How To Use A Dutch Oven

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Today it’s all about how to use a Dutch Oven! You may think a Dutch Oven is just for camping, but it’s a great survival cooking source as well! Here’s the deal, I grew up with cast iron products from the time I was very young. My mom always had a brand called Lodge. I was not paid or given any product from Lodge to write this post, just in case you were wondering. There are many other really good cast iron products you can purchase.

My mom fried eggs, bacon, cheese and so many other things in her cast iron frying pans. Cooking on cast iron is more convenient than you may think. You can actually cook with a Dutch oven outside with just charcoal, for instance. You can also bake something in a Dutch oven in your conventional oven inside your home. It’s a lot easier if the Dutch Oven is flat on the bottom instead of having legs if cooking inside.

Not Great For Glass Top Stoves

I would not recommend cooking with cast iron on a glass top stove. Please let me know if you use cast iron pans on your glass top stove since my experience hasn’t been good. I’ve also heard that stove manufacturers have suggested against doing so.

We finally got a gas stove a few years ago, so I don’t have to worry about scratching the glass top anymore. I have used gas stoves for years until we bought this house and it had an electric stove with a glass top. We have always had a gas stove and think they are less expensive to use, and I like how I can turn the gas flame up and down with instant results, rather than waiting for the electric element to heat up or cool down. Mark and I love cooking with gas here in Southern Utah because our electric bill is outrageous!!!

Let’s talk about the size of the Dutch oven to buy. I prefer the 6-quart because size when the pot is full I can lift it very easily. The 4-quart is a good size as well. The larger the capacity, the heavier they become. A really strong guy may prefer a larger 8-quart size.

The lid is a 12-inch lid on both the six and eight-quart Lodge Dutch Ovens. The 8-quart is deeper and can cook more food for sure, but would be too heavy for me to handle. If you take care of your cast iron it will truly last a lifetime.

Charcoal Starter Canister

Lodge Dutch Oven

I thought I would show you how I get my “charcoal” going with a little newspaper and this fire-starter canister. It costs about $20.00 and I have had it for years. You place it in a safe location to light it. Next, you take some loosely made newspaper balls or small twigs and place them at the bottom of the canister. Weber 7416 Rapidfire Chimney Starter

Next, I place charcoal on top of the newspaper in the canister. Then I use a match or butane fire starter to light the newspaper on fire. I wait until the charcoal looks half black and half whitish, this means its almost ready to use on the top and bottom of the Dutch oven.

I have a 6-quart Lodge Dutch oven with a lip on the lid and it’s my favorite for cooking with charcoal on the top and bottom. It’s great for stacking Dutch ovens as well. As I mentioned, the lid is 12-inches in diameter.

Dutch Oven Stand

You may have seen this Dutch oven stand my brother-in-law, Duane S., made for Mark and me. Dutch Oven Stand post. It sure makes it easier to cook standing up than on the ground. It’s so awesome and you can recycle items to make it.

Tutorial On Using A Dutch Oven | via www.foodstoragemoms.com

Too Many Charcoal Pieces

Well, I got distracted, which I often do, and put more than 24 charcoal pieces in the fire-starter canister. So of course, we used all of the charcoal anyway. Here the charcoal is ready to put the Dutch oven on top of the hot charcoal.

Tutorial On Using A Dutch Oven | via www.foodstoragemoms.com

I melted a half cube of butter in the bottom of the oven before placing these potatoes in the hot Dutch Oven. These are dehydrated potatoes that I soaked in tepid water for 45 minutes and drained off the water.

Tutorial On Using A Dutch Oven | via www.foodstoragemoms.com

Here I placed some pre-cooked bacon cut into pieces, some freeze dried onions (not reconstituted) and lots of freshly grated cheese. I put the hot charcoal pieces on top of the lid. See the lid lip, I like these for this kind of meal.

Tutorial On Using A Dutch Oven | via www.foodstoragemoms.com

You can buy some Dutch ovens lids without the lip, but the charcoal won’t stay on top where I need it. Remember, I lost count on the charcoal so I just threw the remaining charcoal on top. It still works.

Tutorial On Using A Dutch Oven | via www.foodstoragemoms.com

Here is the finished meal, fabulous, I think it took about 20-25 minutes.

Tutorial On Using A Dutch Oven | via www.foodstoragemoms.com

Food You Can Cook In A Dutch Oven

  1. Chili
  2. Soups or stew
  3. Lasagna
  4. Pot Roast with potatoes, carrots, and sliced onions
  5. Spaghetti
  6. Bread
  7. Biscuits
  8. Pulled Pork
  9. Peach Cobbler
  10. Sloppy Joes
  11. Beef Brisket
  12. White Chili
  13. Mac and Cheese
  14. Pizza

They Last For Many Years-If Cleaned and Stored Properly

If you missed my post on how to clean and restore cast iron, here it is: How To Clean And Restore Cast Iron by Linda

PRINTABLE Cooking Chart

PRINTABLE Lodge Dutch Oven time and temperature chart I put together after getting permission from the company: Dutch Oven Cooking Chart

Final Word

There is something awesome about having even just one Dutch oven. If you think it about it, you can survive any disaster if you store charcoal in airtight containers to use as fuel to cook some meals. Please store the charcoal without the lighter fluid because it will store indefinitely.

If you take care of your cast iron it will truly last a lifetime. Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, Linda

Dutch Oven Pizza by Linda

13 thoughts on “How To Use A Dutch Oven

  • May 19, 2019 at 7:07 am
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    Peach Cobbler in a Dutch Oven is off the hook!!!

    Reply
  • May 19, 2019 at 9:01 am
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    Linda, could you do a post about cooking with the sun. Living in Las Vegas, we have lots of sun, although not lately. Thanks, so much.

    Reply
    • May 19, 2019 at 9:03 am
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      Hi Kristen, I grew up in Las Vegas!! Are you talking about using a Sun Oven? Linda

      Reply
    • May 19, 2019 at 9:29 am
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      Hi Kristen, I have done several posts on Sun Ovens. I actually have 2 Sun Ovens. Let me work on that, I will republish some. Linda

      Reply
  • May 19, 2019 at 4:37 pm
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    Thank you. How much so they cost. I once made a homemade one, but it didn’t work out.

    Reply
    • May 19, 2019 at 5:50 pm
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      I’ve seen them on Amazon for $276.00 today. I gave away the Sun Oven dehydrator racks because I have a dehydrator. I have my post ready to go live tomorrow on Sun Ovens. Las Vegas is a great place to use one. I have seen brand new ones for sale in the box on FB Marketplace every so often. I think people are afraid to take them out of the box. True story. I have had to help a few people in my neighborhood. I get it, it’s a bit overwhelming until people see my posts or demonstrations. Linda

      Reply
  • May 20, 2019 at 12:57 pm
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    Linda – I’ve been cooking DO for years now. I love that anything that can be cooked on top of the stove or baked in an oven, can be cooked or baked in a DO.

    One note that I would like to mention. Keep the inside of the lid well seasoned as well. The lid, turned upside down on a trivet (sold by Lodge) can be used as a frying pan with coals underneath! The first time I saw this, the guy was making crepes!! YUM!

    Reply
    • May 20, 2019 at 1:37 pm
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      Hi Leanne, I saw that same picture of the crepes!! I thought that was so awesome! I love crepes! Linda

      Reply
  • May 20, 2019 at 2:13 pm
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    Growing up we would drive to the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee and camp for vacation. My mother’s family would join us for part and my grandmother would stay the entire 2 weeks with us, and sometimes our cousins would stay with her. She was an amazing cook and always brought her cast iron Dutch Oven with her. This DO belonged to my grandfather’s mother and she had gotten it from her grandmother, it was at least 100 years old when we were children. She would fix pot roast with potatoes, onions and carrots; she would make meatloaf and wrap potatoes in foil and bake them in the fire; she would make cornbread to go with a pot of soup cooked on the camp stove. And cobblers…. it depended what was ripe at the time we went. It was usually blueberry season. She would take all the grandchildren and cousins our ages and we would go blueberry picking. She taught us the correct way to pick berries was one in the pail and one in your mouth. (Which is why she needed a dozen or more kids helping to pick berries.) We all came back with purple stained hand, mouths and clothing. The she would make the best tasting cobblers. Weekend were great because our family would take over the entire loop we were in and there would be one large fire and half a dozen or more Dutch ovens cooking in the fire. People would walk by our campsite just to smell whatever she was cooking.

    My grandmother never used charcoal. The job we kids had was collecting wood to keep her fire going. She was always the first person up and she started the fire (and bake biscuits for breakfast in the Dutch Oven) and she believed that the fire had to be smokey to be a good fire. Once again it was good to have a dozen or more kids because we would hunt the woods and have to go farther each day. On weekends, one or more uncle would bring wood to the campground for us.

    I often said that I would love to have gotten my grandmother’s recipes, however, the truth is I don’t think she ever used a recipe and she always claimed that her secret ingredient was love.

    While I don’t have the family Dutch oven, I have two sizes of DO and we do sometimes cook in them out side at our firepit. I’m not as talented as my grandmother, but they meals are always tasty. We had a power outage on Saturday and I was planning on cooking in the DO in the fire pit (in the rain) but the electricity came back on before we started the charcoal, so we wimped out and used the oven and stayed dry.

    Reply
    • May 20, 2019 at 4:15 pm
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      Hi Angela, Oh, how I love your comment. The secret ingredient is love, that’s my favorite! You know there is something that makes a family stay together and I truly believe it’s cooking together as a family. The Dutch Oven pot cooked over wood is so awesome!! Life is so good eating together, camping together, and enjoying the beautiful world around us. Thanks for sharing, Linda

      Reply

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