Cast Iron Dutch ovens have been around since the late 1600’s. In 1704 Abraham Darby traveled to the Netherlands to see how the Dutch made their cast iron pots.
He then took the technique back to England where he enhanced and patented the process. Some people believe that that is how Dutch ovens got their name. Others believe that they are called that because of the Dutch traders. The first cast iron Dutch ovens had flat bottoms and a domed lid. Later, as the early Americans began to use them, legs were added to the bottoms, the cast iron Dutch ovens became shallower and the lids were made flat to hold coals for even cooking. Technically, the ones with legs are called camp ovens. And some Dutch ovens are enamel covered or made of aluminum or ceramic. On this page, we will refer to Dutch ovens as any pot made from cast iron. Cast Iron Dutch ovens come in many different sizes and have varied uses. Cast Iron Dutch ovens work well for slow cooking. You can cook almost anything in a cast iron Dutch oven, from breakfast to dessert. Cooking in a Dutch oven will add a unique flavor to your food. To season a cast iron Dutch oven you heat it up then let it cool, next you rub vegetable oil all over the inside. Then heat it up again. Today, some new cast iron Dutch ovens come pre-seasoned. After use, boil water in it or scrape it clean. Avoid using soap. Dry thoroughly. Add another layer of vegetable oil. Do not use animal fats, they will go rancid. To keep your oven from rusting store it with a paper towel inside. Do not let it get wet in storage.