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    What is a Dutch Oven, Anyway? A Complete Guide

    Dutch Oven Guide Hero Image

    Are you excited about your brand new Dutch Oven and want to use it right away? Read on for our complete guide on how to use a dutch oven and get cooking today!

    Oh, Dutch Ovens—perhaps the most underrated cookware there is. Of course, the name can be a bit misleading, but make no mistake: With all their incredible qualities, the Dutch Oven is definitely a kitchen essential.

    Are you curious about what a Dutch Oven is and how to use one?

    Read on for an ultimate guide.

    What Is a Dutch Oven?

    This cookware doesn’t exactly look like a traditional oven, even though the word is in the name. A Dutch Oven is a heavy pot-shaped cookware that often comes with a tight-fitting lid and handles.

    Often, these cooking vessels are made of cast iron. However, there are Dutch Ovens made of other materials such as ceramic, which are a huge culinary and design trend. This type of cookware has been used for hundreds of years but is hotter than ever.

    Here, we highlight some of the qualities that make Dutch Ovens an incredible addition to your kitchen.

    cooking pasta in a dutch oven

    What Are the Benefits of a Dutch Oven?

    Duch Ovens truly are a must-have for your kitchen. This cookware is an excellent conductor of heat and can hold heat well. This heat is evenly transferred to the food inside of it from all directions. You don’t have to worry about hot spots, as Dutch Ovens ensure that the food is thoroughly and evenly cooked.

    The benefit to this is that it requires less energy for longer and slower cooking methods (such as braising). The lid is a key player in this process, as it seals in and retains the moisture to prevent drying during those long cooking methods.

    With Dutch Ovens, you also don’t have to worry about transferring food to and from different cookware during the cooking process. It can hold the food from the first step to the very last. The entire vessel can even go directly from the stovetop to the oven, making it an icon for convenient cooking.

    Last but not least, Dutch Ovens truly are an eye-catcher. Our Dutch Oven comes in a variety of beautiful colors, including Cream, Gray, Perracotta, Sage, Navy, and Marigold. Say goodbye to that boring, gloomy-colored cookware. With such a vibrant appearance, your Dutch Oven can double as home decor in the perfectly designed kitchen.

    Why Buy Ceramic Cookware?

    As we mentioned earlier, Dutch Ovens are usually made out of cast iron, but ceramic holds a special place in our hearts and in our stoves.

    Our ceramic Dutch Oven has a lot of benefits that make it the better choice in comparison to cast iron ones. A notable quality about all of our cookware is that it is made of non-toxic ceramic. It is completely free of toxic materials and chemicals. Chemicals like PTFE, PFOA, PFAS, lead, cadmium, and other heavy metals pose major health hazards.

    These metals were thought to be an essential factor in creating nonstick surfaces. Now, we know better. The natural ceramic coating still provides that nonstick surface that we all know and love—just without the toxicity. Such a surface also ensures that food doesn’t stick to the pot, thus making the cleanup process significantly easier on you.

    How Do You Use a Dutch Oven?

    If you are a first-time Dutch Oven owner or are looking for a refresher on their use, you’re in the right place. The Dutch Oven can be used in a variety of different cooking methods. With such versatility, the Dutch Oven calls for taking extra time and consideration into properly caring for it to ensure longevity.

    Here, we highlight how to use a Dutch Oven in a way that ensures it sticks around in your kitchen for years to come.

    Oven and Stovetops

    Dutch Ovens are perfect for stovetop and oven use. In fact, our Dutch Oven can function on any stovetop: gas, induction, electric. Plus, it is oven safe up to 550°Fahrenheit.

    There’s a lot of uses that you can get out of this incredible cookware because of how versatile they are. Dutch Ovens can be a cooking vessel for several different types of cooking methods. These include browning or roasting meat, boiling pasta, slow cooking soup, deep-frying food, and even making bread.

    Though similar to the ways that you use stockpots, the wonderful heat conduction and retention qualities set this cookware apart. It can heat up food to a high temperature and can finish cooking it by simmering or transferring it to the oven.

    Three Basic Dutch Oven Use Tips

    With just a few tips and tricks for easy use, Dutch Ovens truly can provide an easy cooking experience for you.

    Keep these tips in mind:

    • Wait for the Dutch Oven to heat up before adding oil (remember that ceramic cookware heats up faster than other materials).
    • Watch for an excess of steam. It’s best to cook in smaller batches.
    • The enclosed spaces of Dutch Ovens really pack in the flavor. So, taste, **then **flavor.

    What Is the Best Way To Clean a Dutch Oven?

    Cleaning and caring for your Dutch Oven properly is one of the most important aspects to ensure its longevity. Although it isn’t difficult, it requires a gentle touch when cleaning to prevent damage.

    Like we said earlier, our cookware is made with a ceramic coating. The naturally slick and nonstick surface that it creates aids in the cooking process itself and makes cleaning the cookware a lot easier since food doesn’t stick to it.

    The frictionless material makes it so that all you have to do is gently wash the interior of the Dutch Oven with warm water and soap. To avoid scratches and damage, it’s best to use a non-abrasive cloth or cleaning tool to wipe off the excess food.

    If you are cooking something that tends to adhere to the surface after it dries, you can always soak the cookware in warm water for a bit before cleaning it off. This helps warm up and loosen the food particles a bit more so that they can glide off easily.

    Caraway white ceramic cookware set featuring a dutch oven, sauté pan, fry pan, and sauce pan in its packaging

    How Do You Store a Dutch Oven?

    Damage to cookware often happens when we store them incorrectly, which is why storage is important to know when learning how to use a Dutch Oven.

    A common way that people store their cookware is by stacking them on top of or inside of each other. It might seem like the most logical and convenient way to keep them contained, but it actually does more harm than good.

    When cookware is that close in contact with one another all the time, they rub against each other and can scratch the interiors. If you have cookware that has nonstick surfaces, this can be especially concerning, as it can chip away the coating.

    Because of this, it’s best to store your Dutch Oven in a way that doesn’t put them in direct contact with one another. In other words, no stacking. But what other ways can you store it? We have all the answers right in our Cookware Set.

    This set comes with free storage units—Magnetic Pan Racks and a Canvas Lid Holder. These units ensure that all four cookware items are stored in an easy and convenient way that doesn’t compromise them in any way.

    They each can lay on their side (close together, but not touching) and can fit right in a cabinet or corner of a countertop. The lids can be stored hanging on the inside of the cabinet door for easy access, too. Not only is the Caraway Cabinet practical, but it is also part of a beautiful kitchen design.

    Let’s Go Dutch

    All of our cookware is equal in our eyes, but the Dutch Oven has a special place in all our hearts. This easy cooking tool can make meals for large festive parties or a calm dinner for two. Keeping just the essentials is a key to living intentionally and cooking delicious meals that bring people together to the center of the home—the kitchen.


    What Is a Dutch Oven? How to Use a Dutch Oven | Good Housekeeping

    Where to Store Your Dutch Oven | Kitchn

    Hazards of heavy metal contamination | NCBI

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