When it comes to cookware, several phrases are almost identical to the point that they become perplexing. For example, we have the Dutch oven vs the French oven. As they sound so similar, they sometimes make us wonder whether there are any distinctions, and if so, which one is superior? So let’s take a closer look.
French Oven Vs Dutch Oven – A Brief Overview
The Overview Of French Oven
At the turn of this century, a French firm began coating cast iron with enamel to decrease the danger of sticking without requiring a complex seasoning procedure.
These enameled variants are technically known as French ovens. Your Le Creuset dutch oven is a French oven, but that phrase never caught on. Even Le Creuset and businesses like Staub use Dutch oven since we associate it with either choice.
According to Le Creuset, while French ovens represent the upper end of dutch ovens, the firm refers to the goods as dutch models because that is what most people know. The firm has no plans to use the word “French oven” again anytime soon, but they believe themselves to be a French oven company.
The Overview Of Dutch Oven
Around the 17th century, the Dutch developed a new method of cooking that allowed them to use more varieties of meat and cook them more thoroughly.
Initially, they began to utilize sand molds instead of clay molds, then came the discovery of cast iron – the material that led to creating a favorite cooking utensil called Dutch ovens.
These hefty cast iron pans produced a modest, constant amount of heat that softened rough meats and veggies into something to appreciate. As its name stated, this special oven is usually made of raw cast iron that requires a seasoning procedure to make it nonstick.
You can use the oven on the stovetop before transferring it to the oven. With the right attachments, you can even place it over an open fire. Dutch ovens help to make juicy yet brown and crisp dishes like roast chicken. They are also excellent for making bread.
French Oven Vs Dutch Oven – What Is The Difference?
The enamel of French ovens is excellent for simple cleaning and food adhering resistance. It is simple for even beginners to cook with as long as you preheat your French oven properly.
Because the enamel in a French oven isn’t excellent at heat resistance, you can’t take them out when camping unless you have special apparatus to shield them from the heat of the open fire.
However, you can cook a variety of foods in your French oven, and it’s great for the kitchen and easy to clean. You can even place them in the dishwasher for extra ease of cleaning.
If you don’t have time to hand wash your cast iron, or you don’t want to season it for non-stickiness, or you don’t cook over an open fire, then use enameled cast iron.
On the other hand, the Dutch oven is ideal for stews and braised meals. Depending on the size of the cookware, you can also use it for deep frying. When you correctly season the cast iron, the oven produces terrific cornbread. If you’re searching for versatility, a Dutch oven is a fantastic choice.
In general, seasoning the bare cast iron ensures the oven remains non-stick while cooking. In addition, the flavor of bare cast iron is exquisite, and it does not chip or show flaws as enamel does.
Yet, bare cast iron might be more challenging to clean because of the nature of the material. It may be a nightmare to clean if you don’t season correctly. Also, you can’t scrub or use soap once you have seasoned it because you’ll rub the seasoning off.
If you want to cook various dishes on various stovetops, including open fire, use naked cast iron. Or if you want to enjoy the rich tastes of raw cast iron, or if you already know how to season correctly, then go for this type of oven.
You must season the bare cast iron before its first use—and shortly afterward, repeat a procedure for optimum results. To achieve this, heat the Dutch oven over medium-high heat and massage a thin coating of oil onto the top. While the seasoning technique isn’t complex, it does require time and effort, which is enough to turn off many chefs.
Cleaning cast iron with soap or abrasive chemicals might remove the seasoning and leave you right back where you started. Instead, you will obtain the most outstanding results by using hot water and a soft cloth or sponge.
If any food remains stuck to the bottom of the pan, try boiling a tiny quantity of water in the pan to release it. Alternatively, you may clean the bottom with a kosher salt and water mixture before carefully washing and pressing it dry with paper towels.
Meanwhile, French ovens are intended for chefs who do not want to season a standard cast-iron surface. The enameled finish is simple to clean and has natural nonstick characteristics. It’s also dishwasher-friendly and works with the majority of dish detergents.
French Oven Vs Dutch Oven – Which One Should You Buy?
Both of these pots are good for cooking and are long-lasting. They’re also a fantastic option for healthy cooking and people who want to spend as little time as possible in the kitchen. It is all about preparing things ahead of time and letting the Dutch or French oven handle the rest.
When you compare what you can cook with a French oven with what you can cook with a Dutch oven, you’ll discover that there isn’t much difference. Both can cook a wide range of foods and be used on the stovetop and in the oven.
However, on a campfire, you may only use a non-enameled Dutch oven as French ovens aren’t good at heat resistance!
So, if you enjoy camping and cooking over an open fire, the double Dutch oven is your best choice. If not, consider whether you’re alright with frequent seasoning and spending a little extra time caring for your pot. If you’re OK with that, then the Dutch ovens are the way to go.
Whether you pick between a French oven and a Dutch oven, you’re getting culinary equipment that will last a lifetime. These ovens are incredible culinary gadgets that can convert poor pieces of meat and difficult veggies into the tastiest supper you’ve ever tasted.
Indeed, once you’ve mastered cooking with these ovens, you might never want to use your conventional pots and pans again. So give them a shot, and you won’t be disappointed.