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Old 10-28-2015, 12:26 PM   #11
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I agree with what Frank said above.

Don't be afraid of it. Baking biscuits is a wonderful way to start.

Contrary to popular belief, don't be afraid to wash it with soap. It won't hurt a properly seasoned vessel at all. It won't soak into the coating nor will it remove it.
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Old 10-28-2015, 12:40 PM   #12
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My wife loves when I make an Apple Pie.


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Old 10-28-2015, 01:15 PM   #13
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We love ours and cook all kinds of things in it. There are several great Dutch Oven cook books out there with all the info you need. A few suggestions.
Get a lid stand and lid removal tool Saves burned fingers.
Get a set of long tongs ( 15" or more) to move coals around.
Use charcoal. Coals from wood fires will work, but do not last long and vary a lot in temp/time, so you will need to continually generate new coals.
Most instructions will provide the number of coals on top and bottom or you can use one of several dutch oven apps for your smartphone that will provide # coals based on cooking temp.
Plan on taking your time. These are not microwave ovens, but then again that is the whole idea. I find that foods that benefit from longer cooking times ( simmering) benefit most from being done in a dutch oven. Experiment and enjoy.
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Old 10-28-2015, 01:41 PM   #14
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Is always a great stop if traveling by.
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Old 10-28-2015, 01:56 PM   #15
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When I was a Scoutmaster, my first outing every fall was with the newest scouts. I would bring the dutch oven, a large can of Crisco, 4 cans/tubes of poppin fresh biscuits, a brown paper bag and a ziplock sandwich bag full of cinnamon/sugar mix.

Melt the Crisco in the dutch oven and get it hot. While the oil is heating up, open the bisquit cans, separate all the biscuits and cut them into quarters. Take the quarters and roll them into balls. When the oil is hot, CAREFULLY drop the biscuit quarters into the dutch oven and deep fry. When they're golden brown take them out and put them into the brown paper bag. Dump the cinnamon/sugar (brown sugar really works better) into the bag and give it a shake. Hot donut holes for all. Keep frying and shaking until you get them all done.

This treat accomplished a couple things. It gave the new scouts an appreciation for cooking over a campfire - there's more to campfire cooking than a hotdog on a stick. The second thing it did was really season my dutch oven.

Good recipe for a camping get together. Easy to make, very easy to eat!

And - like someone else posted - don't use soap in your cast iron cookware. If it's really rusty get some fine grit sandpaper then reseason. Otherwise get it good and hot and scrape it with a metal spatula to get all the stuck on food out then coat it with oil. It's best to coat it with oil while it's still hot. I'll put mine in the oven in the house to heat it up, oil it then back into the oven. Shut the oven off and when it's all cooled down wipe the dutch oven out with a paper towel and put away until it's needed again.

When you get good with your oven try doing a slow cook pot roast or even better Mojo Pork in it. The heavy lid makes the dutch oven into a kind of pressure cooker. When you put the top back on while cooking, give it a slight turn back and forth to make sure there's nothing under the rim that will let the goodness sneak out.
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Old 10-28-2015, 02:21 PM   #16
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It's good to see other Scouters chiming in about Dutch oven cooking. I'm a former Scout Leader myself with over 30 years which continues today and have used this type of cooking many many times. If you google Boy Scout Dutch oven recipes you'll find more than enough to satisfy your curiosity. One I found is from Scouting magazine and might be a good way to begin. Good luck and enjoy. Dutch Oven Recipes - Scouting magazine
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Old 10-28-2015, 02:32 PM   #17
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That link to Scouting magazine was a good idea Lloyd. There's a link inside the magazine article that's got everything the OP is looking for: A getting-started guide to Dutch oven cooking

Just my opinion, don't get an aluminum dutch oven. Yes they're lighter than cast iron but if you're not careful you can melt them. Ask me how I know....did it when I was a 13 year old scout. When I bought my own I made sure it was a Lodge cast iron dutch oven. Beware of no name dutch ovens that you see in discount stores. Someplace on them there's probably "made in china" stamped into it. Lodge is American made and top quality. Buy a good one and you'll be handing it down to your grandchildren.
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Old 10-28-2015, 02:50 PM   #18
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just my .02...
there is no problem using soap ,just don't let it soak..
The Truth About Cast Iron Pans: 7 Myths That Need To Go Away | Serious Eats
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Old 10-28-2015, 04:11 PM   #19
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Dittos on the Lodge recommendation. One key difference is the fit of the lid: Lodge fits well and creates a bit of a seal. Some actually ruin this by making notches so it can breath. Not good.

My cleaning routine is to wait until I get home. Then use a scrub brush and hot water to clean the old food and junk out. Then I put the DO on a gas stove and heat it up. This drives the water out and prepares it for some cooking oil. The cooking oil thins out nicely on hot cast iron and a paper towel to spread/wipe on the inside and out works well. Then let it sit and cool before storing.

Note that you only get rancid oil problems if you leave too much on. Like wood stain you are not looking for puddles, just a nice dark gloss where you have wiped it on.

Yeah agreed with many that Scouting does more for Lodge sales than anything else. That is how I started.

Note my first cooking attempt with the DO was for cinnamon rolls out of a tube. I made the mistake of thinking they would cook slower in the DO. They did not and generally I find that my cooking times are just as fast for the actual cooking as a regular oven.

It is very hard to screw up with a DO... I have but only when I was trying to rush things.

I generally only use one full charcoal chimney for two DOs and have not needed to refresh coals.

For spectator cooking try stacking the DOs on top of each other
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Old 10-28-2015, 04:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LI Guy View Post
just my .02...
there is no problem using soap ,just don't let it soak..
The Truth About Cast Iron Pans: 7 Myths That Need To Go Away | Serious Eats
Good article, thanks!
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