Can You Deep Fry Food in a Dutch Oven?

July 14, 2022
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The Requirements for Deep Frying in Your Dutch Oven

Do you love munching on deep-fried food like fried chicken or donuts? If so, you might want to learn how you can cook delicious fried food at home. Deep frying, however, requires loads of hot oil. Deep frying requires temperatures of 350 to 375 °F.

So, what type of cooking equipment do you need? You could use a big pot or Dutch oven.

Now, can you deep fry food in a Dutch oven? The short answer is yes. You can use a cast iron Dutch oven to deep fry some tasty items like large pretzels. Nonetheless, there are specific considerations you’ll need to understand before deep frying with a Dutch oven. For example, enameled Dutch ovens, such as those from Le Creuset, can withstand high heat.

Empanadas Fried in a Dutch Oven

Keep reading to learn more about Dutch ovens and how to deep fry food. Let’s get started!

So, Can You Deep Fry in a Dutch Oven?

When researching, “can you deep fry food in a Dutch oven” online, you will find that using a Dutch oven as a type of deep fryer is actually more common than many people think. Dutch ovens tend to have excellent thermal capabilities and many cooking options.

You’ll find varying recipes using Dutch ovens, as they are more effective than other pots and pans. For example, cooks have found that French fries come out much better when cooked in a cast iron Dutch oven than in a standard frying pan.

Frying Donuts in a Le Creuset Dutch Oven

Essentially, you can deep fry food in your Dutch oven, especially since the cooking equipment can handle working at much higher temperatures than other types of cooking apparatuses. You can use either an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven or a seasoned cast-iron Dutch oven.

While Staub and Le Creuset provide only enameled ones, you can find both seasoned and enameled cast iron Dutch ovens from Lodge. Staub does recommend that you can use their cookware to fry food at medium to high heat.

How Much Hot Oil Do You Put in a Dutch Oven for Deep Frying?

You need to pick a Dutch oven with a depth of at least five inches. As such, a 6-quart Dutch oven is best. When deep-frying, you will need to add at least three inches of hot oil to your cookware. As such, you should make sure to have at least four cups of oil or as much as six cups of oil for cooking.

Photo of a Purple Dutch Oven

A Dutch Oven

If you haven’t checked the dimensions of your Dutch oven, you should fill it up with oil about one-third of the way. That way, when you add some French fries, fried chicken, or other foods, it can rise safely without hot oil spilling all over the stove. That will keep your deep frying adventure much safer.

What Type of Oil Is Best?

Olive oil, avocado oil, and peanut oil are some good and healthy choices for deep-frying food. The best oils for cooking need to have a high smoking point and remain stable without reacting to oxygen. When searching for more stability, pick oils with higher levels of saturated fats.

You should avoid oils with high amounts of polyunsaturated fats, which are less stable and react with oxygen.

Vegetable oil, including canola oil and sunflower oil, is inferior for deep-frying because of the high amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids. These tend to react badly with oxygen, so you want to avoid vegetable oils. You will also want to choose oils with a neutral and simple flavor.

Coconut oil is the best choice overall for deep-frying your lunch or dinner. Coconut oil is fine to use even after eight hours of deep-frying at 365 °F. Most of the fatty acids in coconut oil are saturated and resistant to high heat levels.

How Hot Should the Oil Get?

You will need to know the high smoke point of each oil before using it for deep frying. Most foods can be deep-fried at temperatures of 350 °F to 375 °F. These temperatures will turn your food into a golden brown color and make your tasty meats, sides, or snacks more crispy.

Photo of Someone Checking the Dutch Oven Oil Temperature

Checking the Oil Temperature of a Dutch Oven

The caramelization will begin at around 320 °F. The smoke points of the oils should be at least 375 °F. However, some oil types have much higher smoke points. For example, peanut oil has a smoke point of 446 °F, while avocado oil’s smoke point reaches 520 °F.

You will need to use a cooking thermometer regularly throughout the deep frying process to make sure the oil doesn’t get too hot or too cold. Insert the thermometer right in the middle of the Dutch oven for an accurate temperature. Electrical deep fryers have specific features to take temperatures. When using Dutch ovens, however, you’ll need a cooking thermometer.

The Best Dutch Oven for Deep Frying

Multiple Dutch ovens can work for deep frying. However, according to The New York Times, two Dutch ovens currently on the market are the best choices for cooking.

  • Lodge 6-Quart Enameled Cast-Iron Dutch Oven
  • Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5½-Quart Round French Oven

The Lodge 6-Quart Dutch Oven is a more inexpensive one that has just as many positive attributes as the pricier options out on the market. That Dutch oven is a little easier for use than others and works well for beginner cooks.

The handles are large enough to grip when using oven mitts. Its curved design also help prevent food becoming getting stuck to the sides. Since steam can escape easier with the Lodge 6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, you can sear meats better with it. It also works well for deep frying onion rings, French fries, and more.

The manufacturers built the Le Creuset Signature Enameled French Oven to last. The Dutch oven is incredibly durable and made of high-quality materials. As such, the item is more pricey. The cookware is one of the best on the market.

It has large handles for grabbing with oven mitts when cooking and deep-frying. Further, it isn’t nearly as heavy as other Dutch ovens this makes it easier to stay safe and move it around the kitchen without spilling anything.

The enamel doesn’t chip much when compared to reviews of other Dutch ovens. At the end of the day either Dutch oven you choose should give you a similar outcome when deep-frying.

Is It Safe to Deep Fry in a Cast-Iron Dutch Oven?

While you do need to remain careful when deep frying in a cast iron Dutch oven, it can handle high heat.  You can even boil water in a Dutch oven.. You need to understand exactly how hot your cookware and your kitchen can get when deep frying.

Deep frying in a Le Creuset Dutch Oven

For instance, it’s best to let the oil cool down completely before picking up your Dutch oven to ensure you don’t burn yourself. To stay safe when deep frying, have a fire extinguisher available in case you accidentally start a small grease fire. Avoid direct flames when cooking as well. Otherwise, if oil contacts the flame, it could lead to flare-ups on your stove.

Oils with higher smoke points are also a good idea to use. They are less likely to burst into flames, and you’ll stay safe. Another great way to keep safe is to utilize the right accessories. You will need the following items:

  • A fry basket for lowering food
  • A spider strainer for removing items from the dutch oven so the cooking oil remains in the pot and not on your food
  • A heat-resistant apron
  • Quality hand mitts to protect your hands from oil splatter
  • Metal trays with parchment paper to hold the food
  • Metallic utensils

Can You Deep Fry in an Enameled Cast-Iron Dutch Oven?

An enameled cast-iron Dutch oven is one of the two typical choices you can use for deep-frying your food – the second type you can use to deep fry some tasty items is the seasoned cast-iron Dutch oven. Either type will ensure you get that crispy, caramelized taste when deep-frying some donuts.

The enameled cast-iron Dutch oven will help you get that golden brown color on your fried chicken and onion rings. Whichever type of Dutch oven you purchase, make sure to read through the manufacturer’s directions before using it.

Due to the different coating of enameled Dutch ovens, they will have effective thermal heating. Heat retention is essential to ensure the oil doesn’t get hot too fast or cool down too quickly.

The food will burn if the oil gets too hot. If it cools down too fast, your meal will get soggy. However, with an enameled cast iron Dutch oven, the right heat retention will make your food crispy and well-fried.

An Air Fryer vs. a Cast-Iron Dutch Oven

To avoid the fatty oils and stay healthy, you may want to use an air fryer to fry your favorite foods. You can reduce the number of calories and the fat in your meal with an air fryer. A Dutch oven, however, uses lots of hot oil, which adds calories to your dinner. Nonetheless, deep-frying with a Dutch oven can give your meal a much more flavorful and tasty sensation.

The food is more crusty and crunchy when using a Dutch oven instead of an air fryer. The food will have a tender and moist taste while having a golden brown, crispy exterior.

The hot air in an air fryer also moves around the food equally and leads to a crispy taste as well.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below, you will learn the answers to a few essential questions about deep frying food in a Dutch oven.

Can you fry fish in a cast-iron Dutch oven?

You can use a cast-iron Dutch oven to fry up some fish. Pick some typical white fish like flounder, cod, grouper, or trout. Make a batter to put the fish in. Then, add about three inches of oil to your Dutch oven.

Heat the oil to 350 °F. Dip the fish halfway into the hot oil for about 10 seconds. Then place the fish in completely for two minutes. Now, flip the fish to the other side. Continue flipping until you’ve cooked for at least six minutes.

What is the healthiest oil for deep frying?

There are multiple choices when picking a healthy oil to deep fry your ingredients. The three most healthy oils you can use include olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil. Olive oil, in particular, has some of the healthiest fats. Refined avocado oil has a high smoke point and is mostly composed of monounsaturated fats.

Extra Virgin olive oil plays a major part in the Meditteranean diet, so you might want to include that one for deep frying. That oil is linked to reduced heart disease risk, lower insulin resistance, and disease prevention.

Can You Fry in a Le Creuset Dutch Oven?

Yes, Le Creuset's enameled dutch ovens were designed with deep frying in mind. These dutch ovens feature balanced heating distribution within the dutch oven allowing for even frying of whatever you're cooking.

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!

About Me
Frank Salvatore
I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!
Learn More About Me
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