For long & slow cooked dishes such as stews, roasts and casseroles, Dutch ovens are a sure choice. At the core, there are two types of Dutch ovens –
1. used at the campfires, and
2. used over traditional stoves or ovens.
Camping Dutch Ovens
It consist of:
1. three legs,
2. wire handle, and
3. slightly convex lid.
Its lid allows coal to rest on top as well as the bottom uniformly, so as to heat it like an oven. Campfire Dutch ovens are made of aluminum or cast iron. These ovens can perfectly bake bread, biscuits, pies, cakes and pizzas. Its containers can also be stacked for 5 or 6 high.
Stove Top Ovens
Stove top oven is flat on the bottom and has two handles. These are made of enameled or bare cast iron, ceramic or aluminum.
Regulating Temperature in a Dutch Oven
It could be quite challenging to regulate the temperature in Dutch ovens, more often with the camping ones. Here are a few tips and tricks to go about it more easily:
1. As a general rule, the oven must b maintained at a temperature of around three hundred fifty degrees Celsius.
2. In order to estimate the temperature, measure the size of oven in terms of inches. Then double the size to calculate the required number of briquettes.
3. Briquettes need to be placed in a circle, not less than half an inch from the oven's bottom.
4. Briquettes on the top of the oven must be placed in a checkerboard style.
5. Beware, that even while heating, briquettes can be further added, but once the food is burnt, it is burnt.
1. For Soups and stews
For stews & soups, on the top array one third of the briquettes and at the bottom two thirds.
2. For Breads, Cakes & Biscuits
In order to bake biscuits, bread and cakes keep two third of the briquettes on the top and one third on bottom.
3. For Meats & Casseroles
For casseroles and meats evenly split the briquettes on the top and bottom of the oven.
Tools used with Dutch Ovens
You would need varied tools while using Dutch ovens. These are as follows:
1. Wooden Spoons
While metal utensils could scratch the protective coating, plastic would melt away due to heat. So, wooden spoons are the best & probably the only choice.
2. Camp or Welders Gloves
It makes the work easier for the individual.
3. Charcoal Starter
These help you light up the fire easily as then you do not need lighter fluid – just a match and newspapers.
4. Long Handled Tongs
These enable you to move the briquettes rather safely and easily.
5. Lifters or Hooks
These make handling and lifting the lid easier.
6. Lid Stands
These are handy to be placed on lids while the individuals stir the food.
7. Whisk Broom
It keeps the ashes away from food.
8. Cooking Table
It allows the Dutch oven to be off the ground.
9. Dust Cover
It protects the Dutch ovens when they are not in use.