COOKING IN MY NEW DUTCH OVEN

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COOKING IN MY NEW DUTCH OVEN

Postby DIM TIM » 25 Jan 2017 12:24

Recently, after getting some much needed funds to help me buy more preparedness gear and items for my family, I went to a local Cabela's and bought myself one of their 12" cast iron dutch ovens. I'd been meaning to get one for some time now, and since they were having a great sale on their cast iron cookware, i figured it was a good time to get started learning how to cook in a dutch oven.

Now anyone who cooks, can make soups and stews in a dutch oven, but to bake or roast meats in a dutch oven is a little bit more of a trick. So after getting set up, I figured that the first thing I wanted to try was baking in mine. After some thought, I figured that about the easiest thing you could bake in one was biscuits. And although I don't have a good homemade biscuit recipe or the skills to make them (at least not yet), I decided the best thing was to at least try and make some of the canned biscuits in it.

SO.....since I love the Pillsbury Grands Biscuits so much, it was an easy task to get a can for experimenting with. I found a table online that gives approximate temperatures when using charcoal for the number needed on both top and bottom of the oven for the particular size you are cooking in. I got a three-pack of some aluminum foil-type cake pans to bake them in, and set to work. Since i didn't have a proper trivet to place in the bottom of the oven at the time, I did the next best thing, and used some small, temperature stable stones in the bottom of the oven to hold the pan of biscuits up off the bottom to keep them from burning on that side.

I pre-heated the oven a bit before setting the pan of biscuits in and replacing the lid on the oven for them to bake. I let them bake for the minimum time on the cooking directions, and then pulled the lid off to check them. They were baking well, but appeared to only be about half way done, so I replaced the lid and let them go another 5 minutes. I then checked again, and although they were a bit more done, they still were not completely done yet (golden brown outside), so in for another 5 minutes. After this time in, they were at last done to a golden brown outside, and completely cooked inside. A small bit of real butter, and a spoon full of honey made them just right. :D

So now I'm going to try my hand at some cornbread, and then a cobbler, pie, cookies, cakes, breads,......you get the picture. And then, on to roasting meat. And as roasting meat is a two-part process which involves browning the outside, and then slow roasting the inside, this is something that is pretty well suited for a dutch oven.
So how about some of the rest of you ? Have any of the rest of you tried using a dutch oven for cooking beyond soups and stews like I just mentioned ? And what about your ovens ? Favorite size...tricks...tips and hints ? What about recipes ?

A piece of gear that I'll be adding to mine is a tripod for simmering soups and stews over an open fire. I have the materials to make my own, and will be working on it real soon. Also, I liked my oven so well, that I purchased another 12" oven from Cabela's before the sale ended. I may get a larger one at a later time, but these will get me going for now. So let's hear from some of the rest of you on this great survival and preparedness gear item. Surely some of you have them as well ???
"It has been said that preparedness and being prepared promotes fear. This isn't true.......being UNPREPARED is what promotes fear."
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Re: COOKING IN MY NEW DUTCH OVEN

Postby Pilgrim52 » 26 Jan 2017 20:56

Congratulations on your new oven! I was first introduced to the Dutch Oven as a young Boy Scout back in the 60's but never actually owned one for another 25 years or so. Being basically a long range backpacker, I had little use for a 20lb cooking utensil, no matter how useful. When my wife started her annual horse riding trips to the Rockies with her saddle pals, we lived out of a base camp and I picked up two 12", one 10" and a set of tools. After seeing what new ones cost, I got on Ebay and looked for used. The first one I bought was evidently owned at some point by a Canadian. I say that because the lid and base were marked with a pair of Canadian pennies minted in 1949, drilled and wired to the lid lifting loop and the bail. I immediately saw the advantage of marking one's own oven to make sure it didn't get mistaken for someone else's when cooking in a large group. When I purchased my other two, I marked them in a similar manner using pre-1983 US pennies stamped with my initials. (post '83 US pennies are made of cheap copper plated zinc which I doubt are as fireproof as solid bronze pennies) I also put a similar stamped and drilled US penny on my lid lifter to help insure it didn't go home with someone else. (Originally, I marked one oven by wiring two P-38 can openers to the lid and bail because I didn't have time to do anything fancier before the trip) I have a number of favorite recipes but rather than write them down, I think it would help you more to suggest you get on Amazon and order one of the many Dutch Oven introductory books that reveal everything you could ever want to know about seasoning and cooking in cast iron and the additional gear you need like lid lifters, cooking tables, trivets, tripods, lid rests, etc. I recommend Dutch Oven Secrets by Lynn Hopkins (World Champion Dutch Oven Chef!) Doin' Dutch Oven Inside and Out by Robert L. Ririe and Old Fashioned Dutch Oven Cookbook by Don Holm. If you'd like a DVD, I suggest Karen Hood's Cave Cooking Vol 2 Going Dutch available on the Hood's Woods website.
I don't watch survival "reality" TV to be educated. I watch it to be entertained. There's a BIG difference.
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Re: COOKING IN MY NEW DUTCH OVEN

Postby whls4legs » 27 Jan 2017 09:45

I have a few aquired thru the years. A 14" shallow lodge that is a baking fool. Breads and biscuits for gatherings, a few years of careful cure, baking only for this one, (always mind the cure, don't 'hammer' it when cleaning, be gentile, hottish water, a decent brush, no soap). If I bake in a meat/soup pot cause I need something smaller, I use parchment. Never had a bad piece of meat come out of a pot. Hard to screw up. Try a small bottom round, piece of pork*, chicken, nothing expensive. I don't pre-brown meats, just season, start the roast really hot, pre-heat pot. Well oiled. Then back off the heat to finish. The high radiant heat at the start will put a nice color on the meat.

Love my pots. Only suggestion would be to gravitate away from charcoal and start to use coals from wood fire every so often. And just take good care of your pots. They're very versatile and worth learning.

*this, of course, if you do swine.

Some suggest cooking copious amounts of bacon, (pig thing agan), to season cast iron. I don't recommend it. For used pans I strip er down to bare, and give it 4 or 5 turns in the 375 degree oven, lightly oiled each turn. Hilbilly teflon. For a new or used oven, same, strip er down bare, I deep fry. A few times. No, it's not good for you, so invite friends. Fish, chicken, fresh onion rings and fresh fries....... Kale. Couple turns and you'll have a good start.
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Re: COOKING IN MY NEW DUTCH OVEN

Postby DIM TIM » 14 Feb 2017 23:13

Thanks for the info there guys. Got some free time coming up soon in the way of some vacation time at work, and so I will be doing some more cooking with them both then.
"It has been said that preparedness and being prepared promotes fear. This isn't true.......being UNPREPARED is what promotes fear."
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Re: COOKING IN MY NEW DUTCH OVEN

Postby mosby's men » 22 Sep 2017 19:09

well no that cool weather is on the horizon i will bust out my dutch oven and tripod and mess around with my dutch oven all i have done in the past is mostly stews .
thanks
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