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How to Cook With a Dutch Oven: A Simple Guide

Cooking great new recipes can be exciting, but oftentimes, it can seem like too much work. Trying new recipes can be time-consuming, and the cleanup afterward might make it seem not worth it.

Luckily, you can easily use a Dutch oven to cook a variety of different meals. Keep reading for a full breakdown on how to cook with a Dutch oven.

What Is a Dutch Oven?

If you’re unfamiliar with it, a Dutch oven is a heavy cast iron cooking pot. It has a pair of handles on either side and a lid that fits tightly on top.

Because cast iron is not a good heat conductor, when a Dutch oven gets hot, it stays hot for a long time. When you need to cook with a lower temperature at a slower pace, a Dutch oven can be perfect.

But what are some different things you can make when cooking with a Dutch oven?

Use it For Soups and Stews

Soups and stews require a low and steady temperature. This tenderizes the meat (think of meat that “falls off the bone”) and also causes the different ingredient flavors to meld together. Because of this, they pair perfectly with a Dutch oven.

Pork shoulder, beef chuck, and anything else with a lot of fat will braise perfectly in a  Dutch oven. 

Similarly, you can also use it to soften different types of vegetables. Greens such as kale and collards and root vegetables such as carrots and turnips are delicious when brewed in a Dutch oven.

Sear Meat

The cast iron material of Dutch ovens allows them to do a lot of things all in the same pot.

After you get it hot and smokey on the stove, you can then directly add your meat to brown it. Follow it up by then adding liquid and any other ingredients, and they’ll all cook easily together.

The same pot can handle everything!

This makes it even easier to use than a Crockpot, which requires a separate skillet to sear the meat.

Cook Over a Campfire

Are you a fan of camping? If so, consider bringing a Dutch oven on your next camping trip!

Dutch ovens have been used to cook in the wilderness for hundreds of years. Even when your miles away from civilization, with nothing but stars and a campfire, you can still cook some delicious meals. Just put it directly over the fire!

Wondering what sorts of things you can cook over a fire? Check out this guide for a list of camping Dutch oven recipes.

How to Cook With a Dutch Oven? It’s Easy!

If you’re wondering how to cook with a Dutch oven, know that it’s easy! With a simple cast iron pot, you can cook a huge variety of dishes, and in a number of different places.

Do you have any other suggestions for dishes you can make with a Dutch Oven? Let us know in the comments below.

Check out our blog posts for more food-related guides and tips.