I am looking forward to downsizing my kitchen. Decluttering always brings me peace.
I am planning to get rid of multiples and keep only what is helpful for my everyday use. Plus, I could use the extra storage space in my kitchen.
My Dutch oven hasn’t been used much. I wonder if I can substitute it with other appliances/cookware.
I could pass it over to my friend who loves camping and cooking on open flames (something I rarely do!).
Let us find out what I can use instead of a Dutch oven and if there are any dutch oven substitutes.
While there is no perfect Dutch oven substitute, depending on the type of cooking you want to do in the Dutch oven, you can replace it with another appliance or cookware.
Below I have a table where I have mentioned the type of cooking you want to do in the left column and the Dutch oven substitute that you can use in the right column.
|Functions||Dutch Oven Substitutes|
|Slow Cooking||Slow cookers|
|Braising and slow cooking||Instant Pots|
|Stovetop to Oven (without Braising)||Oven safe Casseroles|
|Stovetop to Oven (with Braising)||Cast Iron Skillets, Roasting Pans|
|Saute and Searing Only||Any Frying Pan|
|Boiling and simmering||Stockpots Tagine Clay Pots|
|Deep Frying||Air fryer|
For food that needs to go from the stovetop to the oven, use an oven-safe casserole dish. This works well if you do not have to braise the meat or after braising the food in a pan.
If the food needs to be braised on the stovetop and cooked in the oven, iron skillets or roasting pans work well. You will have to cover the top with aluminum foil to replicate a dutch oven.
If all you want to do is saute or brown meat, any pan or skillet will do the trick.
For boiling and sauces, a stockpot or saucepan is an excellent substitute. You can also use clay pots like tagines, ceramic pots, or even metal pots.
For deep frying, use an Air Fryer as a healthier option than a deep fryer pan.
Let me now explain a bit more about the cookware/appliances that I have listed as dutch oven substitutes.
Electric slow cookers are an excellent replacement for Dutch ovens.
You can also choose slow cookers with the searing/saute feature. Look no further from slow cookers for stews and one-pot roasts.
This way, you can sear/saute, add liquid, and allow the food to slow cook under airtight conditions.
On a positive note, you can leave the food to slow cook all day and come back in the evening to a hot dinner.
On the negative side, cooking food takes a longer time in a slow cooker compared to a dutch oven.
For a slow cooker without braising feature, you need to braise the meat before placing it in the slow cooker.
If you wish to have an appliance that can slow cook, pressure cook, or act like a multicooker, look no further than the instant pot.
It is an electric pressure cooker that can replace six to seven cookware/appliances in one go.
You can use it as a rice cooker, a pressure cooker, a saute pan, a yogurt maker, a slow cooker, and also a warmer.
With an instant pot, you can make all the recipes of the dutch oven in a comparatively short time.
A Casserole dish is an excellent substitute for dutch ovens when it comes to baking.
Although not deep like a dutch oven, it can hold a fair amount of food. Make sure the lid is oven safe and fits tightly on the dish.
It can only be placed in the oven since a casserole dish should not be exposed to direct flames.
They are usually made of ceramic. If your casserole dish does not have a lid, use aluminum foil to cover the top when placing it in the oven.
Stockpots are the next best thing to dutch ovens. These pots are heavy-bottomed with tight-fitting lids.
They mimic the stovetop environment of a Dutch oven.
You can saute and then slow cook at low temperatures. Searing at high temperatures is not advisable as food might stick and burn at the bottom of the pan.
Depending on the material of the stockpot, you may or may not be able to use it in the oven.
Follow the manufacturing instructions and go through the oven-safe temperature ranges.
Another good substitute for the dutch oven is the Moroccan tagine pot. It is a clay pot with an airtight conical lid.
The base is shallow and wide. Due to its beautiful design, you can cook as well as serve in the pot.
Unglazed clay pots can be used on the stovetop. Glazed pots cannot be used on open flames.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use it at low temperatures in the oven for slow cooking.
Braisers are mini and shallower versions of ceramic dutch ovens.
They are wider than dutch ovens and can be used for braising.
If you do not want a lot of liquid, you can make meat sauces, stock, and soup with the braiser pot.
The quantity and time duration of a Dutch oven recipe will need some manipulation.
A cast iron skillet can sear and braise your food quite well on the stovetop.
It can also be used inside the oven for stews, casseroles, and baking. You will, however need an oven-safe lid to make it airtight.
With the right lid covering, you can make your one pot roast quite well inside the cast iron skillet, just like a dutch oven.
Just make sure the quantity is less, as the walls of the pan are not high.
A roaster is a good substitute for a dutch oven.
A cast iron roaster or roasting pan can be used on the stovetop as well as in the oven. As it has high sides, it can hold a good amount of food
You can sear and saute in a roaster. It also works quite well for baking. You can make a lot of Mac and cheese or lasagna in it.
If your roaster has an air-tight lid, you can also use it for slow cooking inside the oven.
Woks work great on the stovetop. You can use a wok instead of a Dutch oven for sauteing and searing foods.
For using it inside the oven, read the manufacturing instructions. Make sure the dimensions fit and the handles are oven safe.
If you don’t have a lid, you can cover the top with aluminum foil.
An Airfryer is an excellent substitute for frying options. If you usually deep fry in the dutch oven, I would strongly suggest this.
Frying in an air fryer is a healthy, oil-free alternative to deep frying.
You can cook all sorts of dry foods and bake muffins inside the air fryer.
If you want a sear-like finish just like a dutch oven, try air frying your meat. The top will crisp up and turn brown. Plus, very little oil is needed for cooking food in the air fryer.
How Does a Dutch Oven Work
Dutch ovens are made from heavy cast iron and that is why they are able to retain heat and cook food evenly.
They have been used for decades to saute, slow cook, boil, roast, bake, heat, reheat, fry, etc.
Before the advent of slow cookers, instant pots, pressure cookers, and air fryers, a dutch oven did all the work from the stovetop to the oven.
The Dutch oven comprises a heavy-bottomed pot and a heavy tight-fitting lid.
Due to the sealed chamber inside, the moisture droplets that arise as steam from the food, condense and drop back into the food being cooked.
The food can be seared and browned at high temperatures before adding liquid and cooking slowly at low temperatures. You can use the dutch oven on all stove tops, including the oven.
If the reason you are looking for substitutes is that you cannot afford a dutch oven, don’t worry.
I am going to share with you two links for an affordable Dutch oven that won’t burn a hole in your pocket!
As you now know, there are many substitutes for a dutch oven. The topmost substitute is the slow cooker.
You can also use instant pots, casserole dishes, stockpots, tagine clay pots, braiser pots, cast iron skillets, roasting pans, woks, and even an air fryer!
In short, if your appliance has a tight-fitting lid/sealed container and a stovetop-oven-compatible base, you can use it for cooking recipes meant for the dutch oven. Cheers!
Other articles you may also like:
- Can You Use a Dutch Oven on the Stove Top (Gas/Electric)?
- French Oven (Cocotte) vs. Dutch Oven – What’s the Difference?
- Braiser vs. Dutch Oven – What’s the difference?
- Dutch Oven vs. Crockpot – What’s the difference?
- Will a Dutch Oven Work on an Induction Cooktop?
- Best Dutch Oven for Induction Cooktops
- How to Clean a Dutch Oven? (Cast Iron, Enameled, Stainless Steel, Ceramic)
- Is it Safe to Put a Dutch Oven in the Oven?