Some options for a Dutch oven alternative include a stockpot, casserole, Crock pot, Instant Pot, or an Omnia oven. The best substitute for a Dutch oven, however, depends on what and how you will be cooking.
Table of contents
- What is a Dutch Oven?
- Dutch Oven Alternative – a Variety of Options!
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How did the Dutch oven get its name?
- How safe is the Dutch oven in an oven?
- Is it advisable to preheat a Dutch oven?
- How Does a Cocotte compare to a Dutch Oven?
- Do you Need to Season a Dutch Oven?
- How to You Clean a Dutch Oven?
- What is the History of Dutch Ovens in the United States?
- Are any Dutch Ovens Made in the United States?
What is a Dutch Oven?
A Dutch oven is a deep cooking pot with thick walls, made from cast iron, and with a tight fitting lid. It is perhaps the most versatile cookware because it can be used on a stove, in an oven, on a grill, and directly on a campfire. It may have short legs, a wire bail handle, or a concave lid.
Dutch ovens that are enameled are also called French ovens.
In your kitchen, a Dutch oven is usually used for items with long cooking times. With its high sides, it can hold a lot of food. You can even use it for deep frying.
Typically, you would fry or sear food in the Dutch Oven on the stovetop. Then you would add liquid and put the Dutch oven into your oven to continue to cook the food for an extended period of time. This method is excellent for large cuts of meat, soups or casseroles. You can even bake bread inside a Dutch oven.
Dutch ovens absorb and retain heat well. They can stay simmering all-day and keep food warm for hours.
See Also: Best Utensils for Cast Iron Cookware
When used outdoors, hot coals can be placed on the lids of Dutch ovens. This makes them function like a miniature oven, with heat radiating onto the food from top and bottom. They can also be stacked so that the heat is efficiently transferred from one Dutch oven to the next.
Dutch Oven Alternative – a Variety of Options!
Is there a good Dutch Oven Substitute? Yes! Options for a Dutch Oven Alternative are described below:
The most direct Dutch oven substitute is a French oven. A true Dutch oven is seasoned cast iron, while a French oven is enameled cast iron. A French oven can be used on the stovetop and inside an oven. It can withstand temperatures of 500°F. You would not want to use it on a campfire, however.
French ovens are sometimes called Dutch ovens. They are available in a variety of color and numerous sizes, ranging from 2 quarts to over 10 quarts.
- Enameled cast iron delivers superior heat distribution and retention
- Ready to use, requires no seasoning
- Easy-to-clean and durable enamel resists dulling, staining, chipping and cracking
- Light colored smooth interior enamel allows easy monitoring of cooking progress
- Tight-fitting lids are specially designed to circulate steam and return moisture back to the food
A stockpot makes a fine Dutch oven alternative.
Like a Dutch oven, it has high sides, and can be as big as 8-quarts. It is a perfect pot for boiling pasta, sauces, stews, bone broth, or any other food you want to make in a Dutch oven.
Stockpots can be large, but for a one- or two-person meal, you can get a small stockpot that holds 2 or 3 quarts.
A stockpot can be used on the stovetop and in the oven. You would not want to use a stock pot in an open campfire, however.
Stockpots are usually made of aluminum or stainless steel, and may be non stick. As a substitute for a Dutch oven, the stockpot weighs less than a Dutch oven of the same size. It does not retain heat as long as a thick walled cast iron Dutch oven, however, once the heat is turned off. To compensate for this, you can keep your stockpot of cooked food on the stovetop on a low power burner to maintain its temperature over a long time.
Recipes, including braised meat dishes, require you to cook the food first on the stove at a high temperature, and then transfer the pot to an oven. If your stockpot is tall, however, it may not fit inside your oven. In this case, all cooking can be finished on a stovetop under low heat.
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The Crock-Pot was first introduced in 1971, and there are still about 12 million sold every year. Also known as a slow cooker, this common kitchen appliance can serve as a Dutch oven alternative.
The appliance is easy to use; you simply put the food into the pot, set the temperature and cooking time, and leave it to cook as you attend other tasks.
It allows you to cook any food you can make in a Dutch oven, but without using an oven. The food cooks in the slow cooker, right on your counter top. All you need is to adjust the temperature and time setting to fit your recipe.
See also: Oil or Broth for Meat Fondue
You can use your crockpot to make many dishes, including pulled pork, lamb shanks, along with stews, sauces, chilis, and soups.
The best thing about a crockpot is that it keeps your food warm for hours after it is done cooking.
However, if a Dutch oven recipe requires you to sear meats first, a crockpot cannot do that. You will have to use a skillet sear your meat. In addition, a slow cooker is not suitable for camping trips.
- Extra-large capacity. 10 quart capacity fits a 10 pounds turkey or 12 pounds roast
- 3 Temperature settings. Cook on low or high and then switch to warm when your meal is done cooking
- Clip-tight sealed lid. The tight seal helps prevent messy spills on the way to a potluck or tailgate
- Full-grip handles. Thoughtful handle design makes for easy carrying
- Simple to clean. Stoneware crock & glass lid are dishwasher safe
A roasting pan is designed to cook meat and vegetables in an oven. It contains the juices and preserves the natural flavor of your meat. It is used both covered and uncovered.
The pan’s rack prevents the meat from touching the bottom, and excess oils can drip freely, but if you prefer your meat to cook along with the drippings, you can remove the rack.
Roasting pans tend to be large and shallow, perfect for large amounts of foods. As a Dutch oven substitute, they fall short in three areas. First, their shape is not conducive to handling large amounts of liquid. Roasting pans are not ideal for cooking soups or stews. Second, they made of thin metal, and will not keep your food warm once the pan is removed from the oven. Finally, they are not made for outdoor cooking.
Many roasting pans have side handles that make it easy to put them into the oven and remove them when your food is ready.
Since the pans are made of metal, you can often use them on the stovetop, but you should check the specific instructions for your particular pan. You may be able to remove the cooked meat and make gravy with the drippings right in the pan, for example.
- EXTRA LARGE ROASTING PAN WITH RACK: 17 inch x 13 inch Nonstick Oven Roaster with Rack
- DURABLE ROASTER RACK: The roaster features a convenient U-shaped rack that keeps meats off the bottom of the pan
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- SUPERIOR NONSTICK: Superior nonstick technology provides excellent oven roaster food release and easy cleanup
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Another suitable Dutch oven alternative is a casserole dish. A casserole dish is cookware that is shallow or deep, and may or may not have a lid. It can be made out of clear glass or opaque ceramic that comes in different colors and patterns. Casserole dishes are available in a variety of sizes.
Like a Dutch oven, a casserole dish can be used in an oven, and once hot, it will retain the heat and keep your cooked food warm. Unlike a Dutch oven, however, a casserole should never be used on a stovetop. Uneven heating will cause the the casserole to break, maybe even explode. The exception to this is casseroles made from Pyroceram, a glass ceramic made by Corning Glass that can be heated on a burner.
Casserole dishes are for indoor use, and not suitable for cooking on hot campfire coals.
Since casserole dishes are are often decorated, they look good if they are used to directly serve food on the dining table. You can move them from the oven to a heat proof trivet and you won’t need additional serving dishes.
- Corningware French White 2 Quart, 2 Liter (Medium) Square Casserole Dish with Lid
- The 2 quart square Pyroceram casserole has integrated handles, a clear glass lid, and kitchen-to-table versatility
- Durable Pyroceram for even heating
- Resists stains and does not absorb food odors or flavors
- Dishwasher, freezer, microwave and preheated-oven safe
An Instant Pot can substitute for a Dutch oven in many cases. An Instant pot is modern appliance with a built in timer and many preset functions. It was invented in 2009, and it is a combination cooker. It can function as a pressure cooker or a slow cooker, and it also makes rice, porridge and yogurt. One key feature that separates it from the slow cooker described previously is that it can be used to sauté food. As a result, and even though it is not meant for campfire cooking, the Instant pot is perhaps the best substitute for a Dutch oven.
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- VERSATILE INNER COOKING POT: Food-grade stainless-steel cooking pot with a tri-ply bottom offers more even cooking and an anti-spin design that secures the pot for perfect sautéing.
Omnia Oven – Substitute for Dutch Oven when using a Burner
An Omnia oven is an oven that has been around since the 1940s, and is most popular in Sweden, Germany and Austria. It is a cleverly designed three piece oven that, just like a Dutch oven, cooks the food from the top and the bottom. It is lightweight and is meant to be used over a burner. It is an excellent tool to use while camping. You can use it to maker many dishes, from casseroles to pie to bread.
- Bake pizza, brownies, cakes, breads, casseroles and more on the stove top!
- Designed to bake on any type of burner – gas, electric, kerosene, or camp stove – or even on a grill.
- Food has same texture as when baked in a conventional oven.
- Steam vents in lid ensure that breads and cakes aren’t soggy.
- Holds as much as an 8” square baking pan or 2.1 quarts.
Bedourie Camp Oven – Substitute for Dutch Oven when using Hot Coals
The Bedourie oven was invented to solve a problem with Dutch Ovens. When dropped, Dutch ovens can break. The Bedourie oven is made of steel instead of cast iron, so it is lighter and more ductile. This means that will not shatter when dropped. The oven is named for the place where it was invented – Bedourie Station, Queensland, Australia. A Bedourie oven can be used to cook food directly in a hot campfire, just like a Dutch oven. Since it is made of thin steel, it does not retain heat for as long as a Dutch oven does. Bedourie ovens are only sold in Australia.
Frequently Asked Questions
How did the Dutch oven get its name?
The Dutch oven was initially used by the Dutch; they also made cookware, including casserole dishes, pans, and pots as early as in the 1700s.
The casting procedure was patented in 1707 and that’s how this popular cooking pot got its name. Dutch kitchenware is legendary in some circles.
How safe is the Dutch oven in an oven?
A Dutch oven is versatile and can be used in the oven safely to bake or roast food. Don’t fill it too full with liquid so it doesn’t boil over. Since it is cast iron, it can withstand the heat of the oven. You should check the manual that came with your cookware to find the maximum temperature specifications for your particular model.
Is it advisable to preheat a Dutch oven?
If you want to preheat the pan on a stovetop, to sear meat, for example, make sure you add oil to the bottom first. A Dutch oven can get very hot very quickly, so use medium heat only, and watch the oil carefully for signs that it is ready for searing the meat.
If you are putting a food such as soup into the Dutch oven, there is no need to preheat it.
If you want to preheat your Dutch oven inside your oven for proofing and baking bread, first check the manufacturer instructions for the maximum temperature recommended for your particular Dutch oven. Preheat the Dutch oven with the lid open. Using oven mitts, carefully remove the Dutch oven and add the bread dough. Spritz it with water and then cover the pot.
Note that you can also get a perfectly good loaf of bread if you start with a cold Dutch oven. Starting with a cold Dutch oven has 2 advantages. First, you capture more steam inside the Dutch oven. Second, you are less risk of damaging the Dutch oven, especially if it has an enamel coating.
How Does a Cocotte compare to a Dutch Oven?
A cocotte is a miniature Dutch oven. It is sized to contain one individual portion.
- Vitreous glass porcelain-enamel finish
- Beautiful finish is highly scratch resistant
- Stoneware will not absorb moisture diffuses heat gently and retains heat exceptionally well
- Transitions from oven to table beautifully
- Microwave freezer broiler and oven safe up to 572F
Do you Need to Season a Dutch Oven?
If it is black cast iron, then yes. If it is enameled, then no.
See also: Best Oil to Season Cast Iron
How to You Clean a Dutch Oven?
If your Dutch oven is not enameled, then you want to wipe it first with a dry towel. If it still needs cleaning, use a plastic scraper and moist towels. You can use a few drops of dish soap, but that can remove the seasoning.
If your Dutch oven has an enamel coating, then you should use a plastic scraper with a baking soda paste to remove stuck on food.
What is the History of Dutch Ovens in the United States?
The Dutch oven has played such a role in the history of the United States that is is the official state cooking pot of three states – Arkansas, Utah, and Texas.
Mormons who settled the American West had Dutch ovens with them, as can be seen in a statue in Salt Lake City of a typical handcart that was used at the time.
Prior to that, the famous American explorers, Captain Meriwether Lewis and Second Lieutenant William Clark took Dutch ovens with them when they journeyed from the Mississippi River to the Pacific coast.
And earlier still, the design of the Dutch oven was improved when it arrived in the U.S. Paul Revere, who owned metal foundries as well as being a Patriot, changed the original design by adding feet and made the top concave so it would hold hot coals.
Are any Dutch Ovens Made in the United States?
In 1836 Lodge Manufacturing was started in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. To this day, they still manufacture Dutch ovens and other cast iron cookware.
Last update on 2022-11-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API