Dutch oven - yay or nay?

always1stepbehind

I'll apologize ahead of time if this is double posted somewhere else...


For the price, I think I'd like to get this dutch oven set at Costco. How do you like using a dutch oven for cooking? What do you use it for mainly?


LIke cast iron, some people LOVE it and swear by it, I bought one big cast iron pan and I'm like I can take or leave it. It's not my go to.


https://www.costco.com/tramontina-enameled-cast-iron-dutch-oven%2C-2-pack.product.100690152.html

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joann_fl

It looks nice, great colors. I can't say I have ever used one.

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always1stepbehind

Honestly, I think its the turquoise that is really doing it for me...LOL

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Elmer J Fudd

Even at the normal price this is a great deal. Go for it. Get whatever color is available, most are gaudy or very dark anyway.

I have two the same size as this listing, perhaps from 10 years ago. They're not of the same quality as the top of the line brands (Staub and Le Creuset, which I also have) but they're very serviceable and work well. Quality differences - more prone to staining, more prone to having the enamel develop small chips, but not of which compromise the utility.

Enameled Dutch ovens are a mainstay of any French kitchen. They can be used for so many different things and so many different processes. If you want recipe suggestions that take advantage of their features, check out Serious Eats.

Stove top use, oven use you name it. A favorite of mine is the Serious Eats (Kenji) method of making stew - the meat is seared in the DO while on the stove top then put aside momentarily, then onions, carrots, celery are sautéed while still on the stove top, then wine added to deglaze the pan, water or broth and other seasonings are added along with other veggies and the meat cut into pieces, and then the whole thing is put into the oven to finish. The result is stunning and wouldn't be as easy with other utensils.

Don't miss out on using the larger one for No-Knead bread, it's very easy and the result is great.

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bpath

I have a Dutch oven that I use for stews, and a smaller Dansk Kobenstyle casserole that I use for lots of things, including rice. It makes good rice. My Dutch oven is huge so I don’t use it as much as I would like. Also, DH cooks dinner now and he rarely uses it.

That‘s a good price for the two, why not try them? If you don’t like them yiu can sell them! Although, are they too big for you?

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dees_1

I have that set and can say you NEED them. Performance is on par with LC. Handles get a bit hotter than I expected. I love having the smaller 4qt size but use the 8qt one more often.

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SEA SEA

Well thank you for posting this. I hope you get this. If it's anything like what I remember from years ago, you will love it, as long as the weight of it is not too much for you. I had to adjust to the extra weight of cast iron when I got my pieces years ago. It took me a while to learn to like them for that reason.

I just ordered this because of your post and I'm so glad you posted. I've been wanting to replace my current cast iron dutch oven, which I use a lot for everything from bread to stews, beef roasts, roasted chicken, to so many other things. But mine has always been a problem child in that I can't get the seasoning on this one to 'take'. I do all the needed things and it's just not right like it is with all my other cast iron pieces. I've been wanting to switch over to enamel as I suspect that when I make soups or stews I often use tomatoes, whether stewed style or sauce or paste, perhaps the acid undoes the seasoning effects. Or, maybe I got a dud. Who knows.

You can't beat this price, which is what has kept me from getting an enameled replacement for my problem DO.

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ci_lantro

I have a Le Creuset enameled cast iron Dutch oven and an Aldi enameled cast iron braiser. Purchased to satisfy my curiosity about enameled CI. I wouldn't miss them if they were gone. They are heavy and require extra effort to clean and keep stain free. And you have to treat them nicely or you will end up with chipped enamel. If chipped enamel bothers you. It does bother me. Probably because the allure for me is their beauty.

That said, the turquoise set is beautiful. And you could well end up loving to cook with them. The only way you will know if you like enameled CI is to try it out for yourself.


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isabellagracepan

I love to cook and use ours often. No knead bread turns out incredibly in them, and they are great for curries, stews, soups or slow-braising meat.

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Lars

The price looks good, but whether you need it depends on how you cook. I bought one thinking I needed it, but it gets used about twice a year at the most, and then only for deep frying. It's worth it for that, but I never make stews, and I much more often use my set of pressure cookers.

Get it, if you have room to store it. If you gotten by without one, there is a good chance you do not need it, but that depends on what other pans you have. I also have a slow cooker, and that absolutely never gets used and stays in the garage.

I never make no knead bread, since I've been making kneaded bread all my life (since I was eight) and prefer it. I use my pressure cooker on a portable induction burner (which is the only thing I use that burner for), and I use it several times a week. I like that mine has a basket insert and two sizes of pans.

I never braise meat, since my brother does not eat beef or pork. The main thing I like about the Dutch oven is that my thermometer will clip to the side and stay in place while I am deep frying.

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Elmer J Fudd

"They are heavy and require extra effort to clean"

Heavy, yes. Extra effort to clean? That's not my experience.

Taking the stew as an example - even after a barrage of all the brown stuff from searing meat, sautéing veggies, and then some time in the oven, the accumulated residue comes off quite easily. Fill it up with very hot water and detergent, let it sit for 30 minutes, pour out the water, then wipe the inside with either a soapy sponge or a very gentle scrubber. No cleanser, no steel wool. Some browning over time of the inside finish is to be expected - for this reason, the inside of Staubs are often black. Good thinking!. Some stains happen on the outside too. These are hard working tools, not art pieces in a display case, and signs of use are normal.

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morz8

I have about three although my largest is magnalite not enameled cast iron. Large enough it only sees occasional use.

If the Costco set interests you, buy it. Amazon has the same offered at $95 so you are seeing a very good price.

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Judy Good

I use mine every week, but I cook daily. That is a very good price.

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maifleur03

Curious I had a Le Creuset pan with a lid that doubled as a small skillet in the late 1960s. At that time the recommendation was to season it by filling with milk then heating for I think one hour then allow to cool to room temperature. If anyone has purchased recently is it still recommended to season that type of enamel pan in that manner. I loved the bottom but the top always seemed to stick in one spot.

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Elmer J Fudd

I don't believe it's possible to "season" an enamel surface. That would leave a residue that could be easily washed off.

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jupidupi

I use my Le Creuset dutch ovens almost every day, much more than I use other pots. I got a set of three from my parents for college graduation, about 40 years ago. Yes, the insides are stained, but no chips. I prefer pots that are white inside because I feel like I can better see what I'm cooking. I don't baby them, either. I put them right in the dishwasher (although I've only had a dishwasher for about the last ten years.)

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OutsidePlaying

I have a large Lodge DO I use for stews mostly and a smaller Le Creuset I use for smaller dishes and recently tried no knead bread in it. I don’t find them hard to clean at all. The Lodge is reasonably priced and I figured I could get a lot of use out of it and if I needed to replace it at any time, I haven’t invested my soul in it. It was $40 at Wal Mart. The LC was on sale at W-S. They are not the same color but I don’t care as they are stored away and I have long since passed the point of caring about that.

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amylou321

I love my Dutch ovens. I use them a few times a month. I cook pot roast in the oven in them. Way better flavor than a slow cooker or instant pot IMO,and i grew up eating crock pot pot roast. I make my meat sauce,chili, things like that in them. Today I made collard greens in one for SO. (I use my Dutch oven for that rather than a regular pot because SOMEONE,he shall remain nameless though NOT guiltless, ruined my biggest stainless steel pot and my Dutch ovens are now the biggest pots I own.) I do not make stews but if I did, I would use my Dutch ovens to do so. I have one le creuset (pink) and of course,my Staub Duncan the Punkin pot. If you only use it a few times a year for that price i think it is worth it. Shame it doesn’t come in pink though. It definitely makes food taste better.. 😛 I think Martha Stewart makes some BEAUTIFUL pink heart shaped ones at reasonable prices......

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socks

I’m not a great cook, but for some reason soups and stews always turn out good in the Dutch oven. Unless lifting it to the sink for cleaning, get it!

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Elmer J Fudd

True socks!

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maifleur03

I have to agree with you Elmer about the seasoning of enamel since it is basically a surface of glass and nothing should be able to enter the subsurface until normal usage scratches the surface but I thought I would ask. I still have the bottom although the top simply decided that it would become two pieces. I did not know until years later that I could have received a replacement.


Looking at the size of the pan I am amazed that I started with as stew on the weekend and added whatever I had in my small apartment and on Friday had soup by adding water/wine but ate from it the whole week. The joys of youth and a one burner hotplate.

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Debby

I wouldn't have a set of pots and pans without my Dutch oven. I use it for big pots of soup, chili and stew.

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colleenoz

Cast iron will break if you give it a thermal shock, such as putting cold water into a hot pan. I hazard a guess that’s what happened to your lid, maifleur.

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Annie Deighnaugh

I'm just using my cast iron dutch oven again...this time for ham and lentil stew. I also use it for baking my artisan bread. Wouldn't want to live without it! I use it for soups and stews and baking all the time.


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chloebud

Great price for two pieces! I've used my LC enameled cast iron pots for years...love them. Great heat conduction and retention and good for oven-to-table serving since they look so nice.

In another recent thread a few people mentioned chipping being a problem with the Tramontina. I know their regular stainless steel cookware gets very good reviews.

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maifleur03

Colleenoz that could be. One day I picked it up to clean it and half of it was on the floor and there was rust where the two sections would meet. Now I know that I could have asked for a replacement but did not at that time. I seem to remember the instructions mentioned sending a picture of the damaged item. By the time I was asked by someone if the company had replaced it under warrantee it had been long gone.

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nicole___

Those are beautiful dutch ovens at a fantastic price! I have one really big pot that can hold coq au vin, then the two smaller ones like shown in your photo....which actually hold a ton! I use mine if a skillet is too small when browning a large amount of meat & diced onions for instance. Stews, soups & chili for all else. ♥

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socks

Anyone else besides Judi put them in the dishwasher?

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Zalco/bring back Sophie!

My LC and Staub pots go into the dishwasher. I also use the dishwasher for the pans they sell that are black inside, but not regular cast iron. No problems.

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chloebud

They're definitely dishwasher safe, but I've always washed mine by hand. I still have a little booklet that came with my first LC set in 1977. The instructions say to use 1 tsp. bleach for every pint of water and let soak. I've used a little stronger solution (1 part bleach to 3 parts water) and soaked longer. It's kept my pots looking really nice.

I'm especially fond of my oval-shaped LC Dutch ovens. They're nice for larger cuts of meat or whole chickens. I always use them for corned beef since I prefer flat cuts that are larger and longer.

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Zalco/bring back Sophie!

The black interior frying pans are described as being made of black satin enamel, btw.


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amylou321

Mine also go in the dishwasher. EVERYTHING goes in the dishwasher. I am not hand washing dishes. It's my one demand in life.

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chloebud

Zalco, the two frying pans that came with my first LC set have the black interior. The other pieces (sauce pans and Dutch oven) have the light interior.

This photo I found online shows the LC lasagna pan I had that was a wedding gift. I gave it away years ago. It was extremely heavy, especially when filled with lasagna. As I recall, the color choices back in 1977 were pretty limited. This tangerine/orange is the color of my first set. Though not a color I would have chosen, I so appreciated the gift.

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roy4me

I saw them at Costco yesterday..beautiful.

But way too heavy for me




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Elizabeth

I have a Le Creuset and I don't remember the last time I used it. I used to make a great oven stew in it that cooked in it for the entire afternoon. I have adapted that recipe to the Instant Pot which is my go to appliance now.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

I don't have a traditional Dutch oven, but I do have a stainless steel chili pot by Martha Stewart that I use like Dutch oven & for almost everything - including Chicken Vesuvio, which goes in a 500F oven. I've had it for many years now. It's a real workhorse.

Found a pic of one for sale on eBay:

I don't really want heavy enamelled cast iron like Le Creuset. It looks very nice, but is too easy to lose my grip on and drop on our terrazzo floor - or my foot. I do have several cast iron skillets, though.

No dishwasher here, so everything gets washed by hand, like it or not.


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norar_il

They are too heavy for me as well. Does no one use a cast aluminum dutch oven, either enameled or not? I'm thinking that might solve the too heavy problem.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

FWIW, don't like cooking with aluminum - esp. acidic foods like tomato sauce. Acids cause it to leach.

My cookware is stainless steel, Pyrex, enamel and cast iron.

I also a have several white ceramic non stick skillets.

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SEA SEA

I mentioned upthread that I ordered this set because my Lodge cast iron dutch oven has a problem with not seasoning properly on the inside even though I do everything right and my other cast iron pieces are all good due to doing all the right things. My Lodge DO has never been quite right in this regard.

The set arrived the day after placing the order (!!). I've made a roast chicken in the large one just like I usually do with my problem dutch oven. I have to say it came out better for some reason and my roast chicken comes out nice in the old dutch oven. Not sure if it was a one-time thing or if the enameled dutch oven has some magic powers.

I am making a batch of pinto beans in the smaller dutch oven from the set today. I normally make those in my problem dutch oven with good results, so I have high hopes for today's meal.

For those on the fence about this set, the larger dutch oven is very heavy. If you think you might struggle with the extra weight, unless you work out with weights and have significant upper body strength, it's weight is likely to be an issue for you, just fyi. I can handle it, but I can see how some people could not. The smaller dutch oven is a nice size for just about everything else that isn't oversized. I don't find the smaller dutch oven to be a problem with the weight, but I am used to working with cast iron...

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

FWIW, I don't have a problem lifting heavy things, but there's more of a risk when dealing with hot &/or greasy/wet things that can slip.

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Lucille

I checked out the weight of the larger one on Amazon, it is 21.6 pounds. I think I will be careful if it is full but that is manageable. .

It does look like a beautiful set so I bought it for myself today after returning from the trek to get my vaccination. I liked Elmer's description of making a stew in a DO so will try that out soon.

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