Dutch Oven
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A Dutch Oven (or “cocotte” in French) is neither Dutch nor an oven, but a deep pot with a tight-fitting lid that can go from stove top to oven and is actually designed to re-create oven conditions on the stovetop. 

Most cookware sets include a pot that fits this description. It usually holds 3 to 6 quarts. Some versions come with a long handle, like a skillet. If you choose one with a handle, make sure there's also a "helper handle" on the side, since a hot Dutch oven full of food can be quite heavy.

Purchasing

Dutch Ovens can be purchased made from various materials ranging from inexpensive nonstick versions to Cast Iron Dutch Ovens to high end Dutch Ovens with Enameled walls which are easier to care for. If you have a specific Dutch Oven, read the manual to determine what care it needs and what temperatures it is designed to handle.

Culinary Uses

In cooking, the Dutch Oven is a very versatile vessel. It can be used to Brown meats and then Braise or Stew them. It can be used as a pan (really a pot) for Roasting in the oven. It can also be used over an open flame or even a rustic campfire. You can make Soup in it, you can put it in a pit and cover it  with coals to bake or roast. It also does very well on a stove top (though they can heat food unevenly over a burner so stir) or in a traditional oven.