Dutch ovens have been a great home kitchen appliance for a long time, now. Their popularity has rapidly increased as people realized how versatile and useful they are. By using a Dutch oven, you can add a special taste, flavor, and unique texture to your food. Dutch ovens, along with slow cookers, are perfect for preparing stews and pot roasts.
However, if you are also planning to cook your food in a Dutch oven, you should first understand it's working and then know how well you can use it as per your cooking style. Therefore, to help you understand all the basics, we have listed down a few pointers, below. After reading them, you will get a clear picture of how to use such ovens.
Dutch Oven 101: How to Use
Wash it First
At first, it's important to wash your Dutch oven. You can use hot, soapy water to remove all dirt and harmful contaminants completely. Moreover, even if you have a dishwasher-safe oven, still, consider washing it light-handed.
Cast Iron Works on All Heat Sources.
Once you have washed your oven, you can place it on the stovetop. The stovetop can be gas-operated, electric, or induction-based. Just make sure you have a Dutch oven, enameled with cast iron. Plus, you also need to ensure that the stovetop temperature is not too high, otherwise, it will scorch the oven base.
High Temps Should be Avoided
Dutch ovens perform best when they are put at low flame. Overheating can cause inside contents to stick or even burn unevenly. Thus, it's recommended not to heat your oven to a very high temperature. You can trigger up the temperature only when you are boiling your veggies.
Cast Iron Holds in the Heat.
Cast iron is the material that is popular for its thermal conductivity. Cast iron-made ovens are great for distributing equal heat and thus, burning food contents in the correct proportion. Even after the stove is off, the food stays hot till the next serving, just make sure you keep the top lid on.
Dutch Oven is Great For Cold Food Too
Cast iron is also good with cold too. It means if you place it in the freezer or some chilled place, it can keep cold for a long time. So, it suits you best if you want to store your pasta, salads, or even desserts. But, just remember to place it in the freezer only when the oven loses its heat. Keeping the Dutch oven in the freezer right after cooking can damage the enamel.
Oil is Important
Oil is important when you don't want your food items to get stick to your oven base and get burn. Thus, make sure you put some oil at the bottom to get a perfect cooking experience. You can also use other liquids or butter instead of oils.
Marination is the Key
Dutch ovens are equipped with a non-porous enamel surface, that even lets you cook raw food items, easily. Plus, you can also marinate your fishes or meats with your preferred wines or acids.
Be Careful of Scratches on the Surface of the Dutch Oven
The enameled finish of the Dutch oven is delicate and thus, requires careful usage. While using metal cooking utensils, the risk is higher, that you will end up scratching the interior. Therefore, it's good to prefer silicone or wood-made utensils. Else, when you clean your oven, avoid using abrasive materials.
Take Care of the Accent
Dutch ovens, often consist of accents or handles, made of plastic, wood, and other metals. You should know the specs of handles that your selected model features. It's important to know if the handles can withstand high heat or not. There are many handles available that don't work well with high temperatures.
Be Wary of Water
Before storing your oven, make sure it is completely dry and clean. You should always protect your oven from moisture or water. Because, once exposed to moisture, the oven material can deteriorate or can even rust.
After reading all the above pointers, now, you know how to use Dutch ovens. Remember to keep all these considerations in mind to get the most out of your ovens. Cooking in the Dutch oven is interesting and also convenient, but using the wrong utensil can cause damage to the oven's enameled finish.
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