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Old 09-05-2006, 04:46 PM
tidbit's Avatar
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Question Cast Iron Dutch Oven

I was just wondering if anyone cooks with a dutch oven while you are camping? We just purchased a Lodge cast iron dutch oven, but haven't used it yet. I am still working on seasoning it. I've seen alot of recipes online that I'm anxious to try. Do you have any tips for using the dutch oven?
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Old 09-05-2006, 08:53 PM
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Yes, we have two and some griddles. I like our spider the best, the one with three little legs on it. Make sure you have coals and not flames, make sure you season it well, and trust the cooking times because lifting the lid lets out a lot of cooking steam. Use paper towels to clean the ash? Think too about how heavy the lid is and perhaps also get the lid lifter as an accessory. We use a stick and have had it break and that is dangerous.
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Old 09-06-2006, 03:21 PM
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The one we got has the three legs on it. I have done two goes of seasoning in the oven according to the directions, which say you can do it two or three times. The first time it smoked pretty bad and made the house smell pretty nasty I worried about doing it again, but the second time it wasn't so bad, so I'll probably do it the third time. Do you reseason it every year or so?
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Old 09-14-2006, 04:27 AM
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I have one that I use for camping and I LOVE it! I initially seasoned it and its lid. I keep a small piece of rolled up paper towel in between the lid and the pot so that the inside of the pot won't go rank and can breathe. When we are camping and I am done cooking in it, I wipe it out or wash it and heat the water off of it and wipe it down with a little oil.
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Old 09-14-2006, 06:40 AM
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Here is how to use a camping dutch oven and over on the sister site MomsMenu under Outdoor Cooking I and several others have posted several recipes for cooking outside in a Dutch Oven. They are lots of fun to cook in and you can make almost anything in them!



First you want a Dutch Oven designed for cooking outside. The indoor type with a domed lid will not work. It should have a raised lip around the rim and the top is actually recessed so coals can be placed on the lid to increae the heat. The size depends on how many you want to feed. I prefer a larger one and then you are covered. Cast iron is also important. You can get cast aluminum, but you want cast iron. So you see this won't be backpacking cook wear! With your cast iron Dutch Oven set over coals and with coals on the lid the temperature in the oven can be varied by increasing or decreasing the number of coals. Make sure you have a seasoned Dutch oven. If it is new it has to be broken in first. Then you need to cover the inside with a coating of shortening; and the inside of the lid also. You put it over a low heat and allow the shortening to melt. You need to do this several times before cooking in it the first time. After you have it seasoned you drain out any surplus shortening. Now it is ready to cook in.

Some people never wash theirs in soap, but I prefer to, but then I need to recondition it immediately after washing.

When you first start remember that it is better to use too few coals than too many and have burned food.

Your main source of heat is going to be from the bottom if you are using the Dutch Oven as an oven with the food being cooked in a spearate pan and with the pan set on a rack in the dutch oven. Hot air will circulate around the pan just like it does in your home oven.

Your main source of heat will be from the top if you are using the Dutch Oven as a cooking pot or simmering something.

It is important in most cases to preheat the Dutch Oven by placing it over a layer of hot coals. Additional coals may be placed on the lid and it will be thoroughly preheated this way.

If you set the oven over 27 to 30 charcoal briquets and the same number on the lid the temperature in a #12 oven will be at 450 degrees or higher within 12 - 15 minutes. This can be kept as this temperature for 30 minutes or more with the briquets under the oven reduced to 12 and the number on the lid redeuced to 9.

Tongs are good for adding and removing hot coals. And a professional Dutch Oven pot lifter or a LARGE pair of slanted pliers will work.

If you have a #10 oven the same temp will take about 18 briquets under the oven adn the same on the lid. It will maintain about 30 minutes also. It is important to have a small air space between the coals a d the bottom of the oven; as little a 1/4 " is good.

Once you have your food in the oven put the lid on. If you are cooking something in liquid you may not need coals on the lid. If you are cooking anyhting with dough you will need some coals on the lid.

Once you become experienced at this you will learn to use firewood. Charocoal briquets are good till you have it all down; it will give you more satisfaction that you can control the heat.

All the talk of briquets or firewood is HOT briquets or ash gray including using firewood. So this is not a quick way to cook, but nothing better than smelling that food cooking over an open fire and know you did it!
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Old 09-17-2006, 12:08 PM
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I am hoping to get out camping one more time this season so I can try my Dutch oven. It's all seasoned and ready to go. We may use it here at the house in our outdoor fireplace if we can't go camping though. Thank you all for the tips and info...it will come in handy as we learn how to use it.

Last edited by tidbit; 09-17-2006 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 09-17-2006, 12:45 PM
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Have fun! Let us know how you do and maybe you'll have some Dutch Oven recipes to share with us!
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Old 09-17-2006, 06:04 PM
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There is some good advice from the other members, the web has lots of sites that will guide you through seasoning and reseasoning. I find cast iron to have lots of care involved to keep it from rusting. my advice is to keep it well oiled and well used. Keep it covered to keep water and dirt from reaching the pan. I recomend the panjacket for storage and travel, it will keep the pan and lid protected and clean when not in use. use warm water and mild soap to wash and then lightly oil before putting back into the cover. lodge also offers a preseasoned line of pans called logic
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Old 09-17-2006, 06:14 PM
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I've never heard of the panjacket; do you know where to get them? When we traveled with ours I made some "covers" out of quilted material; that would have been nice to have something made especially for them!
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Old 09-20-2006, 04:42 PM
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I don't know if this is the same thing...but lodge have Dutch Oven Tote bags. You can find them here https://secure.lodgemfg.com/storefront/search.asp
I was thinking about getting one of them myself.
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