Le Gourmet TV stops by the cooks place in Toronto where we get the lowdown on Dutch ovens in their many forms.
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What are Dutch Ovens?
Male: So what some of the other options?
Female: For people who don’t want to go through that care for the odd person who is told by a physician they have too much iron they don’t want to cook in this so they are pans that are cast iron but doing them uncoated. So these are beautiful stove to table top. At stove to table top, they can also go on the stove in the oven the same way that cast iron can.
Male: So you get the weight benefit of cast iron but in ease of use.
Female: Ease of use, very easy to clean.
Male: And you get some neat colors?
Female: And in comes in all sizes, beautiful colors, different shapes, there are really a huge range of beautiful things out there.
Male: I think that’s another thing that scares people when they see me pull out my Dutch oven and they think, “Oh, that’s really big pot.” I don’t need a pot that big but you can get smaller sizes.
Female: All different sizes.
Male: So this would be pot for one?
Female: A pot for one, for two if you were doing a side dish, some potato dish or a vegetable dish, a side dish in there but I find with this soups and stews when I’m cooking in a Dutch oven I want the leftovers. I want them the next day. I want them the day after that so don’t be afraid of the size.
For things like this if you want to get something that you can feed a crowd or less if that’s your lifestyle. So people who are concerned with the weight, there are other options. These are ceramic ware and these are oven only. So you would have to do your prep work in another pan, sauté your onions, get your meat brown and transfer them to here and into the oven. It holds the heat again beautifully. It looks gorgeous when you bring it to the table.
Now, that’s a meal laundry and they’ve come out with a new line called Flame which is actually stovetop-safe as well as oven safe.
Male: So this is a stovetop-safe ceramic.
Female: Yes. Again, I sauté my onions, brown my meat, beautiful job and then you can either let it simmer on the stove or pop it in the oven.
Male: Gas stove?
Female: Yes, that’s what I have. Yes, it works beautifully even on a flat top.
Male: Even on the glass?
Female: Even on the glass top. It looks like it wouldn’t but we’ve tried it and it even works on a glass top because it distributes the heat really, really well.
Male: So is there anything in particular that someone should look for when they’re buying a Dutch oven?
Female: Well, there are a couple of things. One, for most people there’s a budget involved. Cast iron will be on the low end of what you’re getting. The enamel cast iron is going to be on the high end so you’re going to look at your budget. You’re going to look at your color, even look at how you use it. Do you want to bring it to the table and is that an eye sore for you. You’re going to want to look at size.
These knobs can go only in then oven up to 400 for 20 or so. They’re stainless steel knobs available that you can purchase and some of the pots are now coming with the stainless steel knobs so if you want to do that, bread a recipe that’s making the rounds in the internet at 500, you need to make sure you get the stainless knob. Do you want to use the pot in your microwave in which case you want to go with ceramic?
Male: I haven’t thought of that.
Female: Do you have a tile floor and tend to drop things in which case you’re going to want to go with metal? So those are all considerations.
Female: And the last option in this stainless steel pan which doesn’t quite work the same way as something like this but if you’re limited in space, if you’re limited in budget and you want one pan that can do a number of different things.
If you want to boil water for your pastas while this makes stews, this is also a possibility for you.
Male: This stove it just doesn’t have the same sort of weight than these others?
Female: It doesn’t have the weight, it doesn’t have the same heat retention capacity but it certainly can do the job.
Male: Okay, last to think about that. Thank you very much.