The Dutch oven has been used for hundreds of years, and yet it is still a popular choice for cooking. With one, you can easily cook stews or other hearty dishes, but there are so many uses. This article will go over some of the basics of using a dutch oven.
RECOMMENDED DUTCH OVEN RECIPES
- English (Publication Language)
- 328 Pages - 12/04/2018 (Publication Date) - America's Test Kitchen (Publisher)
The Dutch Oven
The Dutch oven is a great cooking vessel to help you not only feed your family and friends in an economical way but also to give them a delicious and hearty meal. The dish known as the “Dutch Oven” (or pot) has many names, such as camp oven or beanpot, but they all refer to the same thing: a heavy covered pot that can be used, among other things, to bake bread or cook meat.
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The Dutch Oven as a Historical Important Kitchen Equipment
The Dutch oven was an important item of the pioneer’s equipment, similarly dutch oven recipes are some of the ancient recipes known to man. This piece of cast iron was used for so many kitchen tasks that it came to be known as the ‘king of the stove’. The Dutch oven not only helped women feed their children and families, but also contributed to the development of America into an independent country.
Many times, Dutch ovens were the only cooking utensils that women brought with them to start their new lives in this country.
Dutch ovens have been used in America for over 200 years, and they will still produce excellent results today. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to care for. There is no mystery to cast iron cookery that is, cooking in a pot made of cast iron.
The origin of the name Dutch Oven
The reason that it is called Dutch oven cooking or Dutch oven recipes, is because the Dutch have been producing high quality cast-ironware for centuries and they were one of the first to discover the merits of this type of cookware. In America today you can find many brands on the market, with prices varying widely.
Dutch ovens are versatile
Dutch Ovens can be used for many purposes in or out of doors. Dutch ovens can be used on top of the stove, in the oven or over a campfire. The secret to great Dutch oven cooking is knowing how to make and control a fire and which pot to use for which purpose.
Types of Dutch ovens:
Camp ovens, bean pots and skillets are all examples of Dutch ovens.
Skillets have short legs and a long handle; usually two short handles opposite each other on the same side of the pot. These small camp ovens were designed to fit inside the fire hole of the big cast-iron pots used on four-legged cooking stands.
Beanpots are more like skillets with slightly longer legs and no handles; they can be used to cook beans or cornbread.
Camp ovens are the most versatile of all Dutch ovens; they have three short legs on the bottom for suspending over a fire, two looped side handles, and one long handle on the opposite side. They are good for cooking everything from chicken to bread.
In preparation of dutch oven recipes, Dutch ovens can be used in three ways:
- suspended over a fire by using the chains that are usually attached to both sides of the pot;
- placed directly on top of hot coals or campfire embers; and
- set into a pit of coals and ashes with fresh hot coals on top, much like an Indian earth oven.
My favorite way is to use the second method; all Dutch oven cooking should be done sitting right side up over moderate heat so you can get the most even temperature inside the pot.
Which method of cooking is the best for which dutch oven recipe?
Coming up with a dutch oven recipe depends on what you are cooking and how much time you have. For example, you can cook a roast over an open fire but the temperature is so irregular it will take at least two hours to get well done. Roasting vegetables like potato in a Dutch oven in hot coals for 15-30 minutes takes only a few coals and gives excellent results.
For best results, consider all of these factors when adopting and/or formulating your dutch oven recipe:
- amount of time you have;
- size of the Dutch oven needed for the amount of food being cooked;
- fuel available, charcoal briquets or hardwood for open fires or woodstove-type pellets or coal for a stove top fire.
- Just as with any kind of cooking, it is important to use the right amount of heat and take care not to scorch or burn your food.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
What kinds of foods are frequently prepared using a Dutch oven?
Dutch ovens are fantastic for making stews, sauces, soups, braises, and almost any other kind of dish that requires cooking over wet heat. This casserole dish as well as a full chicken may be cooked in this one pot. Either sear the beef and veggies on the stove top and then move the pot to the oven to continue cooking, or you may brown the meat and vegetables on the stove top and then let them simmer.
The Bottom Line
The dutch oven is an amazing tool but just like any other tool through which one can explore a myriad of dutch oven recipes. However, passion and creativity is the backbone of each and every product. A tool is as good as its user!