The manufacturer’s specifications for my Dutch oven say the knob on the lid should not go into a 450 degree oven. Can I still use this Dutch oven to make my Glorious One-Pot Meals?
Traditionally, Dutch oven recipes begin on the stovetop and continue with hours of slow cooking in the oven. Most Glorious One-Pot Meals, on the other hand, stay inside the oven for an hour or less, depending on the amount of food you are preparing.
I questioned this recommendation during a meeting with the officials at one popular Dutch oven company and they reassured me that there was no problem for the phenolic plastic knobs when left in the oven for such a short period of time as necessary to make a Glorious One-Pot Meals. Furthermore, the enameled cast iron Dutch oven companies all purchase phenolic knobs from the same company, so this advice holds true across brands.
From personal experience, I own Dutch ovens that have literally made hundreds — if not thousands — of Glorious One-Pot Meals. Of the more than thirty thousand home cooks who use my method, I have only ever heard of ONE knob problem, and that was from an early 1970s-era Dutch oven. The company promptly replaced the knob — even though the knob was almost forty years old!
Several companies, such as Le Creuset, now offer stainless steel replacement knobs, if you would like to replace the phenolic plastic one. It is easy to do since it’s held on by a simple screw.
Legally speaking, you should only do what you feel comfortable doing, of course, but I personally feel safe using the plastic knobs that arrive on the lids of enameled cast iron Dutch ovens for my Glorious One-Pot Meals. If you have a different experience, please let me know!