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 ceramic. Some metal varieties are enameled rather than being seasoned, and these are sometimes called French ovens. 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 “pan” in French), and cocottes in French. They are similar to both the Japanese tetsunabe and the sač, a traditional Balkan cast-iron oven, and are related to the South African potjiekos, the Australian Bedourie oven and Spanish cazuela.