Can You Use A Dutch Oven On The Stove Top? [Electric & Gas]
Wondering if you can use a dutch oven on the stove top?
So did we.
Dutch ovens have been a staple of home kitchens. Since the 18th century, as they can make a wide variety of delicious dishes, from stews and roasts to bakes and soups.
Because of this, many homeowners are trying to find new ways to use this piece of iconic cookware, with some even wondering if they can use it on the stove.
In the following article, we have compiled some important information about dutch ovens and their characteristics, to see if the cookware is compatible with both gas and electric stove models.
Can dutch ovens be used on a stove? The short and simple answer is yes.
However, this does not mean that all dutch ovens are suitable for stove use, as some are made from combustible material.
For instance, dutch ovens made from cast iron or aluminum are compatible with most kitchen stoves, while those manufactured from stoneware and ceramic are not.
Because of this, there are certain precautions that need to be followed when using a dutch oven on the stove, whether that stove is electric or induction.
So if you want to learn more about dutch ovens, additional information can be found in the section below:
What Are Dutch Ovens?
In basic terms, dutch ovens are sizable stewpots that first rose to prominence in the 18th century, where the cookware was so cherished that it would even be mentioned in wills and assets.
Since then, dutch ovens have become a staple of modern kitchens, as the cookware can be used to make various dishes from stews and curries to casseroles and bakes.
Many believe that the success of the dutch oven can be attributed to its versatile composition, which makes it the ideal tool for countless recipes.
Because of this success, dutch ovens are still available to this day and are often made from various materials such as steel and ceramic.
However, the most common models are made from enameled cast iron, while other versions are constructed from aluminum and stainless steel.
When using a dutch oven, we would recommend reading the manufacturer’s instructions, as these will determine whether the product is suitable for stove use.
For instance, dutch ovens made from stoneware or ceramic tend to be used for cakes and bread, which means they could fracture when exposed to extreme heat.
Because of this, the ceramic could expand as it begins to warm up, which will then create an imbalance in temperature between the hot and cold areas of the pot.
In severe cases, this could result in the cookware exploding, which could lead to serious burns, mess, and other issues.
Now that you understand the various materials you should avoid, let’s take a closer look at the dutch ovens that are compatible with stoves.
Can Dutch Ovens Be Used On Gas Stoves?
When it comes to gas stoves, it’s possible to use a cast iron or enameled dutch oven, as these are resistant to extreme heat.
Because of this, the dutch oven will need to be rested on the burner hobs, as this will protect the stove and keep it secure.
In most cases, you won’t even have to be concerned about the uneven bottom, as the surrounding hobs should be enough to keep the oven in place while also stimulating a decent amount of heat.
However, it’s important to remember that gas stoves will often feature open flames, which could overheat the dutch oven at a faster rate.
For this reason, we would recommend either reducing the duration of cooking or lowering the temperature to medium-low, as this will reduce the chances of scorches and burnt food.
Like the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady should always remain your mantra when using a dutch oven on the stove.
Can Dutch Ovens Be Used On Electric Stoves?
Electric stoves will often feature a heating element beneath the electric plates, which means you won’t have to worry about open flames.
Because of this, there’s also no need to be concerned with scorches or burns, as the dutch oven should remain intact during the cooking process.
Electric stoves even come with protective surfaces, which means the dutch oven won’t scratch or cause lasting damage to the plates.
However, this does not mean that electric stoves don’t come with their precautions, as you will need to maintain the temperature at a medium heat.
For this reason, using a dutch oven on an electric stove can be a slow procedure, as it takes some time to secure the best temperature.
You will also need to avoid hot spots, which can be done by turning the heat from medium to low. In most cases, the surface should be able to keep the dutch oven from cooling down, as the cookware is famous for its excellent heat retention.
Can Dutch Ovens Be Used On Induction Stoves?
When it comes to induction stoves, we would recommend using iron or stainless steel dutch ovens, as these materials are considered ferromagnetic and therefore suitable for induction plates.
In contrast to the other stoves we have discussed, induction stoves use magnetic waves to generate heat inside the dutch oven, which works to cook the food.
This is another reason why owners should use ferromagnetic materials, as these allow the waves to enter the pot and produce enough heat.
However, there are some precautions that need to be taken into account when working with an induction stove.
For example, you should never use a dutch oven with a round bottom, as these stewpots are unable to distribute enough heat to cook the food.
Of course, there are also various benefits associated with dutch ovens and induction stoves, such as the conservation of power and accessible heat.
Because of this, most dutch ovens will remain cool when used with an induction hob, as only the bottom will be exposed to the intense heat.
For this reason, induction hobs are also known to cook food at a much faster rate than other stoves, which makes them a firm favorite with homeowners and amateur chefs.
In most cases, induction stoves are able to reach extreme temperatures in seconds, which means you will need to maintain a medium-low temperature to reduce the chances of burns and scorches.
When using a dutch oven with an induction stove, it’s best to use slow and consistent heat, as this will achieve the best results.
Another downside of induction hobs is that their surfaces are prone to damage, which means a dutch oven could scratch or mark the material.
To avoid this, we would recommend looking into mats or cooking parchment, which can be placed between the dutch oven and the stove to avoid further issues.
It’s also important to remove any residual food debris from the dutch oven before placing it on the stove, as certain stains could get stuck to the bottom of the stewpot and interfere with the final cook.
What Stove Is The Best?
While each stove comes with its pros and cons, especially when it comes to dutch ovens, there is one that stands above the rest.
In recent years, we have seen the release of modular stoves, with more and more models now being found in homes across the country.
These stoves are known to feature all three heating elements in a single unit, which makes them the ideal choice for dutch ovens and various cookware.
What Precautions Should Be Taken?
When it comes to using dutch ovens on the stove, there are certain precautions that need to be taken.
In the section below, we have outlined these precautions and how they can be used in the home:
- Allow the dutch oven to heat up at a slow and controlled rate.
- Always keep the hob on a medium to low flame, especially when cooking, searing, or browning.
- You should never leave an empty dutch oven on a hot stove, as this could scorch the bottom.
- During the cooking process, add a small amount of oil or water to the dutch oven before adding the ingredients.
- Make sure to slice and peel all ingredients before adding them to the dutch oven, they should also be kept close by.
- When boiling water or reducing a sauce, increase the temperature for a short time before decreasing it.
- For curries and stews, heat up the dutch oven and then turn down the temperature to let the contents simmer.
- To avoid sticking or uneven cooking, open the dutch oven from time to time and give the contents a stir.
- You should avoid preheating a dutch oven on the stove - instead, wait for the stewpot to reach room temperature first.
- You should never expose the dutch oven to sudden extreme temperatures, as this could expand the metal and damage the oven.
- Most dutch ovens feature rough bottoms, which could scratch the surface of the stove. To combat this, you can use a thermal mat or parchment to create a protective barrier.
- You should avoid dropping the dutch oven on the stove, as the weight could fracture the surface.
- Food debris should always be removed from the dutch oven before using it on the stove, otherwise, this could result in an uneven cook.
- Always wash the dutch oven with warm and soapy water, as the cookware is known to absorb food and oils, which could result in unwanted smells.
- You should only use an indoor dutch oven in the home, as outdoor dutch ovens are more suitable for barbecues and campfires.
- You should avoid using a dutch oven with cracks in the surface, as these could break or explode.
- The dutch oven will become hot during the cooking process, which means you will need to wear protective gloves to remove it.
What Tips Are There?
- When thickening sauces and stews, you will need to remove the lid on the dutch oven instead of increasing the temperature.
- Always make sure to season cast iron dutch ovens after every use, otherwise, the food could get stuck.
In conclusion, dutch ovens are compatible with most stoves.
However, there are certain materials that should not be exposed to such intense heat, such as stoneware and ceramic.
Because of this, you should only invest in cast iron or aluminum dutch ovens if you intend to use them on the stove.