A Dutch oven is exactly what you want for cooking long braises and stews. The cast-iron means this pot will hold heat very well, creating the even and steady temperature within the pot necessary for rendering meat and tough vegetables completely tender.
These pots are also perfect for simmering a pot of beans, incubating a batch of yogurt, or even just making a quick pasta sauce for dinner. We’ve baked some of the best bread we’ve ever had in our dutch oven following the no-knead bread method. We could go on and on, but suffice it to say that our Dutch oven is one of the most-used tools in our kitchen.
Dutch ovens can be expensive: $50 at the lowest end and up to $300 or more for a prized Le Creuset pot. But cost is usually a good indicator of quality for this piece of equipment. Buy the best you can afford, and it will last for years.
The oven should feel heavy when you hold it, with a thick walls and an equally thick bottom. Take a look at the handles and the knob on the lid, and make sure you’ll still be able to grasp them easily when wearing heavy oven mitts. We also recommend getting at least a 6-quart Dutch oven. This is big enough for braising a chicken or making enough chili to feed a crowd.Here are a few brands we know and trust:
Some additional things to keep in mind:
How to Care for Your Dutch Oven:
Great Recipes to Get You Started:
What kind of Dutch oven do you have? How do you use it?