Did you know you could use your Le Creuset Dutch oven as a cooler? Here’s how to pull off the genius hack this summer

·3-min read

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There are so many reasons Le Creuset’s best-selling Dutch ovens are kitchen essentials. Not only are these pots the perfect vessels for cooking everything from stews to bread, but they’re also just so good-looking.

Of course, Le Creuset Dutch ovens are investment pieces. Even on sale, they can set you back more than $200. And when the cost of everything is so high as it is right now, splurging on a pot can feel hard to justify.

But here’s another reason to consider adding a Le Creuset Dutch oven to your kitchen this summer. According to the cooking experts over at Test Kitchen, you can use your Le Creuset Dutch oven as a cooler this summer. Yes, you read that right: A cooler!

Deep Dutch Oven, $250 (Orig. $380)

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I was browsing Instagram this weekend when this post by Test Kitchen stopped me dead in my scrolling. Like many people, my Le Creuset Dutch oven gets very little use during the hot summer months. I'm not making soups and stews or baking bread in my small NYC apartment (as it would make it sweltering hot), but using a Le Creuset Dutch oven as a cooler? Now that's genius.

In the Instagram post, the folks over at Test Kitchen explain that Le Creuset Dutch ovens are designed to maintain a steady temperature, be it hot or cold. So, just as the oven stays nice and hot when you’re baking bread in a warm oven, it also stays nice and cold if you get it chilly.

To do this, the team at Test Kitchen recommends filling your Dutch oven with ice water and letting it chill for five minutes. Then, dump the water, dry the pot and use it to keep foods like salads cold for longer.

After I saw this Instagram post, I tried chilling my Dutch oven in the freezer. I put it in there for about an hour. Once I took it out, I was pleasantly surprised to find the inside stayed cold for a really long time, proving the experts over at Test Kitchen are right. If you get the inside of your Le Creuset Dutch oven cool enough, it can definitely work as a cooler this summer.

Given that we now have undeniable proof that the Le Creuset Dutch oven can be used all year round for a myriad of different foods and purposes, justifying buying one for yourself should be easier than ever. My advice? Grab the Deep Dutch Oven while it’s on sale for $130 off and use it to serve perfectly chilled potato salad this summer, then chicken pot pie when the weather gets cooler in the fall and winter.

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