Today it’s a quick reminder on how to be prepared with Dutch ovens. You heard that right if you have a Dutch oven or two with some charcoal and a fire starter or match you are good to go.
What I mean by this is that you can be prepared to survive by boiling water and making meals with them. I highly recommend this style because of the lid structure and size. Lodge Camp Dutch Oven, 6 Qt
I can’t lift more than a 6-quart Dutch oven because of the weight. I like this style because you can use the lid to stack other Dutch ovens on top of each other and the lid can be used as a griddle.
Very little fuel (charcoal or lump charcoal) is needed to use one of these cast iron gems. Please think of a Dutch oven as an oven using charcoal to bake your food.
Whatever you bake in your conventional oven you can bake in one of these. My PRINTABLE chart will help you get the temperature required to bake your recipes. No special cookbook is needed.
Oh my goodness, can’t you just smell the charcoal, oh, and the bacon, gotta love it! I decided to just setup my Dutch oven stand and cook one of my favorite meals using a Dutch oven.
This Lodge Dutch oven above comes pre-seasoned so it makes it ready to use after washing with some mild soap and hot water, then pat it dry. Keep it oiled, clean and dry and these babies last a lifetime.
Keep in mind you can make so many food items in a Dutch oven. If you have some ideas on how to use a Dutch oven I will add yours to my list! Thank you in advance!
If you start practicing NOW with your Dutch oven you will be so comfortable using one after a disaster hits your community. Or if you go camping, all you do is use the recipes you already have in your cookbooks or have memorized.
My Lodge Dutch oven cooking chart below shows you how many charcoal pieces you need to get the right temperature for the Lodge Dutch oven size you are using. Easy peasy, I promise.
Prepared With Dutch Ovens
- boil water
- make a casserole
- peach cobbler
- chicken pot pie
- baked chicken
- any casserole
Charcoal Starter Canister
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 Weber 7416 Rapidfire Chimney Starter and I have had it for years. To start out right you place it in a safe location.
Next, you take some loosely made newspaper balls or small twigs and place them in the bottom of the canister. 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 it’s almost ready to use on the top and bottom of the Dutch oven.
I have a 12-inch Lodge dutch oven with a lid that has a lip. It’s my favorite for cooking with charcoal on the top and bottom. It’s great for stacking Dutch ovens as well.
Dutch Oven Stand
I recently showed the Dutch oven stand my brother-in-law, Duane S. made for me. Dutch Oven Stand post.
I Counted Out 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 is my PRINTABLE Dutch oven chart that Lodge Manufacturing allowed me to make for you: Dutch Oven Chart
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 then drained off the water.
Here I placed some pre-cooked bacon cut into pieces, some freeze dried onions (not reconstituted), and lots of freshly grated cheese.
Here is where I put the hot charcoal pieces on top of the lid.
See the lid lip, I like these for this kind of meal. You can buy some LODGE Dutch ovens without the lip, but you cannot stack other ovens on top.
Remember, I lost count on the charcoal so I just threw the remaining charcoal on top. It still works.
Here is the finished meal…fabulous…I think it took about 20-25 minutes.
Be Prepared with Dutch Ovens
Dutch ovens can provide many years of reliable service if properly cared for. This includes proper cleaning once the cooking is done. The best approach is to remove any food that may be stuck to the sides and bottom of the oven. It may require putting some water in the oven while still on the heating source and heating the water until it is near the boiling point. Using a sponge or plastic scrubber you scrape the food from the sides. Try not to use anything that may scratch the surface. Always stay clear of using any kind of soap product since it can damage the special coating on the oven surface. Rinse the oven with clean warm water. Towel dry the oven and allow it to then air dry. Once the oven is dry reheat it until it is hot to the touch and then remove it from the heat and apply a thin layer of vegetable oil to fill the pores. Once cool enough, wipe the oil off with a towel. It is also suggested to leave the lid slightly ajar so the Dutch oven is properly ventilated during storage.
You’ll find with continued use that over time the Dutch oven will need additional care which may include the stripping and re-curing process. It could be that your Dutch oven actually gets rusty or takes on a rancid odor. You will want to treat the oven as if you just purchased it and cure it for future use. Many people find it most convenient to heat the oven over an outdoor propane stove. Make sure that ALL the surfaces are given the opportunity to get hot. Turn up the heat on the propane stove and then carefully reheat all the surfaces such that they are “smoked” for approximately five minutes. Remove the oven from the heat and then rub all the surfaces with some steel wool until clean using hot running water at the same time. Wipe the oven clean and dry with paper towels and then allow the oven to air dry. Once totally dry, you then will re-season the unit like you cured it prior to placing it in service the first time.
If you have access to a self-cleaning oven you could place the Dutch oven in the self-cleaning oven during a cleaning cycle in place of using the propane stove heating source. The other steps would be the same.
Take good care of this unique cooking tool and enjoy those delicious meals for many years to come. You can also purchase disposable liners for your Dutch ovens, or line them with aluminum foil to make them easier to clean.
I often check out the Lodge website and just dream…… Lodge Manufacturing Company.