Although both casserole dishes and Dutch ovens are deep pots with lids, the two are not the same. Some companies market cast-iron baking pots as kitchen Dutch ovens, but generally these lack the distinctive features of the traditional Dutch oven. Dutch ovens are designed for outdoor use with a fire or charcoal as the heat source.
A casserole dish is a pot, usually with a rounded lid. Casseroles may be made of cast iron, Pyrex, earthenware or ceramic materials.
A casserole is primarily used for baking in a kitchen oven. It is not designed for outdoor use or for cooking over an open flame.
Dutch ovens are cast iron or earthenware. They have a lid with a raised lip to hold charcoal and three legs allowing them to sit over a fire or charcoal.
Dutch Oven Uses
Dutch ovens are typically used for cooking stews and baking. For baking, a Dutch oven is placed above charcoal and more charcoal is placed in the lid.
Dutch ovens were used for camp cooking during the Revolutionary War. Settlers used Dutch ovens for cooking in fireplaces throughout most of the 1800s.
Dutch Ovens Today
The design of the Dutch oven has changed very little over the years. Dutch ovens continue to be popular as camping cookware today due to their versatility and utility.