The original Dutch oven had 3 legs so it could be placed on top of hot coals. Today, many campers use a Dutch oven for all their cooking while “out in the woods”. They can be used for roasting, baking, braising, frying, boiling, and baking.
Now Dutch oven cooking has been brought indoors. Today these can be used on the stove top as well as inside the oven. There are a variety of different Dutch ovens available.
Basically, these ovens are a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid to retain the moisture. Most are made of cast iron. The updated Dutch ovens can be used on top of the stove. They have porcelain enamel on both the outside and inside. There are also some made of heavy aluminum, stainless steel, or stoneware. Most can go from the stove top to inside the oven. Before purchasing make sure you check out how high the oven can be set, as there are different temperature ranges available with different products.
These wonderful little ovens come in a range of sizes usually from 2 quarts up to 8 or 9 quarts. They are usually round, but some are oval which are designed for roasting large turkeys. Make sure before you start using your new Dutch oven to thoroughly read the instructions that come with it. Most of the problems users have go back to the owner not reading the instructions for properly cleaning, maintaining, or use. If you read the booklet and follow the suggestions you will not only be pleased with your purchase, but most importantly, prepare some savory and delicious meals.