What Can I Use Instead of a Dutch Oven – Substitutes and Alternatives

A Dutch oven is one of the essential kitchen appliances. They are multi-purpose as they are designed to perform several functions – roasting, searing, sauteing, boiling, baking, frying, stewing, and slow cooking. Due to its oven and stovetop compatibility, you can cook dishes on a stove burner and finish them in the oven.

Dutch oven (a heavy cast-iron skillet ) allows you to cook at a high temperature and help the food cook evenly. Although the use of this type of cookware has won the hearts of a large number of chefs. But many people still seek alternatives as Dutch ovens are too expensive for them to buy. “What can I use instead of a dutch oven?” is a frequently asked question from these people.

Before looking for a dutch oven replacement, you must know about what Dutch oven is and how it works.

Understanding Dutch Oven and its Working

Dutch ovens are common in homes and at campfires across the globe. The Dutch oven is neither Dutch nor an oven. It is just a very deep pot with a thick wall and a tight-fitting lid that can be used on stove tops or in ovens. It comes in a variety of sizes. 

In Dutch ovens, the legs or the handle tend to be short, designed to be placed immediately on the fire. It can also be used inside a standard oven. Its heavy lid holds the moisture inside, allowing the food to cook slowly and perfectly. The flavor is absorbed in food while cooking slowly, and tougher cuts of meat become tender by braising. Yummy and soft! 

Dutch ovens are available in different materials like enamel-coated cast iron, non-coated cast iron, stainless steel, aluminium, and copper. Having one in your kitchen is a great asset. But if you don’t, you don’t worry. Alternatives to the Dutch oven can be equally effective.

So, what can you use instead of a dutch oven?  A few options are outlined below.

What Is the Best Substitute for a Dutch Oven?

The only disadvantage the dutch oven has is: it is expensive. Some people cannot afford it, and they look for its replacement. Check out our list of Dutch oven cooking pot alternatives below to learn how you can still enjoy slow cooking and make various dishes for your family on a budget. 

Slow cooker

A slow cooker is an excellent Dutch oven substitute because it follows the same cooking principles. It is an electric pot used to cook food very slowly at a lower temperature. Therefore, it is much easier to use them than a Dutch oven. However, Dutch ovens are more durable and versatile than slow cookers.

Suppose you are busy and cannot give adequate time to cooking. In that case, this is the best option for you because they can be left alone for an extended period so that you can watch your favorite show without getting interrupted or being focused on the kitchen.

TIP: You should look for a cooker that offers a pressure cooker function, so when you are in a hurry, you can select the ‘high cook’ setting to cook for the same amount of time as the Dutch oven.

French Oven

French ovens are like new versions of Dutch ovens as they carry many of the same features. Both French and Dutch ovens are the same size and shape. So they can cook up food just like you would in a Dutch oven, with no trouble. In french oven, before simmering and stewing, you can braise, fry, and saute.

As long as you are enjoying their similarities, do not forget that key differences are here! French oven cannot be taken out for camping as they cannot bear the campfire. That’s why they are considered less durable than a dutch oven.

Air Fryer

Air fryers are similar to countertop convection ovens but are capable of simulating deep frying without submerging the food in oil. They have a heating element and a fan at the top. As you turn the fryer on, hot air rushes down around and under the food. This fast circulation causes the food to become crispy, much like deep-frying without using oil.

If you are a diet-conscious person, air fryers are a better alternative to a dutch oven. So, you don’t need to worry about your weight anymore. Enjoy your food!

Crockpots

Crock Pots are great for slow cooking. The Crockpot can be set at a temperature and left to simmer so you can enjoy your day without worrying about it. The inner pot of the crockpots is made of stoneware. They come with a heavy bottom and a tight lid. These pots also have handles for lifting them. 

Clay Pot

Clay pots have a conical lid, which allows the steam to remain in the pot. Water evaporates, goes up in the lid, becomes condensed, and then slides back; this process is known as Self-basting. You can use it directly in the heat or by placing a diffuser between pot and stove.

Braiser

Using a braiser instead of a Dutch oven is certainly an option if you own one. You may need to adjust your recipe based on the pots’ circumference and height. Typically, it has steep sides and is shallower than a Dutch oven. Its wide cooking surface allows it to be brown and braises various kinds of food. 

Instant pot

Instant pots are new in the market and, they can cook all the dishes which dutch oven can cook. As compared to other substitutes of the dutch oven, instant pot can cook 30% faster, thanks to its higher steam content! You just need to add all the ingredients to it and then you can do your other households. 

This pot has 7 in 1 quality. It can work as a substitute for Pressure cooker, Slow cooker, Rice cooker, Steamer, Saute, Yogurt maker, and Warmer. 

Frying Pan

A frying pan is a necessary thing in the kitchen. To replace the dutch oven, you need a frying pan with a lid. You can simmer and fry the food in it. After frying, rest your recipe on low flame and wait for the magic to happen!

Casserole Dish

Casserole Dishes are used for both serving and baking. They are made of material that cannot be placed directly on heat. Casserole dishes with a lid keep the food moist in the oven. They are oven-safe dishes.

These dishes could not correctly replace the dutch oven because they could not bear high temperatures.so, if you have no other pot listed above, casserole dishes can be your last option.

Conclusion

If your recipe calls for a Dutch oven and you don’t have one.  Fear not! We’ve listed above some great Dutch oven replacements you can use, whether you’re grilling over a campfire or slow roasting a leg of lamb.

Hopefully, after reading the whole write-up, you now have an answer for your question, “What can I use instead of a Dutch Oven“. However, be sure to read the instructions that came with the cookware to understand its limitations. The cookware’s temperature range, its duration, and its durability should all be considered. 

Enjoy your Dutch oven substitute!


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