A dutch oven is a large, heavy cooking pot, with a tight-fitting lid and frequently with little legs (for cooking over a fire). Usually made of cast iron. Generally for cooking things slowly in their own juices (thus the tight lid), HOWEVER: the dutch oven is the king of kitchen implements. Following my mother's footsteps, I cook with the dutch oven more often than not. Her father brought his on camping trips when he was a scout leader (camping equipment sure has changed!).

When i was diagnosed as anemic, I was sure that it was because I was away from The Magic Pot (at school). (turns out there were other reasons, and no, it's not because I'm a vegetarian).

Mum's dutch oven was full of the ghosts of meals. If you put it on to warm, the garlic and other smells would make it seem like dinner was already ready.

A thick walled (usu. 1/4"+) cast-iron kettle or pot used for simmering, baking, frying and slow-cooking food. The Dutch Oven was a fixture in our Boy Scout troop for use on camping trips. If you are using a Dutch Oven for baking in the outdoors (it works surprisingly well), I would recommend heating it with charcoal briquettes. Each briquette added to the bottom adds 30 deg (F), briquettes on the top add 25 deg (F). Mind you, this is not an exact measure, it depends on ambient atmospheric conditions and many other variables, but is good enough for government work.
For example, to bake a cake at 250 deg (F), place 4 briquettes on the bottom and five on the top. The briquettes must be fully burning, which is indicated by a grey ashy outer coating with cherry red hiding under the grey.

A dutch oven must be seasoned for it to heat evenly and for food not to stick to the interior. Seasoning is best accomplished by cooking fatty foods in it for fifty years or so (dutch ovens used to be passed down from generation to generation.
The one I use today was my grandmother's), but if you got a new dutch oven and don't want to have to spend 10 years breaking it in, take a paper towel and coat it in lard or Crisco and wipe the entire oven down with it until there is a thin coating of your substance of choice all over the oven (inside and out). Place this in a home oven or use briquettes to heat this to 350 deg (F) for an hour. Repeat until the oven feels slightly greasy to the touch.

***CAUTION*** if you use too much shortening or lard and are seasoning in an oven, the shortening may drip from the outside of the dutch oven, land on the heating elements and catch fire. Be sparing with your coatings.

As everyone familiar with Roger's Profanisaurus should know, a Dutch oven is created when two people are lying together in bed, and one of them farts and then holds the other's head under the covers until they are foced to inhale. The Profanisaurus entry reads:

Dutch oven n. Beneath the bedclothes after someone has played 'Reveille' on the botty bugle.

Many regional variations are possible depending on (for example) heaviness and/or presence of bedclothes, with a duvet or heavy blanket forming a much more effective oven than a thin sheet. A particularly cruel Dutch chef may confine his or her victim beneath the covers for more than the standard three or four seconds, while the more caring among us prefer to make it a shared experience by joining the partner in the hot zone.

Also known as a Greek Sauna.

Roger's Profanisaurus: http://www.viz.co.uk/profanisaurus/profanis.htm

Who put the Dutch in Dutch oven?

Why, you may be asking yourself, is the cast iron pot called a Dutch oven? That appears to be a matter of some debate. According to http://www.chuckwagonsupply.com/history.htm, here are the most likely theories:
  1. The Dutch had a particular method of casting metal, especially brass, using dry sand molds. An English manufacturer began casting iron with the same method, and these pots became known as Dutch ovens, ovens made using the Dutch process.
  2. The pots were originally sold in the United States by peddlers from Holland.
  3. The Pennsylvania Dutch used this type of pot.

It's also possible that this is a pejorative term for an inferior piece of cooking equipment, whose origin would resemble those of dutch uncle or dutch treat.

This question arose after I noded my now world-famous dutch oven pork roast. I thought it was a good question, and I'm pleased to provide my results for you. Thank your for asking.

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