Dutch ovens are the most popular choice for a lot of people who loves to cook. However, it can be hard to choose one thats right for you. There are a lot of different brands and types that it can be intimidating to the first-time buyer. The truth is that its very easy to pick one for your needs. While there are a lot of types, you only need to keep a few things in mind.
There are two basic types of Dutch ovens available in the market. The first is made for outdoor use, so it has a rounded bottom. It comes with a three legged stand. It has a rim on the lid to hold hot coals. It is elevated so you can place hot coals at the bottom of the pot. The second kind is made to use inside a kitchen. They have a flat bottom, and they do not have legs. This makes it easier for you to mount it on the stovetop or place it in the oven. This doesnt mean that you wont be able to use the second type for outdoor cooking, though. Only enameled Dutch ovens are not suitable for very high temperatures, so you cant use them outdoors.
Youll be able to find Dutch ovens in all different sizes. The basic sizes are ten inches and twelve inches in diameter. Smaller, five inch versions are available, but they are not very usable. On the other hand, 22 inch pots are also available, if you want to feed a very large family. Bigger pots tend to be quite heavy, and you may need the help of more than two people to carry it around. For first-time buyers, a twelve-inch oven is recommended as it can be used for a lot of things. It is the most versatile, and you can use it for single serve meals, or an entire buffet. If youre looking to cook something a little heavier and bulkier like turkey or large cuts of beef, fourteen inch pans are recommended as they provide enough coverage.
Always choose a high quality Dutch oven. Youll only waste your money on cheap ones because they wont last very long. Look for something with a well-fitting lid. Make sure that it doesnt rock back and forth so that the ash from the coal will not go directly to your food while youre cooking. It also releases a lot of moisture, which isnt the best thing when using this kind of pot. Also, make sure that the pot is made out of pure cast iron. Some companies mix different alloys with the cast iron, which makes the pot weaker and less durable. This causes the pot to heat unevenly, causing hotspots. To avoid this, choose only trusted brands. Lodge is one of the leading brands when it comes to Dutch ovens, but their pieces tend to be quite expensive. If you want, you can take a chance at a Dutch oven at a yard sale.