Dutch oven

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a heavily constructed kettle with a close-fitting lid, used for pot roasts, stews, etc.
a metal utensil, open in front, for roasting before an open fire.
a brick oven in which the walls are preheated for cooking.
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Origin of Dutch oven

First recorded in 1760–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What else does Dutch oven mean?

In cooking, a Dutch oven is a type of heavy pot with a lid.

But in slang, a Dutch oven is when you pass gas in bed and pull the covers over someone else’s head, trapping it in like a Dutch oven traps heat. 

How is Dutch oven pronounced?

[ duhch uhvuhn ]

Where does Dutch oven come from?

The flatulent prank of the Dutch oven takes its name from an actual cooking device called a Dutch oven. This is a large metal pot kept hot on a stove or in the oven by placing coals on its tight-fitting lid. The term Dutch oven has been recorded since the 1700s (though the cooking technique is itself older). In 2005, the Dutch oven was named the Official State Cooking Implement of Texas. (Don’t laugh, now.)

In the early 1900s, Dutch oven was used as slang for the mouth (e.g., Shut your Dutch oven!). National Lampoon magazine described the current Dutch oven—trapping a fart under the covers of a bed—in 1974 as the kind of stunt a guy might pull on his little brother. Other sources describe Dutch ovening your significant other or even yourself.

It’s not clear exactly when the gassy gag came to be known as a Dutch oven, but the name appears to compare the blanket to the lid of a Dutch oven and the fart as the, um, scent of cooking. (Gross.)

How is Dutch oven used in real life?

A 2001 book, The Girl Code, dubbed the Dutch oven an important “boundary to maintain” in a relationship, underscoring just how much  not everyone appreciates the joke. The slang Dutch oven can be a noun or verb, and, as a term (not to mention practice), appears in potty humor.

And of course, plenty of cooks widely and earnestly refer to Dutch ovens in culinary contexts.


This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.

How to use Dutch oven in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Dutch oven

Dutch oven

an iron or earthenware container with a cover used for stews, etc
a metal box, open in front, for cooking in front of an open fire
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012