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Pro Tips for Cooking in a Dutch Oven - Vegetarian Times

Pro Tips for Cooking in a Dutch Oven

Got a Dutch oven as a holiday gift? Sweet! Heavy-bottomed and ovenproof with a tight-fitting lid, this thick metal pot heats evenly and holds heat well, so veggies sear and sizzle, soups simmer slowly, frying oil stays hot, and puddings don't stick. Here are a few handy things to know before you get cooking.
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Heavy-bottomed and ovenproof with a tight-fitting lid, this thick metal pot heats evenly and holds heat well, so veggies sear and sizzle, soups simmer slowly, frying oil stays hot, and puddings don't stick. Here are a few handy tips to know before you get cooking:

1. Pre-heat well. Place oil or butter in a cold Dutch oven, then heat or melt over medium or low heat 3 to 5 minutes, making sure the bottom becomes completely coated in oil to prevent sticking. Tip: to use less fat, use a paper towel or brush to spread oil conservatively.

2. Keep heat low. Dutch ovens may take a few minutes to get hot, but they hold heat extremely well, meaning you don't need to go above medium when cooking.

3. Stir with non-metal utensils. While the enamel lining and seasoned cast iron on most Dutch ovens is scratch-resistant, it's not scratch-proof. For consistent non-stick results, use wood or silicone spatulas to stir.