If you love cooking, you likely know the benefits and joys of using this kitchen workhorse. And why not, a sturdy pot with tight fitting lid that can go on any stovetop and is oven safe – what’s not to like? Moreover you can cook a variety of recipes extra delicious and aromatic. From browned chicken thighs to beef stew to bread baking, these pots are a great help. But do you know which is the best Dutch oven?
You may think, hmm.. what about a pot like Le Creuset enameled cast iron? Or Cast iron Dutch ovens like the Lodge enameled version or the one made by Staub? Or maybe those oval Dutch ovens with a tempered glass lid you saw online? If you are still trying to figure out the best brand or design, you are missing an important aspect – the raw material. How healthy a Dutch oven is depends on what it is made from. Find out why all the Dutch ovens you typically see in stores are not the healthiest choice.
Cast iron versions
Those with cast iron construction and the enameled version are the first to catch the eye. They are durable and are great heat retainers. But the problem is like all metals, cast iron is reactive. This means when your wisely chosen ingredients cook in a cast iron pot, it leaches ferric ions that react to food and contaminate it. But isn’t iron needed in the body? Yes, but in the ferrous form that comes from plants and meat, not the toxic ferric ions leaching from cast iron cookware.
Enameled cast iron Dutch oven
To overcome the leaching and make the Dutch oven look aesthetic, some makers use enamel coating that insulates raw cast iron and prevents leaching. But the irony is (no pun intended) the enamel itself is made from toxic materials. Most enameled cast iron cookware are coated with ceramics which is low quality clay containing metal oxides and hundreds of chemicals, many of which are toxic. They leach heavy metals such as lead and we know what lead poisoning can do in our bodies. Moreover, even the most durable enamel coating eventually starts forming cracks exposing the core material – metal, which then leaches and makes food toxic.
Stainless steel Dutch ovens
Some makers use stainless steel to make cookware. It may seem like a better option until you find out that stainless steel contains a combination of various metals like iron, nickel, chromium, molybdenum, carbon etc. Among these, a small concentration of nickel alone can cause kidney dysfunction, low blood pressure, muscle tremors, oral cancer, skin problems etc. [Source]
Nonstick Dutch oven
In order to make cookware nonstick, the makers use nonstick coating such as Teflon, or GenX. Teflon and GenX are made by the same company, Dupont. Many are aware how Teflon releases toxic PFOA and PTFE when heated. Unfortunately, early research has shown GenX to be just as toxic, if not more.
All these multitude of issues described above call for an alternative! A Dutch oven made from a healthy material and without toxic coatings, while still offering all the features of a Dutch oven. Luckily, we already have one and want to share this safe and efficient option.
MEC, The Healthiest Dutch oven
Miriams Earthen Cookware (MEC) is a US-based cookware brand that exclusively uses the purest form of natural clay, primary clay to make pots including Dutch oven. Their lab tested raw material is the safest known cookware material, trusted by generations and capable of cooking the healthiest food possible.
The makers do not use additives, glazes or enamels, and handmake each piece on a potter’s wheel. The ergonomic design and unique hand-finishing equip these pots with healthy features that make them the healthiest Dutch oven out there.
Miriams pure clay Dutch oven cooks with gentle far infrared heat that offers even heat distribution, fastest low heat cooking by deep penetration, gentle cooking of delicate nutrients, and excellent heat retention. You can attain evenly cooked rice in these pots! These round Dutch ovens can retain heat for 4x longer than other Dutch ovens and offer the most energy efficient cooking.
This round Dutch oven with extended rim doesn’t need plastic or rubber handles; you can easily hold them while wearing oven mitts. And the lid, without stainless steel knob or metal knob, is cool to the touch during cooking – no need to use an oven mitt. You can use it on stovetop and it is oven safe. This can also be your best lightweight Dutch oven to take for camping and use on coal-fire, woodfire or a grill.
These become naturally nonstick after 5-6 uses. So you can use for browning meat, sautéing, and baking bread with minimum to no oil. Unlike bare cast iron, food doesn’t stick to the surface so you can clean with just water and baking soda. Although dishwasher safe, you should avoid toxic soaps. Like most Dutch ovens, this one comes in many sizes. And you can use the same pot for slow cooking, pressure cooking, rice cooking, steaming and much more.
Now you know that MEC Dutch oven is naturally nonstick without any toxic coating and is made from the safest raw material that cooks everything healthy and nutritious, why don’t you visit MEC Store and order a cookware set today? They ship worldwide!