Dutch Oven Cooking

Now that you know that you have a basic list of things to bring camping, it’s time to go farther in depth on Dutch Oven cooking.  Dutch Ovens are so versatile.  It’s almost a requirement for Boy Scout camp outs that some type of cobbler is made in a Dutch Oven.

New Dutch Oven

You’ve got a new Dutch Oven, and you want to start cooking with it.  The first thing to do is season it.  Cast iron is virtually non-stick, but only once it’s been well seasoned.  If you buy it pre-seasoned then you want to get rid of that seasoning.  The seasoning is mostly wax based.  You really don’t want in your food.   The easiest way to get rid of this seasoning is to get your Dutch Oven up to around 500 degrees for about 30 minutes then let it cool off.   It’s suggested that you do it in your home oven.  Don’t do it. You will smoke out your house and most likely make others in your house pretty mad.  So it’s best to do it outside with campfire coals or charcoal.  Being careful not to over heat it or try to cool it down fast.

Seasoning

Once the seasoning is burned off heat your oven back up to around 400-450 degrees cost the whole oven with cooking lard or some time of grease or oil.  Coconut oil works great, but anything works.  Let the oil sit on your oven for 20-30 minutes. Then let it cool off.  Once it’s cooled down wipe off any excess oil.  It’s that simple.  Repeating the process a few times is best to make sure the Dutch Oven is well seasoned before first use.

Many people like to cook on a camp fire, but it’s hard to control the temperature that way.  The easier way to control the temp is to use charcoal.  The simple rule for using charcoal is to take the size of you oven then double that number.  That will give you the number of coals you need to start with to reach 350 degrees.  Usually start with 10 coals on the bottom and place the rest of the top.  For every additional coal giving you about 20 degrees of extra heat.  When placing the coals on the bottom or top try to keep them around the outside so as not to create hot spots and burn your food.

What to Cook

Anything you can cook in a home oven can be cooked in a Dutch Oven.  There are even people who will cook frozen pizza’s in them.  The versatility of a Dutch Oven is really up to the chef.  Here are just a few simple recipes:

Biscuits and Gravy

  • Biscuit in a tube(doesn’t matter what brand I suggest the cheaper the better)  You’ll need around a dozen depending on how many you plan of feeding.
  • 1 pound of either hamburger or sausage.  I usually do a pound of both but I like a lot of meet in my gravy.
  • Gravy mix, brown or white doesn’t matter personal choice.

First step is brown the meat in your Dutch Oven.  Just leave the lid off can keep turning the meat like you would in a skillet.  Once you have the meat done,  remove it and put in a pan.  Now you can put the biscuits in the Dutch Oven and cook them according the directions on the tube.  Make sure you leave the grease from the meat in your oven not only is it good to keep the biscuits from sticking it gives a lot more flavor.  So now you have the biscuits made, the meat made just finish up with the gravy mix, add the meat to the gravy and you’re done.  Simple easy and minimal dishes to do.

Hearty Man’s Breakfast

  • 1 Pound Bacon
  • 1 Pound sausage or hamburger whatever is cheaper
  • 2 Packages of frozen southern-style hash browns (non-shredded)
  • 1 container of sour cream(optional)
  • 4-6 eggs beaten with a small amount of water to make fluffy.
  • 1 pound shredded cheese

Brown the bacon and sausage in the Dutch Oven, Stir in the hash browns and cover.  Bake for around 20-30 minutes and around 350 degrees.  In a bowl combine the eggs, sour cream, and a little water.  Pour egg mixture over the hash browns and cook until done.  Once almost done sprinkle the cheese on top, place the lid back on top until melted.

Pot Roast

  • 3-4 pound beef roast
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 2 Beef Bouillon Cubes
  • 1/2 pound baby carrots or regular carrots peeled and cut up
  • 8-10 cut up potatoes
  • Salt, pepper, other spices to taste, also any other veggies you want.

Brown the roast on all sides in the Dutch Oven.  Add cup of water and bouillon cubes and any spices.  Bake for around 30 minutes check and add water as needed, keep the bottom of oven full of water.  Add any veggies you want and cook for another 30 minutes or more.  The roast is done when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Barbecue Teriyaki Chicken

  • 1 bottle barbecue sauce(16-18oz)
  • 1 bottle teriyaki sauce(16-18oz)
  • 6 to 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can of 7up or Sprite(12oz) your choice

Pour sauces into the Dutch Oven and add chicken.  Pour pop over the top.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  The chicken is done when the internal temp is 170 degrees, or when pierced with a fork the juices run clear.

Lasagna

  • 1 package of Lasagna noodles(16oz.)
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1-1/2 quarts spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cartoon small curd cottage cheese(32 oz.)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 package cream cheese(8 oz.)
  • 2 pounds shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions, then drain and set aside.  In a bowl, combine browned beef with onion and garlic, mix with spaghetti sauce.

In separate bowl, mix cottage cheese, eggs, and cream cheese.

Layer half the sauce mixture, noodles, and cottage cheese mixture in a well greased Dutch Oven.  Repeat layers then sprinkle cheese over the top.  Bake until cheese melts, at 350 degrees.

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