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Thinking about getting a cast iron dutch oven and have some questions

I have finally gotten past my fear of the seasoning issue and have started to master (and love!) my cast iron skillet. Now I'm contemplating buying a dutch oven from Lodge Logic. I was thinking of using it for soups, chili, pasta sauce, etc. Would cast iron be good for things like that or would I be better off sticking with my Calphalon? If you own a cast iron dutch oven, what do you do with it and how much do you clean it in between different types of foods? Thank you!

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  1. I'd recommend getting an enameled cast iron dutch oven to avoid the cast iron reacting to any acids you'll put in it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sueshungry

      I've read that it's a *good thing* for some iron to leach into acid-based foods cooked in 'em, such as tomatoes. I've had my CI dutch oven since the early '70s and love it to death.

    2. I use my CI DO for everything you listed. Yes, it will leach some iron and mess up the seasoning a bit but those don't bother me. My son needs the extra iron and I have fun reseasoning.

      If you don't want the extra iron/ work I'd suggest an enameled CI DO or just sticking to what you already have.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MamaCrunch

        The iron is one of the reasons I've been thinking about it. I've been struggling with low iron/anemia and my little one doesn't get nearly enough in her diet either.

      2. I use mine for everything from braising to frying to baking breads to ... well, everything. I occasionally use it for tomato sauces but I prefer the enamelled pots for that just because of the cleaning ease. I try to wipe it out as soon as I'm done cooking and re-oil it but its so well seasoned at this point that even if I don't it doesn't seem to hurt a bit.

        It was one of the best multi use pieces I ever purchased for my kitchen. So glad I did.

        2 Replies
        1. re: weezieduzzit

          Ooooh, nothing better than baking sourdough bread in my CI dutch oven. It's so well seasoned that the bread just pops out, and nothing can beat the crunchy crust. That and a bunch of Kerrygold butter, and I call it a meal.

          1. re: pine time

            I'm going to have to try this! I'm a bad sourdough mom and let mine die about a month ago. Now I have a reason to start up again!

        2. I got a CI DO for my birthday about 5 years ago, and it's my most frequently used piece of cookwareby far. It's so versatile, and for some dishes actually makes it hard to screw up. It has high volumne, and with the mass amounts of cast iron, really holds the heat well. Anything with a slow simmer involved is a perfect use for this. Lately, I've been making slow poached eggs in it, because I want a high volume of water and want to hold a constant 62 degree C temp. I can turn the stove top off and the water temp won't even budge for 5 minutes because the pot holds the heat so well. buy one and it will become your favorite pan too. I don't know how I lived without one.

          1. Makes a great pot roast and veggies in the oven.