The Dutch oven is your kitchen’s most versatile cooking vessel. The fact that it can be used on various heat sources (including stovetops and ovens) makes it an ideal choice for all kinds of recipes, from simmering soups to baking bread.
However, if you’re wondering if you can boil water in your dutch oven, the answer depends on the type of dutch oven you have. So keep reading! We’ll show you what type of dutch is safe to boil water and exactly what you need to do so you can enjoy using this great cooking tool.
Summary – Yes, you can boil water in a Dutch oven. However, while a seasoned cast iron Dutch oven is perfectly safe for boiling water, an enamel-coated Dutch oven requires caution when boiling water or cooking other meals. As such, you should not heat your enameled Dutch oven above 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, the enamel may break.
I own a seasoned cast iron Dutch oven. And for a long time, I thought boiling water in the Dutch oven would weaken the seasoning and nonstick coating. So I know why this is a popular question; nobody wants to ruin the beautiful finish of their Dutch oven.
But the fact is, boiling water in a Dutch oven is perfectly safe, whether you own a seasoned cast iron Dutch oven or an enamel-coated cast iron Dutch oven.
However, there is a significant difference between cooking in a seasoned cast iron Dutch oven and an enamel-coated Dutch oven; each type of Dutch oven has its peculiar usage requirements for cooking and boiling water in it. And as long as you follow these guidelines, cooking and boiling water in your Dutch oven will be as seamless as possible.
You sure want to add more functionalities to your Dutch oven, so let’s follow the guidelines.
Boiling water in a seasoned cast iron Dutch oven is okay and won’t affect the seasoning. Cast iron Dutch ovens are made of thick iron. Although the thick iron of the Dutch oven causes it to heat slowly, the advantage is that it can be used on any heat source and will retain heat for a longer period, making it an excellent choice for boiling water and cooking other recipes.
Also, the seasoning in a cast iron Dutch oven helps protect the iron from rusting and adds a nonstick coating to the cookware. So, if your Dutch oven is well-seasoned, it will hold up to the boiling water without losing or diminishing the polymerized layer.
To preserve the seasoning coating on your cast iron Dutch oven, do not boil water for more than 10 to 15 minutes.
Moisture is a primary cause of rust in cast iron pots. So, to prevent rust, remove the water from the pot soon after it has boiled and wiped it clean before storage.
While boiling water in your seasoned cast iron Dutch oven is okay, only do it occasionally to allow the seasoning to stay longer.
Losing the seasoning isn’t an issue for many cast iron Dutch oven users. So, if you also don’t consider it a burden, you may boil water in your cast iron Dutch oven as much as you like, but make sure to re-season it anytime the seasoning wears off.
As mentioned earlier, boiling water in an enamel-coated Dutch oven is fine. An enamel Dutch oven can either be cast iron or steel with a glossy enamel covering.
Unlike the seasoned cast iron Dutch oven, an enamel-coated Dutch oven doesn’t need seasoning but requires more attention when boiling water in it.
Here are the guidelines for boiling water in an enamel-coated Dutch oven;
When boiling water in an enamel Dutch oven, start on low heat and gradually increase the heat. This is because placing a cold enamel cast iron pot on extremely high heat can cause it to crack and chip.
As a result, set your burner to low as you start boiling water, increase it to medium, and then to high until the water reaches boiling point. This may take some time, but the pot will become hot.
An enamel cast iron Dutch oven should not be used over open flames or an uncontrolled heat source. So, when boiling water in your enameled Dutch oven, select a controllable cooker that allows you to adjust the heat.
An enameled cast iron Dutch oven should be able to boil water at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. However, higher temperatures might compromise the enamel and cause it to break.
Once the water has boiled, remove it immediately and allow the pot to cool gradually. Placing a hot enameled pot in cold water might result in a thermal reaction.
Other Safety Tips for Boiling Water with Dutch Oven
- Do not preheat your Dutch oven before boiling water in it to avoid chipping and warping.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when boiling water or cooking with your Dutch oven. This advice is especially valuable when using an enameled Dutch oven, which is notoriously fragile.
- When boiling food in your Dutch oven, always use the lids. This guarantees that the pot heats up quickly and protects you from harm.
- A Dutch oven may become hot when boiled or cooking various types of cuisine. As a result, prioritize your safety when handling the pot during and after cooking.
Whether you use seasoned cast iron or an enamel cast iron; here is a simple step-by-step procedure for boiling water in a Dutch oven;
Step 1: Fill the Dutch oven with the amount of water you want to boil. If you overfill the oven with water, it will spill over the edges of the oven when it reaches boiling temperature.
Step 2: Set the Dutch oven on the stovetop and cover with a thick lid.
Step 3: Start boiling the water. As directed, begin heating the pot on low and gradually increase to medium before increasing to high until the water reaches boiling point.
Step 4: When the water has boiled, turn off the heat and take out the water immediately into a separate container.
Step 5: Wipe the Dutch oven dry with a clean cloth before storing it.
From our discussion, it seems obvious that a seasoned cast iron Dutch oven is the best for boiling water. It can go on any heat source, including open flames and electric and gas stovetops, making it the easier and better choice to use.
Whereas an enameled cast iron Dutch oven requires greater care to handle and can only be used on a controlled heat source.
Also, while boiling water, the seasoned cast iron Dutch oven can withstand temperatures up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit. But, the enameled Dutch oven should not be heated over 400°F, or the enamel may shatter.
Yes, you may use your Dutch oven to make soups, stews, and sauces. The Dutch oven has a thick base and high sides that hold enough heat to simmer soups. They also come in big sizes, making it easy to boil large amounts of soup in them.
Yes, you can boil water in your Le Creuset Dutch oven. The Le Creuset website recommends using medium-high heat to boil water for vegetables and pasta.