdy and white forever. It is going to get stained and that's ok. I think the stains give it character.

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