Dutch Oven Cooking

I love the idea of baking with a Lodge cast iron dutch oven.  I must admit I’m intimidated by them, though. Just the thought of cleaning the darn thing put me off. So I eased into learning everything I could about them. Have I put any research into action yet?  NO – but I have big plans.  So far I have baked potatoes and made appetizers in ours.  There were decisions to be made before beginning this “idea”.

First – what size should I get?  DO’s range from 8 inches to 24 inches. 12 inches is a good choice if you plan to feed 8 to 10 people. I chose a 10 inch because, like I said, I was easing in and we aren’t usually feeding a small army.  Why spend the extra money for a larger one if I decided not to master the art and give up anyway?

Next – all my research told me what was most important:  1). a rimmed lid. You don’t want ashes and dirt sneaking into the oven.  Most of the coals are placed on the top which must be turned consistently for even cooking by avoiding hot spots. All the pesky things you don’t want in there are dying to get in, 2). a tight-fitting lid to keep steam in and prevent burning. Finally,  3). a must – three legs to keep oven above the coals.

The brand and type is a personal preference.  I found my Lodge to be of good quality. They must know something after all these years too.

I must admit – I’m still in the testing stages, but I have to tell you –  I am looking forward to getting really good at it.  I even found a way to make the process less scary:41ulpnlrklDutch Oven Liners

Click on the above link to check them out.  They are inexpensive enough to be so worth it.

The below chart makes it so easy to see how much charcoal is needed for your recipe. It works, as long as you turn the lid every 15 minutes.  If you’re sitting around doing nothing anyway, it’s not a big deal – kinda ceremonial and feels like camping to me. Sure I could throw some potatoes in the oven, but what if propane is running low, or what if I don’t want to affect the temperature in the RV?

dutch-oven-temp-chart

This whole blog post is actually putting in black and white what I want to master. I’ll be posting recipes later on, but for now, my husband is aware of what’s ahead. He thinks our oven has become a heavy, useless tool sucking up valuable storage space. I’ll show him! HA!

Feel free to share some of your tips and recipes here.  I’d love to see them!

 

 

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