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Need advice on a Dutch Oven please

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I am looking for a dutch oven that will do wonders for braising in the oven.  Le Crueset and Staub have my interest.  The one I am most interested in is the Staub 8qt round cocotte.  I do have a concern about the Staub that I hope somebody could help me with.  If the the Staub is designed to get more non-stick with time and accept some level of seasoning, what will happen when I go to cook an acidic dish like tomato sauce or a french pot roast with lots of wine?  Staub claims that their ovens are designed to cook acidic ingredients, yet they boast the ability to season; this seems like a contradiction to me, I was hoping someone could help me to understand what this is all about.

 

Is enameled cast iron even the way to go?  Should I look at aluminum cladded dutch ovens or even copper?  I have a Griswold #9 dutch oven, but I mainly use it for frying, and shy away from using it for any kind of braise because of the layers of seasoning on it.

 

Any advice at all would be great.

 

Thanks

post #2 of 3

Well seasoned cast iron can take the occasional braise and such. You can change the color of the dish though as acids (tomatoes, wine) will leach out some iron. Some say they can taste a flavor difference.

 

Enameled cast iron has a long and glorious history in the braise and would be my recommendation.

post #3 of 3

I agree with Phil. But he and I are in a minority. Most users and "authorities" state, categorically, that acidic foods should never be cooked in cast iron. What nonsense!

 

For the typical home cook, coated cast iron does make the most sense; particularly for braising. Although, frankly, I prefer clay, for that technique. 

 

What I don't understand is the Staub claim that you can season their products. That doesn't make any more sense then would the idea that you can season glass (which, at base, is what the coating effectively is). One of the benefits of coated cast iron, in fact, is it's ease of cleaning. Warm soapy water is all it takes. Yet, you never, not ever, allow soap to touch cured cast iron.

 

Seems to me, if the Staub claim is true, it would be an admission that their coating isn't applied well, and that it has voids, pores, and pinholes that need filling. And if that's the case, and given their price point, I wouldn't own any of their products.

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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