Call it a Dutch oven, a cocotte, a casserole dish, or a cast iron pan -- just don't underestimate it. Once you have one in your kitchen you'll wonder how you've ever cooked without it! Since the entire team at Cooking With Spirits likes to be creative we thought we'd share 5 Reasons You Need A Dutch Oven in your Kitchen.
If you think a dutch oven is just to cook soup, you're not using it to its full potential.
1. Bake Bread
Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread recipe has amassed a serious following. You just stir and then bake -- no kneading, no shaping, and very little room for error. The steam from the Dutch oven creates a crackly, golden crust -- the kind home bakers lust after -- and a perfectly round shape.
2. Braise Meat
Low and slow: That’s the key to braising. Cast iron keeps heat consistent during cooking, so you can leave the pot alone for hours without fussing with the stove. As an added bonus, it retains heat long after you take your braise from the stove -- take it directly to the table and it’ll stay warm for dinner.
3. Your Dutch Oven Can Act as a DIY Cooler
Fresh, crisp salads should remain that way, and your Dutch oven can help. Fill an enameled Dutch oven with ice water and let it stand until the pot is thoroughly chilled (about 5 minutes). Dump the water out, dry the pot, and transfer the chilled food into the pot for serving. Because of cast iron’s ability to retain heat (or lack thereof) and keep a stable temperature, your Dutch oven will remain cold for much longer than would a glass or plastic serving bowl.
4. Fry Something
Frying can be a daunting task -- and a messy one. The tall sides of a Dutch oven help to cut down on oil splatter, and the cast iron handles very high heat without burning.
5. Your Dutch Oven Can Double as a Smoker
Just because the weather isn’t cooperating doesn’t mean that you can’t smoke food. Indoor smoking delivers some of the same complexity and aromas that you’d produce on a grill.
If you're interested in our other favorite kitchen tools check out our Kitchen Tools and Supplies Page.
I did not know that a dutch oven could be used as a cooler. Thanks for this great tip!
I need a Dutch oven. Just thinking of the possibilities makes me wanna go get one now.
I loooove my Dutch oven! But I had no idea that it could also function as a cooler. Thanks for the tip!
I know I need a dutch oven. I get away with using my stockpot most of the time, but I really need to get a real dutch oven. My husband and I have been saying we probably need new pots and pans in the next year or so, I'll have to sneak one of these in when we buy a new set!
Awesome reasons to get a Dutch Oven. Great that it can also be used as a smoker or to fry something.
I am ALMOST convinced.... Now if only this HEAT in LA would GO AWAY - then maybe I really would invest in one! haha!
I do not own a dutch oven, but after reading this, I need one! I had no idea you could use one to bake bread.
We love our dutch oven but I didn't realize there were so many more things we can do with it! Awesome list.
Would you believe we have one and have never used it! I need to learn how!
yes exactly!!! I love my Dutch oven and use it all the time. I am actually considering buying a bigger one.
A proper Dutch oven has been on my wishlist for ages. I really need to get one!
Wow not heard of a dutch oven before...where have I been. We would love one of these for sure xx
I agree. I remember growing up granny would cook the best dinner in a dutch oven. I bought one when I moved on but it rusted. I never thought of it as a smoker. That's a great idea.
I read so much about the beauty of Dutch ovens that it makes me want to whip mine out and create magic. Your dish looks very enticing...
I've been wanting to try baking bread in my Dutch oven! *-* I never thought to use it as a smoker!
I love my dutch oven!! It has changed my life when meal prepping because I can make so much at one time! I'm gonna try some of these other uses too!