Even though most treasure their Le Creuset Dutch oven as their favorite piece of cookware, many only think to pull it out when making soups, stews or things like a big batch of chili. But the Dutch oven is an uber-versatile workhorse that can handle just about any recipe or task in the kitchen. With its durable cast iron construction and vibrant colorful enamel, it just might be the most versatile pot for every day cooking. When you try these seven ways to use a Dutch oven, you might never put it away again.
Casseroles and One Pot Meals
The Dutch oven really shines when it comes to casseroles and one pot meals. It’s perfect when cooking for a large family, batch cooking or meal prepping because of the amount of food it can hold. But it also cuts down on the number of pots and pans needed (speeding up clean up time!) since everything can be cooked in stages or layered in the same pot.
Breads and Desserts
Heavy-duty enameled cast iron creates an optimal environment for bread baking since it traps steam and moisture inside the pot to create artisan-quality breads with a crispy crust and tender crumb. It also maintains a gentle and uniform heat resulting in perfectly cooked and golden brown baked goods and desserts.
Pro tip: Turn the lid upside down and use it as a separate baking surface for things like pot pies.
Watch this video from Justin Chapple to see how.
Keeping hot oil at a constant temperature is crucial when frying foods, which is why a Dutch oven is ideal for shallow or deep frying at home. The exceptional heat distribution and retention properties of enameled cast iron help regulate the oil temperature so food turns out golden brown and crispy, not oily or soggy. The bonus is that the high sides of the pot help contain splatters for less mess.
Signature 6.75-Qt. Oval Dutch Oven in Flame ($385)
Slow-Cooking and Braising
The Le Creuset Dutch oven is the original one-pot slow cooker that easily goes from stove to oven to table. Sear on the stovetop to seal in juices and build flavor, add your favorite liquid, cover with the heavy lid, and pop the Dutch oven into the oven to finish cooking. The steady, even heat and moisture will transform meat and vegetables into falling apart fork-tender dishes that you can bring straight to the table for serving.
Dutch Oven Cleaning Tips
Le Creuset Dutch ovens are dishwasher-safe, but we recommend hand washing. Over time, constant dishwashing may lead to some dulling of the enamel finish, but this will not hinder the cooking performance. To clean your Dutch oven just follow these easy steps:
- First off, you always want to allow the pan to cool to room temperature before cleaning. You never want to place a hot pan in cold water, or fill a hot pot with cold water. That may lead to cracking of the enamel due to thermal shock.
- Use a soft non-metal sponge to wash your Dutch oven with warm water and a mild dish soap.
- Rinse and dry the pot thoroughly before putting it away.
Note: Le Creuset product ships within the continental U.S. only. International shipping is not available at this time. Learn more about our shipping and returns policy here.
Credit: Article content courtesy of Le Creuset
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