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Cuisinart Dutch Oven is one of the best value dutch oven on the market. They have many different version but their most popular version is their 7 qt model. It provides all the functionality of the bigger name brand but at half the cost? The company seems to be making everything from kitchen gadgets to utensils. How exactly does it compare with other manufacturer like Le Creuset or Staub? This review will go in depth about the design and function of the dutch oven.
Cuisinart Dutch Oven 7 quart Quick Summary
|Categories||Cuisinart Dutch Oven 7 Quart Cast Iron|
|Colors||Range of Colors|
|Country of Manufacturer||China|
|Thoughts||A great performing dutch oven that rivals the likes of Le Creuset and Staub. However, there is a issue in regard to enamel durability and color range. Those are mostly cosmetic issue though. If you can look past that, you can get the same functionality of the French brands, at half the price.|
|Reviewed Cookware||Cuisinart 7 qt Casserole|
What is a Dutch Oven
A dutch oven is a heavy two loop handled pot designed to make stews and bake bread. In the past, oven were not as common. People would place coals on top of the dutch oven to make an oven like effect. This surrounds dutch oven with even heat ensuring that all part of the food was cooked properly.
Since ovens are more readily accessible, this type of cooking is not necessary anymore. However, it is still a popular vessel to bake bread in. Another popular way of using a dutch oven is to make stews in it. A cast iron construction lets it store a vast amount of heat, keeping the stew hot while serving. The enamel cast iron gives it a beautiful color and its perfect for serving on the table. For this reason, a bright and colorful dutch oven is so popular. Companies like Le Creuset have carved their name in everyone household using colors alone. They have the widest Range of Colors out of all the manufacturer.
Cuisinart Dutch Oven 7 Quart Design
This review will focus primarily on the 7 quart model. However, the construction and design remains pretty much the same for the smaller or even larger variants.
The handle on Cuisinart Dutch Oven is pretty simple. Much like that of Le Creuset, it protrudes outward without any fancy design. However, the clearance room on the handle is very lacking. On the Le Creuset model, I can actually clear my knuckles. I cant do that on the Cuisinart model.
I can fit a total of three fingers through the loop. Not exactly a lot but it is enough for me. If you plan on using this pot on the table, make sure that the weight isnt too much for you. Be sure to calculate 7 qts of food into the pot. This will add a substantial amount of weight.
Overall, the design of the handle is alright. I personally would like to see it with more width and clearance. This way you can get a good comfortable grip while transporting it.
The shape of Cuisinart Dutch Oven is great. It is wide and not overly tall. A wide base lets you sear more food. Pots with a narrow base forces you to sear food in many batches. Which in turn, adds to the amount of time you have to cook. If you overcrowd the pot, the food will steam.
A dutch oven that is too tall will make it difficult for you to stir the stew. French stockpots are tall to control the heat, but those are designed for stocks. They are meant to keep the temperature constant. A different design than a dutch oven. For the average user, a dutch oven that wide is the best.
At the base, it is slightly thicker. This raised base is there so that it can hold heat better. You only see this in the better designed dutch oven. A thin base means that heat will be lost quickly. When you sear, food will steam.
The lid is nice and heavy. This prevents steam from escaping and it also traps in the heat. By doing this, it helps liquid boil faster, reducing the cooking time. Other than that, there is nothing too note worthy about it. The design is very similar to that of Le Creuset. Smooth on the underside with two rings on top. It lacks the droplets design of Staub skillet. But for a typical dutch oven, that is not really necessary.
The lid comes with a metal knob means that it can go in at a higher temperature. Plastic knobs usually have a upper limit of 3-400 degree. While the metal can last to 500, the max that most oven have. Just be careful, it will get hot. If you are not wearing a glove, it will burn your hand.
Cuisinart Dutch Oven Enamel and Colors
While not as extensive as Le Creuset or Staub, it has a decent range of colors. From white, red, blue, to even green. It should be enough to satisfy most people need. However, if you are really particular about color design with your home interior, take a look at Le Creuset offering.
The Enamel coating is an issue though. There has been many account about the durability of the enamel. It is prone to chipping and its not as durable as Le Creuset. But underneath it, is just bare cast iron. It is totally safe to keep on cooking in it. This is mostly a cosmetic issue. Whether this should affect your buying choice is up to you.
Cuisinart Dutch Oven Thoughts
This is a pretty good budget dutch oven. In terms of functionality and performance, it will perform just fine. You will not see any difference between the brands. However, the biggest issue is the color and enamel durability. If you expect it to remain perfect, I recommend going for a brand like Staub or Le Creuset. Those have a reputation of lasting forever. I have Le Creuset dutch oven that is over 50 year old and those still look beautiful. Just be prepared to pay the additional cost invovled…
I hope you found this Cuisinart 7 quart Enamel Cast Iron Dutch Oven review to be informative, If you would like to see more, please visit our Pots and Pans Review page.