If you love cooking in the outdoors and enjoy the simplicity and warmth of a Dutch oven, this article is for you. These simple devices can provide some of the most delicious meals you have ever had, while eliminating the cost of electric and gas ovens.
When it comes to Dutch oven cooking tips, the biggest tip anyone can give you is to supervise your food. Food can burn quickly if the temperature is too high.
However, the problem with regulating the temperature is that, once the inside temperature heats up, it remains hot for some time. Even when you reduce the outside heat, the inside heat will remain steady unless the cover is removed.
To avoid burning food over the campfire, make sure you don’t set the oven on too high a temperature or add too many briquettes to the fire. To cool down one of these handy devices, simply remove the briquettes from the lid, and then remove the cover for a few minutes to let some of the heat escape.
There are basically three ways to cook with one of these while camping. You can hang your piece over the fire, you can set it on the fire or near it and push hot coals around it and on the lid, or you can actually bury the entire thing within the fire.
While the first two steps are self-explanatory, the third requires a little instruction. Dig a hole that is about two feet wide and about twenty inches deep.
Line the hole with flat rocks that you find around the campsite. Secure the stones so they won’t fall into the fire, and then make a fire in the center of the hole.
Feed the open flames until you have several inches of hot coals. When the flames go out, or, if you think the coals are ready, remove wood that is still burning.
Remove some of the hot coals, and set aside. Place the Dutch oven-with dinner inside-into the hole, place the reserved coals on top, and then cover the whole thing with a few inches of dirt.
Lay a few large flat rocks over the dirt, and go about your business. When you return to camp later, dinner will be ready.
Do not use a Dutch oven that has not been seasoned. Seasoning prevents rusting, adds flavor to the food and also allows for easy cleanup.
On occasion, seasoning must be done twice in order to season the entire oven completely. To season one, peel off the labels, and wash it in warm soapy water.
Rinse, drain and dry immediately. Set in on the stove for a minute to make sure it is completely dry before you add a light layer of Crisco to the oven, inside and out.
Then bake it in a stove that has been preheated to three hundred and fifty degrees Fahrenheit. Though it smokes a bit, leave it in the stove for about one hour.
Just keep your windows open so that the smoke can escape. After cooking, wipe away any remaining grease, and store with a paper towel or piece of cardboard between the lid and the basin.
The paper will absorb any leftover moisture. While you are cooking food inside, if steam is escaping, your piece is telling you that the temperature is too hot, so do not touch the lid with your bare hands, or you will be burned.
Do lift the lid to check the food several times, but do not remove the lid often. Lifting the lid allows precious steam to escape, and it is the steam that makes the food so tender and delicious.
These heavy metal devices get hot enough to be stacked while cooking. Stacking allows the heat from the bottom basin to radiate up to the top basin.
The best way to stack a few of them is to use ones that are the same size or with foods in them that require the same amount of heat. To keep the temperature even from top to bottom, place hot coals on the top lid.
If you have food storage, this is a great way to cook some delicious meals while rotating your storage and putting it to good use. Try making a cobbler out of canned peaches or plums-your family will love it.
Jack R. Landry is an accomplished expert in family preparedness and has been giving seminars for over 15 years. He recommends that everyone have on hand an Survival Food Storage in case of any emergency or disaster.
Jack R. Landry