A Dutch oven is a beautiful thing. Its heavy weight means food cooks evenly, whether on the stovetop or in the oven. It's perfect for soups such as lemon potato chowder, stews such as white bean and chicken sausage, or no-knead bread. While a Dutch oven technically doesn't have to be enameled steel, most are these days, meaning it can bring a welcome pop of color to a sea of stainless steel.
Dutch ovens are perfect for making soup. They take you from sautéing the onions, to browning the meat, to simmering the stock, and finally straight to the table for a beautiful presentation.
- Zuppa Toscana
- Mushroom and Barley Soup
- Lemon Potato Chowder
- How To Make Classic Tomato Soup
- Alice Waters' Chickpea and Broccoli Rabe Soup
Stews are perhaps the most classic use of a Dutch oven, as they benefit from the low-and-slow cooking a Dutch oven excels at. Some models even have divots in their lids to encourage moisture to gather and drip, basting the food below and ensuring a moist environment.
- Root Vegetable Beef Stew with Mushroom and Spinach Polenta
- Sesame Ginger Shrimp and Cabbage Stew
- Vegetarian Kale and Cannellini Bean Stew
- Chunky Pork and Apple Stew
- White Bean & Chicken Sausage Stew
Cooking a whole chicken in a Dutch oven helps to keep the bird from drying out — especially if you employ the "Jamie Oliver" approach by adding milk (or other, non-dairy liquid such as coconut milk). Chicken stews and shredded chicken also benefit from being cooked in a Dutch oven.
- Jamie Oliver's Chicken in Milk
- Chicken in Coconut Milk with Lemongrass
- BBQ Shredded Chicken
- Chinese No-Clay-Pot Chicken with Soy & Ginger
Vegetarian and Vegan
People often associate Dutch ovens with meaty dishes, due to the fact that low-and-slow cooking is perfect for tough proteins, but vegetables like this approach too and there are lots of vegetarian/vegan stews that perform beautifully in a Dutch oven's environment.
- How To Make Vegan Eggplant Bolognese
- Braised Coconut Spinach & Chickpeas with Lemon
- Baked Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions
About 10 years ago, the no-knead bread phenomenon was just getting started and suddenly everyone was buying a Dutch oven, as it was the best tool for baking the bread at a high-temperature/high-moisture environment. The results are a perfect loaf, and 10 years later that trend has become a standard method.