Cook Like a Test Kitchen Pro with Taste of Home’s New Dutch Oven
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Taste of Home's newest Dutch oven is the two-in-one pot you didn't know you needed.
If you haven’t heard yet, Taste of Home partnered with Ohio-based Range Kleen to release a brand new cookware and bakeware line for home cooks. Each item was chosen, tested and perfected by our Test Kitchen pros so that each product is easy to work with and holds up to everyday use. Get a peek at all of the cookware and bakeware here.
While the cookware line includes gorgeous must-haves like aluminum pots, pans and a cast-iron skillet, the real stunner is an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven with a grill lid. When I first saw this unique Dutch oven and grill pan combo, I knew I had to test it out for myself. So, I put in an order on Amazon and impatiently waited for it to arrive.
Never used a grill pan before? Here’s what you need to know.
The very first thing I noticed about this Dutch oven was that it was heavy. The cast-iron pot and lid weigh just under 20 pounds, which made getting the box from my mailroom up to my apartment a bit of a workout.
Once I got it into my kitchen, though, I was pretty impressed. The box itself is printed with care and cleaning instructions for the Dutch oven and details about Range Kleen’s limited lifetime warranty. As an added bonus, the box was also printed with a creamy artichoke florentine pasta recipe which looked absolutely delicious.
After I got the Dutch oven and grill lid out of the box, I gave it a quick rinse, per the care instructions, and was ready to give it a try.
By the way, these are the dos and don’t of cleaning a Dutch oven.
The Cooking Test: Dutch Oven
To get a good feel for the Dutch oven, I decided to test it out with Bettina Turner’s Winter Oven Beef Stew because it utilizes a few cooking techniques and is prepared both on the stovetop and in the oven.
The Dutch oven’s size came in handy a few times with this stew. First, the wide, flat bottom allowed me to evenly brown almost all of the beef cubes in just one batch. In my normal oven-safe pot, it would take about three or four batches to brown a pound and a half of meat, but with this Dutch oven, it only took two. This helped cut down on prep time and get the stew in the oven quicker.
Second, the pot was large enough to hold all 9 cups of this stew. That amount can fill up a pot pretty quickly. But with this Dutch oven, I was never worried about it getting too full, even when stirring in the potatoes and carrots.
Another feature I really liked was the handles. This recipe involved moving the Dutch oven between the stovetop and oven a few times which, given the oven’s 19-pound weight, can be a little intimidating. But these handles are incredibly sturdy yet roomy, letting me get a solid grip even with thick oven mitts on. And, since the grill lid’s handles line up with the oven’s, it was easy to grab both at the same time to keep the lid from sliding around.
The Cooking Test: Grill Pan
The grill pan was what I was most excited to test out. To do so, I pulled out an old favorite, Melissa Rodriguez’s Cilantro Lime Shrimp, which is usually reserved for grill-friendly weather in the summer. Because the pan was preseasoned, I didn’t go through the regular cast-iron seasoning process, though I did add more oil to the pan before adding the shrimp.
Once in the pan, the shrimp grilled up in just a few minutes and even got some nice grill marks, which is not a common sight during a Wisconsin winter! While I had no problem flipping and lifting the shrimp from the pan, I did notice that some of the bits of cilantro and minced garlic had fallen off of the shrimp and into the divots of the pan. This wasn’t a huge deal (the shrimp still had a ton of flavor to it) but it did mean I had to brush the bits to the side of the pan in between batches, or else they would have burned and stuck to the surface.
Taste of Home’s sea green Dutch oven is where beautiful design meets functionality. The 7-quart capacity and enameled interior make it easy to cook large meals, like a Sunday pot roast or glazed corned beef brisket, without worrying about it overflowing or staining. Also, since the Dutch oven is oven safe up to 700˚F (400˚F with the lid), it can go from the stovetop to the oven to the dinner table with ease.
For me, what really takes this Dutch oven to the next level is its grill pan lid, which makes summer-worthy grill marks achievable all year long. Say hello to barbecued burgers in February and crisp paninis, no panini maker required.
While the $90 price tag isn’t the cheapest on the market for a 7-quart Dutch oven, the addition of a grill pan lid definitely makes up for it. Not only does it save you the money of buying a separate grill pan, but it also saves space in your kitchen.
Overall, the Dutch oven with a grill lid is a two-for-one deal that can’t be passed up. Both pieces are easy to work with and will definitely become my go-to tool in the kitchen. If you want to try this Dutch oven out for yourself, you can get one shipped right to your door from Amazon.