Today Dutch ovens have become an essential part of many families’ camping and outdoor gear. Lodge is the largest producer of Dutch ovens in America and their name is recognized worldwide as a producer of quality Dutch ovens and other cast iron cooking utensils. Lodge began producing Dutch ovens in 1896 when Joseph Lodge built a cast iron factory in Tennessee. While the Dutch oven whet through a period of time where it’s popularity waned, in the 70s and 80s they began to see a resurgence of usage through Dutch oven cooking competitions. Today they are just as popular as ever, and even seeing new modern styles made for use indoors as well as out. With the versatility of the Dutch oven it’s not surprising that it has once again become an important cooking utensil. Here is some information about how this vital cooking pot, the Dutch oven, is made:
- Traditional Dutch ovens, and those most commonly referred to as Dutch ovens are made from cast iron. This cast iron is formed into a pot shape. From the early 1700s these cast iron pots of many differing sizes and styles were used in all types of cooking. From England and around the world the cast iron cooking pot became essential to many different styles of cooking.
- As the Dutch oven traveled across the world and found its way to the early colonies the process of making Dutch ovens changed. One of the most well known places for the early manufacture of Dutch ovens was in Pennsylvania. The name Dutch oven is often contributed to the Pennsylvania Dutch as often to the Dutch of the Netherlands who may have first discovered the casting process.
- Over time Dutch oven designs changed to meet the ever changing needs of the colonists. The new Dutch ovens began to be shallower. Soon legs were added to the Dutch oven to allow the pot to sit above the coals or the heat source. As the Dutch ovens were used more and more in the fire for cooking the style of the lid changed to include a lip around the edge to help prevent ashes from falling into the food inside as it was opened.
- Today cast iron Dutch ovens are commonly mass produced in manufacturing plants. They are still most often made of cast iron. Lodge, the leading manufacturer of Dutch oven still uses the same design it has for decades. The pots are shallow, they have three legs, the lids fit tightly to create the interior oven cooking, and the lids have lips as well as molded handles. There is also a sturdy handle attached to casted lips on the sides. This handle allows for ease of movement as well as hanging the Dutch oven a fire or heat source for cooking.
Dutch oven manufacturing today also involves creating more modern versions. Modern Dutch ovens are designed for use in indoor cooking. These newer Dutch ovens are glaze coated for ease of cleanup and can be used both inside the oven and on the stovetop. Most families today own one or more Dutch ovens that are used both at home and when camping away from home. The investment in a Dutch oven can lead to the creation of wonderful campfire meals as well as gourmet creations at home.
Begin your Dutch oven cooking experience today by learning about the various types of Dutch ovens available, choosing one that works for your cooking style, and then begin experimenting with some of the hundreds of Dutch oven recipes. You’ll soon find that cooking in a Dutch oven is easy and enjoyable with amazing and delicious results your entire family will enjoy.