For such a well-recognized and adored cooking pot, the modern Dutch oven can seem like a bit of a mystery. Where did it come from? Why is it called a Dutch oven? Where do the French come in? In reality, the Dutch oven that’s popular today came about because of multiple innovations, spanning several centuries.

Putting The “Dutch” In “Dutch Oven”

Cast iron cookware has a long history. In fact, the technology was developed in China more than 2,500 years ago. It arrived in Europe about 800 years ago, and by the 1600s, craftsmen in The Netherlands were using sand to cast pots, usually in brass, which enabled them to create more detailed designs at less expense. This technique was spotted by English industrialist Abraham Darby while on a trip, who was inspired to try it with cast iron.

The Cast Iron Dutch Oven Is Actually From England

When Darby returned from The Netherlands, he set about working on his own version of the sand-molding technology. In 1707, he patented a design for a cast iron cooking pot that he named the “Dutch oven.” Soon, industrial-scale production began, and the rest is history. 

So Why Are They Called French Ovens Sometimes?

The eye-catching enamel coating of the modern Dutch oven came a little later, in 1891, thanks to a great idea from Dutchman Johannes Berk Van Kampen. It wasn’t long before other companies across Europe sought to replicate the success of the enameled cast iron Dutch oven, with one French company becoming particularly popular. 

It was because of this commercial success that the colourful enameled pot became associated with France. It also helped that the enameled Dutch oven, known in France as a cocotte, became associated with French cuisine like boeuf bourguignon and this creamy chicken and mushroom dish.

The Dutch Are Only Part Of The Story

While The Netherlands certainly played a key role in the creation of this popular cooking pot, the name “Dutch oven” captures only a tiny part of its fascinating history that spans the entire world.

Let's take a look.

A Brief History of the Cast Iron Dutch Oven

A brief history of the cast iron dutch oven

 

Cooking a delicious meal is not im-pot-ssible when you use the right cookware.

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