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A large cast-iron pot and the campfire cooking vessel of choice for pioneers, cowboys, and river guides. The term goes back to the early 1700s, when heavy metal pots from the Netherlands made their way to Britain and its colonies. There has been precisely one technological advancement to the Dutch oven since Lewis and Clark took it on their 1804 expedition across America: the advent of an aluminum model in the 1980s, which is good for packing light. The original Dutch oven stands as a monument to the idea that some things need no improvement.