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A Dutch oven is neither Dutch nor an oven—it is a deep covered pot that you can use on the stove or in the oven. It usually refers to a pot that holds between three and six quarts, although the size can vary. A deep oven-proof skillet can work if you don't have a Dutch oven, as can an oven-proof soup pot. And if your recipe doesn't call for putting the pot in the oven at all, any heavy deep pot will do. Here are some recipe examples: This hearty Beef and Guinness Stew or these Chicago-Style Italian Beef Hoagies.

If you're wanting something super affordable (and totally trendy) this copper dutch oven is great. If you feel like splurging, check out this adorable, classic Dutch oven from Le Creuset. We really love the "Hibiscus" color!