Do you have a Dutch Oven Squatting heavily in your dark basements, attic, or how about your cluttered garage? These three-legged hulks from a bygone era are waiting impatiently to release their treasures.
Until then, they are pitted by time and tarnished by neglect. For those who will uncover the mystery, their gaping caverns can once again be brimming with magic.
Welcome to the world of Dutch oven cooking!
A Dutch oven has personality and it’s one of the most versatile cooking implements you ‘ll ever use. Hence, it’s enduring popularity. Even today it basks in the reflected glory of such famous patrons as Lewis and Clark, who traveled with their Dutch oven as they canoed down rivers and tramped through forests and fields in the early 1800’s.
Dutch ovens were considered so valuable that George Washington’s mother willed her “iron kitchen furniture” to a nephew. Paul Revere, folk hero and skilled craftsman, is credited with the design of the flanged lid so necessary to Dutch oven. This flanged lid adds to the utility of the oven and is an integral part of the cooking experience.
Dutch Oven Heating Chart…..This simple formula will bring your Dutch Oven to the correct temperatures without fail. It all depends on the number of charcoal briquettes you place on top and bottom.
Dutch ovens come in a range of sizes; one of the most popular being the 12 inch since it’s so easy to handle.
Servings Per Dutch Oven…..
Seasoning a Dutch Oven
Do not use a Dutch oven that has not been seasoned. Seasoning prevents rusting, adds flavor to the food and also allows for easy cleanup. On occasion, seasoning must be done twice in order to season the entire oven completely.
To season a Dutch oven, peel off the labels, and wash it in warm soapy water. Rinse, drain and dry immediately. Set in on the stove for a minute to make sure it is completely dry before you add a light layer of Crisco to the oven, inside and out. Then bake it in an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Though it smokes a bit, leave it in the oven for about one hour. Just keep your windows open so the smoke can escape. After cooking, wipe away any remaining grease, and store with a paper towel or piece of cardboard between the lid and the oven. The paper will absorb any leftover moisture.
There are a few tools you’ll want, to make things go more smoothly. Before you build a fire, make sure you have these on hand:
- Dutch oven
- A tool for lifting the lid off the oven
- Potholders are a good idea
- Spoon with a long handle
- Shovel or tongs for moving coals
- Food for cooking
Don’t wait until you are hungry before you start the fire! Build it long before you want to eat. It will take a while for the fire to burn down to coals.
Dutch Oven Cooking Tips
How to Simmer – This technique is perfect for stews, soups and chili. Keep 2/3 of the briquettes under the oven and use the remaining 1/3 to cover the lid for even cooking.
How to Bake – This technique is for baking breads, pies, cakes and more. Leave 1/3 of the briquettes under the oven and place the remaining 2/3 to cover the lid.
How to Roast – If you’re cooking meats, poultry, veggies or casseroles, distribute half of the coals on top and the other half below the oven.
(via Jennifer – iSaveA2Z Blog)
Sharing a Few Recipes
FREE: 500+ Camping Recipes (Incl 100 Dutch Oven Recipes)
That’s right—over 500 camping recipes that also includes over 100 for Dutch ovens. It’s yours For FREE!
Many of these recipes can also be cooked at home in the kitchen or on the barbecue etc. Don’t wait until the weather is nice and you go camping, to try some of these recipes. Download and print out this free PDF cookbook below.
Dutch Oven Sloppy Joes…..Sloppy Joes are a great food when camping and this dutch oven recipe makes them super simple. Click here for the recipe.
A classic breakfast, biscuits and gravy are excellent when you’re camping. Even better when you can make it in a dutch oven. Get the recipe here.
- Only one pod needed to light any fire in any season with no taste or odor to food. Each pod burns for 15 minutes
- Durable bucket makes for easy storage and transportation
- Non-toxic and environmentally safe, made of wood shavings and food-grade wax
Some More Tips
1. If you take the lid off your oven and thee boiled so heavily that you cannot see the food, your fire is too hot, remove a few coals.
2. If you take the lid off your oven and the contents are not boiling after being on the fire for twenty minutes, your fire is to cold, add more coals.
3. If half your food is browning faster than the other, you have a hot spot. Rotate the oven one quarter turn to the left and rotate the lid one quarter turn to the right every 15 minutes until done.
4. Heat rises, some foods such as chicken and potatoes can be cooked with only bottom heat. Anything “baked” needs top and bottom heat.
5. Watch wood coals closely, they burn out quickly and you will need to rotate the oven.
6. When the wind blows it will cause coals to burn faster and hotter on one side. Set up a wind break and be sure to rotate oven. You may have to add more coals to get desired heat.
7. Cast iron conducts heat very well, so put most of the coals on the lid around the outside edge, it will aid for uniform browning.
8. Ash can build up on a briquette. If it starts to build up, remove the ash by tapping the briquette with tongs, DO NOT use hands.
9. Keep the lid on tight, because each time you open it, you lose heat and increase cooking time.
10. You may stack ovens. This saves coals and space. 3 or 4 high is best.
Never allow cast iron to sit in water or allow water to sit in it. The pot will rust!
Never use soap on cast iron. It will get into the metal pores and taint your food.
Never place an empty cast iron oven over a hot fire. It will crack or warp.
Never be in a hurry to heat cast iron. It could burn the food or damage the oven.
Never put cold liquid into a hot cast iron oven. It could crack!
Baking in a Dutch oven is simply amazing – breads and desserts turn out just perfect!
If you haven’t enjoyed Dutch oven cooking as the cook or the eater, you’ve been missing out! It’s a lot of fun.
With a Dutch oven and some good Dutch oven campfire recipes, you can create some amazingly tasty meals – and have fun at the same time!
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