French oven or Dutch oven?

Posted on Oct 6 2015 - 12:12pm by burningsalad

The summer is over, and autumn is approaching, and so the menu changes. On a lazy, cold winter’s day you want nothing more than a warm meal that melts in your mouth and spreads the warmth over your body. So you take out your recipe for a stew and take out your pots. You might have never considered if the pot you are using is actually the best one. Many people do not take into consideration that there are pots designed for specific meals, which enable those meals to be the tastiest they can be. But, can a French oven be that much different from a Dutch oven? Let’s find out.

An oven is a tall, round pot with a lid. The shape of a French and Dutch oven is the same, but they have some differences that need to be taken into consideration. So here is what you need to know about the two ovens.


Dutch oven

Dutch ovens originated at the time before the electricity was invented, in the 1700s. During that period families used fireplaces or kept a hearth for cooking. Usually there was a hook placed over the open fire on which they would hang the oven and cook meals such as soups and stews, and generally meals that take a long time to cook. Since they were used over the open flame, they needed to be made of a material that can withstand such environment, so they were made from raw cast iron. Because of that they are heavy in weight, but are great since the surface is non-sticking, provided you season it right. Today these ovens are still in use, and you can find them made of stainless steel as well. They have tight fitting lids, and are perfect for meals you would cook over a stove, but some chefs have been known to use it on a grill as well. Also, you can use them in an oven for baking.


French oven

A French oven is different from a Dutch oven mainly in the material that it is made of. A French oven is made out of iron with enamel coating. French ovens are lightweight and maintained easily, which is why some might find them more appealing as opposed to the Dutch oven. Also, French ovens are usually made in different, often vibrant colors which make them not only a precious kitchen utensil, but a unique decorative piece as well.

Why the confusion?

When French companies first started adding enamel coating to the pots, they decided to name the pots French ovens, without clarifying the difference between them. However the name did not really stick and today most of the people are unaware of the difference between these ovens. There are even those who believe that the French oven is the original one.

How does it affect cooking?

This may come as a surprise, but there is actually no difference when it comes to cooking. Both pots are perfectly fine and there is no reason why they can’t both be used for cooking or baking the same meals. In the end it really comes down to what you prefer. If you like cast iron, than use a Dutch oven. On the other hand, if you are looking for a colorful and beautiful pot, you can’t go wrong with enamel.

With all this being said, you are ready to find your perfect pot. Peter’s of Kensington offers a wide variety of quality cookware and many more kitchen utensils you might need for your perfect meal.

Whether you are cooking a stew, or baking bread, roasting chicken, or boiling pasta, from the simplest to the most complicated dishes you can think of, you can’t go wrong with choosing either oven. They are both equally good, so really the choice is up to you and what attracts you most. Just make sure you don’t use abrasives or harsh materials for cleaning, and you will be able to use your favorite pots for many winters to come.

If you are using these within your chimney, its important to get your chimney inspected regularly.

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