Oh, and it’s easily one of my favorite kitchen tools in existence.
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There is no question that we’re all experiencing some of the loneliest, most isolating times in the cursed year that is 2020. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, I know one thing is for sure. The relationship that I have with my Great Jones Dutch oven might be one of the strongest (literally and figuratively) in my life. This year has brought UNPRECEDENTED (are we all sick of that word yet?) change to just about everyone. For me, personally, I’ve experienced a job lay-off, a move home to my parents’, the passing of a family pet (not Covid-related, just devastating), and a generally agonizing and uncertain future. Through all of this turmoil, one thing has remained constant—my Dutch oven. Through thick and thin, sickness and health, better or worse, I can always count on my number one kitchen companion and confidante (yes, my Dutch oven).

The magical partnership between my Dutch oven and me began long before the pandemic, which speaks to its longevity and unwavering strength. I’ve owned this Dutch oven for close to 2 years now, and it’s without question the one kitchen toy that brings me the most joy. (See, it even makes me speak in rhymes.) I was originally drawn to it because of its vintage aesthetic, matte finish, fun color (I have the mustard which I feel speaks to my personality, but all the other colors are eye-catching, too), and enticing oval shape (circles are so last decade). Little did I know that its visual appeal wasn’t even the best part. This thing can COOK. And so can I.

Great Jones Dutch Oven
Credit: Great Jones/Instagram

Great Jones/Instagram

There are lots of kitchen products on the market that look damn good on the shelf, but when it comes to actually cooking with them, they fall extremely short. This is not one of those products. I have made countless soups, stews, braises, and pastas in my Dutch oven, and I am extremely happy with how the Dutch oven performs. It’s sturdy, heats evenly, and cleans up well—everything that you could ask for from a cast-iron. Because I am a useless millennial, I also own approximately zero nice platters, so if I am having a friend over (we’re talking pre-Covid era), I feel very comfortable serving my dish directly in this chic Dutch oven. See? I’m a hostess.

Like everybody else, I’ve also tried my hand at some sourdough baking during quarantine, and my Dutch oven has accompanied me on this stressful journey in a more supportive way that I couldn’t have asked for. The lid offers a tight seal, giving my itty bitty loaves the moisture that they need to rise, while the enameled cast iron can withstand high oven temperatures to give my bread that signature, crusty exterior. Did I know when I got this Dutch oven that two years later it would be birthing homemade sourdough bread? I sure didn’t, but boy am I grateful.

Another feature of this Dutch oven that I feel is extremely underrated is the light gray interior. As much as I love my black cast-iron skillets, sometimes it’s difficult to decipher what all is going on in the pan. If you’re browning butter or sautéing garlic, it’s much easier to see in the gray interior just how caramelized things are getting.

Everybody knows that burning food is no fun. That said, it does happen to the best of us. So, if I happen to incinerate something on the bottom of this pan, I’ll just add a little bit of water and boil it until the charred bits come loose. If that doesn’t work, I’ll hit it with some vinegar or let some baking soda sit until the stains are gone. Usually, hot water, soap, and a gentle sponge do the trick.

Whether you’re seeking lifelong kitchen companionship or just need a practical pot that can do it all, I cannot recommend the Great Jones Dutch oven enough. Not to mention, who doesn’t want to walk into their kitchen everyday and see this sophisticated pan begging to be used? When the going gets tough, the tough cradle their Dutch ovens and long for better days. This strategy has been working for me.