396 Dutch Ovens and Casseroles

A Dutch oven is a favorite versatile cooking tool — it's great for slow-simmering soups, stews and sauces, though it's also ideal for roasts and tenderloins. Also known as a French oven or cocotte, they come in a variety of sizes, shapes and materials. Oval and round Dutch ovens are the most popular shapes, while cast iron, stainless steel and aluminum are the most common materials. Read on for tips to help chose the best model for your culinary endeavors. More 
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What’s the difference between a Dutch oven and a casserole dish?

Casserole pans, or braisers, are shallower than Dutch ovens, although the terms are often interchangeable. Additionally, not all casserole dishes come with lids, whereas Dutch and French ovens will almost always come with one. A Dutch oven’s higher sides make it much more versatile in terms of cooking methods — stewing, braising, deep-frying and even baking can all be done in this piece of cookware. Of course there is a price difference; you will likely find braisers to be slightly less expensive, so decide which if you have a need for more specific cookware or something more all-purpose.

Which type of Dutch oven should I get?

Enameled cast iron Dutch ovens are the most popular choice, thanks to their long lasting, durable, non-toxic and easy-to-clean characteristics. These pieces are usually purchased individually, as opposed to in a set, and run on the more expensive side. They come in a wide variety of colors and are often displayed on the kitchen stove when not in use. On the other hand, stainless steel and aluminum ones are more likely to come in a set, and are therefore more affordable. They are very similar to a bare cast iron model, though they might not distribute heat as evenly and can be trickier to clean. To sum it up, enameled cast iron will be the priciest, but last the longest, whereas stainless, aluminum, and regular cast iron will be easier on your wallet, but require more maintenance to extend their lifespan. Consider how often you will be using your Dutch oven or braiser, and if it’s something you can see yourself passing down to younger generations in the future.
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