Can a Dutch oven go in the fridge?

In this brief article, we will answer “Can a Dutch oven go in the fridge?”. We will also discuss what food you should avoid keeping in Dutch ovens and the health risks they can cause, and we will also share 6 tips on how to handle them properly.

Can a Dutch oven go in the fridge?

Yes, Dutch ovens can go in the fridge, and you can use them to store cooked food and prevent spoilage. Dutch ovens are made of materials that have conductive properties. It can retain both hot and cold temperatures, so setting them in the fridge will possibly slow down bacterial growth and spoilage.

What are Dutch ovens?

Dutch ovens are a type of cooking utensils that have been used for hundreds of years. They are thick-walled cooking pots with fitting lids to cover them. Dutch ovens, in general, are made of cast iron; however, they can be made of other metal varieties such as aluminum, stainless steel, or ceramic.

What foods to cook and store in a Dutch oven?

Dutch ovens come as a handy cooking gadget to prepare various delicious foods from braising, baking, broiling, deep frying and even marinating. You can use it for cooking stews, soups, roasting a whole chicken, and much more. However, certain types of food will eventually damage the enamel coating of the Dutch oven and fasten their corrosion.

This Includes:

Acidic Food

Acidic foods such as tomato sauce, vinegar, and citruses can cause your cast-iron Dutch oven to rust more easily over time. This is because the rate of ionization reaction (separation of a chemical compound into ions) increases with a low PH medium ( acidic medium).

Sticky Food

Although we have established that Dutch ovens may be the most versatile cookware nevertheless, you should avoid cooking sticky meals in them.  Sticky food such as tomato sauce, BBQ sauce, and caramel sauce leaves residues behind and causes the pot’s non-stick characteristics to deteriorate.

Oily and Fatty food

Oily food such as fish requires great care when cooking them as their high-fat content tends to burn quickly and stick to the cooking surface.

What are the mineral toxicity risks when cooking in Dutch ovens

 

Conventionally, Dutch ovens are made of metals and coated with Enamel. Enamel coatings are non-porous and inert, and this means they do not react with food while cooking; however, corrosion and leakage of toxic metals to food happens when enamel coatings are scratched. Such corrosion is also facilitated by heating.

Leaked metals include Iron, Magnesium, Nickel, Chromium, and Calcium.  While these elements are leached in trace amounts, adequate to the needs of the body’s vital processes, constant exposure causes the accumulation of toxic metals in the body, which eventually leads to health issues.

6 Tips to properly handle your Dutch ovens

Wash it before use

Before using your new Dutch oven for the first time, you should wash it with hot water and soap. Repetitively washing and using your Dutch oven decreases the release of toxic metals in food.

Avoid high temperatures

Enameled cast-iron Dutch oven can be used directly on the stovetop, in the oven, or on the grill. You can even use them in coal or wood-fired ovens. The direct high temperature will burn your Dutch oven’s surface, so do not preheat it high, instead slowly heat it and keep medium temperature.

Fat is essential

Generally, use oil, butter, or any preferred type of fat before cooking in a Dutch oven. This coats its surface and ensures no food residue is left behind; thus, maintaining its non-stickiness.

Careful not to scratch it

When cooking in a Dutch oven, make sure to use wooden or silicone cooking utensils, so you do not scratch them. Moreover, when cleaning them, do not use strong abrasive cleaners or scrub them.

Water is your worst enemy

When droplets of water contact any metal, it oxidizes, causing it to rust, so you should always dry your Dutch oven before placing them in a cabinet.

Do not thermally shock your Dutch oven

Dutch ovens are made of conductive materials; this allows them to heat and cool quickly when the temperature fluctuates. Directly heating a refrigerated Dutch oven or vice versa will thermally shock the enamel, causing breakage.

When to buy a new Dutch oven?

If you notice a crack, an uneven base, excessive stickiness, or rust, it is a sign to throw away your Dutch oven. Cooking in old damaged Dutch ovens is unsafe and will subject your health to risks.

Dutch ovens are a handy cooking gadget and are used for their versatility. Dutch ovens can go in the fridge, and you can use them to store cooked food and prevent spoilage. However, certain types of high acid A foods such as tomato sauce, vinegar, and citruses can cause your cast-iron Dutch oven to rust.

Conclusion

In this brief article, we have answered “Can a Dutch oven go in the fridge?”. We also discussed what food you should avoid keeping in Dutch ovens and the health risks they can cause, and we will also share 6 tips on how to handle them properly.

References

https://ovenspot.com/can-a-dutch-oven-go-in-the-refrigerator/


https://www.lecreuset.com/care-and-use.html?utm_source=pjn&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=21181&clickId=3895501065&source=pepperjam
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334534767_Corrosion_and_corrosion_inhibition_of_cast_Iron_in_hydrochloric_acid_HCl_solution_by_cantaloupe_Cucumis_melo_as_green_inhibitor
https://www.thekitchn.com/10-things-to-know-before-using-your-new-dutch-oven-253154
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32763438/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.