Dutch Oven How-To Information - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-18-2005, 11:49 PM   #1
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I saved this information from Mike and Lori Sanders' postings about Dutch Ovens. (They are the gurus of DO!) Enjoy!

Nancy

Using Charcoal with a Dutch Oven:

To use Dutch Oven like a kettle- (most of heat on bottom)
Good for stews, soups

To use Dutch Oven like an oven- (some heat on bottom, more heat on top)
Good for bread, biscuits, casseroles, cobblers, roasts, meats

To use Dutch Oven like an OVEN- (1/4 heat on bottom, 3/4 heat on top)
Good for cakes, pies, egg dishes, casseroles

---

Numbers of Charcoal for 350° Heat based on size of Dutch Oven:

10" dutch oven = 20 coals= 5 on the bottom, 15 in ring on top

12" dutch oven = 24 coals= 6 on the bottom, 18 in ring on top

12" deep dutch oven = 26 coals= 6 on the bottom, 21 in ring on top

14" dutch oven = 28 coals= 7 on the bottom, 21 in ring on top

To increase Dutch Oven heat approx. 25°; Add 3 coals= 1 on the bottom, 2 on top


Hints to Help Control Heat Sources:

1. If you take the lid off your oven and the contents are boiling so heavily you cannot see the food, your fire is too hot. Remove a few coals.

2. If you take the lid off and the contents are not boiling after being on the fire for twenty minutes, your fire is too cold. Add more coals.

3. If half your meat, rolls, cobbler, etc. is browning faster than the other, you have a hot spot. Rotate the oven one-quarter turn to the left and rotate the lid one-quarter turn to the right every 5 to 10 minutes until the dish is cooked.

4. HEAT RISES! Some foods such as chicken and potatoes can be cooked with only bottom heat. Cakes, breads, and anything "baked" needs to have bottom and top heat. In the case of baked foods, remember to put more heat on the lid of your oven than under it. This helps force the heat down and cook the food more evenly.

5. When cooking under windy conditions, be aware that the wind "fans" one side of the coals, causing them to burn faster and hotter on one side. Set up a windbreak and be sure to rotate the oven as described above.

6.. When baking in a cast-iron Dutch oven, place most of the coals on the lid around the outside edge. The cast-iron conducts heat very well so you will get uniform browning. If you place too many coals in the middle of the lid you could get hot spots.

7.. Cast-aluminum Dutch ovens heat up and cool down fast. They require a closer watch on food so you do not get scorched foods. The cast-iron ovens are more forgiving. They are slower to heat up, slower to cool and the heat is more evenly distributed. Food cooked in a cast-iron Dutch oven does not need to be checked as frequently as food cooked in a cast-aluminum Dutch oven. I mention the cooking qualities of these ovens in this chapter only to help you understand how closely you need to watch your heat source to guard against hot spots.
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Old 11-18-2005, 11:50 PM   #2
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Dutch Oven Heat Control

Hints to Help Control Heat Sources

1. If you take the lid off your oven and the contents are boiling so heavily you cannot see the food, your fire is too hot. Remove a few coals.

2. If you take the lid off and the contents are not boiling after being on the fire for twenty minutes, your fire is too cold. Add more coals.

3. If half your meat, rolls, cobbler, etc. is browning faster than the other, you have a hot spot. Rotate the oven one-quarter turn to the left and rotate the lid one-quarter turn to the right every 5 to 10 minutes until the dish is cooked.

4. HEAT RISES! Some foods such as chicken and potatoes can be cooked with only bottom heat. Cakes, breads, and anything "baked" needs to have bottom and top heat. In the case of baked foods, remember to put more heat on the lid of your oven than under it. This helps force the heat down and cook the food more evenly.

5. Anytime you cook with wood coals, rotate the oven one quarter turn to the left and the lid one quarter turn to the right, every 5 to 10 minutes. Wood coals are often a variety of sizes so rotating the oven helps eliminate "hot spots."

6. When cooking under windy conditions, be aware that the wind "fans" one side of the coals, causing them to burn faster and hotter on one side. Set up a wind break and be sure to rotate the oven as described above.

7. When baking in a cast-iron Dutch oven, place most of the coals on the lid around the outside edge. The cast-iron conducts heat very well so you will get uniform browning. If you place too many coals in the middle of the lid you could get hot spots.

8. Cast-aluminum Dutch ovens heat up and cool down fast. They require a closer watch on food so you do not get scorched foods. The cast-iron ovens are more forgiving. They are slower to heat up, slower to cool and the heat is more evenly distributed. Food cooked in a cast-iron Dutch oven does not need to be checked as frequently as food cooked in a cast-aluminum Dutch oven. I mention the cooking qualities of these ovens in this chapter only to help you understand how closely you need to watch your heat source to guard against hot spots.
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Old 11-18-2005, 11:51 PM   #3
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Cleaning A Really Grungy Dutch Oven
If your Dutch Oven is really bad and full of YUCK, just really go for it as far as cleaning. Don’t worry about the old seasoning.

I have used a drill with a sanding disk, then steel wool to get down to clean cast iron. Then wash with Super Hot Soapy Water. The idea is to get all the pores open and the old rancid oils out.

After you have found the cast iron in your pot again, you can re-season the cast iron to get that good non-stick surface. We like to heat the clean Dutch oven in our house oven for 45 minutes to an hour at 350 degrees. Then liberally rub down ALL surfaces inside and out with “vegetable” oil and place back in the oven upside down for another half hour. Then lastly and most important, buff down the entire surface with paper towels until dry. Store with the lid on a paper towel and the Dutch oven sitting on top wide open. This keeps the oil in the pores from going rancid.

To clean your pot after every use, place the pot on a hot fire and add water. When the water comes to a boil, scrub out any food particles with a soft plastic scrubby and then dump out the dirty water. Re-heat and re-oil lightly with vegetable oil and buff dry with paper towels.

You will find that if you keep your pot clean and add a light coat of vegetable oil followed by the paper towel buffing after every use, your pot will get better and better as it get blacker and blacker.
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