Induction cooktop gives us faster cooking, easier techniques with just a couple of buttons and most of all there is no need to constantly stand or monitor food from time to time to prevent untoward accidents.
The induction cooktop frees us from all the hassles of cooking making everyday cooking a smooth affair.
And since many of us also use Dutch Ovens at home, one obvious question for many who plan to buy induction hobs or already have it is – will my dutch oven work on the induction cooktop?
Now that we know that dutch ovens work on induction cooktops, let us dive a bit into what are dutch ovens and things to take care of while using them on induction cooktops.
Dutch Ovens Utility
From the time of colonial age, dutch ovens are valued because of their versatility and durability as cookware.
They are used for a number of purposes- such as boiling, stewing, baking, frying, and roasting. They are well suited for long cooking as well as slow cooking such as making roasts, stews, delicious braises or casserole.
Fun facts about Dutch ovens:
- Dutch Oven’s value can be understood from the fact that wills in the 18th and 19th centuries frequently spelled out the desired inheritor of the dutch ovens.
- The dutch oven is also the official state cooking pot of Texas and Arkansas.
How induction works with the Dutch oven
An induction cooktop cooks food by transferring heat generated by magnetic energy to the food in a Dutch oven. It produces instant heat, uses 50% less power and cooks food faster than other conventional cooktops.
A coil of copper wire lies underneath the cooktop. An alternating current is passed through this wire which generates a magnetic field. The base of the Dutch oven, being ferromagnetic allows the magnetic energy to pass through.
This induces a strong resisting eddy current of the swirling type which produces heat. This heat is responsible for cooking food. It is important to note that heat remains confined to the cookware.
There is no radiant heat or open flame or a red hot coil. Since heat remains confined to the cooking vessel, it is a safe and energy-efficient method of cooking food. Only the part beneath the dutch oven gets hot with the rest of the area being cool to touch. With the induction hob, around 90% of the energy generated is utilized in cooking food.
An advantage of using a dutch oven on an induction cooktop is precise heat control with the help of induction buttons. It is also very easy to clean up after cooking food as very little mess is made on the induction.
It also cooks the food in half the time normally required to cook food on a conventional cooktop. Once the dutch oven is removed from the cooktop surface, the source of heat is gone. This way the risk of an accidental fire is eliminated.
Things to take care of while using a Dutch oven on induction
Dutch ovens work best when they slowly heat up and stay warm. Avoid preheating it at high temperatures. That can cause the food to burn or stick since the heat is conducted so efficiently.
They can get very hot and distribute heat quite evenly throughout the whole piece of the cookware. Keep mitts or trivets ready to remove from induction.
Be also cautious to suddenly not cause temperature changes from hot to cold. Like from a fridge to the induction. Sudden temperature changes can crack the enamel!
The only problematic downside with working on inductions is that cast iron can easily scratch the glass surface on the induction cooktops. It is a good idea to keep something thin in between the dutch oven and the induction cooktop. It can be anything ranging from paper napkins, newspapers, parchment paper, and even Silpat mats.
Now, since induction uses magnetic fields, the cooking surface itself doesn’t get hot and the paper won’t burn. This will keep the glass surface of induction cooktop scratch-free and splatter-free.
Another thing is that dutch ovens need to have a flat bottom to work in a better way on an induction cooktop for a good transfer of electromagnetic energy. Round bottoms ovens will not work quite as well.
There is an option of invertor discs to use for rounded dutch ovens but I would rather recommend getting a flat bottomed dutch oven. The argument for not preferring the inverter disc can be read in my article here.
The bottom of the dutch oven has to be smooth for a good electromagnetic induction. Use sandpaper to smoothen if the base is not smooth.
A good method to check if your dutch oven will work on induction is to slap an ordinary magnet at the bottom of the cookware. If it sticks, it will definitely work on an induction cooktop.
A stainless steel dutch oven will also work if the stainless steel is of magnetic quality. An all clad iron will definitely work since the ferromagnetic property of iron will heat the cookware surface.
Coat the bottom of the dutch oven with oil/fat/ butter or water before putting dry food in it for cooking. This is done to avoid the sticking and burning of food.
The vitreous enamel surface is not porous. This means you can cook acidic foods in it on the induction without fear. Example- wine, tomatoes, lemon, etc
Be careful not to drag or thump it on the induction glass surface. The heavy cookware can crack or break the glass if done with force.
It is better to use wooden ladles rather than ferromagnetic spoons. Wooden spoons will not cause any scratches as well inside the dutch oven.
To keep using your dutch oven on an induction, make sure to dry it completely and then oil it to prevent rusting.
To conclude, will a dutch oven work on an induction cooktop? Yes, it will. Any cast-iron cookware is absolutely fine.
Remember you are dealing with heavy cookware. Much heavier than other cookware. Being careful will protect your induction cookware and smoothen the cooking process for you.
Just keep in mind the above points while using dutch ovens on an induction cooktop and you will be fine.
With proper precautions, you can reap the benefits of this super durable and versatile dutch oven on your induction stove without worrying.
Apart from the numerous benefits, if you decide to switch your cookware any time, this masterpiece will work on all cooktops!
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