Dutch Oven Tips
- Keep an eye on your ovens. There should always be someone monitoring any fire.
- If steam is forcing its way out around the lid, the oven is too hot or you have a poorly-seated lid. Re-seat the lid and remove some coals if that doesn't fix it. If the lid is a problem, you'll probably have burned or dried out food.
- Use a pie tin set on 4 pebbles in the dutch oven for rolls, biscuits, pies, or pizza. It keeps a buffer of even, hot air around the dough to prevent burning.
- Prepare as much of your food as possible at home. Cut your vegetables and such in your clean kitchen and then bring along in zip-loc bags.
- Wait for your fire to have hot coals rather than yellow flames. Cooking over flame is less efficient and gets soot all over your cookware.
- Use hardwoods in your fire for hotter, longer-lasting coals.
- Keep a notebook of the meals you cook and the results. Notice if the food is cooked thoroughly along with the temperature and cooking time for each attempt. Over time, you'll get a better feel for 'just knowing' the right temperature and time.
- A bit of oil or grease rubbed in the oven will really help minimize food sticking.
- Pancake mix can be made in a gallon zip-loc and then easily poured out as needed. Saves clean up too.
- Cut bacon strips in half. The shorter pieces can more easily be moved around for even frying.
- A natural fiber (not plastic) whiskbroom is great for brushing ash off the lid before opening your dutch oven.
- Always clean and dry your dutch oven after use. Letting it sit wet or in water or rain will rust it.
- Make sure you have food or water in your dutch oven before placing it on coals, unless you are monitoring the heating. An empty oven can burn off the seasoning easily.
- Dropping a dutch oven will break or crack it. It's easier than you think!
- Dropping a hot dutch oven in the creek or pouring water into it or putting cold food in it will destroy it.
- Use wooden or high-temperature silicone utensils. Plastic spatulas touching the dutch oven sides can melt, and metal can scratch.
- A common mistake is to set the lid on the ground. Make sure you have a clean, sturdy place to set the lid.
- Your dutch oven will attract lots of curiousity. Be sure you are in control of your kitchen and keep everyone safely away from the fire and oven to prevent accidents.
- You might line the dutch oven with aluminum foil to help with clean-up of sugary desserts. (I personally don't do this, but it's common.)
Cook Away - Dutch Oven Cooking Tools
Oct 27, 2015 - Brian D. Suhre
I just built a permanent bean hole and want to cook something other than beans and pork. Beef chuck roast perhaps? Stew? Any recipes and cooking instructions would be appreciated.Nov 25, 2015 - alice
I recommend using a pure clay Dutch oven because its 100% natural. The heat given to the pot is locked inside. They can go on direct fires, stove tops and ovens. And they're much lighter than cast iron. Also no metals leach from the pot.Dec 05, 2015 - Darlene
I don't know about to much metals. Actually when I cooked all the time with cast iron, my blood had to be checked and they said I had a very good iron level compared to to my coworkers, and asked if I took iron pills. I said no, that I just cooked with only cast iron pots and pans. So it very well can have its advantages.Sep 03, 2018 - Steve
I cannot find any discussion about what to set the DO on while cooking with briquettes. Some use 'the ground' while I know others carry a 0.25" thick steel plate to set the oven on which can make leveling easier. Any comments on preference.Sep 03, 2018 - Dutch Oven Dude
@Steve - I use the bare ground right next to the fire.Sep 10, 2018 - Tom Shaffer
Our boy scout troop always use a metal pan. Not sure where to buy them. We have two types. One type looks like an oil pan - 16" diameter x 6" deep. This works well for our 12" DOs. But, it does not work with a 14" DO - not enough air flow to keep the charcoal going. For the 14" DOs, we use what looks like metal lids to small garbage cans - they work great. The key is that the lip (depth) is only about 2". When we're done cooking, we use our DO lid grabber to move around / pickup the pans.
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