dutch oven on the range top instead of in the oven?

69
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Joined Apr 6, 2010
so, our bosch range is on the blink - the oven doesn't work at all and won't until a faulty part is ordered and installed. until then, we have to cook on the range top only.

i was thinking of doing a chuck roast and veggies today in my staub oval dutch oven. this model has a ridge around the lid that can hold ice for "doux feu" (a.k.a. "doufeu") cooking, in which you keep the lid cooler than the oven in order to facilitate basting via condensation. 

my question is, can this be done properly on the range top alone or does it require a hot oven? i would imagine the fact that it's cast iron would mean that it would retain and disperse heat pretty evenly despite the heat source coming only from below.

thanks for any input.

* btw, we do have a crock pot, but i think the dutch oven would be better as you can brown the meat and deglaze the fond in it.
 
6,367
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Joined Feb 1, 2007
Absolutely!

I wouldn't even bother with the ice, which is kind of gimmicky. Just assure a good seal. If necessary, spread a sheet of foil over the pot before putting the lid in place. You'll get that condensation drip you're looking for.

Low and slow is the secret.
 

phatch

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Staff member
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Joined Mar 29, 2002
Braising has a long history on the stove top. As the others have said, you'll be fine. The advantage of the oven is it's a good slow simmer. Keep the stove temps low and avoid boiling. You'll be fine.
 
69
12
Joined Apr 6, 2010
follow up:

so, the chuck turned out great... it just took a while. after 3.5 hours, it was still tough as old boots. by this time, it was too late for dinner, so we whipped up something else and let the chuck cool enough to put in the fridge and sit overnight. then we cranked it up for another couple of hours the next night and it was fan-bloody-tastic.

i remember seeing a good eats episode where alton brown explained something about reheated meat being more tender or otherwise better the next day. something about breaking down collagen or something. 

in any case, it turned out great. i just should've started it earlier... and the "doux feu" thing really worked. the lid was basting the meat like crazy. all in all, it was a good learning experience. 
 

kcz

331
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Joined Dec 14, 2006
My Staub Dutch oven has bumps and ridges on the undersurface of the lid that are supposed to channel steam into drips to help baste the food.  I thought it was gimmicky but it really seems to help.
 
6,367
128
Joined Feb 1, 2007
"Self-basting" lids like that have been around since Lazerous was a corporal, KCZ.

I don't like it (or, even worse, the design with the recesses instead of nipples) on raw cast iron, because it tends to pull the cure. But on your Staub it should work just fine. My Calaphon 8-quart oval has the same sort of design, and it works great and cleans easily.
 
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