A cast iron Dutch oven is a must-have in any kitchen. You can bake, braise, stew, roast, fry, use over a campfire, on the stove top or in the oven. Cast iron is known for its ability to heat evenly and hold that heat. Cooking in cast iron cookware also is an important source of iron in your diet as the pan will leach a small amount of iron into the food. Plus, the cast iron lends itself to creating a crisper texture to the food.
Some of the things we’ve used our Dutch oven are for baking biscuits, a simple no-kneed bread recipe, the sausage gravy for biscuits and gravy, soups & stews, frying chicken breasts, then finishing them off in the oven.
Caring for cast iron is simple. Put into the oven at 300 degrees to heat it up. If it’s dirty, put some salt on it and scrub it down with a rag and that will remove any residue on the iron surface. Wipe it out, add a little vegetable oil to it and wipe down the entire pan, inside and out. Put it back into the oven for a bit to season the pan. NEVER use dish soap to clean a cast iron pan, water only. You will find after a while that the pan will become so seasoned that to clean it will take only hot water, scrub out the crusties with a rubber scraper, wipe it down with a paper towel and re-oil it.
Griswald is recognized as one of the leading manufacturers of cast iron. They closed their doors in 1957, so you need to scour the antique and second-hand shops to find one. If you do, buy it! It is a collector piece and excellent cookware. Here’s a link to Griswold history and collector information. Currently, Lodge is the world’s largest producer of cast iron cookware which you can find at pretty much any retailer.