How to Design Your Dutch Oven

By Karl Westinghouse

It seems that Dutch ovens are eternal in a way, because they have been actively used by people all over the world since the seventeenth century. This means that they have been in use for about four hundred years, much longer than computers, cell phones and other fancy stuff people long for. Dutch ovens are a must for true gourmands, and you are bound to see them among their other cookware. They are perfect, because you won't be tied to your stove if you want to use them on a sunny day. They are suitable for both camping and inside uses.

A long time ago, back in the XVII century both English and Dutch people were making Dutch ovens, however, it seemed that the Dutch were more successful with the manufacturing. Their secret was hidden in the fact that they used dry sand for making the molds, and thanks to this, their ovens' surface was remarkably smoother. A Mr. Abraham Darby packed his things, and went from England to Netherlands to discover their secret, and some time later, designed his own Dutch ovens of cast metal. Ironically, the ovens were called Dutch after the Englishman.

What ever type of Dutch oven you buy, you will have to clean it regularly. This is not something you can skip, and we'll now explain the best way to do it. People have had unpleasant experiences with Dutch ovens they didn't clean regularly, and it affects the food taste. The taste is an even smaller problem than the fact that it is not healthy to eat food from something which is not clean. You'll clean your Dutch oven only once with soap, and that will be the first time.

In America in the nineteenth and twentieth century Dutch ovens became a real treasure, and many interesting Dutch oven stories are tied to this period of American history. Having a Dutch oven was a kind of a status symbol, and in people's wills Dutch ovens were often mentioned in regards of inheriting. George Washington's mother specifically stated in her will what cookware will go to her grandson and what to her granddaughter, and she had quite a few Dutch ovens in her collection.

There is something called seasoned coating, and it is one of the rituals which have to be done with Dutch ovens. Once you properly washed the Dutch oven after the use, you will have to dry it thoroughly. Set the lid a bit askew and place the oven by or over fire. As the material is difficult to properly dry, the fire will dry the rest of the moist you couldn't reach. Don't let the oven sit near the fire for more than 5 minutes. Once it's cooled off, using a paper towel rub in and outside a small amount of vegetable oil (unseasoned). Also using a paper towel, wipe all the extra oil, and leave just a thin film which is a protective layer.

IDOS, International Dutch Oven Society was founded in Utah, and is a non profit company. It gathers people from around the world who are Dutch oven enthusiasts, who exchange recipes, interesting facts, knowledge about various types of Dutch ovens, and their aim is to promote the use and the art of cooking with Dutch ovens.

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