Monday, July 27, 2009

Dutch Oven Camp cooking Series

For the next few days... I will be writing tips & a few recipes on cooking in a Dutch Oven.
Forget the weenies on a stick! Gourmet meals, snacks & desserts out in the open while you are camping! You can't beat it!

So let's start from the beginning. Cast Iron Pots are the best to use. They distribute heat evenly.
Depending on your family size... choose the sizes that are best for you.
Brands such as Camp Chef or Lodge are perfect. You can usually find them at any Sportsmen's Store such as Gander Mountain , Bass Pro or Cabela's. They have a wide variety of sizes.

Choosing one can be tricky... so get several sizes. Cook a whole meal including desert in 1 stack!
Always get Dutch Ovens with legs. These are the most versatile & can be used for just about anything you cook.

NOW... the first step after buying a cast iron Dutch oven... you HAVE to season it. This is not hard to do. First wash inside & out of both the pot & the cover with a plastic scratcher and HOT WATER ONLY. Never...Never...Never use soap!!! The pores in the cast iron will open & trap a soapy flavor & add to all you dishes. Yuk.

After "washing" it... dry well with paper towel. Rub a thin layer of vegetable oil or shortening on the inside & outside. Turn the pot upside down & put both pot & cover in the oven or a covered gas grill outside & THEN set the heat to 350 degrees. Let the Dutch Oven heat up with the oven. Cast iron has been known to crack with high temperature changes, but I have had Lodges for over 10 years & never had a problem. But it doesn't hurt to be careful. Let "cook" for about 1 1/2 hrs.
Take out carefully & rub another layer of oil or shortening with a paper towel & heat again for another hr. Take out, let cool & you are ready to use or store away.
As for oils... I prefer not to use any dark oils such as olive or walnut oils or not lard either. These tend to give a rancid smell. Plain vegetable, canola or shortening works the best. Also after you cook with it & clean (with plain hot water) you can use a spray oil such as PAM. Just not the baking kind with flour.

For a quick recipe for Kettle corn over an open fire... see:

Be sure to post a comment if you like it!

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