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Mar 23, 2008 08:25 PM

Ikea dutch oven - steam escaping

I just got the Ikea 5 qt dutch oven. The instructions say to boil a cup of milk with vegetable oil before the first use, so I thought it would be a good test to see how well the lid fits. After a few minutes I checked on it and noticed that a small wisp of steam was escaping near one of the handles. When I lifted the lid the milk was boiling away and a lots of steam came whooshing out, so it appears that most of it is staying inside. Is this normal? If I'm making a pot roast where the liquid is only simmering, will all the steam stay inside?

I checked about 5 of them before I bought mine, and the fit was pretty bad. Thinking of trying the 6 qt. Lodge from Amazon, but I don't want to have to deal with shipping the monster back if there's a problem with it.

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  1. Try moving the lid this way and that, and also rotating it until no steam escapes. Sometimes it's just a matter of playing a bit with the lid to get a tighter seal.

    1. If you're worried about the steam staying inside, just cover the oven with aluminum foil or parchment before placing the lid on the pan. This bit of insurance should set your mind at rest and allow you to keep your pan.

      1. my first cheap enameled cast iron dutch oven did leak a little and in the oven a tiny drop of water would drip down one side. Not really a performance problem because in braising you really don't need it that tight. Some advocate braising in a pot with only a parchment paper lid so you get some concentration of liquids through evaporation. So even if you can't get it to seal tight I'm sure it will work fine.

        1. Thanks to all. I did try moving the lid around and was never able to get the steam to stop completely. I may try the tin foil trick also. But is there any consensus on a tiny bit of steam escaping? I will never use it for bread, just for things like pot roast, chili, braised chicken, beef burgundy, etc...

          1 Reply
          1. re: foo1024

            The Staub pots have little bumps on the inside rim of their lids to allow a bit of steam to escape I was told, so I don't think a bit of it coming out would be a problem. Meats and veggies give up some liquid too as they cook, and you do want to concentrate the flavors with some evaporation.

          2. Update: I tried boiling some water and then simmering. Once it was simmering I was able to move the lid around until no steam came out. Seems like that should work since I don't plan to be boiling anything with the cover on. Thanks for all the help.