One thing that I’ve never tried, and have always wanted to, is dutch oven cooking. When I think of dutch oven cooking, I think of someone from the great frontier, the Pioneer Woman or a character from the movie “Tombstone“. Needless to say, I’ve never tried it and it kind of intimidates me. When we go camping, we usually cook on a gas grill and when there are years of drought, most places won’t let us have a campfire with an open flame. I’ve heard the best way to cook with a dutch oven is over an open flame with charcoal. I think the trick of dutch oven cooking is knowing the temperatures and keeping the heat consistent. When cooking in the outdoors, you don’t have the convenience of knowing if you are 350 degrees, but have to develop a good system for knowing how to maintain your temperature. A website that I found has some pretty good cooking calculations and they even have a calculator to help you calculate the time and temperature depending on what you are planning to cook.
Next up, purchasing your dutch oven. Dutch ovens can be purchased at many places. I happened to be in C-A-L Ranch the other day and noticed this guy for $59.99. There are also lots of cookbooks and websites available to get me on this journey and to start practicing.
Now, to decide what to cook! There are lots of recipes out there and to give you an idea, I’ll start with my friend Lindsay’s blog. She made a dutch oven lasagna, which is a dish that I never would have thought to make at the campsite, but sounds really good! The traditional items that come to mind when I think of dutch oven cooking include stews, braised meats and hearty dishes, like the one below. Websites like Pinterest have tons of ideas and groups of recipes for “beginners”. I’m also amazed that breads and desserts can also be made in a dutch oven. Some of the items that sound amazing are cobblers, cinnamon rolls and dump cakes. I can’t wait for camping season to get started to try some of these out!
What is on your list to make in a dutch oven? Please share!