Did you unwrap a new Dutch oven this year? Congrats! Braise, boil, bake, and fry in the Dutch oven—the options are endless. Here’s what you need to know about your new favorite piece of kitchen equipment, and everything you should be cooking in it.
Related Reading: The 10 Best Dutch Ovens of 2020
Dutch Oven Intel
Did you ask for a Dutch oven and get a cocotte? Not to worry. Find out the difference between the two seemingly similar appliances, and whether you can use them interchangeably. Then, get cooking.
In this case, the real question is “What’s the difference between cast iron and enameled cast iron?”—but it’s still a good one.
They each have their pros and cons, but there are times when one is clearly the winner.
Dutch Oven Recipes
Sure, you could make pulled pork in the slow cooker, but where’s the fun in that? Try it instead in your Dutch oven, where it braises for nearly four hours.
Ever thought about making yeast donuts? It’s super easy, especially when you’re working with the depth of a Dutch oven, allowing you to set up a frying station. (Deep Dutch ovens are great for frying anything, really.)
Case in point: Crunchy, golden fried plantains are easy to make in your Dutch oven and even better than your favorite french fries.
There’s nothing quite as comforting as curling up next to a bowl of beef stew in the winter. Make this version in your Dutch oven, replete with potatoes, carrots, and peas.
Yes, you can even bake bread in your Dutch oven!
Simmer this pumpkin soup, topped with a walnut sesame seed brittle, in your Dutch oven if you don’t have a pumpkin cocotte.
AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, $41.49 on Amazon
Use the height of a Dutch oven to your advantage when making this casserole: layer the pan with beef, green tomatoes, and sweet potatoes, then pop it in the oven until bubbling and golden brown.
If your roasting pan is too big for a chicken (or you don’t have a roasting pan at all), nestle the bird in your Dutch oven instead.
Cook dried beans low and slow in your Dutch oven to creamy, tender perfection.
Your Dutch oven is ideal for making a pot of comforting risotto; this is a great basic recipe. (But when you want different flavors, try our other risotto recipes.)
Related Reading: A Simple Chef Trick for the Best Braise Ever
This is probably NOT something you’ll want to make in your lovely enameled cast iron Le Creuset, Lodge, or Staub—but if you were given a naked cast iron Dutch oven, you can cook right in the coals, including this dessert.
Bonus: Even More Soup
Add these soups to your recipe rolodex, from roasted butternut squash to pesto chicken and white bean soup. And make them all in your Dutch oven.
Related Reading: Are You Throwing Away the Key to Super-Flavorful Soup?
Speaking of soups, there’s no need to go out for your favorite bowl when you could just make them at home. Replicate Panera’s broccoli and cheese soup and Disneyland clam chowder with these recipes. Your new Dutch oven won’t have time to gather dust.
Header image courtesy of Brett Stevens / Cultura / Getty Images