Dutch Oven Cooking

In the world of big wagon cattle outfits, a cook was hired more for his ability to drive a chuck wagon pulled by a team of draft horses than for his cooking skills. Chances are that when he cooked, he used “Dutch ovens.” These are cast-iron pots with lids that come in various sizes and can be used over an open fire. They are non-breakable and easy to transport.

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29 Responses to Dutch Oven Cooking

  1. Alan says:

    Not completely unbreakable but you’ll have to work at it. Also look up the webpage and youtube channel of ‘cowboy Kent Rollins’ for more delicious items

    • ChuckN says:

      Kent Rollins has some darn good recipes.

    • Rob says:

      Years ago I was with my Dad on a cliff above a sand beach in California, my dad grew up in that area. He stopped and looked down at the sand and told me “if you toss cast iron pans to the beach from up here they’ll shatter”. With that he continued down the trail to the beach.
      I figured he was passing on a lesson.

      • Butch says:

        Was that the nude beach at Pirates cove near SLO? The top of the cliff there was about 400 feet high. Anything flung over that would shatter when it hit bottom.

      • bobdog says:

        My dad used to make pit baked beans once every summer around Labor Day. Soaked the beans overnight and mixed in the fixin’s. He’d dig a pit in the back yard early in the morning, Started a big fire with all the scrap wood from his woodshop in the basement, and once it burned down to embers, in went the dutch oven. Then he covered the pit with dirt until late afternoon.

        Served with big steaks and corn on the cob. Best damned baked beans I ever ate. I can still taste them 60 years later. Good memories.

    • Sanders says:

      I made his green chile chicken enchiladas just last week. They were good! I did change up the recipe a little by adding sliced black olives to the filling. The sauce was a little rich, so when I make them again, I’ll replace the heavy cream with a can or two of cream of mushroom soup.

  2. nonncom says:

    Thanks….that was damn useful….

  3. Paulie says:

    Growing up, a Dutch Oven was a whole different thing: two people (typically brothers) sharing a bed, one pulls the blanket over the other’s head and lets one rip. The (typically younger and smaller) brother is trapped and gets to choke on the methane. Good times.

  4. Henk says:

    I was born in the Netherlands (also called Holland, where the Dutch live, just to confuse you ).
    It wasn’t until I left there moving to the US at the age of 31 years that I heard about the Dutch oven for the first time.
    And double Dutch, and Dutch courage, of course.

    • crazyeighter says:

      Then there’s “Going Dutch” AKA “Dutch Treat”.

      • Bert says:

        1 result.
        Dutch fuck (n.) 1. the lighting of one cigarette from another, thus saving matches. 2. intercourse between the breasts; also as v.

        From Green’s Dictionary of Slang.

        Who wants a cigarette and who wants tits? Since we are talking about things Dutch.

      • Edward Teach says:

        …”Dutch rudder”…

    • Rob says:

      The back of my mind is telling the dutch oven was not a Dutch thing but German. The Germans called themselves “Deutsche”.

  5. Hybo says:

    We love our Dutch ovens, we are surprised that more people don’t use them when camping. Ken Rollins has a wealth of info, highly recommend.

  6. FaCubeItches says:

    My ex-wife *hated* Dutch Ovens, although upon further reading the article, they may not be the same thing.

  7. Sedition says:

    A good Dutch oven and cast iron frying pan is the shit on outdoor trips.

  8. Andrea says:

    I baked some bread in mine just this morning, I love my dutch oven. I use my crockpot much the same as old timers dutch ovens hanging over a fire. Always try to have something in it for company and if no one shows up I can it or freeze it….chili, ham hocks and beans, chicken carcass soup, green chili, marinara sauce simmering for days, etc…yum

    • Wirecutter says:

      If I was up in the Sierras and not wandering too far from my truck, I’d mix all the dry ingredients in bags by the batch, add the wet stuff and egg from my cooler and bake my bread like that, Ain’t nothing better in life than warm bread with my dinner over a small fire.

  9. UH1H CE says:

    Because I didn’t have much money, when I first stared out on my own I bought generic, made in Korea cast iron skillets of several sizes from Sears. They are now my go-to despite having some nice high-end stuff that’s been gifted to me over the years. Corn bread baked in a cast iron skillet slicked with bacon grease is always a crowd-pleaser.

    My Lodge Dutch Oven isn’t the camp fire style with the raised-edged lid, but more the bake-in-the-oven type with a dome lid but I still use it when camping. None-the-less, pot roasts, stews, and chicken-and-dumplings still come out better when cooked with that bad-boy; something about thirty-five years of seasoning, I suppose.

    • BlueMntCeltic says:

      My wife found one of those in an antique store several years ago and that was my Christmas gift….one that keeps on giving. It came with a domed lid, but you can get (and I did) get a rimmed lid for charcoal fairly inexpensively. It is one of my most cherished possessions for functionality as well as sentimental value.

  10. Rob says:

    I have cast iron pans, I use them every day & have for many years. Good stuff.
    I don’t use my dutch ovens often enough…

  11. STW says:

    It’s pretty liberating once you figure out that a DO is just an oven; every cookbook becomes a DO cookbook.

  12. Rick T says:

    Cast iron pans are really durable, the light-weight aluminum versions not so much. A good hot fire can be enough to melt them if you don’t keep an eye on things.

  13. drjim says:

    My Mom’s Dutch Oven was once of her most cherished items.

  14. Sanders says:

    I purchased a rusty (just surface rust) 14″ Dutch Oven at a flea market a few years back. When I saw it, I asked the lady how much she wanted for it. She said $30. I whipped my wallet out and paid her. Then I asked if I could leave it with her, as I wanted to walk around the flea market for a while. She had no problem, and set it back away from everything. When I came back to pick it up, her husband was there and she had him hand it to me. Then he asked me how much she charged me for it and I told him. Damned if his face didn’t turn bright red! He was pissed! I would have paid a lot more for it, but didn’t tell him. He knew.

  15. the other Rick says:

    I had a complete set of cast iron cookery., pots, pans, oven, the works. As you would expect I used them often and took pride in keeping them well seasoned. At her garage sale my ex sold them for pennies. Of course without my knowledge. It wasn’t until I asked where are my cast irons that she told what she had done. I coulda strangled her then and there. I should have because a bit later she broke the lovingly carved octagon hickory handle on my favorite finish hammer, a hammer so finely balanced and the grip as soft as the first year pubic hairs from a hundred blonde virgins.

  16. Rusty says:

    Back in my old Boy Scout days (many decades ago) we used to bake things like Apple Pies and Pizza Pies in Dutch Ovens, not to mention many making many stews. Outside of the DOs, we used to make curly breadsticks using Pop N Fresh bread dough. We would wind the dough around a green stick, and then rotate the stick over hot coals, sort of like roasting marshmallows. Yummy!

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