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Dutch Oven Cooking Tips Recipe

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This recipe for Dutch Oven Cooking Tips, by , is from Troop 1887 Cookbook - from Chuck Box to Backpacking, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Jim Keller
Added: Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Use charcoal rather than wood. It provides more consistent temperature control and size. It is also keeps wood smoke from getting in your eyes when cooking.

Plan on starting your charcoal at least 45 minutes before you will be ready to put the Dutch oven into fire pit. It usually takes longer than you think to get a good bed of coals.

Dutch oven cooking is slower than your home oven's cooking time. So, relax and don't be in a hurry. Trying to cook faster by adding more coals will generally mean that you're going to burn the meal. This is especially true for breads.

Cornbread and cobbler is done when golden brown on top and a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry without any liquid batter on it.

Putting too much heat on the bottom of the Dutch oven is another common error. Once it again it will most likely burn your meal on the bottom. A good rule of thumb for baking is 1/4 of coals on bottom and 3/4 on top.

Cooking methods and charcoal placement:

Roasting - heat should come from the top and bottom equally. Coals should be placed under the oven and on the lid at 1 to 1 ratio.

Baking - heat should be coming with higher intensity at the top. Coals should be paced under the oven and on the lid at a 1 to 4 ratio.

Frying, Boiling - All of the heat should come from the bottom. Coals should be placed under the oven only.

Stewing, Simmering - Almost all heat will be from the bottom. Place the coals under and on the oven at a 4 to 1 ratios with more underneath than on the lid.

General temperature guidelines:

If you can hold your open hand 4 inches from the lid and count to four before it becomes uncomfortably hot, then the temperature is around 400 degrees F. If you can't hold it for 4 seconds, then it is hotter than 400 degrees F, which is too hot for most Dutch oven cooking. If you can hold it longer than 4 seconds, then it is less than 400 degrees F. Don't be in a hurry to raise the temperature unless it is really required. Most Dutch oven cooking requires temperatures below 400 degrees F.

Before cooking, swab the inside of the oven with some cooking oil using a paper towel or line with either aluminum foil or a parchment paper insert.

Clean Up Tips:

Hot Water Method:

Clean with plastic dough scraper and then wipe with a paper towel.

Heat water in oven to loosen any stuck on food and scrape again with plastic dough scraper.

Clean with plastic scrubber if needed.

Then dry it well, swab with cooking oil all over (inside and out) before it cools.

NEVER use soap! It is nearly impossible to get the taste out and it ruins the non-stick finish from the oil.




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