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Dutch Oven Cooking

Updated: Apr 22



Suddenly, the power and gas availability to your home is off.  Your first question may be, “How do we eat dinner tonight?”  One simple answer may be a cast iron Dutch Oven.  A Dutch Oven is the perfect way to cook because many foods can be cooked in it, different ways such as frying, deep fry, roast, sauté, bake, stew and simmer.


Wood, propane or charcoal briquettes may be used as fuel.  Charcoal is the easiest simply because regulating the temperature is determined by the amount of briquettes used under and on the lid of the Dutch Oven.  Kingsford brand charcoal is the most consistent from bag to bag.


There are two basic types of Dutch Ovens:

1.   No legs w/a dome top – best for use in an oven or stovetop

2.  Legs and a flat lid with a ridge – legs allow briquettes to be placed under the Dutch Oven and the ridged lid holds the charcoal on so ashes do not get into the food when the lid is lifted. And you can stack one Dutch oven on top of the other with briquettes between each one.


Purchasing:

Open the box and be sure the lid fits tightly before you buy it.  Spin the lid on the pot making sure is spins evenly.  The “Lodge” Dutch oven is a great investment, as well as a few others, Camp Chef, Cabela’s.

See Sportsman’s Warehouse & Kirkham’s - Lodge

Cabela’s – carries their own brand

IFA – Camp Chef

Many Dutch Ovens are pre-seasoned.  If not, see the instructions below to season your pot and lid.   


Seasoning is the procedure of baking oil onto the oven’s surfaces, which will provide a stick proof

cooking surface, making clean up a breeze. The process will also prevent your pot from rusting or oxidizing (which shortens the life and safety of cooking with your Dutch Oven).

Remember… Dutch Ovens are tough, but fragile, meaning you don’t want to throw them around.  Handle them with respect and take care of them properly and they will serve you for years, even generations.


*Never put oil on a hot Dutch Oven to season it.  Always let it be cooled off for best results.

*Never put cold water on your hot Dutch Oven or lid as it make cause it to crack.

*Never  leave cooked food inside your Dutch oven as it will deteriorate the seasoning and shorten the life of your investment.


Store your Dutch Oven with the lid slightly ajar (make four small rolls of aluminum foil and place on the pot rim, put on your lid, making sure air can circulate.  Place in the box it came in.

 

Seasoning” your Dutch Oven

NEVER USE SOAP ON YOUR DUTCH OVEN, instead, place your Dutch Oven and lid in a sink filled with water, add ¼ c distilled vinegar.  Use a soap less, scrubbing pad, scrub all surfaces of your pot and lid, rinse and dry all surfaces thoroughly.  Place both the lid and pot on your stovetop.  Turn on the burner to med high to dry it out, about 3 min. Turn off and cool thoroughly. 

Pour 1-2 T of olive oil into the pot and use a paper towel to spread the oil on all surfaces of the pot and lid.  Place the pot and lid into a pre-heated oven, 350-400 degree oven, pot upside down to drain the excess oil, (put a cookie sheet under it, so it doesn’t drip on the bottom of your oven). Bake it for 30-45 min.  Take out and cool.  Now add another layer of oil and place the pot and lid into your pre-heated oven, pot upside down along with the lid as you did the first time.  After the 45 min of being in the hot oven, take it out and let it completely cool. (You may repeat a couple more times, if desired, although not necessary)

Your Dutch Oven is ready for immediate use or store it in the box until you are ready to use it.  

Use

After using your Dutch Oven, let it cool, then scrape out the food.  Scrub w/a soapless scrubbing pad till clean.  Rinse w/clean water and dry it thoroughly.

Put the pot and lid on the stovetop, med high to dry it out.  Let it cool. And after every couple of uses, after cooling, put a thin layer of olive oil on all the surfaces. Store it. 

Storing your Dutch oven for the winter or with long times of non-use may cause it to smell rancid.  If so, follow the directions above with the vinegar wash, rinse, dry, heat and season it for a new season of use.

Baking Temperature Chart

      Slow Oven – 250 to 350 degrees           Moderate – 350 to 400 degrees

      Hot – 400 to 450 degrees                       Very Hot – 450 to 500 degrees

Temp.

8 inch

 

10 inch

 

12 inch

 

14 inch

 

16 inch

 

°F

Top

Btm.

Top

Btm.

Top

Btm.

Top

Btm.

Top

Btm.

300°

9

4

12

5

15

7

19

9

21

11

325°

10

5

13

6

16

7

20

10

22

12

350°

11

5

14

7

17

8

21

11

24

12

375°

11

6

16

7

18

9

22

12

24

13

400°

12

6

17

8

19

10

24

12

27

13

425°

13

6

18

9

21

10

25

13

28

14

450°

14

6

19

10

22

11

26

14

30

14

500°

15

7

20

11

23

12

28

14

32

15

Use some of your favorite recipes in your Dutch Oven or go to your favorite books store or online store to obtain a great book of recipes.  Also, access Dutch Oven recipes on Google or watch demonstrations on YouTube.  Get creative and have fun!


Dutch Oven Procedures


Dutch Oven Cooking
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