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Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Texas State Cooking Implement

Dutch oven on campfire; photo by Jason Slemons (used by permission).

Official State Cooking Implement of Texas

The Dutch oven was designated the state cooking vessel of Texas in 2005. All Cultural Heritage Symbols

Cast iron pots were among the most cherished possessions of explorers, mountain men, settlers going west, and the cattle drive cowboys. Chuck wagon cooks used two or three Dutch ovens when preparing chow (the chuck wagon was also recognized in 2005 as the official state vehicle of Texas).

Dutch ovens are used for baking, roasting, boiling, braising, frying, simmering, steaming, and other campfire cooking methods to make dishes such as biscuits, cornbread, appetizers, entrees and desserts. Modern campers are still using the durable and flexible Dutch oven (the Dutch oven is also the state cooking pot of Utah and the state cooking vessel of Arkansas).

Americans still gather around campfires after a meal from the same kind of Dutch ovens used by our pioneer forbears and tell stories of our history and ancestors.


WHEREAS, The State of Texas traditionally has recognized a variety of official state symbols as tangible representations of the proud spirit and heritage of our state; and

WHEREAS, The bluebonnet, the pecan tree, the Guadalupe bass, and the lightning whelk are examples of some natural specimens that serve to symbolize the great diversity of the Texas landscape, while the state dish, chili, fittingly represents another aspect of our shared culture as Texans; and

WHEREAS, In keeping with this custom, the designation of the cast iron Dutch oven as the official State Cooking Implement would provide suitable recognition for this sturdy utensil; and

WHEREAS, A welcome and dependable fixture at campfires across the Lone Star State, the Dutch oven was used extensively by Spanish explorers, early settlers, ranchers, and chuckwagon cooks over the course of Texas'  history; and

WHEREAS, The Dutch oven has also remained a popular item with a vast number of Texans today, and in January, 1995, the Lone Star Dutch Oven Society was founded to promote its use throughout the state; and

WHEREAS, Ideal for use in moist-cooking methods, such as braising and stewing, the Dutch oven's versatility has made it the food preparation implement of choice of both the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of  America; and

WHEREAS, Renowned for its portability and durability, the cast iron Dutch oven has been a cooking mainstay of Texans from the time of the pioneers to the current day, and it is indeed appropriate that it receive special  legislative recognition for its role in our state's history and culture; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the 79th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby designate the cast iron Dutch oven as the official State Cooking Implement.