Showing posts with label dutch oven. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dutch oven. Show all posts

Friday, July 10, 2020

Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven With Loop Handles Reviewed

Cast Iron Dutch Oven and Lid Skillet
When fellow contributor, Dawn Rae, started tempting me with homemade bread recipes, I decided I needed a dutch oven.  My husband loves homemade bread and I enjoy cooking, so it was time to test my bread baking skills again.

It has been years since I have baked bread other than my banana bread.  I used to bake bread every week, but I got out of that habit when I let my sour dough starter ruin.  I would love to find another really good sour dough starter.  Until then, Dawn's Artisan Bread Recipe is great!  Actually, it is faster and easier than the sour dough bread I used to make and my family seems to be just as happy with Dawn's Artisan Bread. 

There are a lot of dutch ovens available, but I wanted the cast iron version.


The Versatility of Cast Iron


 Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven on Gas StoveI have cooked with a cast iron skillet my entire life.  It is heavy compared to other skillets, but you can't beat it when frying fish, frying pork chops, or baking cornbread.  

You can use cast iron on a stove top, electric or gas, as long as it has range burner elements (not recommended by some glass stove top manufacturers for a flat surface glass stove top).  
Update: Contributor Sam Monaco comments below that he uses his cast iron skillet on his glass stove top all of the time.

Cast Iron will also go in the oven, which is how my mother, my grandmother, my great grandmother and I have all baked cornbread.  That is why I wanted the cast iron dutch oven.  I knew it would be most excellent for baking!

Cast Iron can also be used on a open flame, like a campfire.  I have been known to fish which is rather ironic since I don't eat trout or catfish.  However, when you come from a family with 4 brothers and a mother who loves catfish, you better fish or you are left behind counting the hours.  Besides, I love quietly floating down the river in a boat, soaking in the sun and the beauty of nature surrounding me.  

One year, Dad hired a guide.  We caught our limit by midday, but didn't have any desire to stop fishing.  So, we pulled to shore, built a campfire and cooked our fish in a cast iron skillet along with some potatoes the guide provided.  After lunch, we fished a few more hours and brought home fish for dinner.  That is how I discovered a cast iron skillet could be used over a open campfire!


My Cast Iron Dutch Oven


 Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven With Loop Handles, 5 qtCheck PriceI purchased a 5 qt. Lodge brand cast iron dutch oven and I have be thrilled with it for several reasons.

  • The lid doubles as a skillet
  • I really like the handles on both the lid & the dutch oven
  • It is just the right size for the oven
  • Perfection in cooking due to even heating 
  • Easy to wash, dry & re-season* 
  • I know it will outlast me, which means I will never have to buy again
  • Lodge is a trusted name in cast iron.  Over 100 years in business

*Seasoning cast iron is simply rubbing it lightly with vegetable oil after washing while it is still warm from the hot water wash or you can place it back in a warm oven after applying the oil.

I chose the basic cast iron dutch oven mainly because I loved the dual purpose lid.  I knew I could flip the lid and bake cornbread on top while a roast baked below it in the dutch oven.  The top would not only be a lid for the roast, but also a skillet for the cornbread.  

One note about using the lid on the dutch oven.  In the photo, you see the lid and dutch oven handles are evenly aligned.  I prefer to offset them slightly so lifting the hot lid is much easier.

Dawn Rae chose an enameled cast iron dutch oven which should be fine for cooking on a flat, glass stove top.  You can read her review here: Enameled Cast Iron - Pricey But Worth It 


You too can Bake Dawn's Easy No-Knead Dutch Oven Artisan Bread! 
To make my bread in the intro photo, I used Dawn's recipe. 
I added 3/4 cup cranberries, 3/4 cup walnuts & 1T honey.
Simply click the image below for her recipe. 

crunchy-no-knead-round-loaf-bread





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Monday, February 1, 2016

Enameled Cast Iron - Pricey But Worth It

Martha Stewart 6 Qt. Dutch Oven
I am a cast iron snob.  However, I recently was searching for a dutch oven that measured under 9 inches diameter.  I found a small enameled cast iron covered casserole that was the correct size. I fully expected to hate it as I immediately tested it with fire - literally - and found it to be such a great product that I want to purchase an entire set.  I think you will too.

My Kitchen Dilemma

I 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 Solution 

The 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


There are many brands of enameled cast iron to choose from:

  • Kitchen Aid
  • Lodge
  • VonShef
  • Le Creuset
  • Simply Calphalon
  • Staub




There are also a variety of shapes and sizes to choose from. I am sure you can find something to meet your kitchen needs.







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