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Sep 6, 2012 12:28 AM

Roasting in a dutch oven.

I see numerous references here and on the Home Cooking board to roasting (usually a chicken) in a dutch oven. What are the results like please? I'm just curious as here in the UK roasting would only ever be done in a much shallower (probably no more than than 2 inches deep) pan or tin, often raised a little on a rack within the pan. With a DO is the lid used? Does any proper browning occur?

Using a lid-on DO to cook a solid piece of meat or a whole chicken with a bit of liquid and flavourings would be called a "pot roast" here. Is that what is being referred to by our US friends please?

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  1. In short, yes. We do "pot roast" in the dutch oven all the time at our house. I also make a chicken dish where I brown the chicken on the stove top and then transfer the chicken pieces to the DO along with some previously browned potatos and some mushrooms, carrots and peas and a little white wine. Technically, not roasted chicken in the traditional sence.

    We also have a "Roasting Pan" that is as you describe above, about 2" deep with a rack. It comes out every third Thursday of November and supports a large fowl until brown.

    I think we are talking the same thing for the most part, it's just that many people take short cuts in typing out their message that not everything is explained enough to be clear.

    1. Hi, Robin:

      I'm not sure the *proper* practice is any different between UK and USA. When Americans in general think of roasters, they think of the enormous turkey-sized pan (generally cheap or disposable) that they use maybe twice a year. Many folks here don't have smaller true roasting pans, and so resort to using what they *do* have. And some of those never tumble to the best make-do: the ubiquitous cast iron skillet.

      "Roasting" within a lidded DO can indeed brown, but the preponderant action is steaming, which retards it. (This is why a lidded DO is used in the first cooking step in no-knead bread, to wit: to steam cook the loaf so that the interior is done by the time the crust gets sufficiently browned.)

      But even "roasting" in an open DO tips the balance too far in the direction of steaming, IMO. The taller walls shield all but the tippy-top bits of direct radiant heat.

      I think here in America, "pot roast" is often the cut of meat (usually beef), rather than the cooking method. In other words, a pot-roasted chicken is almost an American non sequitur. I think your usage makes more sense.


      1. Thanks both for the teach-in! Mikie's dish makes me feel hungry.