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  • Dutch Oven Cooking

    I am importing the best link I have found on what kind of dutch oven you should look for and how to care for it. Following this I will add some easy and tasty recipes using your new oven.


    The reason for this book is to provide reference material for an individual who is planning or cooking a meal for six to ten people. For larger groups, most of the recipies can be easily doubled or tripled and two or more dutch ovens may be needed. Most of the information has been targeted toword the first time dutch oven user, although, the more experienced cook may find a tidbit or two here and there.

    I hope this book will intice all of you potential dutch oven cooks to "giv 'er a try" and you will see why I call them "man's best friend".
    This book is intended to be reproduced by and for Boy Scout Troops, any other use wheather or not used for profit is a violation of copyright laws and is punishable by fines or imprisionment or both.

    If you wish to contribute to the growing of this book, please send your favorite recipies to me at the following address and I will give you and your troop credit in the next issue

    Mike Audleman
    1209 Beachview Dr.
    Ft Walton Beach, Fl 32548

    Cooking techniques such as roasting, baking simmering, stewing, frying, boiling, steaming, and many others are easly done on the campfire with only a single utensil, the dutch oven. Think of the possibilities, delicious fresh baked bread that will rise up and lift the lid, cobblers made from berries picked fresh at the campsite, incredable deep-dish pizzas, stews, quishes that melt in your mouth, cornish game hens roasted to perfection, and immagine a chocolate cake a foot in diameter. These and many, many more are very possible and sometimes easier than they are at home. With very few exceptions, I have been able to duplicate my home recipes on the campfire using the dutch oven.
    All recipes use one of two dutch oven techniques, cooking with your dutch oven or cooking in it. The first is when the food is placed directly in the bottom of the dutch oven. In the second method, food is placed in a second dish and this dish is then placed onto a trivit in the bottom of the dutch oven. The reason for the trivit is to elevate the dish above the bottom of the oven to prevent burning.
    Before we get started, we should review some of the things you will need to know before purchasing your frist dutch oven. There are literally hundreds of option and size combinations available, so it would be impractical for me to tell you which oven is the one for you. Because each type of oven is designed for a different type of cooking situation. I will go over the various options and you will have to decide which ones you will look for.
    In shopping for an oven, you should look for one that is obviously well made. Look at the bail handle, it should be of heavy guage wire and securely attached to molded tangs on the side of the oven. Ovens that have rivited tabbs should be avoided. Most oven handles will lay down against the side of the oven in both directions, but if you look hard enough, you will find some that allow the handle to stand up at a 45 degree angle on one side. This allows you easier access to it when positioning or removing the oven from the fire.

    Another area that bears close examination is the handle on the lid. It should be a loop attached to the lid on both ends and hollow in the center allowing it to be easily hooked. Stay away from the ones that have a molded solid tab on the lid for a handle. These are very difficult to grasp and manage with a load of coals. The loop style offers much better control.
    While examining the lid, check that it has a lip or ridge arround the outer edge. The lip keeps the coals from sliding off of the lid. Don't get me wrong, the ridgeless ones can be used but it is difficult to keep coals on the lid and if you are not meticulious in cleaning the ash from the lid each and every time you open the oven, you will end up with ash and/or sand in your food. The lip virtually illiminates the problem and the lid can be lifted even fully loaded with ash and coals with little difficulty.
    Another feature to look at is the leggs. The most common varieity is one with three leggs, although flatbottomed ones and four legged ones can also be had. For outdoor cooking, leggs are a necessity, they maintain the height of the oven above ground allowing air for the coals underneath. The flat bottomed ones can be set up on rocks(which are scarce as hen's teeth here in Florida) or up on steel tent peggs. If you figure in Murphy's Law here, the flatbottom ovens are best left in the store or on the kitchen stove where they were intended. I highly recomend three leggs over four simply for the stability factor. It is much more stable with three leggs sitting on rough ground than with four.

    The last option to look at is a second handle attached to the lid or upper rim on the oven base. Some ovens are offered with a skillet type handle attached to the lid. This, in theory, is a good idea, but in reality they seem to be more in the way than of assistance. The handle does assist in using the lid upsidedown as a skillet or griddle but when using it as a lid, they get in the way of the bail handle and also misbalance the lid when lifting by the center hoop. They also tend to be in the way during storage and packing situations. Fixed handles on the oven base, with one exception, should be absolutely avoided. I belive the theory behind these handles was to make the oven easier to position in a deep fire pit. If you insist on considering the handle, take a couple of red bricks with you to the store and place them in the oven. Then give her a lift by the handle and you will see the uselessness in the handle. A loaded 12" oven can weigh 20 to 25 pounds, a real wrist breaker. The one exception is a small tab sometimes offered which is about 1 to 1-1/2" deep and 2-3" wide on the upper lip of the oven. This tab makes pouring liquids from the oven very easy and its small size has never caused storage or packing problems for me.

    When someone mentions "Dutch Oven" most people immediatly think "Cast Iron", but dutch ovens are supplied in aluminum also. An aluminum oven weighs only 6-1/2 to 7 pounds opposed to arround 18 pounds for the cast iron oven. There are advantages and disadvantages to each.
    The most obvious aluminum advantage is weight, 11 pounds lighter. Additionally, because aluminum doesn't rust, care is restricted to simple washing with soap and water. Aluminum tends to heat faster requiring less preheating time but they don't retain the heat very long after the coals are removed. Also because aluminum reflects more heat than cast iron, more coals will be required to reach and maintain a set temprature. Also on windy days, you will see a greater variation in temprature than one of cast iron. Where weight is very critical, most of the disadvantages can be overcome. For canoeing, backpacking or trips where weight is a problem, aluminum ovens are the answer.

    When weight is not a problem, the cast iron oven has the upper hand. Cast iron reacts more slowly to temprature changes so don't burn food as easily if the fire flares up and they retain heat for quite a while after the coals have been removed, keeping food warmer longer. Also, because they retain heat well, they fair better on windy days with smaller variations in temprature. Cast iron absorbs a great deal of heat, consequently, they require fewer coals to reach and maintain a set temprature. Weight is its obvious disadvantage, but there are others. Clean up is not as simple, but done regularly and correctly, it is not much of a chore. Rust is the other, bare cast iron will literally rust overnight if not protected. This protection naturally must be done each time it is used but is part of the cleanup proceedure and fairly simple. After all, I 've got Tenterfoot Scouts that are 11 years old that do it like clockwork.

    The last thing you must consider is the size of the oven. They range fron the tiny 4" to the giant 24" monsters. Personally, I have ovens ranging in size from 6" to 18". For small group or patrol situations, 10"-12" will serve rather adequately for almost all circumstances.
    As a review, you should look for a 10"-12" oven that is obviously well made and of good design. It should have three leggs, loop type handle and a lip on the lid and a strong bail type handle for the bottom. You can choose other options but those are personal preferences and totally up the the user. Wheather to choose cast iron or aluminum should be based on the service conditions the oven is going to be MOST used in.
    Now that you have decided the type, style and options, where do you find one? Check your Boy Scout Troop Equipment Catalog or your local Boy Scout Equipment Center. Many good sporting goods or camping supply stores also will carry them. Also, restaurant supply houses may stock them or will have a catalog they can order them from. From my experiences, the restaurant houses typically cost a bit more but the ovens are commercial quality and they usually have a better selection to choose from. Another option is mail order. Companies such as REI, Campmor, etc may carry them but look out for the shipping charges on the cast iron ones. In your shopping arround by mail, it is best to request their shipping charges and add that in when compairing to local prices.

    If you go into the store armed with information, you should have little problem in selecting an oven for your needs and it will be the start of some long lived happy memories. One word of fair warning, SHOP ARROUND! I have seen the same 10" oven by the same manufacturer range in price from $25 up to their mighty proud $60, so be carefull. Demand quality, a poorly made oven with lots of options is not worth the time to carry it to the car.
    A good pair of leather gloves can save time and prove invaluable arround a hot fire. A pair of Work Style gloves will do, but I recomend you look at a Fire and Safety Supply house or a store that supplies fireplace accessories and locate a pair of fire handling gloves. Although these typically cost more, they offer thicker leather and an inner insulating lining. They allow you to literally place your hand into hot coals, though I don't reccomend doing so. Because of my experience on the Fire Department, the extra protection and quality far outweigh the few extra dollars they cost. You will have to weigh the quality against the higher price for yourself.
    Something else you will need is a shovel. The standard garden type will be sufficient. It will be used for stirring the coals and lifting them out of the firepit to the oven. The style and length of the handle is up to you, the user. The longer ones are great but not practical on hikes and canoe trips. While the short "ARMY" folders are great for hiking and canoes, they suffer from short handles, getting you and your hands closer to the fire.
    Another item which will prove to be worth their weight in gold is a pair of hot pot pliers. The pair listed in the Boy Scout Troop/Patrol Equipment catalog are probably the best designed for the job. They are inexpensive, well built, and light weight. The pliers have a specially designed jaw that grips the oven lid very securely. The handle has a hook that is used to grab the bail handle when it is too hot to hold by hand or when it is hanging down in the coals.
    For aluminum, your pretreatment is simply washing well with soap and water. Some aluminum ovens are shipped with a protective coating and a simple washing will remove it. Since aluminum doesn't rust, no further protection is required, however, I have found that if you treat the aluminum like the cast iron oven, food will not stick near as often as the untreated oven. This pretreatment is at the user's option, so if you just want to wash it and be done with it, you can.

    Cast iron ovens, if properly cared for, will last many a generation. I know several individuals that have dutch ovens belonging to great-greatgrandmothers, dating back well into the 1800s. Personally, I have an oven that belonged to my grandmother and dates back before the turn of the century.
    Although this book is oriented toword dutch ovens, the treatment and care instructions are applicable to any cast iron skillet, griddle etc.. The secret of cast iron's long life is really no secret at all. Constant and proper care beginning with the day it is purchased will keep the oven in service for many years. All quality ovens are shipped with a protective coating that must be removed. This will require a good scrubbing with steel wool and some elbow grease. Once removed, the oven needs to be rinsed well, towel dried and let air dry. While it is drying, this would be a good time to pre-heat your kitchen oven to 350. After it appears dry, place the dutch oven on the center rack with it's lid ajar. Allow the dutch oven to warm slowly so it is just bairly too hot to handle with bare hands. This pre-heating does two things, it drives any remaining moisture out of the metal and opens the pores of the metal.

    Now, using a clean rag or preferably a paper towel, apply a thin layer of saltfree cooking oil. Oils such as peanut, olive or plain vegatible oil will be fine. Tallow or lard will do also but these animal fats tend to break down during the storage periods that typical Boy Scout dutch ovens experience between campouts and are not recomended. Make sure the oil covers every inch of the oven, inside and out and replace the oven onto the center shelf, again with the lid ajar. Bake it for about an hour or so at 350. This baking hardens the oil into a protective coating over the metal
    After baking, allow the oven to cool slowly. When it is cool enough to be handled, apply another thin coating of oil. Repeat the baking and cooling process. Again reapply a thin coating of oil when it can be handled again. Allow the oven to cool completely now. It should have three layers of oil, two baked on and one applied when it was warm. The oven is now ready to use or store.

    This pre-treatment proceedure only needs to be done once, unless rust forms or the coating is dammaged in storage or use. This baked on coating will darken and eventually turn black with age. This darkening is a sign of a well kept oven and of it's use. The pre-treatment coating's purpose is two fold, first and most important, it forms a barrier between moisture in the air and the surface of the metal. This effectivly prevents the metal from rusting. The second purpose is to provide a non-stick coating on the inside of the oven. When properly maintained, this coating is as non-stick as most of the commercially applied coatings.
    For aluminum ovens, the cleaning is the same as for ordinary pots and pans. Use soap, water and scrub as usual for your other pans. More often than not, cleaning cast iron ovens is much easier than scrubbing pots and pans. For cast iron ovens, the clean process is in two stepps. First, food is removed and second, maintenance of the coating. To remove stuck on food, place some warm clean water into the oven and heat until almost boiling. Using a plastic mesh scrubber or coarse sponge and NO SOAP, gently break loose the food and wipe away. After all traces have been removed, rinse with clean warm water. Soap is not recomended because its flavor will get into the pores of the metal and will taint the flavor of your next meal.
    After cleaning and rinsing, allow it to air dry. Heat over the fire just until it it hot to the touch. Apply a thin coating of oil to the inside of the oven and the underside of the lid. Allow the oven to cool completly. The outside will need little attention other than a good wipe down unless you see signs of rust forming. As a suggestion, it is a good idea to keep a scrubber for cast iron and never use it with soap.
    A FEW NO NOs
    • Never, and I repeat, NEVER allow cast iron to sit in water or allow water to stand in or on it. It will rust despite a good coating.
    • Never use soap on cast iron. The soap will get into the pores of the metal and won't come out very easy, but will return to taint your next meal, though. If soap is used accidentally, the oven should be put through the pretreatment proceedure, including removal of the present coating.
    • Do not place an empty cast iron pan or oven over a hot fire. Aluminum and many other metals can tolerate it better but cast iron will crack or warp, ruining it.
    • Do not get in a hurry to heat cast iron, you will end up with burn't food or a dammaged oven or pan.
    • Never put cold liquid into a very hot cast iron pan or oven. They will crack on the spot!
    Enough about the oven and on to what you can do with it!
    ROASTING: The heat source should come from the top and bottom equally. Coals should be placed under the oven and on the lid at a 1 to 1 ratio.
    BAKING: Usually done with more heat from the top than from the bottom. Coals should be placed under the oven and on the lid at a 1 to 3 ratio, having more on the lid.
    FRYING, BOILING ETC: All of the heat should come from the bottom. Coals will be placed under the oven only.
    STEWING, SIMMERING: Almost all heat will be from the bottom. Place the coals under and on the oven at a 4 to 1 ratio with more underneath than on the lid. THE LID!: The lid can be placed on the fire or stove upside down and used as a skillet or griddle. Using the lid in this fasion, you can make virtually error free pancakes and eggs that don't run all over. This is because most lids are shaped like a very shallow bowl so things naturally stay in the center, even if the lid is not level!

    Edited to add:
    You can also make even better use of your coals by stacking your dutch ovens. Put a main dish in a 14 inch oven at the bottom, top with a 12 inch oven for your cornbread and finally, top that with a 10 inch for dessert!
    Last edited by Shannon Bennett; August 1st, 2006, 01:08 PM.
    Please do not ask me for medical advice, I am not a medical doctor.

    Avatar is a painting by Alan Pollack, titled, "Plague". I'm sure it was an accident that the plague girl happened to look almost like my twin.
    Thank you,
    Shannon Bennett

  • #2
    Re: Dutch Oven Cooking

    Some breads are extremely easy to make in a dutch oven, corn bread and biscuits are good examples. Yeast breads require a little more expertise as they have a tendency to burn on the bottom. Use more coals on the top of your dutch oven and fewer on the bottom. Another trick is to raise the bread off the flor of the oven to prevent it from scorching. Put your dough in a pie plate and rest it on clean pebbles that cover the bottom of the oven. Another method is to use the aluminum bottom insert of your canner. Also, unless you are using a dutch oven that is at least 14 inches in diameter, only make one loaf at a time. If you try to make two loaves in a smaller oven there isn't enough room for air to circulate.

    Corn Bread Casserole (with some variations)

    3 large eggs (or, 6 tablespoons powdered eggs and 8 tablespoons water.)
    1 1/8 cup evaporated milk
    3 cups creamed corn
    3 tablespoons melted lard
    3 tablespoons cornstarch blended with 3 tablespoons water
    pinch of salt

    Grease the interior of the dutch oven. Set it next to the coals to preheat slightly. Meanwhile, add all ingredients and whisk lightly. Do not over blend. Pour into oven and place over 7 coals. Put 14 coals on lid and let bake for 20 minutes. Check on the progress of the bread. When the top is lightly browned it is done. This bread should always be a little moist in the middle.

    Saute 1/2 cup minced onions or 2 tablespoons of dried onions, add one small can of minced peppers (jalapenos or diced green chilies are delicious), 1/2 cup grated cheese* and bake as above.

    Crumble some bacon or use imitation bacon bits and one can of asparagus pieces. Rehydrating some dried mushrooms and chopping them finely is also good here.

    A sweet version of corn pudding is accomplished by adding 3 tablespoons brown sugar and 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract. Dried fruit is a nice addition or you can pour pie filling over the top. Yummy!

    *Cheese substitutes may be used here. Canned cream of cheese soup will work but your bake will be somewhat moister. If you are using powdered eggs use only 4 tablespoons of water to reconstitute the eggs. You can also use a jarred cheese or Velveeta cut into small chunks.
    Last edited by Shannon Bennett; August 1st, 2006, 12:20 PM.
    Please do not ask me for medical advice, I am not a medical doctor.

    Avatar is a painting by Alan Pollack, titled, "Plague". I'm sure it was an accident that the plague girl happened to look almost like my twin.
    Thank you,
    Shannon Bennett


    • #3
      Re: Dutch Oven Cooking

      Divine biscuits. I use a variation of Tyler Florences of Food TV fame, recipe for Better Buttermilk Biscuits. In all of the following recipes I will use the symbol T. to designate tablespoon.

      2 cups flour
      1 T. sugar
      1 tsp. salt
      2 tsp. baking powder
      1/2 tsp. baking soda
      1/2 cup vegetable shortening or, chilled lard
      3/4 cups buttermilk or, 2 3/4 T. powdered buttermilk and 3/4 cups water

      Pour all dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl and whisk well to blend ingredients. Cut shortening or lard into small pieces and drop into dry mixture. With spotlessly clean hands, pinch the lard into the flour until the chunks (now ribbons) are all fairly well incorporated in the flour mix. Add the buttermilk or water if you are using the powdered substitute. Mix until just moistened. If you overmix the biscuits will be tough and will not rise properly.

      Grease a dutch oven on both bottom and sides and place near a heat source to gently preheat. Drop biscuit dough by spoonfulls onto the warmed oven. Place over 7 coals and fill lid with 10 coals. The biscuits should be checked after 15 minutes. They are done when lightly browned. The time will vary because of the size of the coals and the size of the biscuits.
      Please do not ask me for medical advice, I am not a medical doctor.

      Avatar is a painting by Alan Pollack, titled, "Plague". I'm sure it was an accident that the plague girl happened to look almost like my twin.
      Thank you,
      Shannon Bennett


      • #4
        Re: Dutch Oven Cooking

        Here is a link for dozens of recipes. It looks like I am going to have to go out and buy more printer ink. These look wonderful. If you choose to try some do drop into hi webpage and thank him for his generous sharing of recipes.

        Dutch Oven RecipesBreakfastEntreesDessertsBreakfast PizzaBeefCakesBreakfast Sausage SouffleBarbecue Beef BrisketApple Spice CakeGerman PancakesByron's One Pot DinnerApplesauce CakeMountain Man BreakfastCampfire Dutch Oven PizzaBanana Pineapple CakeMountain Man Breakfast OmeletChili Cornbread PieBlueberry Fantasy Cake Dutch Oven Pot RoastCarrot Pineapple CakeSidesDutch Oven Spicy EnchiladasCherry Chocolate Surprise CakeByron's Dutch Oven PotatoesEasy Barbecue Beef Ribs Chocolate Lovers DelightDutch Oven StuffingEasy Cheesy Meat And PotatoesEasy "Peachy" CakeDutch Oven Turkey StuffingHungarian GoulashMississippi Mud CakeHarvest PilafMeat Roll-Ups With RicePiña Colada CakeHearty Trail BeansMeatloaf Flower DinnerPineapple Upside Down CakeParsnip PuffsSweet Onion Brisket Of Beef CarbonnadeStrawberry Pecan CakePineapple Dr. Pepper BeansWild Mushroom Stuffed Beef Tenderloin Sweet Potatoes And Onions CobblersVera's Baked BeansPorkApple Cobbler DeluxeYummy Potatoes1-2-3-4-5 (Chinese Spare Ribs)Banana Crumble Barbecue Pork Spare RibsBlackberry CobblerBreads, Biscuits & RollsCrown Roast Of PorkBlueberry CobblerApple Cinnamon Dessert BreadEasy Baked Pork ChopsCarmel Apple CrispBaking Powder BiscuitsOrange Barbecue Pork Spare RibsCherry Crisp CobblerBest Ever CornbreadOrange Glazed Stuffed Pork ChopsDutch Apple CrispByron's Baking Powder BiscuitsPineapple Dr. Pepper Spare Ribs Easy Fruit CobblerByron's Garlic Herb RollsPineapple Glazed Standing Rib RoastEasy Peach CobblerCinnamon Apple Pull-Apart Bread Easy Peach Cobbler 2Crusted Arabian Cheese BreadPoultryFrench Apple CobblerGarlic Cheese RollsBaked Chicken And RiceFruit Cobbler DelightHawaiian Braided BreadCalico ChickenFruit Cobbler DeluxeJohnny-cakeCheesy Chicken Italian-oOld Home Apple CrispLemon Poppyseed Rolls Chicken And Potato DelightPeach-Orange Dump CobblerParmesan Herb RollsChicken Enchiladas Sour Cream Banana BreadChicken Pot PieCookiesSweet Rosemary RollsCoca-Cola ChickenOatmeal-Craisin-Chocolate Chip Cookies Dutch Oven Turkey & Rice Casserole SaucesDutch Oven Turkey ChiliPiesButtered Rum SauceEasy Pineapple-Apricot ChickenBumble Berry Hazel Nut Crumb PieByron's Smokey Barbecue SauceFiesta Chicken With Black BeansFresh Raspberry Peach PiePineapple GlazeHerb Roasted TurkeyOld Home Apple PieKnock-off Barbecue SauceHoney Clove Turkey Orange Barbecue SauceRaspberry Apricot Glazed Cornish HensVariety Zippy Sticky ChickenBavarian Apple TortSeasonings Pumpkin DelightEmeril's Rustic RubRabbit Emeril's Southwest SpiceDutch Oven Rabbit Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning)Rabbit Stew SourdoughSausage Byron's Sourdough BiscuitsItalian Sausages With Peppers And Onions Grandma's Sourdough BiscuitsSweet And Spicy Polish Sausages Old Time Sourdough Starter Sourdough Banana BreadSoups, Stews, & Chilis Sourdough CornbreadDutch Oven Sweet Chili Sourdough Oatmeal BreadWagon-Master Camp Stew Vegetarian Baked Portobello Caps Vegetarian Pizza Zucchini Cheese Bake
        Please do not ask me for medical advice, I am not a medical doctor.

        Avatar is a painting by Alan Pollack, titled, "Plague". I'm sure it was an accident that the plague girl happened to look almost like my twin.
        Thank you,
        Shannon Bennett


        • #5
          Re: Dutch Oven Cooking

          I just sent along one of my favorite recipes to the papadutch web page. Here it is.

          Shannons Fruit Rolly-Polly
          2 cups sugar
          2 cups water
          1/2 cup butter
          1/2 cup shortening (or, lard or, butter)
          1 1/2 cups flour
          1/4 tsp. salt
          1 tsp. baking powder
          1/3 cup milk
          3-4 cups fresh fruit cut into 1/2 - 1 inch chunks (apples, pears, blackberries (these should be left whole), or peaches, all will work well. Or a combination of apples and pears (divine) works.
          1 tsp. cinnamon
          Line dutch oven with aluminum foil. Melt butter in the now lined dutch oven. Mix sugar and water in the dutch oven and heat until melted, set aside.
          Add flour, salt, baking powder to a bowl and whisk well until blended. Cut shortening into small pieces and using a pastry blender cut into coarse cornmeal size pieces. Add the milk and just mix the dough. Turn onto floured surface and knead the dough a few times. Roll into a rectangle approximately 11 X 12 inches. Spread the fruit on top of the dough and sprinkle on the cinnamon. Roll up like a jelly roll along the longer end, and cut into 12 pieces or one-inch slices. The strips are now in coils. Put the dutch oven back over the coals and as the syrup heats, add the sliced dough coils into the oven, being careful not to unroll. The coils will be touching each other. Bake until the syrup is golden and bubbly, and the rolly-pollys are cooked through. It usually takes mine about 20 minutes to cook. Serve hot, and try to limit yourself to just one.
          Please do not ask me for medical advice, I am not a medical doctor.

          Avatar is a painting by Alan Pollack, titled, "Plague". I'm sure it was an accident that the plague girl happened to look almost like my twin.
          Thank you,
          Shannon Bennett


          • #6
            Re: Dutch Oven Cooking

            The LDSCN Weekly Recipe Archive
            Dutch Oven Cooking
            COOKING IN A DUTCH OVEN You can cook anything in a Dutch Oven that you can cook at home in the oven or on the stove top! You really don't need special recipes for the Dutch Oven. All that you need to do is learn some basic procedures and how to control the heat. If done properly, you can place the food in the oven and enjoy yourself while your dinner cooks.
            Use charcoal if you are just starting to cook in the Dutch Oven. If you are the cook, DON'T FORGET TO BUY CHARCOAL. For a hot Dutch Oven, place the number of hot coals underneath equal to the diameter of the oven. Place double that number on top. For a 12 inch oven, 12 underneath and 24 on top. This will give you a hot oven of about 400 degrees. To reduce your oven temperature, reduce the number of coals 1 bottom and 2 top for every 25 degrees. If it is very cold and/or windy you will need to add a few extra coals. Always preheat your oven before you add the food. Your coals should last about an hour. If your cooking time is more than an hour, or if the coals are burning fast because of the wind, you must have extra hot coals ready to keep the oven temperature consistent.
            BAKING - If you are using a baking pan, use an oven rack or some small metal items (washers) under the pan to allow a hot air space between the oven and the pan.
            TOP BROWNING - If you need to brown something, concentrate the top coals in the center of the lid.
            STACKING - If you are cooking in more than one oven, you can stack them. If you stack two 12 inch ovens, place 12 coals under the bottom oven, 12 coals on top of the bottom oven, and 24 coals on top of the top oven. You can stack several ovens. Remember that only the top oven gets the double coal amount on top. This technique saves coals. Place the items that you do not need to open during cooking on the bottom.
            FRYING - You can turn the lid upside down and use it as a griddle for eggs, toasted cheese sandwiches, French toast, etc. Suspend the lid over the coals using rocks, logs, or a lid rack.
            Line a 12 inch Dutch Oven with foil. Preheat the oven with 10 coals on the bottom and 20 - 24 coals on the top. Pour in two 1lb. cans of peaches. Bring to a boil. Sprinkle one box of yellow cake mix over the peaches (ignore the instructions on the box!). Sprinkle 1/2 cup of sugar and one tablespoon of cinnamon on top. Press the mixture gently with a spoon to slightly moisten the ingredients. Cover and bake for 20 - 30 minutes. You can double this recipe in a 12 inch oven. REMEMBER - IF YOU CAN COOK IT ON TOP OF A STOVE OR IN AN OVEN, YOU CAN COOK IT IN A DUTCH OVEN!
            Helpful Dutch oven hints!
            by Jeff Currier Question #1:
            How do you control the heat in a Dutch oven?
            There are several ways to test the temperature of your Dutch oven. I will go over some of these ways, but the one main way to test the temperature is to lift the lid. If the food is not cooking enough add some heat. If it's cooking too fast take off some heat. Remember, it's much easier to raise the temperature of cast iron than to lower it.
            Here is one way to test the temperature of a heated oven:
            Place a teaspoonful of flour in a small pie pan and put the pan inside a hot dutch oven.
            Place the lid on the oven and leave it for 5 minutes.
            If the flour has not turned brown the oven is less than 300 degrees.
            If the flour is light brown, the oven is about 350 degrees.
            If the flour is dark brown, the oven is about 450 degrees.
            Note: If the flour is dark brown after 3 minutes, reduce the heat, the oven is too hot to cook with.
            There is another good way to test the temperature. It could be called the 2-3 briquette rule. Using this rule, you take the size of the oven and place that amount of briquettes on the lid and place that amount under the oven.
            Then take 2-3 briquettes from the bottom and move them to the top. This technique will maintain a temperature of 325 to 350 degrees. Refer to the table below for common oven sizes. For every 2 briquettes added or subtracted to/from this the net change is about 25 degrees. These temperature changes are for the Rocky Mountain area, where the cooking altitude is about 4000-6000 ft. If you live in lower or higher area, check these settings with an oven thermometer to make sure they are OK. I mention this because temperatures inside a Dutch oven are effected by altitude.
            There are a couple of other things to remember about temperature control. The first is that you should rotate your oven a third of a turn every ten minutes. And then rotate the lid a third of a turn the other direction. Next if you are baking bread, rolls, or cake remove the bottom heat after two thirds of the cooking time. It will finish cooking from the top heat. This will keep it from burning on the bottom.
            Use this chart as a starting point and adjust from there!
            Oven Briquettes Briquettes
            size on top on bottom

            8" 8 - 10 6 - 8
            10" 10 - 12 8 - 10
            12" 12 - 14 10 - 12
            14" 14 - 16 12 - 14
            16" 16 - 18 14 - 16 Dutch Oven Enchilada Pie - Dick Hill
            • 2 lbs ground beef
            • 1 onion chopped
            • 1 tsp salt
            • 1 can (10 oz) condensed tomato soup
            • 2 cans (10 oz) mild enchilada sauce
            • 1 cup water
            • 9 flour tortillas (8 inch)
            • 2 cups grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese
            • Green onions, chopped
            • Sour cream
            Brown in Dutch oven ground beef, salt, onion. Drain off drippings. Add tomato soup, enchilada sauce and water. Simmer mixture 5 minutes. Spoon off into a medium bowl. Layer meat mixture, 3 tortillas and cheese. Repeat three times ending with cheese. Sprinkle with chopped green onions. Cook until cheese melts and tortillas soften about 7 to 10 minutes. Serve with sour cream. Barbeque Pork over Rice - Mike Hendriksen
            • 2 lbs cubed boneless pork
            • 2 diced onions
            • 1 diced green pepper
            • Salt and Pepper
            • 1 bottle of your favorite BBQ Sauce
            Brown the pork with bottom heat in a 12-inch Dutch oven. Add the onions and pepper and simmer for at least 30 minutes with heat mostly on the bottom. Add the BBQ sauce 15 minutes before serving over cooked rice. This one is a family favorite. There are never any leftovers! Serve with hot sourdough bread and vegetables. Scoutmasters Best Meatloaf - Oscar Hendriksen
            • 3 lbs lean ground beef
            • 1 lb pork sausage
            • 1 onion, diced finely
            • 1 egg
            • 1/4 cup oatmeal or flour
            • 1 tsp salt
            • 1/2 tsp black pepper
            Combine ingredients to make a smooth consistency and place in a cold 10-inch Dutch oven. Cook with top and bottom heat for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, until done.
            Variation: Add quartered potatoes and other small vegetables for a complete one-pot meal.
            Variation: Top with sourdough biscuits or bread dough for the last 20 minutes of cooking time. Old Fashioned Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls - Mike Hendriksen
            • 1 cup starter
            • 1-1/8 cups warm water
            • 1/4 cup oil
            • 1/4 cup sugar
            • 2 tsp salt
            • 1 tsp lemon juice
            • 1 T yeast
            • 4 cups flour
            • 2 T ground Cinnamon mixed with 1 cup sugar
            • 1/2 cube melted butter or margarine
            • Topping:
            • 1/8 cup milk
            • 1 T soft butter or margarine
            • 2 cups powdered sugar
            • 1 tsp vanilla
            Mix ingredients for dough together and make a soft and slightly sticky dough, kneading for about 5 minutes. Let rest while you melt the butter and mix the cinnamon and sugar for the filling. Punch down dough and roll out to a rectangle about 30 inches by 12 inches. Spread the melted butter across the surface of the dough, distributing with a tablespoon over the surface evenly. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture over the buttered surface. Roll up from the long side. Cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces. Place into a warm, well oiled 14-inch Dutch oven and let rise 30 minutes, or until about double in bulk. Bake with approximately 2/3 of the heat on top and 1/3 on the bottom for 20-25 minutes. Mix the topping while baking and drizzle the topping over the cinnamon rolls while still very hot. You will love these! Dutch Oven Potatoes Au Gratin - Oscar Hendriksen
            • Diced potatoes, enough to fill your Dutch oven
            • 1 lb diced onions for every 5 lbs potatoes
            • Large can condensed cream soup
            • Sour Cream
            • Salt and Pepper
            Cut up the un-peeled potatoes into finger-sized pieces. Load them into the Dutch oven alternately in layers with the onions and add salt and pepper to your liking on each layer. Fill the oven nearly to the top as it will cook down somewhat. Cook with top and bottom heat for about 1 hour, checking and stirring every 15 minutes or so to assure the potatoes do not stick to the bottom. When the potatoes are cooked, add the can of condensed cream soup and stir in. Add 16 to 24 ounces of sour cream for a little tartness. Continue to cook slowly for a few more minutes. Goes very well with any other Dutch oven entree.
            Parmesan herb rolls
            12 inch Dutch oven
            Cooking time: 20 minutes
            • 1-1/2 cups warm water
            • 1/2 cup dried milk
            • 1/3 cup sugar
            • 1 Tablespoon yeast
            Combine and set until bubbles Add:
            • 1 beaten egg
            • 2-1/2 cups flour
            • 3 Tablespoons dried onion
            • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
            • 1 teaspoon dried roesmary
            • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
            • 3 Tablespoons parsley
            Beat until well blended. Set until batter bubbles.
            • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
            • 1 teaspoon salt
            Enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 5 minutes. Cover and allow to double in size. Form into 13 balls. Place in greased 12 inch Dutch oven. Allow to raise 10 minutes and bake using 8 coals under and 16 coals on lid. When lightly browned, brush rolls with 2 Tablespoons whipping cream and sprinkle with 1/4 cup parmesan (Reggiano) cheese. Bake until golden brown. Total baking time is about 20 minutes. Yeast Bread 10" Dutch Oven
            • 2 cups flour
            • 1 package yeast
            • 2 tsp. sugar
            • ¼ cup oil or butter
            • dash salt
            • ¼ tsp. ginger
            Yeast bread requires extra time for the rising and kneading of the dough. It may not always fit into a camping schedule, but if it does it can be very popular. Don’t hesitate to add or partially substitute rye or whole wheat flour to this recipe.
            Mix flour 2-tsp. Sugar, ¼ tsp. ginger and salt, cut butter in with a fork. Activate yeast by putting it into ¼ cup mildly warm water (105 to 120 degrees), and adding 1 tsp. sugar. Add activated yeast to the flour mixture. Slowly add warm water while stirring until the flour mixture is just moist and it forms a kneadable dough. This may take practice, adding too much water requires a lot of flour to correct, it is easier to err on the side of too little water. I’ll often have a few tablespoons of flour that will not mix into the dough left over in the bottom of the mixing bowl.
            Knead, about 5 minutes, until smooth and glassy. Cover and set dough near the fire to keep warm. Allow to rise for about thirty minutes. Knead again. Place the dough in a warm, oiled Dutch Oven. Allow to rise for another twenty minutes, then increase heat and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes. Sally’s Dutch Oven Lasagna 12" Dutch Oven
            • 1 lb. ground beef
            • 1 cup cottage cheese
            • 1 32 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
            • 12 oz. Mozzarella, grated
            • 1 cup water
            • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
            • 1 can sliced olives
            • 1 can mushrooms
            • 1 box uncooked lasagna noodles
            • 1 tsp. oregano
            • ½ tsp. nutmeg
            • 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
            • 1 tsp. oregano
            • 1 tsp. basil
            • 1 onion diced
            • 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
            Mix spaghetti sauce, water, spices, mushrooms, parsley, and olives together. Layer ingredients in Dutch Oven starting with sauce, uncooked lasagna, Mozzarella, and cottage cheese. Repeat layering, ending with sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake slowly, about 45 minutes, modest heat.

            "We are in this breathing space before it happens. We do not know how long that breathing space is going to be. But, if we are not all organizing ourselves to get ready and to take action to prepare for a pandemic, then we are squandering an opportunity for our human security"- Dr. David Nabarro


            • #7
              Re: Dutch Oven Cooking

              I could use some help figuring out how to put on a Thanksgiving dinner for 6 next Thursday in the outback. (The next couple days will involve putting up sheetrock.) I have a new Volcano stove, 1 or 2 dutch ovens, and a campstove. The table will be 3 sheets of sheet-rock on 2 sawhorses. I plan to get a box dinner with a precooked turkey, a couple casseroles, stuffing, rolls and a pie. The usual relish tray. Make jello ahead? I think I can pull this off if there's a way to stuff the turkey into the dutch oven, and to keep warm things warm while other things are heating. Outdoor temps are likely in the 50-60 deg F/10 C range. Paper plates and plastic forks.


              • #8
                Re: Dutch Oven Cooking

                Here is a link for recipes

                Look under poultry.
                "We are in this breathing space before it happens. We do not know how long that breathing space is going to be. But, if we are not all organizing ourselves to get ready and to take action to prepare for a pandemic, then we are squandering an opportunity for our human security"- Dr. David Nabarro


                • #9
                  Re: Dutch Oven Cooking

                  Thanks. *rummages*

                  Hmmm: The Herb Roasted turkey one looks pretty promising, but has to be done in a campfire, not on the Volcano, because there isn't a way to get coals on the top. Thinking......................


                  • #10
                    Re: Dutch Oven Cooking

                    WetDirt first a word of warning! Sheetrock has neither shear nor tensile strength. It will not support any weight placed on it. In fact, it is so weak that laying it across two widely spaced sawhorses may result in it breaking in two before any food is placed on it.

                    Now turkey. As you are only trying to keep the bird warm a haybox should work perfectly for you. Use a cooler/ice chest and line the bottom with a thick layer of newspaper, at least 2-4 inches. Next, put all hot foods into the container tightly wrapped in foil or in a covered dish. Now fill the cooler with shredded newspaper or, sawdust or, wood shavings or, straw. Close lid tightly and keep it closed. Do this when you pick up the hot foods so you have as much heat in the foods as possible. You can also add a couple of hot bricks to the cooler to insure lots of additional heat.
                    Please do not ask me for medical advice, I am not a medical doctor.

                    Avatar is a painting by Alan Pollack, titled, "Plague". I'm sure it was an accident that the plague girl happened to look almost like my twin.
                    Thank you,
                    Shannon Bennett


                    • #11
                      Re: Dutch Oven Cooking

                      I just found this site. It has some good info:

                      CONTROLLING HEAT
                      Use charcoal if you are just starting to cook in the Dutch Oven.
                      If you are the cook, DON'T FORGET TO BUY CHARCOAL.
                      For a hot Dutch Oven, place the number of hot coals underneath equal to the diameter of the oven.
                      Place double that number on top.
                      For a 12 inch oven, 12 underneath and 24 on top.
                      This will give you a hot oven of about 400 degrees.
                      To reduce your oven temperature, reduce the number of coals 1 bottom and 2 top for every 25 degrees.
                      If it is very cold and/or windy you will need to add a few extra coals.
                      Always preheat your oven before you add the food.
                      Your coals should last about an hour.
                      If your cooking time is more than an hour, or if the coals are burning fast because of the wind, you must have extra hot coals ready to keep the oven temperature consistent.

                      The site has a lot of recipes for camping and many more camping tips:


                      It always rains on tents.
                      Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds
                      for the opportunity to rain on a tent.
                      ~ Dave Barry ~


                      • #12
                        Re: Dutch Oven Cooking

                        Will wonders never cease. I never knew states had 'State Cooking Pots':

                        Utah Symbols - Dutch Oven

                        State Cooking Pot, the Dutch Oven

                        In 1997, the Utah State Legislature approved H.B. 203, designating the Dutch Oven as the State Cooking Pot. The following information was generously sent to the Utah State Library by the International Dutch Oven Society located in Logan, Utah. Utah is not only the headquarters of the Society but the site of World Championship Dutch Oven Cookoff which is a major event of the Festival of the American West.

                        When the early pioneers came to Utah they used a number of things such as lumbering prairie schooners, teams of massive oxen, mossy wooden water barrels, and heavy dresses which almost dragged on the ground. For most of us, such common pioneer artifacts are difficult to relate to or use in our lives today. However, there is one very popular pioneer indispensable which thousands of Utah families are using in their everyday activities. It not only looks the same but is still made basically the same way--the tried and true Dutch oven.

                        Explorers like Jim Bridger and Peter Skene Ogden used the kettle versions on the trail but appreciated the standard three-legged, flat top with a rim version together with its "lite" breads, tasty fruit cobblers and delicious stews when they wintered in. Mountain men who rendezvoused in Cache Valley in the 1820's used them and Osborne Russell in his Journal of a Trapper writes about how much they appreciated having some greasy, grizzly bear meat to cook because the cast-iron pots needed re-seasoning after boiling roots for meals the previous eleven days.

                        Pioneer trains gearing up near Independence, Missouri were given a list of essentials with the Dutch oven at the top of the list, the people-powered handcart companies chose to include the heavy pots for their long pull to Utah and the miners digging in the canyons around Bingham, Price and Cedar City counted the black pots almost as essential as their picks.

                        It's been asked why Dutch ovens are used by more Utah families than other states and perhaps it's because for Utahans, families have a special significance and particularly their pioneer forbearers. It's a unique and generational bonding experience for families to gather around a campfire after a meal from the same kind of Dutch ovens and tell the stories about and history of their pioneer ancestors.

                        Sketch of Dutch Oven reproduced with permission of Horizon Publishers & Distributors Incorporated, P.O. Box 490, Bountiful, Utah, publisher of the book Dutch Oven Secrets by Lynn Hopkins, 1990, 5th ed. 1994.



                        • #13
                          Re: Dutch Oven Cooking


                          This no knead bread is outrageously good. The only problem we have with it is, waiting until the next day to bake and eat it. While her directions call for an oven you can do this in a Dutch oven and get great results.
                          Please do not ask me for medical advice, I am not a medical doctor.

                          Avatar is a painting by Alan Pollack, titled, "Plague". I'm sure it was an accident that the plague girl happened to look almost like my twin.
                          Thank you,
                          Shannon Bennett


                          • #14
                            Re: Dutch Oven Cooking

                            Thanks Shannon!


                            • #15
                              Re: Dutch Oven Cooking

                              There is no way you can let this bread cool before slicing into the loaf. At least I have never been able to do wait. My favorite toppings include butter and lingon berry jam. By the way, I just ordered lingon berry plants from Raintree Nursery. Now I won't have to get a loan from the bank to indulge in this tangy jam. Seven dollars for a half pint is a bit spendy for everyday indulgence.
                              Please do not ask me for medical advice, I am not a medical doctor.

                              Avatar is a painting by Alan Pollack, titled, "Plague". I'm sure it was an accident that the plague girl happened to look almost like my twin.
                              Thank you,
                              Shannon Bennett