July 2017 ~~~~ Editor:  Cliff Hanger ~~~~
Dutch Oven - from The Mercury News 
A Dutch oven is a thick-walled cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid. Dutch ovens are usually made of seasoned cast iron, however some Dutch ovens are instead made of cast aluminium, or are ceramic. Some metal varieties are enameled rather than being seasoned. Dutch ovens have been used as cooking vessels for hundreds of years. They are called casserole dishes in English speaking countries other than the United States ("casserole" means "pot" in French), and cocottes in French. They are similar to both the Japanese tetsunabe and the Sa?, a traditional Balkan cast-iron oven, and are related to the South African Potjie and the Australian Bedourie oven.

Early European history

During the late 17th century, the Dutch system of producing these cast metal cooking vessels was more advanced than the English system. The Dutch used dry sand to make their molds, giving their pots a smoother surface. Consequently, metal cooking vessels produced in the Netherlands were imported into Britain. In 1704, an Englishman named Abraham Darby decided to go to the Netherlands[citation needed] to observe the Dutch system for making these cooking vessels. Four years later, back in England, Darby patented a casting procedure similar to the Dutch process and began to produce cast-metal cooking vessels for Britain and her new American colonies. Thus the term “Dutch oven” has endured for over 300 years, since at least 1710.

American history

American Dutch ovens changed over time during the colonial era. These changes included a shallower pot, legs to hold the oven above the coals, and a lid flange to keep the coals on the lid and out of the food. Paul Revere is credited with the design of the flat lid with a ridge for holding coals as well as the addition of legs to the pots.

Colonists and settlers valued cast-iron cookware because of its versatility and durability. Cooks used them to boil, bake, stew, fry, and roast. The ovens were so valuable that wills in the 18th and 19th centuries frequently spelled out the desired inheritor. For example, Mary Ball Washington (mother of President George Washington) specified in her will, dated 20 May 1788, that one-half of her "iron kitchen furniture" should go to her grandson, Fielding Lewis, and the 

An American Dutch oven, 1896 

other half to Betty Carter, a granddaughter. This bequest included several Dutch ovens. 

Westward bound settlers took Dutch ovens with them. A Dutch oven was among the gear Lewis and Clark carried when they explored the great American Northwest in 1804–1806. Mormon pioneers who settled the American West also took along their Dutch ovens. In fact, a statue raised to honor the Mormon handcart companies who entered Utah’s Salt Lake Valley in the 1850s proudly displays a Dutch oven hanging from the front of the handcart. The Dutch oven is also the official state cooking pot of Texas, Utah and Arkansas.

Mountain men exploring the great American frontier used Dutch ovens into the late 19th century. Chuck wagons accompanying western cattle drives also carried Dutch ovens from the mid-19th century into the early 20th century.

Dutch history

In the Netherlands, a Dutch oven is called a braadpan, which literally translates to frying pan or roasting pan. The design most used today is a black (with blue inside) enameled steel pan, that is suitable for gas and induction heating. The model was introduced in 1891 by BK, a well known Dutch manufacturer of cookware. Cheaper and lighter in weight than cast iron, it proved to be a revolution in the kitchen. A braadpan is mainly used for frying meat only, but it can also be used for making traditional stews such as hachée. Cast-iron models exist, but are used less frequently.


A camping, cowboy, or chuckwagon Dutch oven has three legs, a wire bail handle, and a slightly concave, rimmed lid so that coals from the cooking fire can be placed on top as well as below. This provides more uniform internal heat and lets the inside act as an oven. These ovens are typically made of bare cast iron, although some are aluminum. Dutch ovens are often used in Scouting outdoor activities.

Bedourie oven

In Australia, a bedourie camp oven is a steel cookpot shaped and used like a Dutch oven. Named after Bedourie, Queensland, the Bedourie ovens were developed as a more robust (non-breakable) alternative to the more fragile cast-iron Dutch ovens.


In South Africa, a potjie /p???ki?/, directly translated "pottle or little pot" from Afrikaans or Dutch, is unlike most other Dutch ovens, in that it is round bottomed. Traditionally, it is a single cast, cast-iron pot, reinforced with external double or triple circumscribing ribs, a wire handle for suspending the pot, and three short legs for resting the pot. It is similar in appearance to a cauldron. It has a cast-iron lid with a recessed convex contour to allow for hot coals to lie on top, so that the pot may also be heated from above, and a handle. When the vessel is to be stored long term, care must be taken to avoid rust forming, this is accomplished by coating it in a non-toxic oil, such as cooking oil. This act ensures that the vessel remains in a seasoned state. "Potjie" can also refer to the technique of cooking potjiekos. Among the recipes which require a potjie, there is one for a type of bread called "potbrood", which literally means "pot bread".

Among the South African indigenous peoples (specifically Zulus) these pots also became known as phutu pots, after a popular food prepared in it. The larger pots are normally used for large gatherings e.g. Funerals or weddings to prepare large quanties of food. Wooden spoons referred to as Kombe in the Tsonga language are used for mixing and stirring.

This tradition originated in the Netherlands during the Siege of Leiden and was brought to South Africa by Dutch immigrants. It persisted over the years with the Voortrekkers and survives today as a traditional Afrikaner method of cooking. It is still in common use by South African campers, both domestic and international.


In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, a chugun is a cast-iron pot used in a modern oven or in a traditional Russian oven, hearth, or a campfire. A chugun is used in a variety of cooking methods including high temperature cooking, low-temperature cooking, thermal cooking, slow cooking, smothering, roasting, baking, braising, and stewing.

The shape of a chugun is similar to a traditional crock with a narrow top and bottom and wider in the middle. When used inside a traditional oven, a long handled holding tool is used with a roller that serves as a lever to lift a heavy chugun in and out of the oven. Since there are no handles, it's inconvenient to use a chugun on a stovetop.

Often several chuguns of different sizes are used in the oven at the same time to prepare the entire meal. Dishes usually cooked in a chugun are roast meat with vegetables called "zharkoye," holubtsi, potato babka, stuffed peppers, and baked milk.

Use in cooking

Dutch ovens are well suited for long, slow cooking, such as in making roasts, stews, and casseroles. Virtually any recipe that can be cooked in a conventional oven can be cooked in a Dutch oven.

When cooking over a campfire, it is possible to use old-style lipped cast-iron Dutch ovens as true baking ovens, to prepare biscuits, cakes, breads, pizzas, and even pies. A smaller baking pan can be placed inside the ovens, used and replaced with another as the first batch is completed. It is also possible to stack Dutch ovens on top of each other, conserving the heat that would normally rise from the hot coals on the top. These stacks can be as high as 5 or 6 pots.

Seasoning and care

Bare cast iron

Americans traditionally season their iron Dutch ovens like other cast-iron cookware.

After use Dutch ovens are typically cleaned like other cast-iron cookware: with boiling water and a brush, and no or minimal soap. After the oven has been dried, it should be given a thin coating of cooking oil to prevent rusting. Whether that should be a vegetable fat or an animal fat (such as lard) is hotly contested. Saturated fats are more stable than polyunsaturated fats, which tend to go rancid more quickly. Alas, if the oven is used regularly, this poses no issue. Mustard oil provides the highest temperature resistance, which would be conducive to cooking.

Where possible, a cleaned and freshly oiled Dutch oven should be stored in a clean, dry location with the lid ajar or off to promote air circulation and to avoid the smell and taste of rancid oil. If the Dutch oven must be stored with the lid on, a paper towel or piece of newspaper should be placed inside the oven to absorb any moisture.

With care, after much use the surfaces of the Dutch oven will become dark black, very smooth, shiny and non-stick. With proper care, a Dutch oven will provide long service.

Enameled ovens

Enameled ovens do not need to be seasoned before use. However, they lose some of the other advantages of bare cast iron. For example, deep frying is usually not recommended in enameled ovens; the enamel coating is not able to withstand high heat, and is best suited for water-based cooking.

Enameled ovens can usually be cleaned like ordinary cookware, and some brands can be put in the dishwasher.

However, enamel is not as resistant to scratches as iron.

Tonopah, NV from Wikapedia 

Tonopah is an unincorporated town in and the county seat of Nye County, Nevada, United States. It is located at the junction of U.S. Routes 6 and 95, approximately midway between Las Vegas and Reno. In the 2010 census, the population was 2,478. The census-designated place (CDP) of Tonopah has a total area of 16.2 square miles (42 km2), all land.


The European-American community began circa 1900 with the discovery of silver-rich ore by prospector Jim Butler. The legendary tale of discovery says that he went looking for a burro that had wandered off during the night and sought shelter near a rock outcropping. When Butler discovered the animal the next morning, he picked up a rock to throw at it in frustration, noticing that the rock was unusually heavy. He had stumbled upon the second-richest silver strike in Nevada history.[citation needed]

Men of wealth and power entered the region to consolidate the mines and reinvest their profits into the infrastructure of the town of Tonopah. George Wingfield, a 24-year-old poker player when he arrived in Tonopah, played poker and dealt faro in the town saloons. Once he had a small bankroll, he talked Jack Carey, owner of the Tonopah Club, into taking him in as a partner and to file for a gaming license. In 1903, miners rioted against Chinese workers in Tonopah. This resulted in China enforcing a boycott in China of U.S. imported goods.

By 1904, after investing his winnings in the Boston-Tonopah Mining Company, Wingfield was worth $2 million. When old friend George S. Nixon, a banker, arrived in town, Wingfield invested in his Nye County Bank. They grub-staked miners with friend Nick Abelman, and bought existing mines. By the time the partners moved to Goldfield, Nevada and made their Goldfield Consolidated Mining Company a public corporation in 1906, Nixon and Wingfield were worth more than $30 million.[5]

Wingfield believed that the end of the gold and silver mining production was coming and took his bankroll to Reno, where he invested heavily in real estate and casinos. Real estate and gaming became big business throughout Central Nevada. By 1910, gold production was falling and by 1920, the town of Tonopah had less than half the population it had fifteen years earlier.

Small mining ventures continued to provide income for local miners and the small town struggled on. Located about halfway between Reno and Las Vegas, it has supported travelers as a stopover and rest spot on a lonely highway. Today the Tonopah Station has slots and the Banc Club also offers some gaming.

Also in Nye County is the Yomba Band of the Yomba Indian Reservation, a federally recognized band of Western Shoshone people. The Western Shoshone dominated most of Nevada at the time of European-American settlement in the 1860s.

Since the late 20th century, Tonopah has relied on the nearby military Tonopah Test Range as its main source of employment. The military has used the range and surrounding areas as a nuclear bomb test site, a bombing range, and as a base of operations for the development of the F-117 Nighthawk.

In the fall of 2011, a California-based solar energy company, SolarReserve, started construction on $980 million advanced solar energy project just outside town called the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project. The project incorporates SolarReserve's advanced solar energy storage technology and will put Tonopah at the worldwide center of technology for this class of solar energy storage. The project construction activities, which peaks at 800 workers on site, was scheduled to be completed in 2014.

Etymology and pronunciation

Founder, Jim Butler named the settlement, from what is thought to be a Shoshone language word, pronounced "TOE-nuh-pah."[6] Although the town previously had a variety of names, including Butler City, Jim Butler's name has survived. According to local history, the name is said to mean "hidden spring".

Linguistically the name derives from either Shoshone to-nuv (greasewood), or Northern Paiute to-nav (greasewood), and pa, meaning water in both dialects.


Tonopah has an arid, cold desert climate with cool winters and hot summers. Due to Tonopah’s aridity and high altitude, daily temperature ranges are quite large. Nights are cool, even in summer.

There are an average of 50.3 afternoons with highs at or above 90 °F or 32.2 °C, 157.8 mornings with lows of 32 °F (0 °C) or lower, 7.6 afternoons where the high does not top freezing and 1.7 mornings with lows below 0 °F or ?17.8 °C. The record high temperature in Tonopah was 104 °F (40 °C) on July 18, 1960, and the record low ?15 °F (?26.1 °C) on January 24, 1937 and January 23, 1962.

There are an average of 38 days with measurable precipitation. The wettest calendar year was 1946 with 10.27 in (261 mm) and the driest 1927 with 1.92 in (49 mm). The most precipitation in one month was 2.87 inches (72.9 mm) in November 1946. The most precipitation in 24 hours was 1.62 inches (41.1 mm) on August 17, 1977. Average annual snowfall is 16.8 inches or 0.43 metres, though even in winter the median snow depth is zero and the maximum recorded only 13 inches or 0.33 metres on February 11, 1968. The most snowfall in one year was 79.3 inches (2.01 m) from July 1946 to June 1947, including 37.0 inches or 0.94 metres in November 1946.


As of the census of 2000, there were 2,627 people, 1,109 households, and 672 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 162.1 people per square mile (2.59/km²). There were 1,561 housing units at an average density of 96.3 per square mile (37.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 91.24% White, 1.41% Native American, 0.76% African American, 0.42% Asian, 0.30% Pacific Islander, 2.82% from other races, and 3.05% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.17% of the population.

There were 1,109 households out of which 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.9% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.4% were non-families. 34.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the CDP, the population was spread out with 27.1% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 27.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 108.3 males. For every 100 women age 18 and over, there were 105.9 men.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $37,401, and the median income for a family was $47,917. Males had a median income of $40,018 versus $22,056 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $18,256. About 5.7% of families and 11.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.3% of those under age 18 and 19.1% of those age 65 or over.


During the silver bonanza of the first decade of the 20th century, the need in the precious-metal fields for freight service led to construction of a network of local railroad lines across the Nevada desert to Tonopah. Examples include the Las Vegas and Tonopah Railroad, the Tonopah and Goldfield Railroad, and the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad. Coal was hauled to the silver mines to power mine operations and also the stamp mills built in and around Tonopah to break apart the hard-rock ore for milling and refining.

As the railroad lines were reduced with the decline of mining and restructuring of railroads in the late 20th century, 18-wheelers became the dominant method of moving freight. Tonopah took on a new identity as an extreme freight destination. The chorus of the song "Willin'" by Lowell George of Little Feat on the albums Little Feat, Sailin' Shoes, and Waiting for Columbus refers to either Tonopah, Arizona, or Tonopah, Nevada:

    And I've been from Tucson to Tucumcari, Tehachapi to Tonopah.
    I've driven every kind of rig that's ever been made;
    driven the backroads so I wouldn't get weighed.

In the early 21st century, Tonopah is served by two U.S. Highways, Routes 6 and 95. There is no rail service. General aviation facilities are located at nearby Tonopah Airport. The nearest airport with scheduled passenger service is Mammoth Yosemite Airport, about 100 miles away. The nearest major airports are McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, and Reno–Tahoe International Airport in Reno, each more than 200 miles away.

Notable people

    Hugh Bradner, physicist, and inventor of the neoprene wetsuit, which helped to revolutionize scuba diving.
    T. Brian Callister, MD, physician and nationally known health care policy expert; practiced in Tonopah between 1991 and 1995.
    Thomas Joseph Connolly. Roman Catholic bishop of Baker
    Barbara Graham, the notorious Butcher of Burbank, California. One of four women to be executed in California.
    William Robert Johnson, Roman Catholic bishop of Orange
    Andriza Mircovich, only prisoner to be executed by shooting in Nevada.
    Tasker Oddie, 12th Governor of Nevada and a United States Senator; resident of Tonopah.
    Key Pittman, U.S. Senator from 1913-40; resident of Tonopah.
    Vail M. Pittman, Governor of Nevada 1945-51; resident of Tonopah.
    Stalking Cat, body modification icon.

    Claire Fahy, pioneering aviator, died here on 19 December 1930, after the airplane she was piloting crashed when the engine stalled on 
    takeoff at 50 feet.

Places of interest

    Mizpah Hotel, with construction begun in 1905, shortly after the town of Tonopah was founded, and finished in late 1908, after several delays. The Mizpah Hotel was once the tallest building in the state.
    Clown Motel is located next to a graveyard.

In popular culture

    Tonopah was the subject of an episode of Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings. Rhett and Link developed a slogan for the town 
       "Visit Tonopah, We're Different".
    The television show Ghost Adventures has filmed multiple episodes in Tonopah, which is known for its haunted buildings, most notably 
       the Mizpah Hotel. .
    The Clown Motel was featured on the Longmont Potion Castle Volume 9 track "Clown Motel".
    The song, "Willin'", written by Lowell George, refers to Tonopah as one of the far flung destinations visited by the song's protagonist, a 
       truck driver. The refrain begins, "I've been from Tucson to Tucumcari, Tehachapi to Tonopah."
    Tonopah is a very important shipping location in the SCS Software video game American Truck Simulator.

All articles submitted to the "Brimstone Gazette" are the property of the author, used with their expressed permission. 
The Brimstone Pistoleros are not responsible for any accidents which may occur from use of  loading data, firearms information, or recommendations published on the Brimstone Pistoleros web site.