Iron Dutch ovens
The iron bottom section has three legs so hot coals can be placed under the oven. The lids evolved over time to become a concave tight fitting lid to hold coals. Historically it has been called various names - bake oven, oven, lidded kettle, bake kettle and more.
A 17th century one with 'triangular' ears for the bale (handle) from the Saugus Museum:
18th century example from the Memorial Hall Museum:
Lodge Co., currently the main company which makes various iron cookware, calls this a "Camp Oven" or "Camp Dutch Oven" and the one with a convex lid is called a "Dutch Oven." The image is from the 1880s:
Tin Dutch ovens
Two 17th century Dutch paintings contained what today is called a 'tin kitchen' - a shiny tin body to reflect the fire and cook meat on a spit; also items on a tray or on the floor of the oven. The first is from c1660, the second was forty years earlier.
An American Dutch oven from the 1820s:
Image from the 1850s with a shelf, labeled as Dutch oven:
A later American tin kitchen:
Brick Dutch ovens
In a few HABS (Historic American Buildings Survey) reports, Dutch oven referred to the protruding back of an inside brick oven or a brick oven.
©2014 Patricia Bixler Reber
Researching Food History HOME