Do Dutch Ovens Cook Faster? [Even Faster Than Crockpots?]

Image of a Dutch oven cooking a meal

Dutch ovens are a great way to cook delicious food. But, do Dutch ovens cook faster than other utensils?

Yes, Dutch ovens can cook faster once you heat them properly. Dutch ovens are able to retain heat longer than most utensils, which helps cook the food faster. Moreover, if the Dutch ovens are correctly designed to distribute the heat evenly, it can also help cook the food faster than other utensils.

This article will delve further into the topic. First, we’ll talk about how Dutch ovens work. Then, we’ll compare them with crockpots to see whether Dutch ovens can really cook meat faster or not.

What’s A Dutch Oven?

A Dutch oven is an invention that dates back to the 1700s. It was initially invented by a group of German chefs named the Pennsylvania Dutch.

During the 18th century, these cooks were using heavy-lidded pots that were specially made from cast iron or steel. It was this design that made the Dutch oven popular at the time.

The oven’s tight lid helped keep the heat trapped inside as the food cooked. In addition, the cast iron or steel helped distribute the heat equally throughout the oven so that the food cooked at an even rate.

Furthermore, the German chefs discovered that Dutch ovens could also keep food at serving temperature for longer without going bad.

You can also use the oven to chill the food and maintain it at a cooling temperature if it needs to be served cold.

However, the Dutch oven has been in high demand in recent times. One reason is that many chefs are calling for its use in their recipe books, as we mentioned above.

Another reason is that manufacturers play a significant role in boosting the oven’s popularity. They’ve tweaked the overall design too by polishing its exterior, giving it a more refurbished look.

What Can You Use A Dutch Oven For?

Recently, Dutch ovens have taken the culinary world by storm because they’re so versatile.

Outdoor campers have taken a liking to them as well since Dutch ovens are made from 100% iron and can withstand high-temperature cooking.

However, most cooks prefer to use an enameled Dutch oven in their kitchens rather than a 100% iron or steel-based one.

This is only because it doesn’t weigh as much, and it’s easier to work with. Plus, it has a brighter look instead of that gray, solemn color of old iron Dutch ovens.

All things considered, you can use either kind of Dutch oven for various cooking techniques. Some of these include the following:

1. Simmering and Braising

Dutch ovens are perfect for simmering vegetables and then braising them to make a delicious sauce.

To get that mouth-watering golden brown color, you can add meat to the mixture and sauté all the ingredients together. You can even use the reduced glaze as gravy.

This technique includes cooking soups and stews too. You can use a Dutch oven for any recipe that includes braising since its design will ensure the food cooks evenly.

Recommended Further Reading: How Do Dutch Ovens Work? | Are All Dutch Ovens Non-Stick? | Are Dutch Ovens Worth The Cost? | Are Dutch Ovens Always Made Of Cast Iron?

2. Baking

Bread baked in a Dutch oven

Many professionals still struggle with their baking skills. This is why we consider the expert baker Jim Lahey a bonafide hero for recognizing that a Dutch oven is perfect for baking.

The best part is that all you need is some yeasty, unkneaded dough. The oven will do the rest!

The oven will keep the steam trapped, giving your baked goods a tasty, fluffy texture. Not only that, but the oven’s bottom enameled surface will ensure you get a crispy crust as well.

3. Chilling

You’d think that the Dutch oven’s incredible heat-retaining features are only for heating and cooking food. Well, think again!

You can fill a Dutch oven with ice to keep the inside nice and chilled, almost like an ice chest. The ice can then be thrown out and replaced with any salad or cool dish of your liking.

Since these ovens are pretty big, you can use them to serve a delicious, cold salad at any social function without worrying about placing it in the fridge beforehand.

Instead, the oven will keep your food at the perfect temperature for as long as you need it.

Does A Dutch Oven Cook Faster Than A Crockpot?

The crockpot is the electric version of the Dutch oven. Both inventions are more or less the same in terms of functionality and material.

They’re both made out of heat-conducting materials and are marketed as slow cookers. So, which one is better when it comes to cooking speed?

In short, Dutch ovens cook food faster than crockpots. The main reason is that crockpots generate heat through electricity, which doesn’t work as quickly as fire.

So although it’s just as efficient, electricity-induced cooking is noticeably slower than a fire-induced one.

Additionally, Dutch ovens are made entirely from heat-transferring metals, such as iron and steel.

Meanwhile, a crockpot’s manufacturing materials may include ceramic and porcelain, which don’t conduct heat.

In other words, a crockpot won’t trap the heat for as long or cook the food as fast as a Dutch oven.

Interesting Further Reading: Can You Use Dutch Ovens In The Oven? | Can You Put Dutch Ovens In The Dishwasher? | Pans That Professional Chefs Use? | Are Strainers And Sifters The Same?

Does A Dutch Oven Cook Meat Faster?

Generally speaking, cooking meat isn’t as easy or quick as cooking other types of protein. It all comes down to the timing.

Heat plays a big role in cooking a piece of meat to perfection. If you leave it cooking for too long, it’ll become tough, stringy, and nearly impossible to eat.

We now know that Dutch ovens are great at trapping heat. This means they take less time cooking all kinds of meat than other pots.

The amount of cooking time will differ according to the size of the meat, of course. Nevertheless, it’ll surely be faster than most standard ovens.

As an added plus, a Dutch oven will leave behind the most delicious glaze ever!

This happens because Dutch ovens use the trapped steam to braise the meat. As a result, the juices from the meat are reduced to that perfect, golden glaze that you can use as gravy.

Or, you can simply pour it on top of your cooked meat for added flavor and texture.