Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Why cook with dutch ovens?

In the months since I decided to spend a year cooking with dutch ovens, I have had a lot of people ask me if I was crazy. I just give them a big smile and tell them "probably". But I have thought of several good reasons why it is a good idea to know how to cook with dutch ovens.

First, food from a dutch oven is FANTASTIC! Take any recipe and it can be made better when it is cooked in a dutch oven. There is just something magic about anything cooked in a big, heavy, black pot. Wouldn't it be great to invite your family or neighbors over for a dutch oven cookout?

Second, they are versitale. I am told, and we will soon find out, that anything that can be cooked in the oven or on the stove top can be cooked in a dutch oven. From roast, chicken and soup to cookies, pies and pizza.

Third, there is no need to heat up the kitchen in the middle of July with the oven. Just step outside and leave the heat where it belongs. Sit in your lawn chair, sip ice cold lemonade and watch the kids play in the yard while dinner cooks. Take advantage of the lazy summer days.

Fourth, it is a great way to practice your emergency prepardness skills. How many times have you come home and found the power out. I happens quite a bit where I live. Until now my only options have been sandwiches (provided Colton didn't eat all the bread-AGAIN) or a trip to a local restaurant. No one really gets excited about the first option, and an unplanned trip to a restaurant can be a real budget buster.

In addition to the minor inconvenience of a power outage, a dutch oven and a few bags of charcoal briquettes could save you life, or at least make you more comfortable, in the event of a major natural disaster. Think about the disasters that have occured around the United States or around the world. Imagine if instead of leaving home to wait for help from the government, you break out your dutch ovens, grab some food from the pantry or food storage room and whip up dinner. Unless your home is uninhabitable, it is almost always better to stay put.

Finally, cooking with a dutch oven is just fun! Get up and get out of your comfort zone and try something new. Gather your family around and enjoy some great quality time in the outdoors cooking your families favorite meals--with a twist.


  1. Hi Toni,

    I just came across your site from a post on a Yahoo group called "Castironitis". I have to say that I agree with all your reasons about cooking with a dutch oven. My iron is out of shape and needs to be stripped and reseasoned. I'm starting to go through your posts and hope to be caught up to you soon.


  2. I just started reading your blog and I'm impressed with your content! I am starting my own dutch oven blog, but my kind of dutch oven cooking is on the cook top and in the oven, in Le Creuset and Staub cast iron.

    We're at totally opposite ends of the cooking spectrum with our cookware, but I think the love of it is the same: really really good food.

    My motivation is two fold: learn to be a better cook, and teach my kids (5) to be better cooks.

    I have long been a cookware snob but only recently realized that without a dutch oven, I was missing a HUGE amount of fantastic cooking potential.

    Thanks for keeping the coals burning - we need folks like you that don't let this art die in the parking lot of McDonalds.

  3. Big Mama-
    We may be at opposite ends of the cooking specturm, but we will both arrive in the same place with plenty of good food, friends and family around us!


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