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Old 03-30-2010, 08:58 PM   #1
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Dutch oven help

Two questions -

Ok, this is fairly broad, but how do you guys cook with your DO? I tried once last year, just sort of sticking it in the fire with a dump cake recipe inside and well, that didn't work. It was a charred lump of coal in about 15-20 min. So do you bring charcoal brickettes (?sp)? I don't quite "get it."

And second, is there a way to make biscuits in a DO? I want to do biscuits next week with the bacon and eggs, but really don't feel like using the oven inside, i like being outside. Thoughts?
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:55 PM   #2
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was kinda new to the whole DO/ cast iron thing then i ran across this website and i left a better cooker.


there is a lot of info there to help you with your biscuits/ briquette's question i
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Old 03-30-2010, 11:12 PM   #3
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lot of people shovel a scoop or two of hot coals from the fire pit in a pile sit your DO on that pile and put a scoop of hot coals on top of DO
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Old 03-31-2010, 06:48 AM   #4
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The site Bente linked to is a good one. It requires a little practice but once you get the hang of it you can cook anything you want in one.

I prefer charcoal briquettes simply because they're cleaner to use. They don't smut up your DO's. I have used coals from the campfire and it works well too. The trick to good cooking is to know how to regulate the temperature (another reason I like charcoal) Let's assume that you'll be using charcoal. You need to separate about a dozen burning briquettes from the pile and spread them out in a kind of circular pattern. Put whatever you're cooking it the DO and place it on the briquettes. Place the lid on the DO and place briquettes on the lid. I usually completely cover the lid with briquettes to begin with. Cook till done. Don't be afraid to look in on it once in a while and adjust the coals as needed. Periodically rotate the DO one direction and the lid the other during cooking.

Biscuits are actually easy to cook in a DO. Most important thing when baking, is that your DO MUST be seasoned correctly. If you need to know the proper way to season one let me know and I'll post the proper procedure. Having that done, spray the bottom of the DO with PAM (or your fav cooking spray) then place the biscuits in there with the edges almost touching. Follow the procedure above but use less briquettes on the bottom and fill the lid with them and remember that biscuits only take about 15 to 20 minutes to cook.

Now a few hints: I use a long pair of metal tongs to handle the briquettes. I also have a pair of welders gloves handy to use to handle the hot DO's in case I need to. Get yourself a good lid lifter (a pair of channellock pliers work in a pinch). Get a small whisk broom to brush the ashes off the edges of the lid before removing (that keeps you from dropping ashes in what you're cooking).

One more thing, I hang my DO's on an "A" frame we made over the coals while cooking. This allows better control over the temp than sitting directly on the coals. I can take pics and post them if anyone's interested.
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:04 PM   #5
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I'm fairly new to the DO cooking as well but I've been successful in most of my endeavors. Like other people have said, I use charcoal. It's easier to regulate the temperature, cleaner and most recipies are setup to use them. There are tons on the internet, but I wanted to show you one thing I really like on this site

About 1/3 of the way down the page you'll see this a box labeled "Dutch Oven Temperature". This guy has added a "calculator" app to his website to help you set the temperature. You just pick your DO size, the temp you want and what type of cooking you want. It tells you how many coals to put on top, and how many on the bottom. Done. The stuff I've done has been pretty simple. Chicken (whole), ham (whole), cobbler, chili, pork roast, baked potatoes, fries, meat loaf, etc...

The key to meat (for me at least) is using my digital oven thermometer so I can monitor the inside temp of the meat in real time. Don't want to over cook it. Anyway, that site was SUPER helpfull for me and took a lot of the guess work out of it.

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Old 04-13-2010, 12:19 PM   #6
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Father in law almost always made a whole turkey in a DO when camping. Can't tell you how he did it because he has since passed away, but always got a lot of attention from other campers when the aroma of turkey permeated the campground. No one could believe that he was making a whole turkey. (he was tent camping at the time as well)
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Old 04-23-2010, 02:52 PM   #7
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Here is a link to a pretty good DO website. It has recipies as well as care and cleaning instructions. I found it pretty helpful when I was starting out.

Hope it all works out for you.
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Old 04-23-2010, 06:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bob and Teresa View Post
Here is a link to a pretty good DO website. It has recipies as well as care and cleaning instructions. I found it pretty helpful when I was starting out.

Hope it all works out for you.
Where's the link?
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:06 PM   #9
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Sorry forgot the link. Here it is:
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Old 04-27-2010, 03:12 PM   #10
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we used ours last season made french fries just placed it on camp stove for that and we made hobo stew in it and used the fireplace worked really well...
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:28 PM   #11
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If you get RFD-TV on a satellite or cable system, it has a good show, I think it's called Cowboy Cooking or something like that. It's on about every weekend, and they cook an entire meal using dutch ovens and cast iron stuff over open fires. It is amazing the different types of dishes they can do.
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:09 PM   #12
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I love me some Dutch Oven cooking!
I've got a few of them.
Putting them directly in the fire is a bad idea. Too hot to bake most things.
The best way to regulate the temperature is charcoal. You can use other methods, but it will take some trial and error. I like charcoal, or stovetop. (I have an outdoor gas stove) I sometimes use the stovetop itself, or add charcoal/stovetop combo.

Dump cakes need an even temperature (with top/bottom heat) to bake properly. Loads of websites out there...and the book LOVIN' DUTCH OVENS is very good.
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:35 AM   #13
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What is the best how-to on a dutch oven. My RV did not come with a propane oven so I have to start from scratch.
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:50 PM   #14
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I use charcoal on my DO's and it works perfectly and the heat is easily regulated. There are many good websites on DO cooking. This one is a pretty good one...

Once you get them seasoned properly they are perfect for cooking outside and, contrary to what you might think, fairly easy to clean. We use them every time we go camping and even on the back deck at home.
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:05 PM   #15
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We use our dutch ovens whenever we go camping, whether in the RV or tents, or river camping. I prefer charcoal, but wood coals work. I keep mine in a nylon cover. Inside the DO I keep in a zip lock bag: small auto body rubber spreader, it is great for cleaning; matches, dish soap, folding spatula and serving spoon, Boy Scout dutch oven pliers (the handiest i've seen anywhere!)kitchen sponge.
I usually put 30 charcoal briquets and newspaper in a gallon zip lock also. typical cooking I use 10 on the bottom, and 20 on top.
some people line the DO with foil to ease in cleaning. I find this affects cooking performance, I prefer to line mine with parchment paper. It doesn't affect the cooking, and clean up is super easy. you can find round parchment paper sheets at camping stores, but buying a roll from your grocery store is a lot cheaper.
My wife's favorite is game hens with stuffing and red potatoes. My son likes to make apple dumplings. My fav is sour cream chicken enchiladas. My 12" and 10" anodized aluminum ovens nest together for transport, and weigh less than one cast iron oven. We use those the most.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:48 PM   #16
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Never tried this method of cooking but it definetly will be on the agenda this summer. Check this site out

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Old 04-07-2011, 09:55 PM   #17
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We've made a ton of stuff in our DO's - we have 3 of them in various sizes. Prime rib is AWESOME! Enchiladas, Mac & cheese, ribs, chili, meatloaf, stew, cakes and cobblers, breakfast, etc. And we hang our DO over the fire with a Lodge cast iron tripod. We've even baked fresh bread! Fellow campers have always been amazed with our cooking abilities. Our DO's our very well seasoned and have not been exposed to soap in years. We did all this while tent camping and cooking completely outside. We're awaiting delivery of our new Rockwood 8293 RKSS in a month or so. Our DO's will be the first things we find a place for!
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:03 PM   #18
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Only if I was that good.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:35 PM   #19
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Since Utah is the heart of Dutch oven country & the home of the International Dutch Oven Society I have to put a plug in for them. IDOS - International Dutch Oven Society If you want to see what is possible go to the 2011 IDOS WCCO page & look at some of the pictures. This is the world championship Dutch oven cook off & they elevate black pot cooking to gourmet fare!
Here is a link to the local newspaper article on this cookoff with some of the recipes of the winners.
Dutch oven champions: Idahoans win international competition | Deseret News
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Old 04-08-2011, 04:10 AM   #20
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A good geocaching friend of mine is a Boy Scout leader, and I am always amazed watching him cook all the things he does in dutch ovens.

At his suggestion, I bought the following book. It is extremely good for the beginner, and even tells you how many charcoal bricks go on/under the DO for each recipe. My friend also explained to me that I wanted a good brand oven, like LODGE, and to make sure it had a lip on the lid to keep the charcoal bricks from sliding off when you removed the lid.

Amazon.com: The Scout's Outdoor Cookbook (Falcon Guide) (9780762740673): Christine Conners, Tim Conners: Books

I didn't know it, starting out, but there are all kinds of DO clubs. We have one that meets every second Saturday at one of the local state parks, as well as has regional competitions. I have found that DO cooks are always great people and are willing to help out newbies with their sage advise. You can really cut your learning curve time down, by attending a meeting like this and watching/asking a few questions.
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