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Dutch oven for roasting?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Can I use my dutch oven (i have an all clad coppercore one) for roasting? Or do I need to buy a special roasting pan? I'm quite new here, and I know this may be a simple question, but I appreciate all of your help... Everyone has been wonderful on here.
post #2 of 12
I think you can, without the lid, but.....

....a lot depends on how deep or shallow it is.
I'd be concerned about raosting in a deep pan, not allowing the moisture to disperse as readily, which would cause more of a stewing effect.

But I'm no expert.

In a pinch I've roasted with a cooling rack on a sheet pan, or rough cut mire poix on a pan, instead of a rack.
The added benefit of the mire poix is added flavor, but then you have the downside of added moisture too.
Not a real problem with a shallow pan.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
post #3 of 12

1. Roasting what?

2. What size "dutch oven"

3. When you say "roasting," do you mean cover on, cover off, or both?

Short answer, if you're planning on roasting a small, tied beef roast, the dutch oven will not work. In fact, a low pan with an elevated rack is what's called for.

The "roasting" process I think you're referring to transfers heat to the meat by convection. If the meat is inside a high walled pan, much of the heat is transferred by radiance from the pan walls. Furthermore, the hot air cannot move around the meat as easily. This encourages the meat to release juices and (sort of) cook in a process called poele. Not necessarily a bad thing by the way -- it just depends on what you're trying to do.

Just Jim -- pardon the correction of what might have been a typo, but mirepoix is one word not two. As a food term, it's taken from a place, http://www.frenchwayoflife.net/int/ville.php?v=Mirepoix , or probably more accurately from a person from that place, an 18th Century general and diplomat, Charles Levis the duc de Mirepoix. I don't know if the name was given to celebrate the way he cut through his enemies (rough chop), or for a suave ambassador who knew his aromatics.

post #4 of 12
Thanks for the correction.
I wish i could say it was a typo, but I typed it twice..........
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you both. I guess I am going to have to invest in a roasting pan. I have recently picked up some viking knives and about 4-5 pieces from all clad on ebay so I was hopng to not have to buy a roasting pan which I know for a decent one will cost close to $100, so I was hoping perhaps the dutch oven too would work like a roasting pan (for duck, chicken turkey etc.). I will just wait and save :):chef:
post #6 of 12
It's nice to have a great big roasting pan with a rack. But unless you've got something specific in mind, there's no hurry. A regular glass baking pan, with a $5 folding rack from the hardware store will do almost all family size roasts fine.

You'll fine the big pan invaluable when the holiday's roll around -- but if it's a stretch you can use disposable aluminum pans with a few whole carrots acting like joists to keep your turkeys, geese and tenderloins (should you be so lucky) off the bottom of the pan. A $100 pan can wait for awhile.

By the way, remember I said something like "not roasting" for the close pan. Well, even though a "turkey roaster" is not "true roasting" in a hyper-technical, definitional sense -- it's still a good, old fashioned way way to cook a lot of things -- turkey (surprise) among them. You lose a little skin and meat quality in exchange for wonderful juices for making gravy. You can regain the meat quality by brining before cooking, trussing well, and not over-cooking (now there's a revolutionary idea for turkey). Skin quality isn't a big issue with turkey if it's carved appropriately. The only piece with a lot of skin is the leg and that usually goes to a kid. Or leftovers.

Barbecue and beer can turkey is another good way of dealing with the holidays. Send it outside, and let HIM take care of it. The brute. Barbecued turkey is not only out of the kitchen -- freeing up the stove. It's much better. And because it becomes the responsibility of a tool obsessive, barbecue fanatic, it's usually comes out pretty good. When the holidays roll around we'll get more specific. To de-stress the situation a little further let me tell you that the big "secret" is to cook the turkey early, and let it rest for an hour or more in a big (cheap) foam cooler before carving (not at the table) and setting on a platter for service. Turkey, alas, is still ONE MORE THING, but fortunately it's an easy thing. Especially if you get someone else to do it.:roll:


PS There are thousands of recipes and entire websites devoted to dutch oven cooking. Many of them are oriented around cast iron dutch ovens -- but 95% of what and how you cook is the same. How do you get a turkey in there, anyway?
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Barbecue and beer can turkey...sounds interesting...by HIM, I assume you mean me as I am he who cooks with tools and flame...inside or outside my domicile...my wife is the one...well she cleans up after me so it works out really nicely. She is from Germany and can cook some nice german dishes, but she isn't really into cooking that much. I started getting bored with Kraut soup everyday lol, so I decided I needed to cook if I wanted to really wow my taste buds. Growing up in an Irish household where my father's definition of spicy was too much pepper, you can begin to imagine what my tastebuds have been subjected to. I just realized for the first time today that roasting a turkey meant to cook it outside of the juices..all my life my relatives have told me that they were roasting turkeys and chickens while we were really just braising them...didn't realize the rack was so important :)

So what I have done:

I bought a 9x12 pan in the grocery store with edges that go up maybe 2.5 to 3" on the side. On amazon today I bought Calphalon rack. This should do the trick. Here is a link Amazon.com: Calphalon Roasting Rack: Home & Garden
post #8 of 12

Yeah it hit me you were the one who left the HIS towel on the floor around the same time I hit send. From one dude to another: Welcome to the culinary madhouse. It's not only a kick, the food is good.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
awesome :D It's been a real kick so far... just wish I had all the money for all the cool toys I want
post #10 of 12
Just a side note....Cooks Illustrated rated the calphalon roasting pan (with rack, etc) on its top. I think its roughly 89-100$ and with your 20% off bed bath and beyond coupon you can get a pretty good deal on it.

They make stick and non-stick, but both come with a non-stick rack I believe.
post #11 of 12
Have the stick, use it, recommend it. Also, have a black steel matfer with big white steel reinforcement straps. Just as good, no better, but beaucoup macho.

post #12 of 12
For those of us for whom a dutch oven originally referred to a an uncoated cast iron pot with small legs, I'll clarify. The name camp oven is starting to be used more and more now to differntiate between the enameled kitchen ones and the plain cast iron fire cooking ones.

With the small legs, this sort of pot is meant to cook over the coals from a fire (or charcoal for the modern camper) The lid has a fairly high flange around the outer edge and coals are also placed on top. In this way, you could have a small oven where a primitive cook wouldn't have had one or as they're commonly used now for an oven for camping.

So while one might roast meat over the coals, one did and can roast in such a pan, but you manage the heat quite differently than it would be in a modern oven. And you usually used a trivet to hold the meat off the bottom of the pot.

I have a number of these and use them on the stove, in the oven and camping. I also use them for no-knead bread.

They aren't as convenient for modern kitchens as the enamel coated ones but they are another way to cook food well.

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