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So you’ve got a Dutch oven but you have no clue what to do next. Chances are you’ve inherited it from you great grandmother or purchased it based on the vibrant-colored ceramic.
Dutch ovens are a super handy, they allow you to move a meal from the stovetop to the oven without switching dishes.
Efficient right? If you want to bask in a Dutch oven’s glory, you must first learn how to use it. Sure it’s just cookware but using a Dutch oven incorrectly can shorten its life.
To get the most out of your oven, you must make sure it is functioning properly. If you choose to get a cast iron oven be sure it is pre-seasoned or else you’ll have to perform the process yourself.
Make sure your iron is thick otherwise it may not be durable. For easier handling around the kitchen your cookware should have a sturdy handle, this may also come in handy if you use your oven while camping.
checkout the fit of the lid, if it isn’t tight you won’t get good heat retention.
If you want to enhance the durability of your Dutch oven, you may want to cure or season it. Curing involves heating the cookware with oil to create a protective layer.
This layer will prevent corrosion, rusting, and will also help enhance any non-stick properties your Dutch oven may have.
After you cure your Dutch oven, it is smart to clean it gently after each use so that you don’t scrub off the seasoned layer. Some people even use vinegar instead of soap to wash ceramic.
To season your Dutch oven you should:
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
- Create a mixture of warm soapy water then use a scouring pad to scrub away any debris. If you have a cast iron oven, try not to soak it in water for too long because it is prone to rust.
- Take a few paper towels and dry the oven thoroughly. Place your cookware in the oven for about 10 minutes then let it cool.
- Grab an unflavored shortening or cooking oil and cover the entire oven.
Use a paper towel to blot away any extra oil.
- Place your cookware in the oven for about an hour.
- Let it cool and store it in a secure location.
The protocol for cooking in a Dutch oven depends on what outcome you are expecting. There are way too many dishes that can be created in a Dutch oven, so let’s just look at the possibilities:
Baking- Another reason people love Dutch ovens is because they can also be used in the oven.
Ceramic Dutch ovens are one of the best for baking. Be sure to purchase an oven that is big enough to bake for your entire family.
Braising meat- cast iron hold heat very efficiently so it is easy to braise in them.
Making soups and stews- Make your entire creation in one pan, there is no need to have so many dishes.
Frying foods- The even heat distribution creates fried foods that are golden and crisp.
Poaching chicken- Dutch oven are huge, so there is enough room to poach a chicken.
What will you cook first using your Dutch oven?