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Thread: Dutch Oven recipes??

  1. #1
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Question Dutch Oven recipes??

    Anyone using Dutch Ovens? We take our GSI 10" and 12" (depending on group size) with us on float trips. They are made of aluminum and weigh 1/3 what cast iron weighs. I think the 10" is just over 4 lbs. Pack pretty well and they afford us the ability to have fresh bread. We make garlic biscuits for many dinners. Especially the grayling gumbo. Which is just two boxes of Zatarains Gumbo mix, 1-2 lbs of grayling slivered, and blackening spices. We use 2 less cups of water than on the box instructions. Much better. We make jalepeno cornbread for the chilli. Just dehydrate some jalepenos and throw them in some water for an hour or so before mixing the cornbread batter. The bread adds significantly to the meals mentioned. We also make garlic biscuits for fish and pasta dinners. It really makes it more of a meal. I am hoping to learn of more things to cook in the Dutch Ovens. My way of thinking of it is the more I am cooking in the Dutch Oven, the more I can justify carrying it. I have heard of people making pineapple upside down cake, muffins for breakfast, baking salmon, cinnamon rolls, etc.... Does anyone have any recipes they would be willing to share?

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    It would take days of my slow typing to give you one tenth of the things I could tell you about dutch oven cooking. My time with this marvelous invention is limited to cast iron.

    What you may not know is what a great tool the dutch oven is for all day baking-up roast meat and chili.

    Making a chili requires pinto beans, no other bean need apply.

    Chillies, two or three habenaro, depending on your oven size and your own capacity for heat.

    How ever many game birds it takes to fill up the space.

    Water to cover.

    Good bed of coals and well banked with dirt.

    Return from the days hunting fishing or whatever, pull the lid, place your biscuit dough on top of the mess put the lid back on, and pour the coals to the lid.

    Be prepared to stop what ever fist fights start over the oven.

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    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Default How about giving us an education????

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    It would take days of my slow typing to give you one tenth of the things I could tell you about dutch oven cooking. My time with this marvelous invention is limited to cast iron...
    Big Al - Are you gonna be at the ODD BBQ on November 10th? I'll be the first to try that chilli of yours and I'd sure like to sit down with ya and pick your brain! Love cooking with the old-timers too and always looking for ways to make better stuff with the boyscouts!
    -Buck

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Did not know about the ODD BBQ? I like the idea!

    One prime topic that we tend to forget about with the cast iron cooking tools is the seasoning and care of our dutch ovens. This is a great topic that we need to discuss.

    I think a great way to get this going is with the burn-out over a fire and grease method. I have no idea how an outdoor cook does this with Aluminum? How does one get that magic non stick surface and does aluminum season?

  5. #5
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default No seasoning...

    The aluminum dutch ovens dont require seasoning. I wouldnt say they are completely "non-stick", but they are pretty darn close. We use a slight amount (tsp or so) of olive/cooking oil in the bottom and side. Just wipe around with your hand or a rag. Cooking cornbread and biscuits we have never had anything stick to the oven. It doesnt even require being washed afterwards. We just wipe it with a rag. They (GSI) make a new anodized aluminum oven now. Supposedely even more "non-stick" than the regular aluminum dutch ovens. I have the 10" and 12" GSI aluminum dutch ovens and I am completely happy with them. Looked up the weight and the 10" only weighs 3 lbs 10 oz. Perfect for 2-3 people. The 12" model weighs 6 lbs and is better for 4-6 people. Convenient form fitted cases are available for both of them. Available at Campmor for about $14-$17 each. Very nice and keeps the thing from rattling around in your pack. A convenient set up is having both as you can stack them. That takes advantage of the coals/briquettes on top of the 12" oven (which is on bottom of course). The top coals of that are now being used to heat the bottom of the 10" oven which is on top. Just put some coals/briquettes on top of the 10" oven and you now have two ovens going with very little additional coals. That allows you to cook a main dish (chili, gumbo, stew, etc..) in the bottom 12" oven and have the garlic biscuits, cornbread, or a desert going in the upper 10" oven. That is sure to pick up morale around the camp. Having used both wood coals and charcoal, I greatly prefer using charcoal. Just carry it in a cheap dry bag. Wood coals are harder to cook by as they burn out faster and you have to have a good supply to keep the oven going well. If you have plenty of wood, that may not be a problem. I have mostly camped along Noatak tribs where willow was the only wood available. It burns fast and is not always very abundant. Best bet is taking along some charcoal. Not much needed at all. Especially for the 10" oven. Below is some info about seasoning a dutch oven. I got it from www.chuckwagonsupply.com . Lots of dutch oven info on that website. Also lots of dutch oven cookbooks to get you going if this style of cooking is new to you. I just started learning about using them in the last few years. Much easier than many would think. Puts smiles on all faces at camp too.

    How to Season a Dutch Oven

    There are many variations on the process for seasoning a Dutch Oven. However, they all have the same basic approach. The objective is to bake onto the surface of the oven a coating of oil, which becomes like lacquer. The seasoning does several things. First, it prevents the metal from rusting, second, it creates a non-stick surface making clean up easier, and third, it adds a delicious subtle flavor unmatched by other types of cookware.

    Lodgeä Dutch Ovens come from the foundry with a thin waxy coating designed to prevent rusting until the oven can be properly seasoned. This coating will be washed off and any residue burned off in the seasoning process.

    Most of the following instructions come directly from Lodgeä , with a few comments of our own.

    Warm utensil - Peel off any labels.
    Wash, rinse, & dry. Grease inside lightly with solid shortening, e.g. Crisco.
    Bake at 300˚ in a conventional oven for one hour. [Don't be alarmed by the smoke that will come from your oven as the shortening is burned onto the metal surface of the Dutch Oven. Open the doors and windows and temporarily turn off the smoke alarm.]
    After the oven has cooled, wipe out any excess grease and store with a paper towel in the Dutch Oven with the edges hanging out from under the lid to absorb any excess oils and to allow air to enter the oven.
    It may be necessary to repeat this process if part of the oven did not season properly.
    Over time your oven will develop a hard, smooth, black coating on the inside of the oven. When you reach this point you will truly have a "seasoned" oven that you will not want to part with.

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    That's a great link and thank you for posting it.

    I added to my favorite list under food!

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    FYI there's a series of cookbooks dedicated to dutch ovens/camp cooking by long time Idaho pack guide named C.W. (Cee Dub) www.ceedub.com
    The website has everything--cookware, gadgets, panniers, chuck wagon stuff etc.

    I first saw him on PBS when I lived in Idaho and I was surprised at how little heat he used. He recommends standard charcoal briquets because they're very consistant. The combination and number of briquets under the oven vs on the lid varies with the dish.

    An amazing tool, dutch ovens...

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Amazing...

    They are amazing tools. One thing to remind people of is the weight is prohibitive for most outdoorsman. But if you held an aluminum dutch oven, you would be amazed in the difference from that to cast iron. The 10" model GSI sells is just over 3 lbs. Most of us can afford an extra 3 lbs in our packs. Even the 12" model is only like 6 lbs. That is big enough for 4-6 people. The aluminum dutch ovens are making it feasible for more fishermen, hunters, campers, floaters and such to justify taking along a dutch oven. Personally, I wouldnt take a 20 lb cast iron dutch oven on one of my canoe trips in Alaska. Not worth the weight for what it does. But a 3-6 lb oven. Thats a no brainer. The models GSI sells are on Campmor. Pretty inexpensive too. Nice carrying cases are made for them as well. Aside from weight, the one thing that may prevent some folks from trying one out is they think that it is hard to cook on. A specialized skill and such. Not true. I dont know much at all about cooking and I got it down pretty quick. It is a very forgiving cooking style. I started with garlic biscuits and cornbread. On my next trip next Sept, I will be making pineapple upside down cake and cinnamon rolls. Beats the heck out of oatmeal. Lots of info on the web, but not much specific to the aluminum ovens and the use of said oven to outdoorsman who cant afford to carry a ton of weight. That is why I wanted to mention the particular benefit of aluminum dutch ovens. Not something most folks know about. I didnt until recently anyway. Only real difference is the aluminum heats faster and you will want to take that into account when cooking recipes from dutch oven books that are made for cast iron ovens. They add a certain "magic" to the camp. Cant explain it. Well, at 300 lbs, perhaps I get more excited by the smell of baked goods than most people. Ha ha. Either way, I couldnt imagine taking a trip without one at this point.

  9. #9
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    http://www.ceedubs.com/ This works. The other link hits you with trash cookies and a source for spam.

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Thanks Big Al--looks like I forgot the "s"

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    Another good Dutch oven site is Byron's Dutch Oven Page: http://home.comcast.net/~papadutch/

    You can season a cast iron oven in the BBQ to keep the smoke outside where it belongs. I have seasoned an aluminum oven to give it a non-stick surface, but since I only did this last month I haven't had time to test it. The grease/oil doesn't seem to stick to the smoother aluminum pot as well as it does to my cast iron version. We'll see how it works next summer. BTW, you never want to use soap on a seasoned cast iron pot. Te seasoning comes off and the pot starts to rust. Aluminum can be washed anyway you want, but if you want the seasoning to stay on, it's a no-soap clean up for that too.

    I have 10" and 12" anodized aluminum ovens for river trips, but the ones I found at Sportsman's Warehouse are pretty short, so their capacity is on the smaller side. 5 quarts for the 12", and it looks like only about 2 quarts for the 10" oven. The cast iron ones I've seen are usually deeper. I would think the shallow ones would be better for breads anyway though. The hot briquettes on the lid are closer to the food that way.

    I read that a good number of briquettes to use is about double the diameter of your oven in inches, maybe a little less. That seems to work well for me. I have found that for things you want to bake, like bread & cakes, you want 2/3 of your briquettes on top, and one third on the bottom. For roasts keep them about even, and for stews and soups they can all be on the bottom. You don't really need many briquettes if all you're doing is heating from the bottom.

    I've done pineapple upside down a few times and it sure comes out nice at a campsite. Easy to do too. I use a yellow cake mix, a can of pineapple and some brown sugar. There are a few other ingredients too, and there's a good recipe for it on the above link. I prefer to line the pot with wide heavy duty foil, as it never sticks to the pan that way. Later you add a layer of foil to the lid and flip it upside down. Nothing to clean that way.

    Another favorite is to buy a 5 lb package of Italian Sausage at Costco or Sam's Club, brown it, then simmer it with a jar of your favorite pasta sauce for a couple hours. For the last hour add a couple large sliced onions and green peppers. I also like to add more Italian seasoning to the sauce. Serve over rice, pasta, hoagie rolls, or whatever. Good food for a small crowd, and very easy.

    Easy is what I like about Dutch oven cooking. I'm a river rafter, so first thing I do when pulling into a campsite is to start the briquettes, then get out the folding table and food. I cut, slice, mix, or whatever I have to do, and put it all into the oven with the briquettes arranged top & bottom. Then I set up my tent, build a fire, get comfortable, etc., and in very short order, dinner is on. It's a great plan.

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    Default Pineapple upside down cake

    I make these often.Use a yellow cake mix, follow recipe on box using the juice from canned pineapple as part of the liquiud. Line Dutch w/foil. Sprinkle in granola or simmilar crunchy stuff, load in somebrown sugar, add drained pineapple and mixed up cake mix. Place 10 - 12 briquettes bottom, 15 or so on top. Approx 45 -50 minutes.
    I haven't tried this w/ campfire coals as of yet but I've done lots of bisquits and cinnamon rolls w/ camp fire. Basically set the Dutch, lid and all in coals. Wait for Dutch to heat, remove from coals, spray in Pam. If it ignites you have pre heated too long. Place Store bouhgt dough into Dutch, cover w/ coals, none on bottom, and cook about 8-10 mins. Takes practice as all wood types heat differntly. A little burnt and they are still better than at home.

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    Member Michael's Avatar
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    Default Popcorn

    In a 14" DO add enough oil to wet the bottom, add 1/2 cup corn. Cover and pop till popping slows. Listen close, adult beverage and campfire conversation may mask the sound of popping. Set off the coals, wait a few seconds and remove lid and add salt and or spices. Eat from the oven, just watch your fingers that you don't drag too deep or long.

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    Member Michael's Avatar
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    Default Cornish Game Hens

    6-8 CGH in a 14" Dutch. I salt and pepper the cavity and stuff with a rice base stuffing. Butter (or Olive Oil) the skin and salt and pepper. I add Paprika for color and a little cayenne if no one objects. Arrange radially in the oven and fill remaining voids with carrots, celery, muchrooms, diced red peppers and patially cooked rice. Add a cup or 2 of water to finish the rice. Use equal numger of coals under and over till you just get a little steam escaping. Don't over do it. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours before you check anything. Resist the urge! don't peek! If things are looking fairly cooked add enough coals to the top to brown the birds. 15 - 30 minutes. Take birds out with a spatula.

    If you have another oven available make some bisquits to bake while the birds are browning.

    Enjoy.

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    The problem with a Dutch oven is one's never enough.

    All this talk, I'm getting hungry.

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    Hi folks!! I bought one on sale (24 inches!!) and man it weighs a ton.
    Anyway I remember from boy scouts that we put some water in it to clean, put it back on the fire and burned it cleaned. Then just wiped it out, and re-applied a little more oil.

    How does everyone else clean it?

    Thanks!

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    24"! Wow. That's got to be some pot.

    I scrape mine clean with a spatula, and use water to finish the job. Heat it up if necessary, as that usually helps. Then dry, reapply some oil. If the pot is fairly new, you might consider getting it real hot after you apply the oil to burn another layer on. Just don't use soap, or you'll loose the burned on oil surface and everything will stick to it then.

    If you do get the hard oil surface to come off, you've got to re-season it, just like you have to do with most new ovens. Wipe some oil or grease on it, and bake it till it nearly burns. It's best to apply two thin coats this way. An unseasoned cast iron pot will rust, and a properly seasoned one acts almost like Teflon.

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    Default Dutch Oven care / Aluminum = BAD!

    I use only cast iron for all cooking. I do not use any other type pots or pans except for stainless steel stock pot to boil water for coffee, tea or bathing. All cooking is done with primarily woodstove and sometimes propane (we do not have electricity).

    If you try cleaning your Dutch Oven by burning it, it will get too hot and crack or warp! I ruined a large cast iron Dutch Oven trying to clean it by burning it out. If you did this in the past and nothing happened you were lucky.

    Dutch Ovens are made mostly for liquid dishes/cooking, ie: stews, soups or deep fry (not pan fry). I clean mine simply with hot water, dish cloth and NO soap! Cast iron Dutch Ovens are usually porous and sometimes will absorb soap imparting your next meal with a nasty flavor. It is good and ok if your Dutch Oven feels oily after washing without soap. If the iron seems dry heat slightly and rub entire surface inside and out with olive oil and store. Next use just rinse with hot water to remove dust.

    Aluminum cookware is extremely unhealthy. Aluminum may seem like "non-stick" because it's composition is soft therefore, much of the aluminum releases with the food appearing to be “non-stick”. Using steel wool scrubbing outside or inside of any aluminum cookware will reveal how unstable aluminum is. Anytime I eat somewhere other than my home I can definitely taste when someone is using aluminum. F.Y.I. Regular non-stick products (Teflon pots & pans) are also another distant form of aluminum.

    All people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease have high levels of aluminum in their brains. Aluminum = BAD!

  19. #19
    Member alaskanmoosehunter's Avatar
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    What....What is this topic about? Is that you sonny? Remember when me and you....Opps I forgot that story.

    It appears I have been using aluminum pots again.

    Anyways that's a debate for the times.


    So anyhow this was an easy reciepe that we used on our float trips in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.


    Fruit Cobbler:

    Take any cake mix (Chocolate not recommended) and two cans of any fruit. Mix. Cook with coals on top.

    That easy.

    We generally used white or yellow cake mix and used fruit cocktail.

    It takes no time, no mess and the dumbest guy in you party can make it.
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  20. #20
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Smile Sonny? Sonny?

    Its me, keep walking toward the light Lucibelle. Your Sonny boy is back. Forgive me, I had 13 beers tonight. All were from aluminum cans of course. I will try that cake mix and fruit. If that works out, you have saved me an immeasurable amount of planning/testing for my next float trip. Sounds really promising. Thanks for getting back to the topic.....RECIPEEEES. Dang aloominum.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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