We’ve all seen photos of cowboys cooking over an open fire with Dutch ovens, but these popular cooking utensils go back much further.
The Dutch started producing cast cooking vessels in the 17th century and back then they were made from brass. An Englishman, by the name of Abraham Darby, visited the Netherlands to see how they made these cooking utensils. Upon returning to England he set about to make these pans but instead of expensive brass, he made his out of less expensive cast iron. He then got a patent and called his pans.. Dutch ovens.
The unique thing about cast iron Dutch ovens and pans is they virtually last a lifetime as is evident when you see some really old ones up for auction. If you take care of them, they’ll last for generations. Now that you know the story about Dutch Ovens, let’s bring you up-to-date.
Today, you can buy various brands and models and in a variety of porcelain coated colors. These are great, but mainly designed for use on the stove or in the oven and not really intended for open fire cooking. We’ll just focus on cast iron models designed for outdoor cooking.
Dutch Ovens come in various sizes normally ranging from 6 Qt. to 12 Qt. They have an indented lid, which allows for putting hot coals on top so you have even heat in the pan. Most Dutch ovens have small legs for setting the pan on an uneven surface.
One of the important features of a true outdoor Dutch oven is the handle. A good strong handle will allow you to hang the pot over a fire or lift it off the fire very easily.
Prices vary from around $50.00 for a 6 Qt model to around $75.00 for a 12 Qt one. That’s really quite reasonable when you think about it. How many quality items can you purchase today, in that price range, that will truly last a lifetime?
Source: Dutch Oven Story – Extra Content