Dutch oven cooking might sound like an activity for the outdoors person or the sportsmen; however, you too can start Dutch oven cooking and prepare delicious meals. You can cook in a Dutch oven, anything that you can cook on a stove, and it will probably taste much better. The key is to practice so you know the difference in temperatures and timing.
One of the best reasons to start cooking in a Dutch oven is to enjoy the outdoors more often and happy meals around a campfire or your backyard. It is simplicity with delicious results. It elevates a routine meal to a special dinner a family can enjoy. It makes cooking fun.
A Dutch oven is a cast iron deep pot that has feet for standing. Some Dutch ovens might be flat, but the one with feet control better the heat since they are inches away from the direct flames. It has a bail (a wire handle that is attached at both sides) and a lid. There are aluminum Dutch ovens, but the cast iron material is much better.
Using charcoal briquettes will help control the temperature better since they produce a more even source of heat. The next issue to take into consideration is the amount of briquettes to use since they will be the ones giving heat. A rule of thumb is to use the amount of briquettes that equal the size of the oven times two. A ten-inch oven will require 20 briquettes. There should be more briquettes (double – 13/7) on top than at the bottom. The reason is that the ones at the bottom will get hotter faster so the need to distribute the heat evenly is necessary. Replacing the briquettes as needed is important so the temperature does not drop; this is true for recipes that take longer than half hour. Some recipes may require you to remove the oven from the bottom briquettes and let the rest of the top briquettes do the rest of the job; this is true for baking in a Dutch oven. This prevents that the bottom of a cake burns, for example.
Many delicious plates can be prepared in a Dutch oven such as stews, meats, desserts, breads, fish, doughnuts, biscuits, beans, zucchini, and many more delicacies. The flavor that meats obtain from cooking in a Dutch oven is richer and delectable, unlike cooking on a stove or stove oven. In fact, you can fry, bake, roast, boil, and stew in a Dutch oven.
Besides being fun and enhancing the flavors of foods, cooking in a Dutch oven prepares the cook to handle any cooking situation that may arise, such as knowing how to cook with just fire. Although many of us will never be stranded without electricity, gas, in the wilderness, or go through a disaster where all you need to survive is to know how to cook by using fire, it is good to know that one could prepare something delicious under those circumstances.
It is important to season the Dutch oven before using it. The first thing to do is to wash it and dry it to get out the waxes that the manufacturer puts in it so it doesn’t rust – you don’t want to have that in your food. Next, it is a matter of rubbing some oil or lard on it and heat it in the oven for about an hour until it develops a light brown or golden patina. This patina will darken with use. This process is necessary if it is a cast iron oven, not an aluminum one. If not, the oven will rust right away.
Cooking in a Dutch oven can be fun, but the rewards are the rich flavors that food will obtain and the opportunity to have a good time with family and friends while cooking.