Few pots or pans can usher in an entirely new phase of cooking in your life quite like the Dutch oven can. Whether you’re wanting a reset after the holidays, generally wanting to get out of a cooking rut, or eat in more during the winter, your Dutch oven is the kitchen companion that can.
Seriously. Below, you’ll find ideas for using your Dutch oven that go beyond your expectations. Like, did you know you can use your Dutch oven to make succulent rotisserie-style chicken as well as a loaf of crusty, bakery-worthy sourdough for sopping up the drippings? Start the New Year off right or simply make a priority of going out less and cooking in more with these recipes.
HexClad’s Dutch oven forgoes the extra-heavy cast iron that’s traditional in this pan, meaning you can take it in and out of the oven with ease. It’s ideal for low-and-slow cooking (like braises and meaty stews), but this versatile pot is good for so much more, like frying chicken, boiling grains, or making one-pot pastas.
No, roasting a chicken in your Dutch oven won’t exactly recreate a rotisserie spit, but it gets a chicken pretty darn close to rotisserie chicken’s trademark juicy meat. Using the French ‘cocotte’ method creates a moist-heat environment in the Dutch oven that transforms the chicken into extra succulent meat. A copycat rotisserie spice rub made with sweet paprika, thyme, cumin, and garlic ensures every bite is just as good as the store bought version. Nestled in alongside the bird is a layer of onions that absorb the drippings and make an epic pan sauce. Don’t discard them! Save them for stock made with the chicken carcass or simply serve alongside the meat.
Let your Dutch oven show off its skills with a classic beef stew—in this case, one that combines an entire bottle of red wine (you’re welcome), juicy San Marzano tomatoes, tender baby potatoes, and, of course, chunks of meltingly tender beef. A Dutch oven is ideal for making a long-simmered stew since it traps the heat and maintains a consistent temperature. This version includes a medley of vegetables, offering a healthyish balance to the comfort food staple. Don’t skip the crispy rosemary, parmesan, and chive topping that adds a sprinkle of deliciousness to every bite.
P.S. Gluten-free cooks can substitute all-purpose gluten-free flour or cornstarch (start with just 1 tablespoon) in place of the all-purpose wheat flour.
Your Dutch oven is perfect for making a batch of spicy Kimchi-jjigae, or kimchi stew. Though it comes in many versions, kimchi soup is often made with pork belly and tofu. HexClad’s version takes inspiration from the traditional dish. You’ll start out by rendering the fat on pork belly, which will infuse the vegetables—including onion, zucchini, and shiitake mushrooms—and broth with smoky richness. (A Dutch oven’s heavy-duty construction is perfect for doing this without burning the fat.) A hefty serving of kimchi, gochujang, and gochugaru infuses the broth with serious heat, while soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and fish sauce bring savory depth. Finally, cubes of silken tofu add creamy delight to every bite.
If you have a Dutch oven and haven’t made a pot roast yet, do you even have a Dutch oven? Tuck this recipe for the classic dish into your back pocket. It transforms a 3-pound piece of boneless beef shoulder into a fall-apart-tender roast that never fails to impress. Don’t skip the pickled onion topper, which offers welcome zing. This recipe showcases the Dutch oven’s signature move: a braise started on the stovetop that simmers in the oven. This allows the pot to work its magic—trapping the moist heat inside its thick walls and maintaining a low simmer for hours. Resist the temptation to peek inside too often, which will change the temperature and result in undercooked or tough meat.
Yes, you can make bakery-quality bread at home, thanks to your Dutch oven, which allows you to hack your home oven. A commercial bakery oven can maintain a very high temperature and also add steam while baking. Most home ovens, on the other hand, fluctuate in temperature and don’t have that steam option. But wait! The Dutch oven is up to the task. While baking, bread dough releases moisture that turns into steam. The Dutch oven traps this, allowing the dough to stay soft enough to expand (and giving it that perfect, shiny crust, too). Our recipe for homemade sourdough walks you through the steps for making a tangy, tender loaf of sourdough as well as the instructions for maintaining your own starter. Fair warning, though: You might never buy bread again.