Best dutch oven

best things to cook in dutch oven


As a Dutch oven and recipe enthusiast, I can attest to the versatility and practicality of this traditional cooking pot. Dutch ovens have been a staple in kitchens for centuries, and for good reason. In this post, I’ll give you a brief history of Dutch ovens, explain what they are, and share why they’re so great for cooking.

What is a Dutch Oven?

A Dutch oven is a thick-walled, heavy cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid. It’s typically made of cast iron or ceramic, and can be used for a variety of cooking methods, including braising, stewing, frying, and baking.

A Brief History of Dutch Ovens

The Dutch oven was invented in the early 1700s in the Netherlands. It was originally made of brass or copper, but eventually switched to cast iron due to its durability and thermal properties. Dutch ovens became popular in America in the 1800s, thanks to their versatility and durability on the frontier. Today, Dutch ovens are a beloved kitchen tool for chefs and home cooks alike.

Why Dutch Ovens are Great for Cooking

There are several reasons why Dutch ovens are great for cooking:

  • They distribute heat evenly, maintaining consistent temperature throughout cooking
  • They’re durable and last for generations with proper care
  • They can be used on the stovetop, in the oven, or over an open flame, making them versatile for many cooking methods
  • They have a tight-fitting lid that helps lock in moisture and flavor

Top 5 Best Things to Cook in a Dutch Oven


Chili is perfect for cooking in a Dutch oven because the pot’s even distribution of heat allows for the ingredients to be cooked and melded together perfectly. Here’s an overview of the recipe:

  • Ingredients: ground beef, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, tomatoes, black beans, kidney beans, beef broth, salt and pepper
  • Cooking process: Brown the beef in the Dutch oven, then add onion and garlic. Once the onion is translucent, add chili powder and cumin, followed by the tomatoes, beans, and beef broth. Allow the chili to simmer for an hour, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Variations: Add corn or use different types of beans for a twist on the classic recipe.

Braised Ribs

Dutch ovens excel at braising because the heavy lid traps moisture and flavor, resulting in succulent, falling-off-the-bone meat. Here’s an overview of the recipe:

  • Ingredients: Pork ribs, BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, onion, salt and pepper
  • Cooking process: Season ribs with salt and pepper, then brown in the Dutch oven. Remove ribs from the pot and set aside. Sauté onion and garlic in the pot, then add BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar. Return the ribs to the pot and coat with the BBQ sauce. Braise the ribs in the oven for 3 hours.
  • Tips: To ensure succulent meat, baste ribs with the braising liquid every 30 minutes.

No-Knead Bread

A Dutch oven is versatile for baking bread because it mimics the effects of a professional-grade bread oven. Here’s an overview of the recipe:

  • Ingredients: Flour, salt, instant yeast, warm water
  • Cooking process: Mix flour, salt, and yeast in a bowl. Add warm water and mix until a loose dough forms. Cover bowl and allow dough to rise for 12-18 hours. Preheat Dutch oven, then transfer dough into pot. Bake for 45 minutes, then remove lid and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until browned.
  • The science behind the Dutch oven bread: The Dutch oven traps steam, creating the necessary conditions for oven spring and a crispy crust.

Beef Stew

A hearty beef stew, complete with potatoes and carrots, is perfect for the Dutch oven’s even heating and flavor-capturing properties. Here’s an overview of the recipe:

  • Ingredients: Beef stew meat, onion, garlic, carrot, potatoes, beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, salt and pepper
  • Cooking process: Brown beef in the Dutch oven, then sauté onion and garlic. Add the beef broth, carrots, potatoes, and tomato paste, then simmer for 1.5-2 hours. Add thyme and Worcestershire sauce, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Tips: To ensure tender beef, cook the beef stew on low heat for a longer period of time.

Dutch Oven Pizza

A Dutch oven can replace a pizza stone in producing a crispy crust that’s not too thin or too thick. Here’s an overview of the recipe:

  • Ingredients: Pizza dough, pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, desired toppings
  • Cooking process: Preheat Dutch oven to 450°F. Roll out pizza dough to desired size, then place in pot. Add sauce and toppings, then cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove lid and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until crust is crispy and cheese is melted.
  • Suggestions for crust and toppings: Experiment with different types of flour for the dough, or add pesto or bacon to the toppings for a unique flavor.

Other Dishes Perfect for Dutch Ovens

Pot Roast

A Dutch oven is perfect for slow-cooking a tender pot roast. The pot’s heat distribution ensures an even cook on the meat.

Sourdough Bread

For the experienced bread baker, a sourdough bread recipe can take advantage of the Dutch oven’s steam-trapping capabilities for a crusty, tangy result.

Coq Au Vin

A classic French dish, Coq Au Vin is made with chicken that has been marinated in red wine and slow-cooked in a Dutch oven. The result is flavorful and memorable.

Eggplant Parmesan

This cheesy Italian dish can be made in a Dutch oven with ease, and the pot’s even heat distribution ensures the eggplant is cooked all the way through.


A Cajun-style Jambalaya can simmer to perfection in a Dutch oven, allowing the spices and flavors to meld together.


Recap of the Top 5 Best Things to Cook in a Dutch Oven

From chili to pizza, a Dutch oven can be a game-changer for home cooks. Highlights of the five best things to cook include:

  • Chili, for its versatility and practicality.
  • Braised ribs, for its succulent, falling-off-the-bone meat.
  • No-knead bread, for its crispy crust and tender inside.
  • Beef stew, for a hearty and flavorful meal.
  • Pizza, for a crispy crust that’s not too thin or too thick.

Suggestions for How to Experiment with Dutch Oven Cooking

Don’t be afraid to experiment with Dutch oven cooking! Try different types of meat, sauces, or spices to create a dish that’s uniquely yours.

Final Thoughts on Dutch Oven Use and Care

Remember to follow proper care instructions for your Dutch oven, and it will last you for years to come. From stovetop to oven, a Dutch oven is a versatile tool that every kitchen should have.

List of 10 best things to cook in dutch oven

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People also ask

What are the best things to cook in a Dutch oven?

There are many great dishes that can be made in a Dutch oven such as soups, stews, casseroles, bread, and roasts.

What types of soups and stews can be made in a Dutch oven?

Most soups and stews can be made in a Dutch oven. Some popular choices include beef stew, chili, chicken noodle soup, and vegetable soup.

Can I bake bread in a Dutch oven?

Yes, Dutch ovens are great for baking bread. They can be used to make crusty artisan bread or even sourdough bread.

What types of roasts can be made in a Dutch oven?

Dutch ovens are perfect for slow-cooked roasts such as pot roast, brisket, pork roast, and even roasted chicken.

Can I make casseroles in a Dutch oven?

Absolutely! Dutch ovens are perfect for making casseroles such as lasagna, mac and cheese, or shepherd’s pie.

Can I cook desserts in a Dutch oven?

Yes, you can! Dutch ovens can be used to make sweet treats such as cobblers, crisps, and even cakes.

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