The Dos and Don'ts of Cooking in a Dutch Oven Pot - Home & Texture
Kitchen Dutch Oven Dos and Don’ts

These Are the Dos and Don'ts of Cooking in a Dutch Oven

So you can master the art of Dutch oven cooking like a pro.

By
March 14, 2024 at 4:45 PM PST
Kitchen Dutch Oven Dos and Don’ts

These Are the Dos and Don'ts of Cooking in a Dutch Oven

So you can master the art of Dutch oven cooking like a pro.

By
March 14, 2024 at 4:45 PM PST

Spend a few minutes scrolling through cooking content on Instagram or TikTok, and you’ll likely see influencers, creators, and bloggers pulling out their Dutch oven pots and whipping up their favorite recipes. Creators like model Nara Smith swear by their Dutch oven pots when making delicious meals. These heavy-duty pots, made of cast iron and sometimes coated in enamel, are perfect for braising, baking, frying, and more. 

 

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When using a Dutch oven pot, there are best practices to follow to ensure both yummy results and the longevity of the pot. Here, we explore the essential dos and don’ts of cooking with a Dutch oven to help you make the most out of this timeless kitchen staple. 

Do: Season Your Pot 

If your Dutch oven is made of bare cast iron, seasoning it before its first use is crucial. Seasoning involves coating the pot with a thin layer of oil and then heating it to create a natural, non-stick coating. This process helps to prevent rust and enhances the pot’s performance over time. For enameled Dutch ovens, this step isn’t necessary, but ensuring the pot is clean and dry before use is important. 

Don’t: Soak for Long Periods

While it might be tempting to soak your Dutch oven to tackle stubborn bits of food, prolonged exposure to water can lead to rust, especially for bare cast iron pots. Instead, use a plastic scraper or wooden spoon to remove any food residue gently. If necessary, a brief soak of 15-20 minutes should suffice, followed by thorough drying. 

dutch oven pot
Photo Credit: Cooker King

Do: Use it on Various Heat Sources

One of the Dutch oven’s greatest assets is its versatility across heat sources. It can go from stovetop (including induction) to oven without skipping a beat. This makes it ideal for dishes that require browning before slow cooking or baking. However, to prevent damage, be mindful of the manufacturer’s guidelines, especially regarding maximum safe temperatures. 

Don’t: Heat Empty 

Heating your Dutch oven empty can cause damage, especially to enameled ones. The enamel can crack or chip under extreme heat without food or liquid to absorb and distribute it. Always start with at least a small amount of oil, butter, or liquid in the pot to safeguard your investment. 

Do: Embrace Low and Slow Cooking 

Dutch ovens excel in low and slow cooking methods. Their thick walls and tight-fitting lids retain and distribute heat evenly, making them perfect for braising, stewing, and slow-roasting. This gentle cooking process develops deep flavors and tender textures in a way that few other pots can. 

 

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Don’t: Use Metal Utensils 

Metal utensils can scratch or chip the surface of enameled Dutch ovens. Stick to wooden, silicone, or plastic utensils to keep your pot in pristine condition. For bare cast iron, while metal utensils won’t damage the seasoning as easily, it’s still wise to use gentler options when possible. 

Do: Clean With Care

Proper cleaning will extend the life of your Dutch oven. For enameled pots, avoid abrasive cleaners and scrubbing pads. Instead, opt for gentle dish soap and a soft sponge. Bare cast iron pots should be cleaned with hot water and a brush or sponge, dried thoroughly, and lightly oiled before storing. 

Don’t: Forget to Store Properly 

After cleaning, ensure your Dutch oven is completely dry before storing it. Leave the lid slightly ajar or place a paper towel between the pot and the lid to allow air circulation and prevent moisture buildup. This simple step can prevent rust and color changes. 




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