|Martha Stewart 6 Qt. Dutch Oven|
My Kitchen DilemmaI prefer cast iron and I needed a cast iron pan for cooking in the woodstove that came with my newly acquired "Shack". Setting up kitchen in a plywood, ramshackle Shack is fairly hit and miss. The first few pans and dutch ovens I moved up there were not suitable for woodstove cooking. Or they did not fit into the oven door that measured just over 9 inches.
While online shopping for small cast iron pieces, I began to research enameled cast iron dutch (also called a french oven or cocotte). But wow... enameled cast iron is pricey!
While checking the local brick and mortar stores, I happened upon the Martha Stewart collection at the local Macy's and purchased exactly what I needed.
|choose your color|
The SolutionThe Martha Stewart Collection was the most economical collection - in the size I needed - that I could find. You can find the entire collection at your local Macy's store. The 6 qt. casseroles can be purchased on Amazon.
I purchased two of the 2 qt. size and currently have one at the apartment and one at the Shack. I LOVE the colors these come in. I was very skeptical about this pretty pan that I was putting into the woodstove. I expected immediate discoloration, uneven cooking, and perhaps damage to the pan. I certainly didn't expect the enamel to be as durable as my beloved old-fashion cast iron.
But it was as durable. And I was amazed at how easily the pan cleaned up. The shack is a dry-cabin thus far so I use water for washing as sparingly as possible. I also do not yet have things such as pan "scrubbies" up there. With just rain water, a soft wash cloth, and a small bit of dishsoap, my pan washed up easily. Almost as easily as non-stick really.
I have already used it for approximately 10 meals. From things such as stews and casseroles in the oven to frying bacon on the oven top. I did not expect it to cook evenly. Of course, in the wood stove, I turn the pan regularly as the wood heat is most intense on one side. However, this enameled cast iron beauty heats so evenly that I've considered testing it by making a meal without turning the pan. So far, I have only one spot of slight discoloration (from sitting directly in the fire, a sort of sooty mark) that I'm sure will scrub off the moment I have something other than cold rain water, soft cloths, and the barest amount of dish soap possible for dishwashing.
|My 2.5 dutch oven in the woodstove|
What I learned about enameled cast iron:
- Durability - even inside of a woodstove, adjacent to flames
- Cooks evenly
- It is versatile - on the stove top, inside the oven (or woodstove)
- Colors - so many pretty colors to choose from
- Available in any size you need
- Cleans up easily - unbelievably easily
- Goes from oven to table
- Kitchen Aid
|Staub 3.5 Qt. Cocotte|
- Le Creuset
- Simply Calphalon