The American Dutch Oven
The American colonies made some much needed changes to the traditional Dutch Oven. Cooking in the brick and mortar fireplace took finesse…
Thomas Jefferson’s cookbook, as well as The Cookery by Miss Eliza Leslie, made me realized that cooking was not just putting a bird on a skewer. Of course, they enjoyed baking, stewing, frying and roasting. Their meals included breads , cakes , pies and more. The colonist needed the dutch oven to be more shallow, they needed the addition of short legs and what caught my attention was the flanged lid. These changes made hearth cooking/baking possible. The oven was so valued that wills in the 18th and 19th centuries frequently included the “iron kitchen furniture” or the cast iron dutch ovens.
To make cakes and breads the legs of the pot were set over a ring of hot coals and then a specific quantity of hot coals were placed on top of the flanged lid to reach the magical 350..
Now you can tell your children why the Dutch Oven is a Dutch Oven.
On a recent buying trip I was excited to find the dutch oven pictured below. True age is evident by the “Split Formed Handle” on the lid and the “Applied Handle” on the pot.
True only a minute fraction of today’s population cares enough about an old rusty pot enough to study it for any length of time. I actually was marveled by the term “Dutch Oven” well before I uncovered the example in the picture. The dutch part did not interest me but even as a child I asked “Why is this an oven?” I can cross this off of my list of curiosities. I can now move on.
Thank You for Listening, Kit
Hope to see you soon. Please come to my shop!
731 Broadway Homewood Alabama