I love to bake at home, and with the aid of a cast-iron Dutch oven I've been able to continue baking at the campground. Do you like hot biscuits or muffins for breakfast? How about beef stew, or roast chicken? Ever crave for some hot cobbler and a cup of coffee while sitting around the campfire? Well, a Dutch oven can make all of these mouth watering treats possible, even at the campground. Whatever you can bake at home in a conventional oven, you can bake at the campground in a Dutch oven.
A typical Dutch oven will be a cast-iron pot with three legs on it, a heavy-duty steel handle, and a cast-iron lid with a lip around the edge. Dutch ovens come in a variety of sizes to accommodate most any recipe. To bake, charcoals are placed both below and on top of the Dutch oven. The number of charcoals used will determine the baking temperature. Generally, you can use the diameter of your Dutch oven to determine the number of coals to use. If you have a 10" Dutch oven, put 8-10 charcoals under, and 10-12 charcoals on top of Dutch oven. Adjust the ratio between top and bottom charcoals to control how brown your dish will be. With a little practice you'll find the right numbers and proportions.
Some tips for Dutch oven care and use:
- Properly season your Dutch oven before first use.
- Remove food from Dutch ovens as soon as it's done.
- Never use your Dutch oven for storing food.
- Immediately wash with hot water and a brush.
- Add a light coating of oil before storing.
- Store uncovered in a dry place.