A dutch oven is one of those essential items for any kitchen. If I was to make a list of cooking items I could not live without, my dutch oven would be right near the top. Perfect for braising, baking, roasting and cooking on the stovetop, the dutch oven is built for versatility. Emile Henry has a wonderful line of dutch ovens and I recently had the chance to try out their Emile Henry Flame Top 4.2-Quart Round Oven.
Emile Henry is a French company that has been making ceramic ovenware and gourmet cookware since 1850. A family run company, they are known around the world for making some of the highest quality ceramic products. Made from Burgundy clay, their products have superior heat retention properties which keep food hot and full of flavor. Their Flame line of products are so strong and heat resistant, that they can be used on the stovetop, oven, microwave and even right on the grill. They can even go straight from the freezer right into the oven!
One of the great things about ceramic dutch ovens is that you can start cooking the meal on the stovetop, then cover the lid and place it in the oven for a slow braise. Once the meal is ready, the dutch oven can be placed right on the table. It looks great for presentation and it will hold the heat extremely well. After dinner, place it right in the dishwasher for cleaning.
I use my dutch oven all time and one of the things I like it best for is browning the meat and veggies on the top of the stove, before putting it in the oven.
The clay construction provides a much better diffusion of heat than a steel pot. It will take a little longer to warm up, but it holds the heat and does not seem to create any hot spots on the bottom of the pot. I made a Chorizo Black Bean and Corn Jambalaya in the Emile Henry dutch oven. First I browned the chorizo meat and then added the onion and celery. On medium heat, the chorizo browned up perfectly. It did not stick to the bottom of the dutch oven at all.
For my Mexican themed jambalaya, I added the corn, black beans, rice and chicken stock to the dutch oven. I preheated the oven for 350F. Emile Henry dutch ovens can be used up to a temperature of 930F. Yes, you read that correctly – 930F!! I find that I mostly use it at a standard 350F, which is perfect for braising.
Then, into the oven it went. The jambalaya is ready after 45 minutes in the oven. The rice was tender, yet not mushy. The dutch oven looks great and is designed to be brought right to the table for serving. With the lid on, the ceramic pot will hold the heat for a long time.
Dutch ovens are all about versatility and because of that I find myself going back to it over and over again. My favorite dish to make in it is beef short ribs and they are totally divine. Every time I have used this dutch oven, it has produced great results and has never disappointed. Also, for a dutch oven of this quality, they are quite reasonably priced.
Pick up the Dutch Oven and other Emile Henry products at Amazon: Emile Henry Flame Top 4.2-Quart Round Oven, Red
Disclaimer: Emile Henry provided me with the Dutch Oven. They did not pay me for this product review and the views expressed above are my honest reactions after trying the product.