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I'm looking to improve my dutch oven cooking skills. What is the best source for proven recipes and good dutch oven techniques?

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I'd like to know some good uses for a dutch oven as well... people tend to swear by them, but I can't find anything but braising which cannot be accomplished more effectively with other cookware. –  BobMcGee Aug 26 '11 at 5:45
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@BobMcGee - Well its one of the easiest ways for a home baker to get crusty,crisp bread. Other methods kinda work, but DO bread is just easy peasy. –  rfusca Aug 26 '11 at 15:54
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A cassoulet –  BaffledCook Aug 29 '11 at 21:49
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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I love the Almost No-Knead Bread recipe from Cook's Illustrated as an example of baking in a Dutch Oven.

I like to use my Dutch oven for pot roasts, for New England Boiled Dinner, and for all sorts of soups and stews, and for making chili. Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook has a Dutch Oven recipe for Gigot a Sept Heures (Seven hour Leg of Lamb) that is FABULOUS.

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The main advantage of Dutch ovens are their versatility. There is nothing special about a dutch oven that you can't get from a combination of other pots and pans. Aside from using them as for boiling, frying, and braising, their thick walls provide a great way to bake.

You will find the best Dutch oven recipes in camping cook books because camping is where you need the versatility of a single cooking device. For example, you can bake bread during the day and then cook a whole chicken for dinner using the camp fire.

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A quick search on Amazon will reveal a number of (based on their ratings) good books on Dutch Oven Cooking. If you have access to the "FoodNetwork" (or care to watch them via YouTube) there are any number of episodes that will feature Dutch Oven ideas and techniques. Alton Brown did an episode called "Going Dutch" that would be a good starting point, but everybody else from Bobby Flay to Melissa D'Arabian have episodes out there that Google can help you find.

Beyond that, if you have any 'more specific' questions (How do I spin straw into gold in a Dutch Oven?) you will likely get a better response from those questions.

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