14 Best Ways to Use a Dutch Oven

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The Dutch oven has a reputation for being a difficult piece of equipment to use, but the truth is that starting with a good Dutch oven can make cooking a lot easier and more pleasurable.

Dutch oven

A Dutch oven is one of the most versatile pieces of cookware that you can own. You can fry, stew, braise, brown, and bake foods in it – and it looks good on your stove or in the center of your dinner table.

If you aren’t familiar with a Dutch oven, this example at Uno Casa is what we mean: a beautiful yet practical lidded pot that can do just about anything.

If you’ve only been using your Dutch oven to make soup or chili, here are a lot of other ways to make the most of this fabulous piece of kitchen equipment.

Here are some of the best ways to use a Dutch oven:

1. Make sauces

You can make large portions of sauces – freezing portions if you wish – such as:

  • Bolognese sauce
  • Marinara or other tomato sauce
  • Bechamel or different cream sauces
  • Applesauce or apple butter
  • Jams and preserves
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2. Make soups

Making soup is easy in a Dutch oven, as you can sauté the onions or other vegetables before adding in the remaining ingredients. You then cover and simmer, all in the same pot.

Try any of these soups:

  • Chicken soup
  • Mushroom soup
  • French onion soup
  • Asparagus soup
  • Cheezy broccoli soup
  • Minestrone
  • Fish soup

3. Make your own broth

Because of the large capacity of a Dutch oven, it’s perfect for making:

  • Bone broth
  • Fish stock
  • Chicken stock
  • Beef stock
  • Vegetable stock

4. Make stews

There are many tasty recipes online for one-pot stews, such as:

  • Chili
  • Lamb stew
  • Vegetable stew
  • Sausage stew
  • Oxtail stew
  • Fish chowder
  • Beef and bacon stew
  • Moroccan chicken or lamb Tagine
  • Pot roast

5. Make casseroles

Because a Dutch oven can go from the stove to the oven and then to your table, it’s perfect for making casseroles like:

  • Breakfast casserole
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Fish and rice casserole
  • Ratatouille
  • Baked beans
  • Rigatoni with sausage
  • Cassoulet

6. Make roast dinners

Roast your meat and veg together with dinners such as:

  • Roasted chicken and vegetables
  • Roast lamb and vegetables
  • Slow roasted chicken with honey and carrots
  • Beef brisket

7. Make braised meat dishes

You can braise the meat in the Dutch oven and then finish off by adding the vegetables on top and simmering on the stove. Or you can finish your dish in the oven – both work well. Your braised meat juices stay in the pot and mix with the vegetables for a delicious result! You can try:

  • Braised short ribs
  • Braised turkey dinner
  • Beef brisket
  • Pulled pork
  • Milk braised pork
  • Braised leg of lamb
  • Braised duck with chard
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8. Make large quantities of rice or pasta

Any rice or pasta dish is perfect in a Dutch oven. Large quantities are a snap for dishes like:

  • Risotto
  • Rice pudding
  • One-pot lasagna
  • Pasta carbonara

9. Make fried food dishes

Frying your food in a Dutch oven is easily done, as the pot has a thick construction for even heat distribution. Have a go at making:

  • Chicken escalopes
  • Fried calamari
  • Fried chicken
  • French fries or onion rings
  • Tempura

10. Make stir-fries

You don’t need a wok, as you can use high heat, and the high sides of the pot mean that you can fry a large quantity of food quickly. Any stir-fry will work in a Dutch oven, such as:

  • Chicken and cashews
  • Beef in black bean sauce
  • Chinese cabbage with scallops
  • Sweet and sour pork
  • Quick shrimp stir fry

11. Make bread

Dutch ovens are perfect for making bread because you can bake the bread first in the covered pot and then remove the lid for a crusty brown top.

Many bread recipes will work in a Dutch oven, such as:

  • No-knead bread
  • Sweet bread
  • Nutty bread
  • Sourdough bread
  • Cinnamon roll

12. Make sweet or savory pies and crumbles

Dutch ovens make great pies because you can braise your meat or cook your fruit, and then put the pastry on top and finish in the oven. Cook with the lid to make sure the meat or fruit is finished, then remove the cover to brown the crust. Some ideas for pies and crumbles are:

  • Chicken pot pie
  • Beef and peas pot pie
  • Apple, rhubarb, peach, or other fruit crumble
  • Apple pie
  • Peach cobbler
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13. Make candy

Candy requires high temperatures, and Dutch ovens retain heat well, so you can use them for making candy treats such as:

  • Pecan pralines
  • Caramel corn
  • Candied apples

14. Bake

Here are some baked desserts that people have made using a Dutch oven:

  • Brownies
  • Chocolate cake
  • Pineapple upside-down cake
  • Mud cake
  • Cheesecake

As you can see, the possibilities for making delicious food in a Dutch oven are endless!

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