Acquaint yourself with your Dutch oven by learning how to use it to create tender meat stews and crusty loaves of bread.

By Hayley Sugg

A kitchen staple for generations of cooks, a Dutch oven is one of the most versatile items you can have in your kitchen. Made with a tight-fitting lid to keep steam inside, it's ideal for moist cooking methods like stewing and braising. But the vast space inside the crock also allows for cooking large cuts of meat, deep frying, and even cooking loaves of bread.

If this is your first Dutch oven, pay attention to what it's made from. Most are traditionally constructed with cast iron, which requires extra care when cleaning, but an enamel-coated Dutch oven will be fine with soap and hot water.

From creating irresistibly crusty bread to searing short ribs, the Dutch oven's versatility will surprise you. We've rounded up our top five Dutch oven recipes to introduce you to the wide range of uses for your new cooking vessel.

Tom Sherke

Chef John's Buttermilk Fried Chicken

There's no need for an electric deep fryer if you have a Dutch oven on hand. The cast iron will keep the heat consistent, and the deep sides will prevent oil from splashing. By marinating the chicken for Chef John's Buttermilk Fried Chicken in a seasoned buttermilk blend, every bite is infused with tangy flavor inside a crisp coating.

Baking Nana

No-Knead Artisan Style Bread

Making bread can be easily become an all-day affair, but not with this easy recipe for No-Knead Artisan Style Bread by Jewissa. The no-knead method mostly just requires patience for rising times and a reliable Dutch oven. By preheating the Dutch oven, a hearty crust is quickly formed and moisture is locked in since the lid is sealed. The result is an airy and crusty loaf, perfect for snacking or serving on the side of your favorite one-pot dinner.

It's Shameek

Barbeque Style Braised Short Ribs

Braising short ribs brings out the most flavor from the cut of meat, while also cooking them down to be fall-off-the-bone tender. This recipe for Barbeque Style Braised Short Ribs by Valerie Brunmeier has the short ribs simmer with carrots and onions in a beefy barbeque sauce. Reviewers recommended serving the ribs over mashed potatoes, steamed basmati rice, or crusty bread.

Steve Jones

Mountain Man Breakfast

One of the most helpful uses for Dutch ovens is that they easily transport from your kitchen to your campfire. It's sturdy enough to be used for camping and can make delicious meals over the open flame. Fuel up before an outdoor adventure with this filling recipe for Mountain Man Breakfast by Mrs. Mik. Sausage, peppers, onions, and hash browns are sautéed before being covered in a layer of eggs and cheese, which bake together thanks to hot coals on the Dutch oven's lid.

Rebekah Rose Hills

Stove Top Blueberry Grunt

There's no need to turn on the oven to make dessert. With your Dutch oven, you can easily make a sweet dish on the stove top. Debbi R's recipe for Stove Top Blueberry Grunt features a sugary blueberry base that is covered in a tender biscuit topping. A clean dish towel should be nestled between the pot lid and baking blueberry dessert to absorb any excess condensation.

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