Dutch ovens or slow cookers, both are another name of comfort cooking companion. Whenever you are feeling for cooking a hearty meal, using them will be the perfect decision. Although both of them some similarities, they actually cannot replace each other. Still, you can manage to pull off the slow cooker recipes in a Dutch oven. Curious? Here are some tips on how to use Dutch oven as slow cooker:
Before getting into the details, you should know the core differences between slow cooker & Dutch ovens. Check out our post on Best Smart Slow Cooker Reviews where we have provided an in-depth description of the differences between a slow cooker and a Dutch oven. Anyways, let’s dig into the tips now—
Use Heavy Bottom Dutch Ovens
Heavy bottom Dutch ovens are indeed great to cook. Because as for slow cooking, you need to cook the food for a long time. Using a heavy bottom Dutch oven prevents the food from sticking to the bottom. Also, heavy bottom Dutch ovens can retain heat more than usual. So you can keep the food warm for a long time.
Using a heavy bottom Dutch oven can provide as great results as any slow cooker. Because it can cook the food for a long time without burning it. Also, it can keep the food warm for a long time just like any slow cooker. So a heavy bottom Dutch oven is all you need.
Put On A Lid
When we slow cook something, we need to cook it for a long time. So the liquid tends to dry out as you are cooking. As a result, the food burns and stick to the bottom. But if you use a lid, the vapors will not escape easily. So there is less chance of the food getting burnt. Cover your Dutch oven with the heavy lid it comes with. That is how you can easily slow cook the food for a long time.
Pour Abundant Liquid
As you already know, slow cooker runs & cooks the food for a long time. So the liquid usually dries out and the food gets burnt. So filling up the pot with a large volume of liquid can solve this problem.
If you are making chicken and dumplings, pour a large volume of chicken stocks in the recipe. That way you can slow cook it for a long time without the chance of getting burnt. This technique can also be applied to any slow cooker recipes.
Use Kitchen Timers
Most of the slow cookers turn off automatically. But a Dutch oven doesn’t. You have to turn off the stove yourself after cooking. But what if you forget to turn the stove off? That is why using a kitchen timer is indeed the best idea.
Without a kitchen timer, you’ll need to constantly keep an eye on the food. Otherwise, it may burn. Rather guess the time remaining to finish the cooking, set the timer and leave. You can now enjoy your favorite TV serials without any tension. After the timer buzzes, check on the food and serve it. So getting a kitchen timer is quite mandatory if you’re using a Dutch oven.
Keep A Low Flame On Your Stovetop
In slow cookers, even the high setting means a low medium flame on the stovetop. So if you want to mimic the lengthy slow cooker recipes, you have to keep the flame really low.
A slow cooker usually cooks on 200 F on low. On the other hand, the lowest temperature on your slow cooker is somewhere between 190 to 220 F. So you’ll get the most optimum result if you set the stovetop on the lowest flame. Otherwise, your food will burn due to a long time cooking.
So here goes our 5 smart tips on using Dutch oven as a slow cooker. Although we still recommend to buy a slow cooker to ensure the ultimate comfort in your life. Anyways, there are a lot of slow cooker recipes you can cook in a Dutch oven. Here is one of our favorite slow cooker recipes we make using Dutch ovens:
Slow Cooker Chicken And Dumplings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
- Boneless chicken, 1 lb, cubed
- Frozen Peas, 1 cup
- Diced potatoes, 1 cup
- Onion, 1 large, finely chopped
- Garlic, 3 cloves, finely chopped
- Celery, half cup, finely chopped
- Carrot, 1 cup, finely chopped
- Chicken stock, as per need
- Thyme, 1 sprig. You can also use oregano or rosemary
- Flour, 1 heaped tbsp
- Salt & pepper, as per your taste
- Oil, 3 tbsp
- Readymade biscuit dough, as needed.
- Firstly, take a Dutch oven and heat up olive oil. You can also use butter.
- Throw in the chicken pieces and fry them. Do not fry them too much. Take them out in a bowl.
- Then throw in the onion, garlic, celery and also the carrots. You can also use finely chopped ginger. But we don’t prefer it.
- Then pour in the potatoes. You can also use cauliflower or broccoli. Seasonal vegetables are a great choice too.
- Stir it for two minutes. Now add the flour and stir. Let the raw smell of the flour goes away. You can also use oatmeal flour instead of flour.
- Put the chicken and also the chicken stock. You can use vegetable stock too. Stir it and let it boil on low heat for 15 minutes.
- Now it’s time for the dumplings. We like to use biscuit dough instead of making our own dumpling dough. You can make your own dumpling dough too.
- Put the biscuit dough little by little. You can also put in large chunks. But small chunks will have better flavor. Cook it for 40 minutes.
- Delicious chicken and dumpling ready to serve!
So that’s all for our take on smart tricks of using the Dutch oven and the Dutch oven version of our favorite recipe. Try this recipe at home and let us know how it was. Happy cooking!