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Dutch Oven : An Exciting Twist To Your Commonplace Cooking!

Sep 2, 2007
Desperately looking for a change to your everyday cooking style: look what dutch oven has in store for you.

A Dutch oven is a thick-walled iron (usually cast iron) cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid. It is commonly referred to as a 'camp oven' in the Australian bush, and a 'cocotte' in French, and is similar to the South African 'potjie'.

During the late 1600s the Dutch system of producing these cast metal cooking vessels was more advanced than the English system. The Dutch used dry sand to make their molds, giving their pots a smoother surface.

Over time, the Dutch oven used in the American Colonies began to change. The pot became shallower and legs were added to hold the oven above the coals. A flange was added to the lid to keep the coals on the lid and out of the food. The cast-iron cookware was loved by colonists and settlers because of its versatility and durability.

It could be used for boiling, baking, stews, frying, roasting, and just about any other use. The ovens were so valuable that wills in the 18th and 19th centuries frequently spelled out the desired inheritor of the cast iron cookware.

Types of Dutch ovens:
1. Camping: A camping, cowboy, or chuck wagon Dutch oven has three legs, a wire bale handle, and a slightly convex, rimmed lid so that coals from the cooking fire can be placed on top as well as below. This provides more uniform internal heat and lets the inside act as an oven. These ovens are typically made of bare cast iron, although some are aluminum.

2. Modern Dutch ovens:
Modern Dutch ovens designed for use on the cook top or in the oven are typically smooth-bottomed. Some older styles, such as the unglazed ovens by Lodge, Camp Chef, and Wagner, retain the bale handle, while others, such as the enameled versions by Staub, Sante and le Creuset, have two loop handles.

Modern ovens may also be made of aluminum or ceramic. Le Creuset, a famous maker of enameled Dutch ovens, refers to their ovens as "French ovens", or in the UK as "casserole dishes".

Usefulness of dutch oven in cooking:

Dutch ovens are well suited for long, slow cooking, such as in making roasts, stews, and casseroles. When cooking over a campfire, it is possible to use old-style lipped cast iron dutch ovens as true baking ovens, to prepare biscuits, cakes, breads, pizzas and even pies.

A smaller baking pan can be placed inside the ovens, used and replaced with another as the first batch is completed. It is also possible to stack dutch ovens on top of each other, conserving the heat that would
normally rise from the hot coals on the top. These stacks can be as high as 5 or 6 pots.

Seasoning and care:

With care, the surfaces of the Dutch oven will become dark black, very smooth and shiny, and as non-stick as the best Teflon or other non-stick cookware available. When properly cared for, a dutch oven is good for decades or even centuries of use.

Where possible, a Dutch oven should be stored in a clean, dry location with the lid off to promote air circulation and avoid the smell and taste of rancid oil. If the Dutch oven must be stored with the lid on, a paper towel should be placed inside the oven to absorb any moisture.

The lid should also be propped open slightly to allow air to circulate inside the oven.

International Dutch oven society is a non-profit foundation that preserves art of Dutch oven cooking and promotes its use in modern society. If you love cooking Dutch Oven Style or are eager to get started you will be thrilled with the items that this society is offering...

It offers Dutch Oven Cook Books, T-Shirts, Cooking Equipment, Cooking Spices, Culinary Knives, Camping Equipment, etc. Time to cater to your wishes of innovating and adding delight to your ways of cooking switch to Dutch oven and feel the sheer difference yourself.
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