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Have you ever heard about a Dutch oven? Are you also wondering what is a Dutch oven? Contrary to its name, this is not really a type of over but a kind of pot. It looks somewhat similar to the typical pots that you use on a daily basis. It has a main tub and comes with a lid. The primary difference is that this is made of thick walls and heavy material. Usually, cast iron is used for making this type of pot to achieve the needed thickness and durability.
More sophisticated Dutch ovens these days also have an enamel coating. The ones with this coating are preferred by some people because it looks better. Aside from that, cleaning it up is much easier too compared to the ones which do not have an enamel coat. With the traditional Dutch oven, there is a tendency for food residue to stick on the cast iron. Long term use will also result to stains which are way too difficult to remove. Sometimes, the food would also stick to the pot. On the other hand, if there is an enamel coat, it is easier to remove stains and food deposit.
Dutch Oven Over the Years
Dutch oven is actually a very traditional type of pot. This has been used across the globe for centuries. Even the earlier designs of the Dutch oven have thick walls, heavy cooking pot and solid metal cover. Some are made with feet because people used to put it on top of burning wood, coal or directly to the fireplace. Interestingly, there are also old models of Dutch oven with a lid that is depressed in the middle. This serves as the place where burning coal can be put to ensure that the pot is heated well.
Today, there is no need to exert so much effort in using wood or coal just to utilize the Dutch oven. Modern designs of this pot can already be placed directly to the gas stove. In some cases, this can also be put inside the oven, depending on the dish being prepared.
Advantage of Dutch Oven
Why is there a need for a Dutch oven if it looks similar to other ordinary pots? The fact that it is made of cast iron actually makes it absorb less heat. Hence, it takes longer time before it warms up. On the plus side, once heat penetrates its thick walls, it is retained inside for a longer period of time.
This is ideal for soups, stew and casserole because it can withstand long period of cooking. The gradual heating will also draw out the flavor of the ingredients. Aside from that, it will keep the food warm.
This can also be used for roasting, baking breads and frying. Since it is made of pure metal, the heat distribution is even. Its ability to trap heat also helps the cook to control the cooking process much easier. The lid is also an integral part. Because of its heaviness, moisture and flavor is locked in so the food would not end up dry and bland.
There are many kinds of dutch oven. Aside from the traditional ones that are used in campsites, new colorful ones are available in the market. I personally like the Lodge Color Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. It comes in many colors and it is very durable.