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Spring/Summer dutch oven recipe suggestions?

I got a 6 quart Dutch oven about a month ago, and have really been enjoying cooking with it. As things start to get warmer - I was wondering what might be some good recipes that utilize the Dutch oven but are more geared towards warmer weather? Suggestions?

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  1. You might get more responses if you edit your title, it might be confusing some people (Dutch over).

    My summer cooking tends more toward grilled chicken, fish or meats and a salad, but I do still use my Dutch ovens to cook beans and grains (farro, quinoa, bulgur) for my salads. You can do a good-sized batch and freeze the right-sized portions for your household to minimize heating up your kitchen when it gets hot.

    2 Replies
    1. re: GretchenS

      Do you actually cook bulgur? I just soak it in boiling water.

      1. re: magiesmom

        I like coarse (rather than fine) bulgur; it does need cooking.

    2. I rarely use the Dutch ovens I have in the summer. One exception is baked beans.

        1. re: Antilope

          I tried that only once. The very loosy goosy dough was difficult to transfer from a mixing bowl to the searingly hot Dutch oven without burning myself. I find kneading dough a good way to relieve stress.

          1. re: ChiliDude

            In case you want to try No-Knead again, what makes the transfer a snap is parchment paper. Just lift up the paper and move the dough to the hot pan. So easy. This was the suggestion from ATK.

        2. I am in the same boat. Just received my enamel dutch oven 6 qt but have only used it twice so far. This weekend it's supposed to be 90 so I'm at a loss what would be reasonable to use this pot for.

          1. I use mine the most for cooking or braising beans or grains- i like wild rice for salads and i always have beans on hand. In the summer lentil salads are great.
            You can use the dutch oven for baked fruit cobbler and making jams.
            Its also good for making popcorn!

            1. I use mine all summer for making jams and preserves.

              1. As my chowhound name implies, I am a chili snob, chilihead and chilehead. Chili as an all year round meal. I make it in an uncoated old-fashioned 5 quart Dutch oven. Ergo, I suggest that you make chili in your 6 quart Dutch oven.

                2 Replies
                1. re: ChiliDude

                  ChiliDude, I'm needing some chili - do you make your chili from prepared spice blends? I usually do, but one time in Philly I made chili for a bunch of people there during the winter. Since I was on the spot, I acquired several sorts of dried chilis, 80/20 I think, and some beef marrow bones, and made it from the ground up. By far the best chili I have ever had. Unfortunately, we were all drinking beer and I did not write down the procedure/recipe. I like to be near white hot, but with depth of flavor to boot. I did some searching, but did not see what I wanted.

                  1. re: rudeboy

                    Cook's Illustrated "Our Favorite Chili" uses two kinds of dried chilis along with jalapenos. I made it last weekend and it was my best ever, by far.

                    Go here if you have CI access: https://www.cooksillustrated.com/reci...

                    or here if you don't: http://www.melindalee.com/recipes/tes...

                2. Hi cresyd,

                  Is your oven enameled? All dutch ovens are good at retaining heat, which also makes them good at retaining cold. If you have an enameled oven, then it's most likely non-reactive as well. This means that not only can you cook with it, but you can store food in it also (it won't leach anything, even with acidic ingredients.) Pre-chill it and serve watermelon soup in it. It also makes for a great ice bucket. The possibilities are endless once you start thinking in terms of using it for its temperature-retention properties.

                  1. The most use mine gets in the hot summer months is on the burner attached to the grill. Good for baked beans, keeping BBQ sauce warm for basting, sautéed kale, collards and other grains, things like that.