Do Dutch Ovens Cook Faster? (The TRUTH!)
You always get off work late. You barely have any time to cook your family dinner. It just takes so long for your pots and pans to get hot enough to cook your food.
But you heard that Dutch ovens cook really fast, so you’re wondering if they’ll speed up the process of cooking for your family.
However, they were terribly expensive! You can’t afford one right now because of how expensive they are! So what should you do?
Do Dutch ovens cook faster? This article will explain!
Do Dutch ovens cook faster?
Dutch ovens are considered to be fast cookers because of their good heat transfer rate. This means that they can conduct heat well, making them ideal for cooking food quickly.
Dutch ovens can save you as much as 30 minutes compared to other cooking wares (like regular pots and pans) to reach the same cooking temperature. So, if you’re looking to cook food quickly, it’s important to keep this in mind.
There are a few tips that can help you make the most of your Dutch oven and cook food faster:
- Preheat your oven before adding the Dutch oven. This will help it reach its cooking temperature quicker.
- Use a lid when cooking with a Dutch oven. This will help to trap heat and prevent heat loss, meaning the food will cook faster.
- Place the Dutch oven on the lower rack of the oven. This will help it to receive more direct heat and therefore cook faster.
Why do Dutch ovens cook faster?
Dutch ovens are usually made from cast iron, enameled, aluminum, or ceramic materials. These types of materials are often thick and dense metals that take a little bit longer to heat up initially than steel.
However, the benefit here is that the heat is actually retained within a Dutch oven for a much longer period of time. Whatever you place inside your Dutch oven will absorb that heat and cook rapidly.
Dutch ovens are also great for cooking food quickly and evenly, so the chances of you making a mistake and having to re-cook your meal are quite slim. This is because they transfer heat well throughout the oven, allowing the oven to cook faster.
Braising meat is done so fast in a Dutch oven. Dutch ovens are also great for making stews and soups because they can retain heat well, meaning that your food will stay warm for longer.
How much faster do Dutch ovens cook?
In a Dutch oven, it takes about 25 minutes per pound to cook a whole roast chicken.
Let’s say we have a 5-pound chicken. That means in a Dutch oven with conventional heating and cooking methods, it would take about 2 hours and a few minutes to cook the chicken to 165 degrees Fahrenheit internal temperature and be safe to eat.
Compared to a slow cooker
If you are using a slow cooker as your means of cooking, it is going to take about 3 to 4 hours on the highest heat setting to cook the same 5-pound chicken.
If you want to use the low setting, it can take up to 8 hours to cook fully to the point that it is safe to eat.
Compared to a stainless steel pot
If you are cooking your chicken in a stainless steel pot on the stovetop in water, it is going to take about an hour to cook depending on how large your chicken is.
Compared to a pressure cooker
If you are looking for a very fast way to cook, your pressure cooker or instant pot is going to be the best bet.
Cooking a whole 5-pound chicken in the instant pot is going to take about half an hour.
The instant pot works well because it traps the steam from the cooking liquid and also helps to raise the temperature of the cooking liquid dramatically which in turn helps to cook food very quickly.
Compared to a microwave
For a microwave, the biggest issue is going to be figuring out how large your microwave is and if it can handle the size of the item you want to cook.
If you are looking to cook a whole chicken in a microwave, which you may never try to do but for the sake of the comparison, it would take about 10 minutes per pound to cook it fully.
So our 5-pound chicken is going to take about 50 minutes to cook to a safe temperature.
Compared to an air fryer
For an air fryer, you are going to want to allow for about 10 minutes per pound, so again, our 5-pound chicken is going to take about 50 minutes to fully cook.
Compared to a convection oven
For a convection oven, the typical cook time is going to be about 15 minutes per pound, which means that our 5-pound chicken is going to cost about an hour and 15 minutes to cook fully.
How long does it take to cook in a Dutch oven?
If you are using a Dutch oven that is made either out of cast iron, enamel, or ceramic materials, then you can expect to save anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes in cooking time.
How to get a Dutch oven to the right temperature
If you’re looking to get the most out of your Dutch oven, it’s important to make sure it’s at the right temperature.
On the stovetop, start by putting a little bit of oil into the Dutch oven.
Then, preheat your oven to between 250 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make sure your Dutch oven is placed exactly on top of the heating element for better heat distribution.
Begin the braising process that your recipe requires.
Add in small batches of your different ingredients separately at a time as this is the best way to optimize the texture, doneness, and temperature generated in the Dutch oven.
You can sauté your vegetables the same way.
Turn down the heat on your Dutch oven and continue over low heat until it boils.
You can then put the pot into the oven.
Don’t forget to move your ingredients around inside your Dutch oven, preferably with a wooden spoon, as it will prevent damage to your Dutch oven’s enamel.
This will help with keeping the heat even during the cooking process.
Once done, just take it out of the oven, let it cool, and enjoy!
What are Dutch ovens for?
A Dutch oven is a great tool for cooking meat for long periods of time, as the tightly fitted lid prevents the cookware from becoming too hot and making the food difficult to cook.
Additionally, Dutch ovens are perfect for one-pot wonders like chili or stew.
And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even use your Dutch oven to bake bread!
What are the best Dutch ovens on the market?
If you’re looking for a high-quality Dutch oven that will last longer and is easy to clean, then you can check out these brands below:
- Lodge Dutch Oven
- Le Creuset Dutch Oven
- Instant Pot Dutch Oven
- Calphalon Dutch Oven
- Caraway Dutch Oven
- Staub Cast Iron Dutch Oven
- Martha Steward Dutch Oven
Risks of using a Dutch oven
You might be surprised that whenever you were following directions on a recipe, and you’re using your Dutch oven, the food ends up either burnt or dried out.
This is probably because your Dutch oven is cooking your ingredients much more quickly than your recipe intended.
Always monitor your pots and pans, including your Dutch ovens, when using them in your kitchen.
If you plan to use a Dutch oven, here are some tips to avoid the risk of burning or drying out your meal:
- Keep an eye on your food.
- Adjust cooking times as needed to prevent overcooking.
- Use lower heat settings when possible.
Tips on how to use a Dutch oven
If you are looking to cook something in your Dutch oven, there are some great tips that you can use to help get your food cooked fast and get it cooked well.
Put each ingredient in separately
One great tip to use is to put items in individually.
This means if you have meats that are going to take longer, put them in first, if you want to get a good caramelization on onions or other vegetables you would want to put them in first, if you have a cooking liquid you would want to add it later.
You just need to figure out what you are cooking and then figure out the cooking times for the different ingredients to see if you can time everything out to get done at the same time.
Use the lid to cover
The lid is your friend with the Dutch oven.
These are going to help you trap the heat and trap the steam which can then help you to raise the temperature of the inside of the pot to help keep everything cooking quickly and evenly.
Keep the steam inside
This goes back to the lid, keeping the steam inside the pot with the lid is going to help keep the interior of the pot at the right temperature and help the food cook faster and cook evenly.
Use a steam basket
Another tip to follow is to use a steam basket.
This is going to keep your food up and out of the cooking liquid which is going to help keep the food from getting soggy.
Let it cook with flavor
The main reason you would be using a Dutch oven is to help increase flavor.
Adding a ton of flavor to your Dutch Oven and letting the food caramelize is going to help make your food so much tastier.
Oil is your friend with a Dutch oven. It is going to help you get great flavor, help you get a great overall even cooking time, and also help keep your food from sticking to the bottom of the Dutch oven so that you can get some great flavor without the food sticking.
It can hold heat for a long time
Dutch ovens can hold heat for a very long time, especially if you are using a cast iron Dutch oven.
This is a great thing that is going to help you get food that is well cooked, that is flavorful, and that is truly delicious and great for just about any food you want to cook.
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