If you don’t have a Dutch oven, you should rush out to your nearest kitchen supply store—or hop on to Amazon—and pick one up. (We especially like this one and this one.) A good Dutch oven serves as the most important—and most versatile—cooking vessel in your kitchen. They’re great for both the stovetop and the oven, making them ideal for braising meat; cooking soups, stews, and sauces; boiling water for pasta; frying chicken; and even baking bread.
But for all their good qualities, Dutch ovens are also heavy and cumbersome, and can intimidate the inexperienced. To get the most out of your Dutch oven cooking—and understand how useful a pot it is—you’ll want to follow the following six tips.