My Dutch oven arrived in the mail exactly a week ago today, and I’ve been obsessed with using it ever since. I am no slouch in the kitchen and follow my fair share of food and fitness bloggers, so this item has been something I've been lusting after for a very long time. Just the sight of it sitting on the stove in my kitchen makes me feel more at home, and it just looks so cozy. It brings up memories of great pot roasts, simmering soups and hearty home meals that are especially welcome in the cold winter nights.

For those of you unfamiliar, a Dutch oven is a large, heavy cooking pot with a lid. It's made up of cast iron and many are covered with enamel, so unlike regular cast iron skillets, you don't have to season it or worry about things sticking. Like a regular cast iron skillet, you do still have to be careful with how you clean it — aka no citrus-based detergents and no steel wool on this surface. 

What makes them so unique is that they are able to be used on the stove and in the oven. The cast iron they are made of evenly distributes and maintains heat incredibly well, making it perfect for dishes and plates that require longer cooking times. It might take a bit longer to get hot than your normal pots and pans, though.

Dutch ovens are also notable because they’re multifunctional. You can make any number of one-pot pasta dishes in here, as well as braise meats, stew soups and bake desserts. Their heavy lids ensure that no flavors escape, no matter how long you have something sitting on the stove. There are endless possibilities when it comes to Dutch oven recipes.

Another great, perhaps less important reason why Dutch ovens are so great are their appearances. The enameled pots are usually colored a pretty bright color, which means to serve a dish often all you need to do is place a pot holder underneath and stick in a serving spoon. No need to spoon everything on a separate serving plate. Just make sure your guests don’t burn their hands on the hot edges of the Dutch oven! Enjoy your new favorite versatile kitchen tool!