August 28, 2013
I bought my Dutch oven at a thrift store, maybe thirty years ago, for five bucks. Since then I've used it almost every day. It's perfect for baking bread; if you put it in a really hot oven before you put the dough in, it becomes an oven within an oven, shooting intense heat at your dough from all sides so it emerges with a fine, crisp crust.
It's wonderful for braises; the little raised points inside collect steam, returning it as liquid so your meat is constantly basting itself. Nothing makes a better pot roast. On top of the stove it's teh perfect vehicle for stews, soups and sauces.
You could buy a new Dutch oven, but why would you? Thrift stores almost always have a few on hand. It's not just that you're saving money, but getting a little bit of history as well. I like to think about my Dutch oven's last life – and wonder about its next one.
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