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Mar 1, 2005 12:39 PM

Dutch oven?

  • s

Hi all,
I've come across a lot of recipes that call for a Dutch oven. What is that, and if I don't have one, what can I use as a substitute? Thanks.

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  1. It is a a heavy casserole with a lid. Usually enameled cast iron. Le Creuset the French manufacturer calls theirs a French Oven it is still the same thing. They can be any number of shapes, round, oval, square etc.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Candy

      Thanks Candy. Can I use a heavy oven-proof pan instead?

      1. re: Sweet Pea

        What is is made of? If you want to brown something range top or braise on the range top instead of your oven it may make a difference. If it is pyrex or glass you may have to do the browning in another flame proof pan and then put it in a casserole. Also if the lid is not very heavy you might want to put foil over the pan before putting the lid on to helpstop some of the evaporation of liquid.

        1. re: Candy

          It can be plain old cast iron with a glass cover. No need to pay $100 for a dutch oven. The plain one does everything the fancy ones do except cost 4 times as much.

          1. re: RichK

            It is exactly that.

      2. They are handy because they can be used on the stove and in the oven. This makes them good for such dishes as braises and stews.

        1. Originally, a Dutch oven (as the term arose in the US) was a shallow (i.e., width greater than height) covered cast iron or earthenware pot with handles that had a concave cover in which you would put burning coals/embers. It would cook from above as well as the heat of the hearth from the sides & below. So all sides of the pot would conduct heat into the cooking chamber. By dint of their heft, the pots would also continue cooking and keeping warm when removed from the direct heat.

          Le Creuset is simply (and wonderfully) enamelled cast iron.

          Must make sure that any pot handle is oven-proof....