The latest edition to our family thanks to a great steal at Marshalls:
A good dutch oven is absolute heaven for serious home cooking. Dutch ovens have been used for hundreds of years in kitchens across the world. Dutch ovens are awesome because you can go straight from the stove top into the oven without changing dishes. The dutch oven is perfect for browning meat for stews, soups or saucy dishes. After the meat is browned with the lid off, you can pop the tight, heavy lid on and it allows heat to radiate around the food and seals in condensation, surrounding the dish in moist heat.
I cook with a bare cast iron pan and I am always a little stressed about maintaining it–you cant just wash it like a regular pan, you have to clean them with boiling water and a brush, and no or minimal soap. After the cast iron has been dried, it should be given a thin coating of cooking oil to prevent rusting. I decided to go with an enameled cast iron dutch oven to save myself the stress of cleaning, but that means that I shouldn’t use it for high heat cooking such as deep frying.