A dutch oven is a kind of pot with a tight fitting lid, designed to be used in the oven or on a stove top, usually made of cast iron, ceramic, or aluminum. The two most important characteristics of a dutch oven is their weight and the lid. The weight of the pot is necessary to maintain a steady temperature either in the oven or on the stove. While the lid ensures that this heat is contained inside of the pot.

Why is it called a dutch oven?

There are many pots similar to the dutch oven used across the world. For example, the Japanese tetsunabe, the Balkan sac, the South African potjie, or the Spanish cazuela. Dutch ovens are also known as casserole dishes internationally. But the reason the American name came to be was because of an Englishman, called Abraham Darby.

Darby was alive during the late 1600’s to early 1700’s, and was a partner at a Brass company. During this time, the Netherlands produced brass at the lowest cost. In 1702 Darby visited the Netherlands to learn the dutch was of working brass, including pots. Several years later after returning to England, Darby made the switch from brass to cast iron. This is because brass was expensive to make, and using cast iron would allow him to make and sell a greater amount of products. Darby used the Dutch process of brass working, on his cast iron and named his metal working process the ‘Dutch Method’ in the patent. Thus the ‘Dutch Oven’ has persisted in our vocabularies since the early 1700’s, over 300 years.

Why do you need one?

Dutch ovens are a truly great piece of cooking gear if you truly enjoy cooking or are looking to make your mealtimes more efficient. This is because the dutch oven is incredibly versatile and can shift between multiple uses for a single dish. They can be used to braise meat, simmer a sauce, and bake a whole dish together due to their durable construction. Finally, because of the clever design they have uniform heat circulation. This means that dishes don’t need to be closely monitored while cooking.

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