Dutch ovens are renowned for being one of the most flexible cookware available in the market. If you own one of these, the possibilities are almost endless. From baking to roasting to broiling, a dutch oven makes up for its lofty price tag in all the functionality it offers.
With a bit of experience in this particular type of pot, you will know that a dutch oven gets really hot and retains heat exceptionally well.
However, due to their heat characteristics, a common question that bugs users worldwide is can you deep fry and boil water in a dutch oven?
Let’s answer this burning question.
Can you deep fry & boil water in a dutch oven?
The short and quick answer is yes. A dutch oven’s versatility ranges into deep frying and boiling water very well, although it heavily depends on your specific use case. As oil becomes particularly dangerous at very high heat, your primary consideration should be safety.
Ceramic Dutch oven:
The shiny coating you see on the cooking surface is not just there to look good. Its primary function is to ensure that heat is distributed evenly.
This coating would remain fine with deep-frying but not so much with boiling water frequently.
Cast Iron Dutch oven:
The more durable kind of dutch oven will come either with or without the aforementioned enamel coating. For either kind, deep frying should be an easy enough job.
Can you deep fry chicken and fish in a dutch oven?
If you are craving fried chicken or fish and chips, your dutch oven is a perfect vessel for cooking these types of food. The heat retention characteristics of a dutch oven will ensure that your protein of choice has a crispy outer layer while being moist but well-cooked on the inside.
In fact, a lot of professionals swear by dutch ovens for these two purposes saying that they do a better job than an average cast iron cooker.
Can you deep fry in a Le Creuset dutch oven?
Le Creuset advertises their enameled cast iron dutch ovens to be ideal for deep frying and we do not disagree. Le Creuset dutch ovens ensure an even distribution of head keeping all of the frying oil at a consistent temperature.
Typical deep frying temperatures of 325-375 degrees F, Le Creuset dutch ovens will give you fantastic results. On their website, Le Creuset recommends their 5 ½ quart dutch oven for any type of deep frying need.
Are Dutch ovens good for deep frying?
Dutch ovens are widely regarded as the best type of pot for deep frying. With some experience, you will easily see how deep-fried delicacies like french fries are so much better cooked in a dutch oven.
It’s also important to keep the temperature under control and to avoid excessive heat by warming the pot slowly. Ceramic, or Cast iron, a dutch oven is going to be your best friend as long as the temperature is safe.
How to deep fry in a dutch oven?
Now that we have explained why and how dutch ovens excel at deep-frying, let’s take a look at a few helpful tips:
Use a dry pot:
Water residue on the bottom of your pot should always be avoided. Water and oil do not mix well and will lead to a very bad time for everyone involved. Use a paper towel to pat dry the cookware before you begin.
The proper amount of oil:
For most types of deep-fried food, you will need at least 3-4 inches of oil. Hence, using a pot that is 5 to 6 inches deep is recommended. Do not overfill under any circumstances and remember that heated oil is prone to splashing.
Monitor the temperature:
Different dishes will require different cooking temperatures. For example, french fries should be cooked at 325 degrees F while battered fish needs to be cooked at 375 degrees F.
Keep a candy thermometer at hand and constantly monitor the temperature for optimum results.
Fry in batches:
As tempting as it is to put all the produces in the pot at once, your best bet will always be to fry in batches. Never overfill your pot as the oil can overflow and cause a catastrophic accident.
Use proper utensils:
Scraping the bottom of your pot with a metal spatula will ruin the coating or seasoning. Use a cooking spider to safely take out the crispy golden fried goodies.
Can you shallow fry and stir fry, sautee in a dutch oven?
Technically, nothing is stopping you from shallow or stir-frying in a dutch oven. As vessels, they do get the job done. Although it is still not a good idea because they have high sides.
You need to use a long pair of tongs or cooking chopsticks. Even then it will be awkward and there’s always the chance of burning yourself.
Sauteeing is typically not recommended for a dutch oven. The process of sauteeing is one where your food loses a lot of steam under high heat. The high sides of a dutch oven will keep the steam near the food resulting in higher moisture content.
Can you boil water in a dutch oven?
Yes, you can indeed boil water in a dutch oven every once in a while. But it is not as simple as just that. Different types of dutch ovens give different results and some of them should not be used for boiling water regularly. At the end of the day, it comes down to the type of dutch oven you own.
Is it ok to boil water in a dutch oven?
Here we will take a look at a few different types of dutch ovens to see if they are up to the task of boiling water:
Lodge dutch oven:
The good people over at Lodge make two types of dutch ovens. Cast iron and enameled cast iron.
According to multiple user reviews, the enameled cast iron will do a fantastic job of boiling water for steamed vegetables or pasta although over time you will notice some staining.
While the one without enamel is also adequate enough to boil water. The seasoning will come off with repeated use but you can always reseason.
Staub dutch oven:
Staub website says it’s alright to boil water in their dutch ovens and the water will boil pretty fast. But since they are also made of cast iron with or without enamel coating, following the same aforementioned rules is advised.
Le Creuset dutch oven:
Le Creuset helpfully says on their website that in their brand of dutch ovens you should only use high heat to boil water for the purpose of cooking vegetables and pasta.
They also do recommend using high heat to thicken sauces.
Enamel Dutch oven:
Enamel-coated pots have been raging debates about their usability in case of boiling water for a long time. There are two schools of thought and from our objective perspective, it seems like it is doable but not repeatedly.
How long does it take to boil water in a dutch oven?
For a litter of water, it can take 20 to 25 minutes to completely boil. Dutch ovens will typically take longer than regular pots to boil water due to having a lot of mass.
The important thing to keep in mind here is not to preheat your pot. If you are trying this, put your water-filled pot on the stovetop and wait patiently.
What can you not cook in a dutch oven?
While the dutch oven is an asset to your kitchen, there are a few things that the dutch oven doesn’t quite cook properly. You either have to be very careful or avoid using the dutch oven for the following items.
The bottom part of the bread dough often gets burnt in the enameled dutch oven. The high temperature needed to bake bread isn’t suited for enameled dutch ovens. It will either ruin the bread or damage your dutch oven.
Foods that smell:
Certain seafood, and smelly dairy all leave fragrant imprints on your pan that will manifest themselves in the next bunch of things you cook on it. Generally, 10 minutes in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven can eliminate the odor.
Sticky food item (Egg):
Even seasoned pans may have issues with sticky items like eggs. Sometimes the eggs are overdone and other times the smell gets stuck.
The same heat retention that gives your steak a gorgeous brown crust in a cast-iron skillet would likely remove your trout or tilapia. Save the delicate fish for pan searing.
In conclusion, dutch ovens are absolutely wonderful inventions in the world of cooking and they can come to your aid in deep frying and boiling water. Just pay close attention to the few things we listed because you do not want your precious dutch oven to be damaged.