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Advice for Buying a Dutch Oven

Mukta Gaikwad
A Dutch oven is the perfect item for outdoor camps and barbeques at home. However, there are a few things that one needs to consider before buying this utensil. Here is some advice for buying a Dutch oven that will suit your needs.


Pick a Dutch oven with a concave lid on the inside so that you can use it as a skillet for frying.
Dutch ovens have been in use for over 300 years. These thick-walled pots have been used as cooking vessels since ages. Back in the 17th century, the Dutch made these cast iron cooking vessels better than the English. The use of dry sand in its manufacturing gave the vessel a smoother surface. Soon, these vessels were being imported to Britain.
However, in 1704, Abraham Darby traveled to the Netherlands to learn the Dutch way of making these vessels. When he returned to England four years later, he patented the casting procedure, which remains similar to its Dutch counterparts.
These vessels are popularly used even today, to cook on open fires and charcoal. It is their sturdy make that makes them extremely durable and best-suited for campfires and outings.
But to derive maximum benefit from this vessel, it is important to buy the perfect one. So, to make your task easier, here is a Dutch oven buying guide that you can take help from.

How to Buy Right Dutch Oven

► Before you buy a Dutch oven, make a list of the things that you will be using it for. Decide on its primary use. For instance, if you will be using the oven for campfires and a lot of outdoor activities, then go for an aluminum one. However, if you are using it mostly at home, then cast iron is a good option.
► If you decide to buy a Dutch oven for campfires and other such outdoor activities, then pick a vessel which has a perfect flat bottom. This gives the vessel good stability, hence, any kind of balancing act can be avoided.
► Also, make sure that the handle is properly attached to both the loops at either ends, to avoid any spillage, besides ease of movement.
► All Dutch vessels come with an option of a strong handle. However, some of the handles come with a movement of about 45 degrees. Prefer a vessel which has a strong handle with just a stand-up option, as this gives you better grip while positioning it.
► The next thing you need to check for is the lip of the oven. The lid of the oven must fit the oven perfectly without any gaps. It must properly cover the lip of the vessel to prevent any heat from escaping.
► Our skillets at home have a handle attached to them so that we can lift the lid from time to time and see how the dish is getting cooked. Similarly, check whether the Dutch oven has such a handle so that you keep an eye on what's cooking!
► These ovens vary from 5 to 22 inches in diameter at the rim, and 3 inches to 9 inches in depth. Bigger the oven, heavier it is going to be when it gets full of food. So, pick an oven depending on the quantity of cooking that you would be doing.
► If you are buying a used Dutch oven, make sure there are no cracks, no rust marks anywhere, and that the lid is not broken or warped over time.
To maintain a Dutch oven, it is important to know how to clean it too. Vinegar is an excellent cleanser. It not only acts as a tenderizer, but also as a disinfectant. In any case, avoid using a detergent, as it breaks down the oil used in making the Dutch oven. Also, avoid using a metal scrub, as it will ruin the coating on the vessel.
The best way of cleaning it quickly is soaking it in a hot water for about 2 hours, and then wiping it with a mixture of one part vinegar and four parts water.