Why cook with a Dutch oven indoors?
I love a good dutch oven meal. But like a lot of our readers I have young kids and there are only a few times a year I can get out and cook with it out in the great outdoors. So for that reason I like to cook with my dutch oven every now and then inside the comforts of my own home. This also allows me to try out new recipes so I can make sure I cook something top notch to impress everyone with my dutch oven cooking skills.
How to cook with a Dutch oven inside your home.
Now to give clarification, I am using my cast-iron Camp Chef Dutch oven that I normally use outside with char-coal. There are dutch ovens that are enamel coated and specifically designed for indoor use, but I don’t have one and you don’t need one to cook inside. Just prepare everything just the same as you would for outdoor cooking, preheat your oven and stick your camp oven in. This is much easier than coals and you will get consistent results. If you would like to try using an enamel coated dutch oven some of the better ones are made by Lodge and le Creuset. The le Creuset ovens (actually referred to as French ovens) are fairly pricey so you might try getting one at the le Creuset outlet and see if you can find a bargain there. Otherwise, the Lodge enameled dutch oven is high quality and much more reasonably priced.
Are there special recipes for cooking indoors?
There are a few of books dedicated to indoor dutch oven recipes. Check out The Dutch Oven Cookbook: Recipes for the Best Pot in Your Kitchen and Glorious One-Pot Meals: A Revolutionary New Quick and Healthy Approach to Dutch-Oven Cooking. One book that comes highly recommended is Best Slow and Easy Recipes: More than 250 Foolproof, Flavor-Packed Roasts, Stews, and Braises that let the Oven Do the Work (Best Recipe). This book come from Cooks Illustrated who did America’s Test Kitchen and, in addition to Dutch oven recipes, also include crock pot recipes. They basically took the best recipes they could find and put them all to the test. Once they found the best recipe, they improved it where possible and that is how they come up with the best recipes.
If you want you can simply look through your favorite recipes in your traditional cookbook and see what you think will work. Once you’ve found a great recipe, you can give it a try. You may have to change the recipe ever so slightly for it to turn out right in your dutch oven so try it multiple times for best results outside. This is a really great way of discovering new recipes for the next camp out.