Autodidacts Creating Culture

10 Things You Need to be an ‘Urban’ Dutch Oven Geek

For Christmas, I acquired a few essential items to make cooking with a Dutch oven easier.  Whether it be in your yard or camping, here are the ten things you need to indulge this quirky interest.

10 things you need for Dutch oven cooking:

  1. a Lodge Dutch Oven, preferably one with legs
  2. a Dutch oven lid and pot holder
  3. a Dutch Oven carrying case
  4. long tongs for moving the coals
  5. heat-resistant gloves
  6. charcoal briquettes
  7. charcoal chimney (and newspaper)
  8. matches (long stem a plus)
  9. free baking temperature chart for coals (*laminate it for re-use)
  10. You also need good recipes

A Dutch oven is like the oven in your kitchen, only portable.  Baked, roasted, boiled or sautéed foods are easy to make in them.  I’ve prepared a variety of foods including:  lasagna, stir-fry, corn bread, steal-cut-oats and cinnamon roles.   

Once, I used the iron vessel for an elaborate recipe of chicken chili verde posole (See my link for directions).  I made that meal outdoors in our lot for our Christmas dinner.  

I can’t take full credit for my interest in the cast-iron cooking vessel.  A few friends introduced me to using it on homeschooling campout.  After watching them use it and tasting what they made, I wanted a Dutch oven too. Now Patricia, from Wonderfarmanother buddy, and I use them to carry-on their tradition of cooking dinner for over sixty homeschoolers.

The history of the Dutch oven is very interesting.  As with many of my interests, I’ve shared what I’ve learned with our daughter.

The one thing I haven’t tried is stacking Dutch ovens.  I envision inviting a few friends who have one over to attempt cooking with them vertically.  Now that would qualify us as the ultimate urban Dutch oven geeks.

Please let me know if you own one.

Have you cooked with them stacked?  

Does using one interest you?


11 Responses to “10 Things You Need to be an ‘Urban’ Dutch Oven Geek”

  1. patricia

    My favorite dutch oven memory is when we cooked over the coals while wearing Gold Rush garb at Malakoff Diggins. Now that was quirky! And a whole lot of fun, too.

    • Kristin

      Hi Patricia,

      I’ll never forget watching you, in your Pioneer outfit, stir the steel-cut oats endlessly, and without too much complaint. It was worth it because it tasted fantastic.

      Are you up for attempting a stack at Chez Olnes? I wouldn’t want to try it on a campout until we mastered it with a few friends. We could wear our garb and make a vine about it, just joking.

  2. nlharty

    Pretty cool way of cooking…unfortunately, I am disabled so just cooking in the regular kitchen oven is enough of a workout! I LOVE the idea of it and wish there was a virtual way of tasting the yummy eats you are making.

    • Kristin

      Happy New Year Nancy,

      I didn’t mention the fact that Dutch ovens are cumbersome and heavy; and they have to be rotated frequently to ensure even cooking. The weight of them does make them more difficult to use. A lot of us enlist help.

      I would share my eats–if I could.

      • nlharty

        Thanks Kristin, a happy one to you too! I bought a Lodge cast iron pan to make cornbread for Thanksgiving and washed it with soap…I never read directions, when will I learn?! I just bought a nice All-Clad saucepan to start replacing my cumbersome Calphalon. That will keep me happy for awhile:) Happy Cooking!!

    • Kristin

      Yes it is AMR and I have you and Tina to thank for introducing cooking in Dutch ovens to me. Everything you both made in them was tasty.

  3. wewerenothing

    When I was a kid we used to visit my Indian grandfather and his family in town (Kingston) and they used to use their dutchie/dutch pots (that’s what we call them in Jamaica) for cooking curried goat outdoors cos well, curry smells up the house to high heaven and who wants that? The best ones are the old time ones that are soooooo heavy, a kid couldn’t lift it and believe me, I tried, even when told not to because, “Mine you drop it pon yuh toe and mash dem up!” Translation? Be careful. If you drop it on your toes ….”

    • Kristin

      Hi Kay,

      I love it when you share your stories.

      I can’t say that I agree that curry stinks up the house though. I love that smell.

      The “Dutchie” pots, as you called them, are heavy. It’s a workout rotating them every 20 minutes or so. That’s why people didn’t need to go to gym back them; cooking was enough exercise.

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