They’ve been around for decades, but Dutch ovens seem to be rising in popularity once again (thanks Chrissy Teigen), but what is it and why do people swear by them? You’ve probably seen them in your parent’s kitchen—heck, you might have received one as a wedding gift that sits gathering dust in the back of your cabinet—a large, deep pot with a handle on each side and a lid that tightly hugs the edges of the pot. That is a Dutch oven.
While they are usually made of cast iron which can make them heavy, Dutch ovens are nearly indestructible. They are great for soups, stews, and sauces, but can also be used to make almost anything—pasta, braising meat, even baking bread! And, because they are able to withstand high heat, you can also use a Dutch oven to deep fry food. The handles on either side make this pot ideal and easy to handle whether you are cooking on a stovetop or in an oven.
The best thing about a Dutch oven—other than its versatility—is that it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to own one. Department stores or kitchen-centric stores may try to convince you that you need one that cost more than your weekly grocery bill but there are several companies that make quality and affordable options. Lodge, for example, makes Dutch ovens both for your kitchen and for camping at very affordable prices. You can even choose a colorful one like this red one or this nice Caribbean blue one. Functional and colorful, a good Dutch oven can even save you dishes as they are aesthetically pleasing enough to be able to serve dinner straight from the pot without transferring the food to another dish.
So bring your Dutch oven out of the cobwebs and start using it as your one-stop cooking pot!