Outdoor dutch oven question

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by lilyrose, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. lilyrose

    lilyrose Well-Known Member

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    For those of you who have used dutch ovens outdoors before, what would you be cooking in order to hang it from a tripod with chain?

    I know if you bake bread you just set the pot smack dab down in the coals.
     
  2. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    I cook tons of stuff while the oven is hanging... yes, you can cook it all right on the coals.. but I also like to have a fire going and like to use it... so I hang mine... beef stew was last week, have done chili, chicken, rice dishes, bread.... etc etc etc
    I like to hang it because I feel I have better control of the heat, I can lower it to make it hotter, or raise it if my fire is too hot... and if I have hot spots.. I just give it a little spin.
     

  3. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    I only use the tripod with the kettle to cook soup or keep stews or coffee warm. Baking and cassaroles are done right on (and under) the coals.
     
  4. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    Yes, I should have said.. When baking and or cassaroles are cooking.. I hang it.. but ALSO heap some coals on the lid for more even cooking.
     
  5. vegascowgirl

    vegascowgirl Try Me

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    I usually hang the oven when cooking stews, soups, beans, etc.
    For baking, this is what I do. I dig a second "fire pit"..this is to hold hot coals so that I can have an open fire still burning. I line the pit with coals, then set the oven down in, and place more coals on the lid. This provides a way to bake bread, and cook something else at the same time.

    IMHO- I like to use a hook bar (my name for them, not the actual terminology which i can't remember at this time) rather than a basic tripod. It allows you to hang a couple different things at different levels. So you can have a dutch oven cooking close to the fire, and a pot of coffee staying warm a little higher up.
     
  6. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    If you cooked on coals alone you wouldn't have this problem. I NEVER cook anything on an open flame (except boiling water). If I want more control of heat, I just add or remove coals. Putting ash on the coals also reduces their heat.

    IMHO, a dutch open hanging over a fire is no more than a pot....good for stews, chili, soup, etc. A dutch oven with coals above and below is for baking...good for cakes, bread, rolls, casseroles, etc.
     
  7. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I have used mine both ways and as CF said it's more a less just a pot when hung. Some Dutch Ovens are not made for coals and don't have a lid for coals. These obviously work good when hung and the cast iron is what makes it a good pot for hanging.
    Baking with a dutch oven in coals works great but you have to pay close attention to too much heat from below burning your baked items. i like to raise whatever I'm baking up off the bottom to stop burning. For breads and biscuits I put either an upside down pie pan or a cake cooling rack in the bottom to get air space.
     
  8. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Beeman, I agree about baking in another pan inside the dutch oven. What I do is use a handful of rocks in the bottom of the dutch oven. I then place a round layer cake pan, that holds my cake or bread, on top of the rocks.
     
  9. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    You can use just about anything to get air space. I have heard of some using a horseshoe, rocks, or anything durable that will allow the air to circulate and the item baked not to burn to the bottom.
     
  10. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Vegascowgirl:

    If you take a tripod apart and use one leg as a cross piece it is generally called a line rack. If the cross rod is used to hold meat directly it becomes a spit. The adjustable device with the hook and holes would be a trammel. Pot hooks are, well, pot hooks.
     
  11. Wildcrofthollow

    Wildcrofthollow Well-Known Member

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    The biggest problem that I have run into with dutch ovens is that they are now made with itty bitty short legs in order to be used with charcoal briquettes. For those of us who use a dutch oven over a real fire the legs are just too short to get it stablized over a good bed of coals. A lot of folks end up hanging the dutch oven really low over a good bed of coals because of this problem (myself included) I do know that there are small tripods you can get (or make) to go under the ovens. Cant remember where I saw them though. I have found it hard to find good stuff for cooking over an open fire. Crazy Crow has some things, Lehman's has a few as well. Any others that you all may know about?
     
  12. 9Pines

    9Pines Well-Known Member

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    CabinFever, I live just a little bit south of you and would like to ask you how often you cook with cast iron outside. Do you do winter cooking by any chance?

    The reason I'm asking is , my oven in the house runs on the same propane that heats this house. I'd like to cut down on the cooking usage if I knew how to cook outdoors with castiron. Even in the dead of winter if its possible.

    Anyone else with tips and advice on winter cooking outdoors?
     
  13. vegascowgirl

    vegascowgirl Try Me

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    Ken, Thanks for the lesson :cowboy: , but was just having a temporary brain burp at the time and couldn't think of the term.
     
  14. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    For campfire-type cooking you may have to try the hunting, buckskinning, rendezvous or Civil War reenactment suppliers. Limited items on eBay. One seller does have a nice multi-purpose unit (4403084996). Search under such terms as line rack, tripod, campfire, camp fire, dutch oven, cast iron skillet and spit. I suspect most are under the categories for Militia or Home and Garden.
     
  15. greywolf

    greywolf Member

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    Try Cabela's dot com, under online store go to camping/food prep They have a few goodies there that I have seen that I just built myself. They are a bit pricey but you can maybe find what you are looking for and make yourself or use google and see what pops up

    :happy:
     
  16. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Cooking outdoors in cold weather is no problem. Be sure to block the wind and try and have a good base for your coals or cold wet ground will suck the heat out. I use the lid from a 55 gal drum to cook on. All you need is a size for one dutch oven and then stack them on top of each other.
     
  17. 9Pines

    9Pines Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Beeman. I've been looking around on the internet for a good pit idea to build for myself with winter weather in mind. I do have a 55 gallon lid laying around here. I'll incorporate that into the pit idea.

    I was worried about the cast iron cracking if cold air was blowing on it while it was under/over coals.

    I usually grill during the winter and have been known to sit on a snowbank while waiting to flip burgers or what ever is cooking at that time. So it was the two extremes of temperatures I was wondering about with cast iron.