OAUSA Net - 03/26/20 – Camp Dutch Oven Cooking

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OAUSA Net - 03/26/20 – Camp Dutch Oven Cooking

#1

Post by toms » Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:52 pm

Camp Dutch oven.jpg
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Our net this week covers the subject of Dutch Oven cooking.

We can discuss:
1) What it is and the benefits
2) What to buy, where to buy,
3) Seasoning the pot
4) How to control heat
5) The use and care of a Dutch Oven
6) Useful tools, new stuff on the market
7) listen to war stories – worst burn dish; best results ever
8) Swap tips
9) Swap recipes and tell lies

Our list of Dutch Oven users has grown over the past few years and we would like to hear your experiences. Post up your Dutch Oven experiences, pictures, tools, tips, and recipes.
See you on the Trail!
TomS
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Badlands Off-Road
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Re: OAUSA Net - 03/26/20 – Camp Dutch Oven Cooking

#2

Post by toms » Sat Mar 21, 2020 1:48 pm

The Basics

What is a Dutch Oven?
A Dutch Oven is a thick-walled pot, usually made of cast iron, with a tight-fitting lid.
The kind of Dutch Oven we use outdoors is called a Camp Dutch Oven or a Camp Oven. A Camp Oven has three legs on the bottom to hold it above the coals and a rim around the top of the lid to allow coals to be placed on top without sliding off.
There are cast-iron Dutch Ovens with smooth bottoms and rimless lids; these pots are designed to be used in an oven and are not suitable for outdoor cooking.

Advantages of a Camp Dutch Oven
1. Add a variety of food to your outings
2. Add tasty baked deserts
3. Conducts heat and transfers it to the food inside from all directions. Also means that less energy is required
4. Can create complete one pot meals
5. Everything is done at once
6. Everyone sits down together to a nice hot meal
7. Keeps second helping warm
8. Get you lots of invites to go on trips

Disadvantages of a Camp Dutch Oven
1. Difficult when fire restrictions are in place
2. Heavy - not a backpacking tool
3. Need to practice
4. Require care and attention



Seasoning a Dutch Oven
What is it and Why do you do it?
Seasoning is a process to protect cast iron from rusting. Depending on the smoothness of the pot, seasoning can develop a non-stick surface, but seasoning is primarily to prevent rust. Successive coatings of seasoning can develop a smooth surface on a rough-surface pot, but there is a limit to what can be done with a rough-surface pot. This is why it helps to start with a smooth, high-quality pot.

Cleaning and Storing a Dutch Oven
Scrape out the remaining food. Clean with hot water and scrub brush or soft scrub pad. Do not use steel wool.
Leave Lid Ajar
Drape a paper towel over the edge of the pot before putting on the lid. The paper towel will soak up any condensation that collects in the stored pot and allow it to evaporate.
Lightly oiled
If you are not going to be using the pot for a while, apply a light coating of oil or shortening to the entire surface to prevent rusting. Don’t use an animal fat because it turns rancid in a short time. Mineral oil works well for long term storage because it does not go rancid.

No Nos for Cast Iron
• Don’t Leave Food in It
• Condensation will form rust. Need to remove rust and re-season.
• Don’t Store it without drying it
• Water will form rust. Need to remove rust and re-season.
• Don’t Clean with Soap
• Porous surface can retain soap and transfer soapy taste to food.
• Don’t Clean with Steel Wool, or Abrasives
• Steel wool and abrasives remove the seasoning. Use this technique only to remove rust, prior to re-seasoning.
• Don’t Drop It
• You could crack your pot, or worse. You could break your foot.
See you on the Trail!
TomS
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Badlands Off-Road
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Re: OAUSA Net - 03/26/20 – Camp Dutch Oven Cooking

#3

Post by toms » Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:17 pm

Here are some useful tables

Dutch Oven Baking Pan Size Conversion
8 x 8 baking pan = 8 or 10 inch Dutch oven
11 x 7 baking pan = 10 inch Dutch oven
9 x 13 baking pan = 12 inch Dutch oven
10 x 15 baking pan = 14 inch Dutch oven

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Temperature:
I have not tried this but if it works, I would like to have a test like it for coffee water at different altitudes. For example at sea level 200° F might be 6 seconds 6-8 inches above the water.
Don't burn yourself!


Hold an open palm 6-8 inches above your Dutch oven, rotating your hand in a circle. If you can hold your hand there for the seconds listed below, the heat and temperature will be as follows:
Seconds Heat Temperature
8 Slow 250-350° F
5 Moderate 350-400° F
3 Hot 400-450° F
1 Very Hot 450-500° F

(Resource: Dutch oven Cookbook, Idaho State University)

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Number of Coals Required
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See you on the Trail!
TomS
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Re: OAUSA Net - 03/26/20 – Camp Dutch Oven Cooking

#4

Post by justrom » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:15 pm

With all of the neighbors Corona-Binging on Netflix I don't know if our "rural internet" will have enough bandwidth for me to post and get on Echolink tomorrow, so I'll add my contribution in advance.

I love Dutch Oven cooking! It is one of those fun "trick" skills that almost everyone thinks is some kind of black magic when you produce an amazing meal or dessert on a trip. Ours has cooked everything from pancakes for breakfast, soups and casseroles for dinner and birthday cakes for dessert. I normally cook with charcoal briquets and follow the table that TomS showed in Post #3 to judge temperature.
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I've put together a "compact" dutch oven cook kit - (almost) everything fits inside a the bag for a 12" dutch oven. Here is a link for an Amazon list with all of the items in it - http://a.co/hRMnInJ
  • 12" Lodge Camp style Dutch Oven
  • 9" Lid lifter
  • Lodge Dutch Oven Bag
  • 14" grill grate (found in a garage somewhere, but fits perfectly in the bottom of the Dutch Oven bag)
  • Lid Stand (keeps the lid out of the dirt and allows you to use the lid as a griddle/skottle)
  • Lodge Plastic Scraper
  • Bic Lighter
  • Folding Chimney Charcoal starter - see the Amazon list for an even more compact model!
  • Cast Iron Trivet (this was a gift - not sure we've used it)
  • Not pictured - Gloves from the fire kit, Tongs for moving charcoal from the kitchen box, a small bottle of vegetable oil for seasoning the oven
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The grate for the charcoal pops out and the chimney starter folds (mostly) flat. A huge advantage for packing! In the Amazon link I found one that fits INSIDE the 12" Dutch Oven AND the Handle folds flat!
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All packed in the Dutch Oven bag - The grill grate goes in first, the dutch oven lid is next wrapped in an old towel, then the dutch oven with everything else inside of it.
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My family's favorite for a slow morning in camp:
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A good starter book for those interested in Dutch Oven Cooking:
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You can use a Dutch Oven in a lot of different ways:
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Re: OAUSA Net - 03/26/20 – Camp Dutch Oven Cooking

#5

Post by toms » Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:37 pm

DUTCH OVEN PEACH COBBLER
Peach Cobbler.JPG
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This is my modified recipe.

Changes I made:
1. Added the little can of extra peaches. I never felt we had enough peaches
2. Use a can of evaporated milk instead of fresh since it does not need refrigeration. I don't know what I would do with left over milk so I use the
whole can. It makes a very tall crust. Need to make sure it is cooked through.
3. Split the original 1 cup of sugar into 3/4 cup for the peaches and 1/4 cup for the crust. Crust is sweeter and the peaches are not overwhelming sweet.



2 (29 ounce) cans peaches, sliced – drain most of the juice
1 (15 ½ ounce) can peaches, sliced - drained

Combine these 2 in advance in a small zip lock bag
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Combine these 2 in advance in a large zip lock bag and put the small zip lock in
on top of the biscuit but still in its own bag.
3 cups biscuit mix
¼ cup sugar

2 eggs
1 cup milk or evaporated milk
6 tablespoons shortening

1. Put shortening into small pan. Put near heat to melt.
2. Put biscuit mix with the sugar, eggs, melted shortening, and milk in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
3. Place Dutch Oven over coals with some coals on the lid. When Dutch oven is hot
a. put peaches in with no more than 1/2 cup of the juice - about what you couldn't drain out the cans.
b. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on fruit.
c. Put lid back on with some coals on top just to heat up peaches, melt the sugar and have the juice bubbling just a little.
4. Remove lid from Dutch oven.
a. Drop dough one spoonful at a time onto the top of the fruit. Use one spoon to take the dough out of the bowl and the second spoon to push dough off the first spoon onto the fruit. Do this quickly to retain heat in Dutch oven.
b. Do not spread the dough around or smooth the dough out.
c. Put lid on oven with coals under the oven and on the lid (400 degrees F).
5. Check in 5 minutes.
a. If a crust has started to form, the fire is much too hot. There should be no visible change in the surface of the dough.
b. If the juice is boiling remove all the coals from underneath.
6. Check in 10 minutes from the start.
a. If there is a very light crust starting to form the heat is just right.
b. If there is no crust forming, add more coals.
c. If there is a hard crust or some browning, remove coals to reduce heat.
7. Check in 20 minutes from the start.
a. The biscuit dough should be starting to brown.
i. This should be a light brown.
ii. If it is a dark brown, remove most of the coals from the lid.
b. If there is not enough browning, add more coals to the lid.
8. The Cobbler should be done in about 30 minutes from the start.
9. Test by pushing a piece of clean straw or a wood splinter into the dough and pulling it out. If it comes out dry or with dry crumbs, it is done.
10. Remove Dutch oven from the fire and allow the cobbler to cool a while before serving.


A. Using the evaporated milk makes a taller fuller crust.
B. 15 coals on top and 9 on the bottom works for 1st 5 minutes or so then remove all coals on the bottom. It is very easy to burn the sugar on the bottom if you leave the coals.
C. At 20 minutes, add more coals on top as per the need in the instructions.
See you on the Trail!
TomS
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Badlands Off-Road
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Re: OAUSA Net - 03/26/20 – Camp Dutch Oven Cooking

#6

Post by DaveK » Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:27 pm

DUTCH OVENS IN THE DESERT AND THE MOUNTAINS

While there are many good reasons to join us for our various events, it is our Dutch Oven cook-offs that are some of the best. The versatility of the Dutch Oven is nearly limitless and Tom and Paul will shed some light on just how far we have taken them. Join the net!!!

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Re: OAUSA Net - 03/26/20 – Camp Dutch Oven Cooking

#7

Post by NotAMog » Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:46 pm

CampMaid Cooking Set

Image

I told myself awhile back that I had enough dutch oven cooking equipment and that I wasn't going to buy any more. That was before I ran across the CampMaid dutch oven cooking accessories. I ran across them one day while surfing the Internet and found them intriguing so I ended up buying a set to expand my dutch oven cooking options.

The first time I had to really try them out was at Borregofest last year. I made dutch oven pizzas one night that came out very well and had a BBQ chicken dish for the pot luck that was kept hot using the stand and adjustable charcoal tray.

You can see pictures of the results above in post #6.

CampMaid Pizza Oven.jpg
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Here is a picture showing how the dutch oven is used inverted as a pizza oven with coals on the top and bottom. The charcoal tray can be adjusted by squeezing the red handles and locating it on the notches of the vertical rod.


The pizza Margarita was made using a Boboli pizza crust with some bottled pizza sauce, cheese, tomato, and fresh basil.

Unfortunately, I don't have a good picture of the chicken but it was pre-cooked using the sous vide method and refrigerated. The evening of the potluck the chicken was finished on the Volcano grill with BBQ sauce and then kept warm in the dutch oven over low charcoal heat.

This video explains how the system works better than I can describe here -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gn0g51rkBds

Here is another useful video -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j29vKJBflDg

One thing I like about their charcoal chimney is that its small enough to fit inside a 12" oven when folded. It's smaller than other chimneys I've seen but I haven't found it to be a problem yet if you're only starting charcoal for one oven at a time. After forgetting my huge, space consuming charcoal chimney a couple of times it's nice to have one that I can just store in an oven so I'll always have it when I need it.

On the steamer insert / grill, personally I'd want one dedicated for each use. Somehow the idea of using a grill that cleaned as best you can while camping for steaming food would yield undesirable results.
Last edited by NotAMog on Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: OAUSA Net - 03/26/20 – Camp Dutch Oven Cooking

#8

Post by KAP » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:20 am

Types of cast iron pans beyond Dutch ovens

Many different types of cast iron pans can be a great partner to the DO. With some simple accessories, they can be used right on top of the DO to prepare complimentary dishes.
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A variety of pans great for preparing and keeping appetizers and dips warm.
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Crepe and Aebleskiver pans
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Attachments
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12” cast iron skillet was used on top of DO to make a main dish while the DO was used to prepare a Bundt cake. The lid was removed and placed on another pan in this picture because the cake was done.
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Re: OAUSA Net - 03/26/20 – Camp Dutch Oven Cooking

#9

Post by KAP » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:11 pm

Cast iron surfaces and how to season them

More often than not, cast iron pans come from the factory with fairly rough surfaces unless you spend more than $100 on a high end pan.

The general explanation from manufacturers is that the rough surface is better at holding the seasoning. It is my opinion based on fairly extensive testing that this purely a way to save on production costs. Old pans like my Wagner came with very smooth surfaces.

In addition, when a pan is seasoned, the reaction between the oil and the pans surface is taking place on the micron level so the oil is reacting with the pores in the metal, not just the overall surface roughness.

The rougher the surface, the more seasoning layers must be applied to rid the pan of high spots.

The following pictures illustrate this point.
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Two identical pans, one sanded to a smooth but not polished finish.
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Typical surface of a standard pan. Who would want to cook food on sand paper?
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Even taking the high spots or roughness out of the pan will give you a much better cooking surface. 80-100 grit sandpaper will be fine.
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This is a great finish on half a pan.
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I fully seasoned it the way it is. Half smooth and half as received.
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Cooking results on this pan.
As you can see, the rough side held on to the eggs. This is due to the spatula coming in contact with just the very tops of the high points of the surface. The smooth side released easy. Please note that I used a slightly rounded spatula so it left some eggs where it didn’t touch the pan. Also take note that the sides of the cooking surface were not sanded so the eggs stuck all around them.

I took a video at Field Day 2018 that clearly illustrated the shortcomings of a rough surfaces pan. Food sticks and clean up is difficult and requires more resources before storage.
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Seasoning involves multiple very thin coats of oil. 4-6 coats of oil is reasonable.
1. The pan should be clean and dry
2. Warm the pan to about 150 F and apply a heavy coat of oil to all pan surfaces. This allows the oil to penetrate the surface.
3. Wipe all of the oil off the surface and heat to about 400 F for 1 hour. If surface is tacky, leave in oven for more time
4. Turn off oven and allow pan to cool to room temperature.
5. Repeat this process until the desired finished is achieved.
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Two things to note about this older Wagner pan. The surface of the pan came smooth from the factory. I left too much oil in the pan and it pooled and the cured on the surface.
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Three identical pans. All had equal amounts of three different oils. Flax seed, grape seed and avocado. A very high smoke point is what they have in common.
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All three pans were profiled to a smooth finish with 240 grit sand paper on a random orbit sander.
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Last edited by KAP on Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: OAUSA Net - 03/26/20 – Camp Dutch Oven Cooking

#10

Post by Jeff-OAUSA » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:35 pm

Please check me in.

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