A dutch oven is a thick-walled cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid. Most dutch ovens are made from cast iron. Aluminum dutch ovens are available and are typically used when weight is a concern (hiking, rafting, etc.) Cast iron ovens are best to use when possible because they heat food more evenly. My current collection consists of two ovens, a 12-inch and an 8-inch, both cast iron. The 12" Lodge cast iron dutch oven weighs in at a hefty 23 pounds. I intend to experiment with them in the months to come and post the results here.
Did you know that when the young American country began to spread westward across the North American continent, so did the Dutch oven? A Dutch oven was among the gear Lewis and Clark carried when they explored the great American Northwest in 1804-1806. The pioneers who settled the American West also took along their Dutch ovens.
You are probably addicted to Wikipedia too. As far as addictions go, you could do worse.
The first recipe I tried, a pot pie, was very tasty. It was adapted from a recipe in Tofu Cookery by Louise Hagler, a staple in my kitchen:
I posted the recipe here. Is there something you are wanting to make in a dutch oven but can't find a good recipe? Leave a comment and I will see what I can do.