Got a Dutch oven as a holiday gift? Sweet! Heavy-bottomed and ovenproof with a tight-fitting lid, this thick metal pot heats evenly and holds heat well. Veggies sear and sizzle, soups simmer slowly, frying oil stays hot. Puddings don’t stick. Here are a few handy tips to know before you get cooking:
1. Pre-heat well. Place oil or butter in a cold Dutch oven, then heat or melt over medium or low heat 3 to 5 minutes, making sure the bottom becomes completely coated in oil to prevent sticking. Tip: to use less fat, use a paper towel or brush to spread oil conservatively.
2. Keep heat low. Dutch ovens may take a few minutes to get hot. They hold heat extremely well, meaning you don’t need to go above medium when cooking.
3. Stir with non-metal utensils. While the enamel lining and seasoned cast iron on most Dutch ovens is scratch-resistant, it’s not scratch-proof. For consistent non-stick results, use wood or silicone spatulas to stir.
Don’t own a Dutch oven but longing for one? Here are 4 models we love.