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Why You Need a Dutch Oven and How to Choose the Right Size

If you’re looking for a versatile long-lasting piece of cookware then your search is over. Enameled cast iron dutch ovens have been around for hundreds of years and there’s a reason for their popularity. Dutch ovens are loved for being a chameleon in the kitchen, they can shift roles based on your needs. Whether you’re an expert in the kitchen or a novice, here’s why you need to add a dutch oven to your kitchen line up.


What is a Dutch Oven?


A Dutch oven is a heavy, wide, and fairly shallow pot with a tight fitting lid. They typically have a thick base and walls to help retain its internal temperature. The tight fitting lid is key to ensure the heat stays in the pot. They also come with handles on the sides, which you will be grateful  for when trying to lift it. Typically they come in an array of colors, sizes and materials to match your aesthetic. 


Why do you need a Dutch Oven? And what can I use it for?


A dutch oven can be used in place of many dishes, saving you time and space in the kitchen. They can shift and act as a stockpot, a casserole dish, a saucepan, and can be used for frying. The obvious use is for soups, stews and braising meats: cooking a tough cut of meat in liquid at a low temperature for a long period of time. They are also the perfect vessel for baking homemade breads. Their versatility makes them a great choice for your favorite one pot meal you make once a week.


How to choose the right size Dutch Oven


When it comes to deciding what size dutch oven to purchase, it’s all about you and your cooking habits. A major factor is how many people you typically cook for. For example, 3-4 quart dutch oven typically serves 2 to 4 people and is great for side dishes, soups, or no knead bread. The most common size is 5-6 quarts, which serves 4 to 6 people. This size is great all around for one pot meals, chili, or even cooking a 5 lb. chicken. If you’re looking to cook for the holidays or large gatherings, look into getting a 9 quart dutch oven or bigger, which typically serves 8 or more people.

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