If there is one type of cookware every cook needs, it's a cast iron dutch oven. They can do everything from braising meat and deep-frying, to baking no-knead bread. The only catch is that enabled cast iron dutch ovens are usually sold at a pretty hefty price, especially name-brand dutch ovens such as Le Creuset or Staub. So what do you do if you don't have this type of cookware but a recipe asks for it? Don't panic buy because you probably already have the perfect dutch oven substitute in your cabinet.
What is the Best Substitute For a Dutch Oven?
When braising meat or making a soup, the best dutch oven substitute is a regular ol' stockpot or soup pot. These pots make a great substitute because of their tall sides and ability to hold a large volume. Use it on the stovetop to saute, or if your cookware is oven-safe, use it in place of an enameled cast iron dutch oven when it comes to baking bread or braising. Be sure the pot has a tight-fitting lid that can withstand high temperatures before placing it in the oven.
Looking for more heat retention? Use a cast iron skillet for smaller recipes. It's oven-proof and can be used in place of a dutch oven in a variety of ways. It can double as a frying pan, casserole dish, or even a roasting pan fairly easily!
Making a stew or soup? Skip the stovetop altogether and grab your slow cooker, crockpot, or Instant Pot. You might have to change your recipe's cooking time a bit, so this option is a bit more work.
Our Favorite Dutch Ovens Under $50
You don't have to spend a fortune on this great cookware. In fact, here are three dutch ovens under $50.
1. Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven with Loop Handles 5 Qt.
Essentially a 2-in-1, this cast iron dutch oven can do everything your recipe calls for. The heavy lid makes this the perfect baking dish for bread or one-pot meals.
2. Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven 4.3 Qt.
Oven temperature safe up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, this smaller dutch oven is perfect for smaller recipes such as side dishes. This dutch oven can't stand high heat like other models, so keep that in mind.
3. Tramontina Covered Dutch Oven 6 Qt.
This beautiful cast iron dutch oven has a tight lid with self-basting condensation ridges on the lid, making this one perfect for braising.
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