A Dutch oven is something everyone uses often, whether it is baking, roasting, simmering, or boiling. Do you know, however, that a Dutch oven can do much more than just that? It can be a fantastic and useful tool when you are away from home, like camping or roundtripping.
Let’s start with the basics, what is a Dutch oven?
A Dutch oven is a cylindrical and heavy pot that contains a tight-fitting lid. This type of pot can go on top of a range top or the oven. Because it is metal or ceramic, it can provide constant heat that cooks everything evenly.
This type of cooking tool has been used for many years and in many different cultures. Originally, a Dutch oven was used above wood or coal-burning fire.
These days, you can see Dutch ovens being used on a stovetop for slow cooking or in the oven for baking. Since the material can withstand various temperatures, it is safe to use in all types of heat.
Some meals to prepare in a Dutch oven include soups, stews, roasts, fried foods, casseroles, and even desserts.
Types of Dutch ovens
Not all Dutch ovens look the same, and it is important to know the difference between them.
Bake cast iron
This type of Dutch oven is considered the original and the most durable. Cast iron is a good material for heat conduction. A cast-iron Dutch oven can withstand the highest temperatures. However, the material also requires special cleaning and care to preserve the iron material.
If you are planning on camping, this might be the best Dutch oven to take, although it is very heavy.
Try using this Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch with loop handles that are easy to carry and transport. For a cheaper and multi-purpose Dutch oven, this Overmont Camp Dutch Oven also serves as a skillet and is perfect for lifting. Finally, this CO-Z Cast Iron Dutch Oven is a deep camp pot perfect to travel and keep things safe.
An enamel Dutch oven can contain a ceramic or a metal core. Ceramic products conduct heat very well, and they are much easier to clean, which makes them easier to take places. Although enamel is durable, it might not always be able to withstand all temperatures, so checking the manufacturer’s instructions is a good idea.
For an affordable enamel Dutch oven, this Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch oven is durable and comes in all sorts of colors. If you want a Dutch oven to take with you, then this Uno Casa Enameled Dutch oven is a great idea as it has handles and comes with a silicone mat. Finally, if you want a durable piece to use at home, this Tramontina covered Dutch oven is perfect for you.
Now that you know exactly what a Dutch oven is, let’s discuss the 8 Dutch oven uses you might not be aware of:
Dutch Oven Uses
Use #1: Baking
Although people know that Dutch ovens can go in the oven, not many know that you can use them for more than savory dishes. You could be preparing delicious baked goods using your Dutch oven.
For one, you could be using your Dutch oven to prepare delicious bread. Save time by removing the need to knead your bread, and instead use the Dutch oven for shaping. You can also prepare baked goods like cinnamon rolls, cobblers, pies, and banana bread.
Use #2: Simmer and Slow Cooking
Nothing better than a Dutch oven to trust with your favorite slow-cooked dishes. Whether you are preparing a stew, a soup, or a piece of meat, your Dutch oven might be your best friend. It is ideal because it provides enough heat to maintain the cooking process evenly.
Use #3: Roasting
Preparing a roast takes time and attention, but with a Dutch oven, some of the work is done for you. All you have to do is prepare the dish as you would in the roasting oven and remove the lid toward the end to allow the roast to finish cooking.
Use #4: Boiling and Steaming
While not everyone would use their Dutch oven to boil or steam foods, since it is a great heat conductor, it can be the perfect tool for these processes. Since a Dutch oven radiates heat evenly, your boiling and steaming needs will go on without a problem.
Use #5: Serving Meals
Whether you use your Dutch oven to cook your meals or not, serving them in it is always a good choice. Not only can it keep food warm, but it is also usually a very appealing piece of cookware that your guests will appreciate. You can pretty much transfer any of your dishes onto your Dutch oven and then place it in the middle of the table.
Use #6: Keeping food at the desired temperature
Although the most common use of a Dutch oven is keeping food warm, did you know that it can also be used to keep things cold? Try using it to keep your salad, pasta salad, potato salad, or any other cold dish at the right temperature before serving it.
Use #7: Serve your favorite drinks
Even if it sounds crazy, a Dutch oven is not completely useless when it comes to beverages. If you are planning a large party and have some punch to serve, this cookware item is always going to keep it safe and cold. You could also use it to keep ice cold and hold some beers or other beverages.
And finally, one of the best uses for your Dutch oven is cooking and prepping all your meals while you are away from home…
Use #8: Serve as your multi-cooking tool while you are camping or road tripping
When you like to travel and camp, cooking can be cumbersome. However, using your Dutch oven is always a great way to solve this problem. Most Dutch ovens require you to use wood or hot coals.
You can use charcoal briquettes, lump hardwood charcoal, and wood embers. Briquettes allow for even heat distribution with little ash production, ideal for Dutch oven cooking outside. This lump of hardwood charcoal lights quicker but might not stay at the right temperature all the time. Wood embers, like oak, maple, almond, and citrus last longer than other types of wood, but you can also the ones around your campfire.
Another great tip for using your Dutch oven when camping or on a trip is to have an instant probe thermometer that can accurately determine the temperature of the inside. For your Dutch oven to stay at the same temperature, protection against wind is always a good choice. This collapsible outdoor table protects your Dutch oven while it cooks and allows you to prepare things safely.
Finally, staying safe is the first and most important priority when you cook outside or on a campfire. To make sure there are no accidents, using heat gloves to handle your Dutch oven can come in handy. These EUHOME 3 in 1 BBQ Gloves prove to be perfect for more than just grilling and can withstand p to 1,472 degrees F, plus they come in with bear claws to shred meat and a silicone brush for cleanup.
If you enjoyed reading this article, be sure to check out our handy guide on Dutch Oven Sizes.