Use this sturdy piece of stoneware to prepare donuts, churros, and more.

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Credit: Christina Holmes

It's no secret that the Dutch oven is a wiz in the kitchen—from being able to bake a crusty loaf of bread to braising meats, the sturdy cookware is a dream to use. Perhaps one of its best—and most underrated—uses is deep-frying. Instead of buying a bulky countertop deep-fryer, you can use your Dutch oven instead. The large capacity, tall edges, and hefty base means it works just as well for deep-frying desserts like churros, donuts, and other fried treats. No matter what you're deep-frying in a Dutch oven, always use a neutral-based oil such as canola or vegetable, which can withstand high-heat for a long period of time; oils with low-smoke points such as olive oil or coconut oil will burn quickly.

Before adding anything to the hot oil, use a candy thermometer ($10.99, target.com) to check the temperature of the oil; generally, the oil should reach between 350° and 360°F before you begin frying. Once you've made fluffy, golden brown donuts or crispy churros, let the oil cool completely in the Dutch oven, then pour it into a non-recyclable container such as a milk carton and discard in the trash (don't pour it down the drain).

Ahead, we're sharing our favorite dessert recipes that you can fry in a Dutch oven.

Churros and Chocolate Sauce
Credit: Will Anderson

Test Kitchen's Favorite Churros

A popular street-snack in Spain, Portugal, and Mexico, churros are long sticks of fried dough rolled in cinnamon sugar and dipped in chocolate sauce. Our recipe calls for making a traditional pâte à choux and piping it loops or long sticks directly into the hot oil using a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.

Boston Cream Donuts
Credit: Will Anderson

Boston Cream Donuts

Filled with luscious pastry cream and topped with chocolate ganache, make these classic donuts at home by deep-frying them in a Dutch oven. You can make the donut dough up to 24 hours in advance, which saves time in the morning when you're prepping breakfast.

Russian Snow Twigs
Credit: Johnny Miller

Russian Snow Twigs

This crunchy, crinkly deep-fried dessert can be made in a Dutch oven! The dough is cut into long strips and fried until golden and crisp, then dusted with powdered sugar. It's a magical wintertime treat.

Apple Cider Donuts
Credit: Bryan Gardner

Cider Donuts

Everyone's favorite fall treat can be deep-fried in a Dutch oven. Our version calls for a cup of apple cider, plus ground cinnamon and ground ginger in the dough; once the donuts are deep-fried, they're rolled in cinnamon sugar for a sweet, finger-licking finish.

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