Dutch ovens are remarkable for their versatility and wide range of applications. Since the eighteenth century, these culinary implements have made their mark and continue to do so. Everyone knows that Dutch ovens are ideal for baking the perfect Coq au vin or casserole, but how about using them on the stovetop?
To use a Dutch oven on a stovetop, you must consider its materials and how to use them on specific surfaces to protect your food, the stovetop, and the pot. The Dutch oven is compatible with electric, gas, induction, glass-topped, and Vitro ceramic cooktops.
If you are interested in using your Dutch oven on top of the stove instead of in the range, I have compiled some helpful tips to get you started.
What Exactly Is a Dutch Oven?
Dutch ovens have existed for a very long time. In 1704, an enterprising American named Abraham Darby stole the design, which was initially made in the Netherlands from brass and sand.
According to him, producing these Dutch ovens from cast iron was a significantly more cost-effective method. Cast iron pots were so valuable in the 18th and 19th centuries that they were included in the owner’s will.
Various Dutch ovens are available today, with cast iron constituting the majority. There are Dutch ovens made of ceramic, cast aluminum, and the iconic enameled iron of Le Creuset. Dutch ovens can be used on open fires, charcoal, and stovetops.
Due to the Dutch oven’s poor heat, conduction retains heat well, making it ideal for slow-cooking stews, casseroles, and meat dishes.
Dutch ovens can be used effectively on a stovetop, but you must take precautions to avoid damaging the pot or causing the food to burn. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions to determine if your Dutch oven can be used on a stovetop.
It would help if you verified that the pot is made of cast iron or aluminum, not ceramic or stoneware. This should never be heated on a stovetop and should be used exclusively in the oven.
Due to the nature of ceramic, if it is not heated evenly, some parts will expand while other cooler parts will not. This imbalance will break your ceramic vessel.
How to Use a Dutch Oven on a Stove Top
Follow these simple steps to prepare soups, casseroles, and stews in a Dutch oven on the stovetop.
- Prepare each ingredient by peeling, chopping, and dicing it. We measured herbs and spices, salt, pepper, and liquids.
- Add oil to the Dutch oven and heat it over low to medium heat.
- Sear and brown any type of meat then set aside.
- Add more oil and sauté onions, garlic, and ginger according to the recipe. (Typically for a few minutes)
- Add vegetables, other ingredients, and liquid before returning the meat to the pot. Stir until incorporated.
- Replace the lid and reduce the heat to a point where the Dutch oven is lightly simmering.
- Cook for the specified duration.
Using Dutch Ovens on Induction Cooking Plates
Induction cooktops function by transferring heat generated by magnetic energy, making them ideal for use with a standard Dutch oven.
The copper wire beneath the cooktop heats the metal pot using an alternating current that produces a magnetic field. Due to the ferromagnetic nature of the Dutch oven, these magnetic waves penetrate the pot itself.
Using a Dutch oven on an induction cooktop is a safe and energy-efficient method of food preparation. Because heat is confined to the vessel’s bottom, the remainder of the area is touchable.
What to Avoid When Using Your Dutch Oven on an Induction Stove
Dutch ovens perform optimally when heated slowly to moderate temperatures. Do not preheat your Dutch oven to high temperatures, or you risk the food at the bottom of the dish burning before the rest of the meal is cooked.
Ensure that your Dutch oven is at or above room temperature before introducing heat. Temperature changes may affect your enamel through accelerated metal expansion or contraction.
Ensure that your cast iron pot does not scratch the glass surface of your induction stove. Place parchment, paper, or Silpat mats between the base of your pot and the glass.
Dutch ovens with a round bottom will not work on an induction plate.
Using Dutch Ovens on Glass Top Cooking Plates
Although your cast-iron pot will work flawlessly on a glass-top stove, the glass may not fare as well.
Enamel-coated cast-iron Dutch ovens are a superior alternative because their smooth surface will not scratch glass as easily as cast iron.
However, the weight of even enameled Dutch ovens may pose a problem if they are dropped during cooking.
Cast iron pots are not always smooth and may have burrs and imperfections in the iron finish that can scratch your glass countertop.
What to Avoid When Using Your Dutch Oven on Glass Stovetops
Instead of sliding your Dutch oven, carefully lift it. If you need to slide your Dutch oven onto your plate, carefully lift it and place it in the desired position.
Do not knock or drop the Dutch oven as you lift it onto the glass top. The cast-iron pots are significantly heavier than your standard cookware range and may chip or shatter your glass top. Utilize both hands to lift and place the pot carefully.
Before using cast iron on a glass top stove, it should be cleaned. Forged iron, due to its porous nature, Dutch ovens absorb more oil and collect food particles over time than standard cookware.
These deposits may leave stains on your glass stovetop if they burn on the surface. You can wash your cast-iron pot with soap and water if you season it after each cleaning.
Ensure that there are no chips or flaws in your pot’s enamel or cast iron before using it on a glass surface. Cast iron can be sanded to remove burrs, but its surface remains unsuitable for glass tops.
Using Dutch Ovens on Electric Stoves
Dutch ovens work well on electric stoves and are easier to use than glass or induction hobs because electric ring burners are scratch-resistant and durable. Cast-iron pots can be moved on electric plates without fear of scratching, which is advantageous.
Due to the longer time required by electric burners, you will need additional time to bring your pot to temperature.
What to Avoid When Using a Dutch Oven on an Electric Stove
Once the pot has been heated, the electric burner should not be left on high. Cast iron retains heat well, so you do not need to keep your electric plate elevated.
Instead, place the electric plate on a medium for a more extended period to initiate the process.
Once the food has reached the desired temperature, reduce the heat to prevent hot spots or scorching. Cast iron retains heat well, so it will continue to heat your food even after you remove it from the heat.
Using Dutch Ovens on Gas Stoves
On a gas stovetop, enamel-coated and seasoned cast-iron Dutch ovens perform equally well. The hobs support the bottom of your Dutch oven to prevent scratches.
Gas heats more rapidly than other stove points, so preheat your Dutch oven on a low flame.
What to Avoid When Using a Dutch Oven on a Gas Stovetop
Dutch ovens require a lengthy and moderate preheating period before food can be cooked. If you rush through this step, there will be hot spots and uneven heating.
Dutch ovens made of enamel can scorch if left on high-heat burners for an extended period.
Once the heat conducts through a Dutch oven, it remains hot even at a low temperature, so cooking slowly and gently is the best approach.
Other Considerations for Stovetop Use of Dutch Ovens
Dutch Ovens are compatible with all heat sources, including electricity, gas, radiant plates, vitro ceramic glass induction gas, and open flame.
However, it would be helpful if you remembered the following rules:
If you are eager to use your Dutch oven on the stovetop, here are some excellent recipes to get you started.
- Before heating, your liquid choice of oil, butter, or fat must cover the entire bottom of the pot, and enamel surfaces are not suitable for dry cooking.
- Even for searing and frying, the optimal temperature is medium.
- For the best results, allow the pot to heat gradually.
- Only use high heat to boil water, vegetables, or pasta or to reduce stocks and sauces.
- Never preheat a Dutch oven on high heat before reducing the cooking temperature, as this can result in sticking and uneven cooking.
- Never subject your Dutch oven to extreme temperatures, such as placing it in cold water after cooking or transferring it from a cold source to a hot area.
Yes, you can bake on the range. The method is comparable to baking in a Dutch oven over a campfire or properly placed hot coals or briquettes.
- A large Dutch oven or cooking pot with a lid is required.
- A wire rack designed to fit inside a cooking pot.
- A separate cake pan or similar container in which baked goods are cooked.
- Raise the temperature of the cooking pot to a high level
- Insert the cake pan or other baking dish.
- Cook for 5 minutes at a high temperature, then reduce heat and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until the ingredients have reached the desired doneness.
- Remove the cake pan from the hot cooking pot with caution.
There are numerous alternatives to an oven. The selection will depend on the type of dish you intend to cook.
These appliances are suitable alternatives to an oven.
- Roaster ovens
- Toaster Stovetop
- Multifunctional cookware
- Slow cookers
- Air fryers
- Bread ovens
- Electric fry pans
Dutch ovens made from cast iron can be used on a glass-top stove and are great for whipping up soups and stews for dinnertime. To avoid damage, make sure the bottom of the cookware is smooth, and avoid dropping or sliding the Dutch oven across the glass surface.
The 5 1/2 quart Dutch oven is definitely our fan favorite for frying but you can deep-fry in any of our Dutch ovens. Deep frying does require a large quantity of oil with a high smoke point, such as canola, peanut or grapeseed oil. Depending on the recipe, the oil typically needs to be heated to between 325-375°F.
You should ensure that the pot is cast iron or aluminum and not coated with ceramic or stoneware. This will crack if heated on a stovetop and should always be used inside an oven.
Storing food in the refrigerator with your Dutch oven also means having the capacity to marinate food in your Dutch oven overnight.
You can use an enameled cast iron Dutch oven on the stovetop (whether it’s electric, gas, or induction), oven, or grill. It even works on coal- or wood-powered ovens.
Heat your oil up slowly, it can take up to 10 mins on a medium heat. What is this? You may want to reuse your oil. The way I store the oil for reuse is to wait until it cools right down, then use a funnel with a cheesecloth inside it.
You don’t need to fill the Dutch oven up with oil to deep fry; 2 to 3 inches of your favorite frying oil (we like vegetable or peanut) is plenty. 2. Don’t crowd the bath. If you pack too much food into the fryer, it can lower the oil temperature far below your target.
Cast iron cookware is safe to use on ceramic-glass stoves and cooktops and shouldn’t cause damage to the pan or cooking surface when you follow the right tips. Because cast iron is heavy, always place it gently on the cooktop and pick up, rather than slide, when you need to move it around.
We offer the most variety in enameled cast iron cookware, with a shape, size and color to suit every recipe and cooking technique. But no matter which piece of cookware you choose, Le Creuset enameled cast iron can be used on any stovetop, including ceramic, glass, electric, gas, halogen and induction.
To Finish – How to Use a Dutch Oven on a Stove Top
No other cooking pot performs as well on an open fire as a Dutch oven does on an induction range.
Understanding the specific requirements of your cast iron oven will ensure that your dishes are delicious and that your stovetop and Dutch oven will last.
You might even want to consider who will inherit your Dutch oven in the distant future.
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