Any value in the glass lids? Are they better, worse, or it doesn't even matter?
Also, what is a dutch oven, and what does one do with it?
Sorry if these questions are silly- i have a lot to learn...
I have both, and don't think it matters much. Certainly not enough to buy supplemental lids. I would advise that you just go with the lids that come with your cookware, at first. Then, if you develop preferences, you can always convert later on if necessary.
A true Dutch oven is a cast-iron pot that has three short legs on the bottom and a recessed lid that will hold hot coals. It was actually used to bake in. They are still available, and are popular with campers and historical reenactors.
What is called a Dutch oven nowadays actually is a flat-bottomed kettle, usually with a domed lid. It's used either on the range (great for making stews, pot roasts, etc.) or inside the oven. Most of the ones you see are enamaled cast iron, but plain cast iron is available as well.
BTW, there is no such thing as a silly question. Everyone has to start sometime. And we all learn all the time.
Gardenlad, good info. I would add that just about every line of cookware (stainless, anodized, nonstick, etc) today includes a Dutch oven-ish pan.
I prefer the enameled cast iron for braising and stewing. I have two sizes of Staub and one Le Creuset. The enamel allows you to cook without the worry of an interaction between any acidic foods and uncoated cast iron. But do know that these pans are quite heavy.
I also have a SS Dutch oven and one that is nonstick. They are great for soups or any large amount of food.
Can't fault the Le Creuset for durability. I have a Le Creuset Dutch oven, part of a set we recieved as a wedding present; and we're in the 40th year of a trial marraige (and beginning to think it's going to work out).
Only two problems with the Le Creuset. First is the size. For the sorts of things I cook in that kind of pot, it's kind of small. So I use my straight cast-iron kettles instead. The Le Creuset makes a great rice cooker, though.
I would have to say that for anyone who doesn't want to go through the bother of curing and maintaining cast iron, the enameled stuff is hard to beat.
"Only two problems with the Le Creuset. First is the size. For the sorts of things I cook in that kind of pot, it's kind of small."
So what's the second problem, gardenlad? :-)
Listen, if you've been able to stay successfully married for 40 years (ours is 38), then you darn well deserve to buy yourself a bigger LC or Staub dutch oven.
I kid, I kid. If you're happy with your ol' real cast-iron stuff, forge on.
>So what's the second problem, gardenlad? :-) Country of origin.
I don't like glass lids. Once the stuff in the pot/pan is cooking, the lid is too fogged up to see anything, so what's the point. When they break they are expensive to replace. I don't mind a dent in a metal lid, I do mind broken glass.
It's all personal choice. I prefer glass lids. I don't think they always fog up too much to see, and I definitely prefer to see the sights! I've never broken the glass on a lid, although I have had the handle separate from the glass.
Momj, have you ever actually broken a glass lid? Or is that just theory?
I've never broken one. You almost have to work at it to break tempered glass. When I was young, my mom had an all-glass skillet with glass lid. Only metal was a ribbon-like band that held the wire handle in place. She must have had that 40 years without either part breaking.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not particularly wedded to glass lids---though I do like them. My feeling is, why spend money to replace any lid, unnecessarily? I say, go with what comes with the cookware until such time as it proves unsatisfactory. Then you can replace it.