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Thread: Any Dutch Oven enthusiasts here?

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    Any Dutch Oven enthusiasts here?

    We went camping last weekend at Lake Livingston State Park (East Texas). In the past if we did any cooking in camp it was either on the grill or using a Coleman camp stove. We grilled some burgers Friday night but on Saturday we had two Dutch Oven meals for six adults and two kids. I bought a new Lodge 14" oven last week before our trip and this was our first experience ever with a Dutch Oven. Made a Mountain Man Breakfast casserole in the morning and we used that to make breakfast tacos with flour tortillas. Turned out really good if a bit crispy on the bottom. For supper we made a Beef Stew using 3 lbs of cubed sirloin steak and had cornbread to go with it (cooked in an oven in the in-laws RV). Multiple lines of thunderstorms rolled through late afternoon/early evening while we were cooking but we were able to stay on task as we had a 10x10 EZ-Up to provide some shelter for the fire and the cooks. The stew turned out great, everyone loved it - even our 3 1/2 y.o. granddaughter and her friend. My wife was really skeptical about cooking for a group in a Dutch Oven for the first time but really it could not have worked out better.

    The only thing I did wrong (that I know of) is that we neglected to take any pictures of the cooking process and completed meals. Next time!
    20K gal, inground with attached spa, pebblefina plaster (bella blue), flagstone coping, moss rock waterfall, Sundek - Indian wheat, (2) Jandy PHPM2.0 (filter pump and waterfall), Jandy DEV60 DE filter, Polaris 280 pool cleaner, Polaris Halcyon PB4-60Q booster pump, Polaris 1.5 HP Air Blower, (2) Jandy WaterColors LED lights, Jandy LXI400P Heater, Jandy AquaPure PLC1400 SWG, Jandy AquaLink RS PureLink Controller and PDA.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Any Dutch Oven enthusiasts here?

    Cast Iron rules!

    We have about 7 Dutch ovens, I also have a cast iron wok that is great! And of course, tons of cast iron skillets .
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    Re: Any Dutch Oven enthusiasts here?

    Wow 7 Dutch Ovens, do you compete?

    For us the decision to go with the Dutch Oven was kind of a last minute deal so I was not prepared as far as a lid lifter and lid stand nor did I have proper gloves but we "made do".
    20K gal, inground with attached spa, pebblefina plaster (bella blue), flagstone coping, moss rock waterfall, Sundek - Indian wheat, (2) Jandy PHPM2.0 (filter pump and waterfall), Jandy DEV60 DE filter, Polaris 280 pool cleaner, Polaris Halcyon PB4-60Q booster pump, Polaris 1.5 HP Air Blower, (2) Jandy WaterColors LED lights, Jandy LXI400P Heater, Jandy AquaPure PLC1400 SWG, Jandy AquaLink RS PureLink Controller and PDA.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Any Dutch Oven enthusiasts here?

    No they've just been acquired over the years. Some were gifts and some have been passed down.

    If you need to know how to season or other stuff, I'm glad to help.

    You'll be surprised how easy it is to bake in them once you get the hang of them.
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    Re: Any Dutch Oven enthusiasts here?

    Cast iron is a complete and total thing of beauty!!!
    I grew up with mom & dad both cooking in/on them. Great way to get a highly soluble amount of iron in your diet. Better than any iron supplement and more iron than you'll usually get otherwise.

    They retain heat like mad, cook very evenly and they're completely non-stick when seasoned properly.
    Just always dry them off well, don't let them sit in the sink, they'll rust. If you can't get them dry them off well, grease them up and put them over a fire, or in the oven, or on the stove top. They'll dry up nicely!!

    Just bummed that our glass top stove doesn't like them.
    Our old glass top was fine /w it, but it was gas.

    Sooooo glad you had such a good experience with this tried and true cookery on your 1st go at it. WAHOO!!

    Do you have any of that stew left???
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
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    Re: Any Dutch Oven enthusiasts here?

    Love them and cast iron in general. I have a stove-top dutch over for camping, and a smaller chicken fryer that works as a mini-oven if you need it. I'd kind of like a dutch oven designed for campfire use to bake bread, but I don't want to get too heavy on my gear load.

    We have the enameled stuff for home use.

    I have an old 12" skillet I use for camping that is a thing of beauty. Nothing sticks, and even if you burn something, you just throw a little water in, scrape it with a plastic scraper and it's clean.
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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: Any Dutch Oven enthusiasts here?

    I've got several cast iron skillets, two 12" Dutch Ovens, one 16" Dutch oven, and two 12" cast aluminum oven's. Around here often I find them in the trash, as people don't want to use them with their new glasstop stoves. I grab them ASAP!

    Every fall we try to clean out some of the local creeks of all the trees and branches that fell in them over the year. If left alone, they will flood when the snow starts to melt. Many of the branches we just cut up, and burn on the bank. Every year I'll make a double batch of Chili in our 16" Oven.

    Dinosaur Bar-B-Cue's Texas Red Chili

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    Re: Any Dutch Oven enthusiasts here?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Love them and cast iron in general. I have a stove-top dutch over for camping, and a smaller chicken fryer that works as a mini-oven if you need it. I'd kind of like a dutch oven designed for campfire use to bake bread, but I don't want to get too heavy on my gear load.

    We have the enameled stuff for home use.

    I have an old 12" skillet I use for camping that is a thing of beauty. Nothing sticks, and even if you burn something, you just throw a little water in, scrape it with a plastic scraper and it's clean.
    Any dutch oven, non enameled, can be thrown in a fire or a pit filled with coals. So long as it has a lid, it'll work. If the enameled ones were a true ceramic coating, then you might be able to get away with it. But honestly I wouldn't trust it for durability of finish.

    The enamel ones are nice. But I feel they're nowhere near as good as the non-enameled ones. They don't get as hot, they don't stay as hot and they tend to stick more. Thus requiring more oil, or grease. They do cook evenly though and are still superior to aluminum I think.
    Even my cousin who's a 5 star chef prefers the classic black ones to anything else. But they just aren't practical in a commercial setting.
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
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    Re: Any Dutch Oven enthusiasts here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leebo
    I've got several cast iron skillets, two 12" Dutch Ovens, one 16" Dutch oven, and two 12" cast aluminum oven's.
    ...Every year I'll make a double batch of Chili in our 16" Oven.

    Dinosaur Bar-B-Cue's Texas Red Chili
    That chili looks really awesome!!
    No beans huh? WEIRD!! I'm not sure I have ever had a chili here, west of the Rockies & Cascades, without beans in it. But I might have.

    I haven't heard of the Pasilla chili. I looked it up though, looks familiar I just don't know it by name. How hot is it? I doubt it'll be too hot for me, hardly!
    But my mom is a total weenie when it comes to peppers, she can't hardly eat anything hotter than a peperoncini or Anaheim.
    How hot do you think the dish is overall, any chili shy people in your family that eat it OK?
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: Any Dutch Oven enthusiasts here?

    I've substituted several different types of peppers depending on what I can find at the store. Most of the time, we're able to pick up a bag of dried chilies at Wal-Mart, but if we can't find them, we'll try different ones. Their version isn't that hot, but it's hotter than a pepperoncini. I've always thought about trying the dish without any peppers in it, just to make it more of a "stew". Overall, it's a medium chili....one most restaurants would serve to please everybody.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Any Dutch Oven enthusiasts here?

    Quote Originally Posted by y_not
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Any dutch oven, non enameled, can be thrown in a fire or a pit filled with coals. So long as it has a lid, it'll work. If the enameled ones were a true ceramic coating, then you might be able to get away with it. But honestly I wouldn't trust it for durability of finish.
    I'm wanting the type with the dished-out lid so you can put coals on top to make it bake.
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    y_not's Avatar
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    Re: Any Dutch Oven enthusiasts here?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    I'm wanting the type with the dished-out lid so you can put coals on top to make it bake.
    Aaah, I wondered. Our lids that we have are domed with a handle in the middle. But you can reverse them to the other side that has all these nipples on it and then just heap coals on that. Never done it, but I know that's what it's for. But yeah, I know about that other kind too. It usually has a few concentric rings debossed into it.
    I have seen them used on cowboy cook offs.
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: Any Dutch Oven enthusiasts here?

    Those "nipples" and "rings" are there for a reason. The nipples evenly spread condensation all over the oven, thus basting the meat while it cooks. The rings only allow water to go down the edge of the oven, thus not dripping water onto the bread or cakes. This allows for crisper baked goods.

    There's two different of dutch ovens that are being talked about so far in this thread. The type with a "raised lip" often have legs as well. These are often called outdoor dutch ovens. The legs allow for coals to be placed under the oven, and the lip on the lid allows for coals on the top. The other ovens with no legs, and a rounded lid are indoor dutch ovens. These sit nicely on a hearth, but can also be used on the stove or in a oven.

    One other of my favorite dishes is a bananas foster. Slice a banana in half and place on a piece of tin foil. Sprinkle brown sugar, cinnamon, and a few marshmallows on top. Wrap and place into the dutch oven. Place a few coals, or a small scoop of embers on the top of the dutch oven. Serve with ice cream or cake.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Any Dutch Oven enthusiasts here?

    I have a couple of "camp" dutch ovens. They're the one's with the lip on the lid to hold the coals. They also have legs. The camp oven lids will fit the kitchen ovens, just get the right size according to oven diameter.
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    Re: Any Dutch Oven enthusiasts here?

    Heck yeah! It's hard to beat a well seasoned DO. I have 5; one 16" circa 1920-30 (my favorite). They really hold the heat and also work well for frying. It's about all I use on the outdoor kitchen side-burner...and the lid works really well for searing steaks.

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    Re: Any Dutch Oven enthusiasts here?

    Went camping last weekend at Huntsville State Park (Tx). Fixed 3 Dutch Oven meals - Chili on Fri nite, Mountain Man Breakfast on Sat morn and Chicken Spaghetti Casserole for Sat nite. All turned out really well. We had 10 in our group (including two 4 year old grandkids) and everyone enjoyed all 3 meals.
    20K gal, inground with attached spa, pebblefina plaster (bella blue), flagstone coping, moss rock waterfall, Sundek - Indian wheat, (2) Jandy PHPM2.0 (filter pump and waterfall), Jandy DEV60 DE filter, Polaris 280 pool cleaner, Polaris Halcyon PB4-60Q booster pump, Polaris 1.5 HP Air Blower, (2) Jandy WaterColors LED lights, Jandy LXI400P Heater, Jandy AquaPure PLC1400 SWG, Jandy AquaLink RS PureLink Controller and PDA.

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    Re: Any Dutch Oven enthusiasts here?

    We have one or two, but don't use them nearly as much as we should- or could.

    Over on www.popupportal.com (popup campers board) I remembered seeing a link to http://olddominionironchefs.com/ I've not read much there, but I know there's a whole WORLD of Dutch Oven information out there.
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    Re: Any Dutch Oven enthusiasts here?

    Yes there are quite a few Dutch Oven blogs/message boards that I found when I was first looking at buying one. Lots of useful info out there on the subject.
    20K gal, inground with attached spa, pebblefina plaster (bella blue), flagstone coping, moss rock waterfall, Sundek - Indian wheat, (2) Jandy PHPM2.0 (filter pump and waterfall), Jandy DEV60 DE filter, Polaris 280 pool cleaner, Polaris Halcyon PB4-60Q booster pump, Polaris 1.5 HP Air Blower, (2) Jandy WaterColors LED lights, Jandy LXI400P Heater, Jandy AquaPure PLC1400 SWG, Jandy AquaLink RS PureLink Controller and PDA.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Any Dutch Oven enthusiasts here?

    Here is a recipe that I'm working on translating from crock pot to dutch oven. What is great about it is that it's easy to make and the ingredients other than the minced garlic are very easy to transport if you want to fix it while camping.

    BACON RANCH CHICKEN

    4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    2 tbsp real bacon bits or finely crumbled bacon
    1 tsp minced garlic
    1 pkg ranch dressing mix
    1 can cream of chicken soup
    1 cup sour cream
    egg noodles
    Combine bacon, garlic, ranch dressing mix, soup, and sour cream and mix well. Pour over frozen chicken in the crock pot. Cook on high 3-4 hours, then shred the chicken and return to pot for 30 minutes. Cook the egg noodles and add those to the pot as well simply to coat them.

    Lessons learned from my trials:

    As is, the recipe is a little too small for a 6qt oven while cooking (unless you attend it all the time), but then adding the noodles would probably make it too big for the 4qt. I'm going to try it in a 4qt and add the noodles in a bowl.

    The recipe could easily be doubled or more and would still be easy to cook.

    Frozen chicken breasts work fine, but it won't be an issue if they have started to thaw in the cooler.

    You can check that the meat is done when you remove it to shred it, so no worries about undercooked meat.

    I think a full bag of egg noodles is a bit much for the amount of sauce you have. Around 3/4 bag is more to my liking.

    This has a fairly "different" but good taste, and it was nothing like what I expected.

    A very hearty, filling, hot meal.
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    pragmatic's Avatar
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    Re: Any Dutch Oven enthusiasts here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevereno
    Went camping last weekend at Huntsville State Park (Tx). Fixed 3 Dutch Oven meals - Chili on Fri nite, Mountain Man Breakfast on Sat morn and Chicken Spaghetti Casserole for Sat nite. All turned out really well. We had 10 in our group (including two 4 year old grandkids) and everyone enjoyed all 3 meals.
    NICE! It's been awhile since we visited but Huntsville State Park is one of our favorites. Right around the corner for you!
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