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Dutch oven size in relation to food size?


Blondelle
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So many people have said they were making the same recipe for years and then cooked the exact same recipe in enameled cast iron and it tasted so much better. That got me wondering if there's a difference in the same size log shaped roast, for instance, cooked in an oval Dutch oven with less space around it as opposed to cooking it in a round DO with more space.

Would anyone know if there's a difference in the final result? Someone had mentioned if you're using it to roast, it's better to have more space around the food. In braising would a tighter fit be an advantage, or would the results be about the same with a round or oval oven? Thanks!

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Anyone? If thought if anyone would know it would be you guys. You seem to know everything about cooking here ;-).

So many people have said they were making the same recipe for years and then cooked the exact same recipe in enameled cast iron and it tasted so much better. That got me wondering if there's a difference in the same size log shaped roast, for instance, cooked in an oval Dutch oven with less space around it as opposed to cooking it in a round DO with more space.

Would anyone know if there's a difference in the final result? Someone had mentioned if you're using it to roast, it's better to have more space around the food. In braising would a tighter fit be an advantage, or would the results be about the same with a round or oval oven? Thanks!

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I think I learned this from one of Olney's books, though I am sure others have also written and said it, but it is best to have as little space around the roast as possible. So in the best of all worlds you could match the size and shape of the pot to the size and shape of the piece of meat. Most of us, however, do not live in that world and somehow get by.

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My answer would be that dutch ovens aren't good for roasting -- the high sides keep moisture up around the meat, so you're steaming rather than roasting.

With braising, the main difference in pan size (assuming that the food to be braised fits in the pan) is that the larger the pot, the more liquid you'll need to keep the level up where you want it. If the last step is a reduction, you'll have a lot more to reduce, but that's just a matter of the time it will take to finish your sauce.

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I agree with Janet - Dutch ovens are not made for roasting. My comment above was meant for braising with a Dutch oven.

Thanks for your replies. What would you call then just rubbing a chicken with some oil, some seasoning and a few herbs and placing it inside a covered enameled pot in the oven. It's not braising as there's no liquid, and it's not roasted technically as it's moist heat. Some say the meat still browns a little, and some say not. It is supposed to make a flavorful chicken or roast. Have no idea what it called though. I still thought it was called roasting as many say they are roasting a chicken in their LC ;-).

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