Dutch Oven

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Dutch Oven Cooking Tips

  • Dutch Ovens are great for baking, but can be used to cook most anything.  Whenever you come across a great recipe, ask yourself if it could be done in a Dutch Oven!

  • BE PATIENT!  Good Dutch Oven cooking takes time.  Don't try to rush it by adding too many coals, or constantly opening the lid to check on your dish.  Enjoy some Scouting fellowship while it works its lodge-pot magic. 

  • To keep your food from sticking and make cleanup easy, always grease the inside of the Dutch Oven with butter-flavored Crisco, especially for baking.

  • Use about 2x the size of the Dutch Oven to gauge the number of coals you need (24 for a 12" oven, 20 for a 10" oven).  Always make a few extra, in case you have some coals that don't burn well, or if you need to add some heat to the cooking process.

  • Use charcoal briquettes whenever possible rather than campfire coals.  The briquettes have a higher heat capacity, and it's easier to count how many coals you need.

  • Use a sheet of foil as a base when preparing your coals, then set the Dutch Oven on the foil when you're ready to cook.  Easy ash cleanup!

  • In colder/damper weather, add 1 coal per 10° below 80°F.  Arrange a few extra coals around the pot but a few inches away, to add some indirect ambient heat.  In winter or rain, drape a sheet of foil over the oven and coals.  Surrounding your cooking area with rocks (such as in a fire pit) helps retain heat too.

  • Use the "rule of 4" to gauge if your oven temperature is right -- hold your hand 4" above the Dutch Oven,  and if you have to remove it from the heat in about 4 seconds then the oven temperature is about 400°F.  Most recipes require a temperature of 350-400°.  Go easy with the heat!  You can always add more coals, but you can't un-burn food.

  • Every 15 minutes you can turn the Dutch Oven 90° clockwise then turn the lid 90° counter-clockwise without opening it.  This prevents hot spots, and helps you keep track of the cooking time.  It also makes it look like you know what you're doing  :)

More Dutch Oven Recipes

Entrees

Mountain-Man Breakfast

  • 1 lb cooked sausage (or bacon or cubed ham)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large bell pepper
  • 2 lb bag of hash brown potatoes
  • ½ lb of grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • Small jar of salsa
  • 18-24 coals (6-9 bottom, 12-15 top)

Pre-heat 12" Dutch oven.  Crumble sausage.  Chop onion and bell pepper into small pieces and brown in the bottom of the Dutch oven until onions are clear.  Stir in the hash brown potatoes and cover; remove cover and stir occasionally to brown and heat potatoes (15-20 minutes).  Scramble the eggs in a separate container and pour the mixture over the hash browns.  Cover and cook until eggs start to set (10-15 minutes).  Sprinkle grated cheese over egg mixture, cover and continue heating until eggs are completely set and cheese is melted.  Optional: cover cheese/egg mixture with a small jar of salsa.  Cover and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.  Slice and serve like quiche.

 

Easy Chili

  • 1½ - 1¾  lbs of lean ground meat
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 packets of  McCormick’s Chili Mix
  • 1 can (14-15 oz) Mexican style dices tomatoes
  • 1 can (14-15 oz) Chili flavored tomato sauce
  • 2 cans Kidney beans
  • 2 cups shredded cheese 
  • 18-22 coals (6-8 bottom, 12-14 top)

Brown meat and ¾ of the chopped onions together in Dutch Oven.  If too greasy, drain off excess grease.  Add remaining ingredients. Cook 20-30 minutes (watch for steam escaping around lid…when steam starts to smell good, your chili is ready).  Serve with tortillas or over baked potatoes.  Top with shredded cheese and remaining chopped onions.

 

Chicken Dutchiladas

  • 3 cups boiled shredded chicken breast
  • 1 large can green enchilada or tomatillo sauce
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 1 pkg dry Ranch dressing mix
  • 3 cups shredded Jack and/or cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup chopped Vidalia or Mayan sweet onion (optional)
  • ½ cup sliced black olives (optional)
  • aluminum foil
  • 14 coals (7 bottom, 7 top)

While the coals heat up, lightly fry both sides of 12 corn tortillas in a thin layer of oil till slightly crispy (this keeps them from falling apart during cooking).  Layer tortillas between paper towels to remove excess oil and set aside.  In a bowl combine shredded chicken, 1/3 of the green sauce, sour cream, Ranch dressing mix, onions, olives, and 1/3 of the shredded cheese.

Line the Dutch Oven with foil to make it easier to clean.  Wet bottom of oven with some of the green sauce then layer 3 tortillas, shredded-chicken mixture, some cheese, and some green sauce.  In the same order, layer a couple more times and top with the last of the tortillas, cheese and green sauce.  Cover and cook for 30 minutes, until layers are heated through and cheese is melted.

 

BBQ Chicken Bake

 

Easy Pepperoni Pizza

  • 2 Boboli or similar prebaked pizza shells
  • bag of shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • pkg of sliced pepperoni
  • 1 can of pizza sauce
  • 18 coals (8 bottom, 10 top)

Place shell in the bottom of a 12" Dutch Oven.  Spread sauce on shell using a spoon, but don't let it spill over the edges.  Sprinkle cheese generously.  Arrange pepperonis on top of cheese.  Bake 10-12 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbling.  Cut into 6-8 slices.  Make the second pizza while you enjoy the first.

 

White Pizza

  • Boboli or similar prebaked pizza shell
  • bag of shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • pkg of sliced pepperoni (optional)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • Italian seasoning mix
  • 18 coals (8 bottom, 10 top)

Place shell in the bottom of a 12" Dutch Oven.  Lightly spread olive oil on shell using a spoon.  Sprinkle with garlic, then sprinkle cheese generously.  Arrange pepperonis on top of cheese.  Garnish with Italian seasoning mix.  Bake 10-12 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbling.  Cut into 6-8 slices.

Side Dishes

Mom's Corn Bread

  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1-½ cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 1 cup milk
  • 31 coals (10 bottom, 31 top)

Put butter in a large bowl and soften over the stove for a minute.  Add egg and sugar and mix till egg is beaten.  Alternately add milk and flour, then add all other ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Pour batter into a greased 12" Dutch Oven and put on the coals.  Let bake for 10 minutes, then remove 2 of the coals from the lid.  Bake with remaining coals for another 20 minutes.  When an inserted toothpick comes out clean, cornbread is ready.

Rosemary-Garlic Roasted Potatoes

  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lb new potatoes
  • 3-4 rosemary sprigs, about 5" each
  • 8 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1½ tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 22 coals (10 bottom, 12 top)

Rinse potatoes clean, dry well, cut each into 6-8 pieces.  Bring oil to a simmer in 12" Dutch Oven.  Once oil is hot and simmering (after 3-5 minutes), add potatoes, rosemary, garlic, oregano, and basil.  Carefully stir to coat potatoes in oil and season generously with salt, onion powder, and black pepper.  Cover Dutch Oven and roast.  Stir occasionally so that it doesn't burn or stick and roast until potatoes develop a nice crust and appear dark, golden brown (about 35 minutes).

Spanish Rice

  •  6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup bacon, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Spanish onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup Spanish green olives, chopped
  • 4 cups tomato juice or sauce
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 cups rice (long-cook not instant)
  • 1 cup frozen or canned peas (optional)
  • 1 8-oz jar pimientos
  • 1 15-oz can small white beans or habichuelas
  • 24 coals (10 bottom, 14 top)

Heat a 12" Dutch Oven over coals and add the olive oil.  When oil is hot, add the diced bacon and cook until it starts to turn clear but not completely done.  Add bell pepper, onion, garlic, and olives.  Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add tomato juice, chicken stock, rice and salt.  Stir to mix and bring liquid to a boil.  Cover the Dutch Oven and remove a few coals to bring liquid down to a simmer.  Simmer for about 20 minutes.  Stir the mixture at 10 minutes.  Rice is done when all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is soft.  When rice is done, add peas, pimientos and beans.  Stir and re-cover.  Let sit about 5 minutes and serve.

 

Cheesy Garlic Biscuit Bread

  • 2 cups Bisquick mix
  • 2/3 cup milk 
    ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
    2 tbsp butter or margarine
    1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 20 coals (5 bottom, 15 top)

Stir Bisquick mix, milk and cheese until soft dough forms.  Spoon into greased 10" Dutch Oven.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Rub butter over warm bread and sprinkle with garlic powder and any leftover cheese.

 

Desserts

Easy Dump Fruit Cobbler

  • 2 cans of fruit pie filling (e.g. apple, peach, cherry or a combo)
  • 1 white or yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • powdered cinnamon
  • 24 coals (8 bottom, 16 top)

Spread the pie filling in the bottom of the Dutch Oven, making sure to get all the syrup out of the cans.  Sprinkle with some brown sugar and cinnamon.  Carefully dump the cake mix over the fruit, and spread to an even level.    Top with thin pats of butter.  Sprinkle with more brown sugar and cinnamon.  Bake for 30-40 minutes until the top appears crispy.

 

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

  • 1 large can of whole pineapple slices
  • 1 small jar of maraschino cherries
  • 1 pineapple flavor or yellow cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 24 coals (8 bottom, 16 top)

Use a size 12 Dutch Oven; make sure it is well coated with butter-flavored Crisco so that the cake can be flipped later.  Evenly spread the brown sugar in the bottom of the oven.  Arrange pineapple slices in a circular pattern, and place cherries in and between the pineapple slices.  In a mixing bowl mix the cake mix according to the box instructions, but use the pineapple juice instead of water.  Blend well then pour into the Dutch Oven.  Bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick poked into the cake comes out clean.  Let cool for 10-15 minutes with the lid cracked open, then carefully run a plastic knife between the edge of the cake and the Dutch Oven.  Place lid back on oven, then with pot holders or oven mitts on each hand, quickly flip the Dutch Oven over while holding the lid on.  You should feel the cake drop onto the lid -- lift the oven part off with a flourish and unveil your masterpiece.

 

Double Chocolate Cake

  •  Butter-recipe chocolate cake mix
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-1/3 cup water
  • Hershey's chocolate bar
  • 20 coals (6 bottom, 14 top)

In a mixing bowl melt the butter over your coals.  Mix in the eggs, cake mix, and water and beat until smooth.  Pour the batter into a greased 10" Dutch Oven.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.  Once the cake is done, remove from heat, break the chocolate bar into squares and arrange them on top of the cake so they can melt as the cake cools.

 

Blueberry Cake

  •  Butter-recipe yellow cake mix
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 can blueberry pie filling
  • 20 coals (6 bottom, 14 top)

In a mixing bowl melt the butter over your coals.  Mix in the eggs, cake mix, water and pie filling.  You do not need as much water as it says on the box because the blueberries contain liquid.  Beat well and pour batter into a 10" Dutch Oven.  Bake for about 40 minutes until done.

 

Italian Walnut Cake

  •  10 tbsp butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp honey (plus a little extra for drizzle)
  • 4 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup plus 2 tsp flour
  • 1 pear, cored and diced
  • ½ cup and ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • 18 coals (8 bottom, 10 top)

Grease a 10" Dutch Oven or spray with cooking spray.  In a bowl, cream together butter, sugar and salt.  Add honey and eggs and mix well.  Add the flour and mix to combine.  Fold in pears and ½ chopped walnuts.  Pour into Dutch Oven and sprinkle with ¼ cup walnut pieces.  Bake for about 40 minutes.  Check the center of the cake with a toothpick to see if it is done.  Let cool for 10 minutes, and drizzle top with a little more honey.

 

Sprite Apple Dumplings

  •  2 large Granny Smith apples
  • 1 12-oz can of Sprite or other lemon-lime soda (not diet!)
  • 2 8-oz cans of refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp powdered cinnamon
  • 20 coals (5 bottom, 15 top)

Slice each apple into 8 pieces.  Wrap each slice in one crescent roll.  Melt stick of butter in the bottom of the Dutch Oven and roll each dumpling in the melted butter before placing them in the bottom of the oven.  Mix cinnamon and sugar, and sprinkle the mixture over all the dumplings.  Slowly add the soda so as to not wash the sugar off the dumplings.  Bake about 30 minutes until dumplings turn golden brown.