For some reasons, since about hundreds years ago,Cast iron dutch ovens have been a staple of outdoor cooking. You can cook almost anything in the wild by using this simple black pot, and the food can be as delicious as the one you do with your oven at home. Of course, if you can do a little practice, that will be better.
You must have seen some pictures about the racks and hangers around the Internet, but almost all of them are too expensive. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no need to use the accessories like those, for our daily life, some simple accessories will be enough for us to enjoy the outdoor cooking with our family and friends.
Besides, those expensive accessories actually are not so helpful. The best way in my mind to cook with the simple pot is putting your dutch oven on the ground, outside of your campfire. You can use this method to cook, and then you can enjoy the best time with your family and friends.
I’ve tried a lot of the dutch oven accessories and equipment in order to use them to cook my dutch oven dishes easily. Want to save money? It’s right to come here, all you need is the dutch oven itself, but if you get a lid lifter, it will be a great idea.
The Cast Iron Dutch Oven
You have to pay your attention to three things basically when you choose the cast iron dutch oven.
- legs, in order to sit above your coals and help to keep it level, you should choose one which has short legs.
- lid, if you don’t want the coals that are put on top for baking to slide off, it should have a flanged lid.
- handle, you must have to move your dutch oven around with the handle, so it should have a simple metal bail, or wire handle which should be sturdy.
Two most popular brands and high quality equipment of the cast iron dutch ovens available on the market are Lodge and Camp Chef. No matter which brands you choose is a good choice. My choice is the Lodge, just because it’s the first cast iron dutch ovens that I bought and it works perfectly.
From the perspective that I hold, your first dutch oven can be the 12”, 8 qt., Lodge Deep Dutch Oven. It has more functions than the regular. If you decide to go with it, just keep in mind, what will make it cook a little differently.
The flanged lid holds hot coals and inverts for using as a griddle. The integral legs allow the oven to sit perfectly over the campfire.
Lodge is made in the USA，and it has a long history of making cast iron cookware in South Pittsburgh, Tennessee (pop. 3,300) since 1896. With over 120 years of experience, their cast iron is known for its high quality design, lifetime durability, and cooking versatility.
Lodge is more than just a business; it’s a family. The Lodge family founded the company in 1896, and they still develop itself today. From environmental responsibility to community development, their heads and hearts are rooted in America. Lodge knows that cooking is about more than just the food; it’s about the memories.
Whether you’re roasting a chicken in the oven, or cooking chili over the campfire, Lodge has covered with the included Camp Dutch Oven Cooking 101 cookbook. A good seasoning makes all the difference. Lodge provides pre-seasoned cookware without synthetic chemicals; so just based vegetable oil. The more you use your iron, the better the seasoning becomes.
From colonial hearth fires to the campfires of Lewis and Clark, cast iron camp ovens fed the colonists, helped tame the wilderness, and did their share in settling the American West. Cast iron cookware has long been treasures as heirlooms, so much so that, when Lewis and Clark returned from their journey, their trusted cast iron pots were among the few items they took back, they also made these back to civilization.
The Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven is a multi-functional cookware that works perfectly with slow-cooking recipes. It comes with a tight-fitting lid that helps lock in nutrition and flavor. This pre-seasoned Dutch Oven works like a charming right out of the box. Made of cast iron, this Dutch Oven evenly distributes heat from the bottom through the sidewalls.
Also, it retains heat better so your delicious meal remains warm for a long time. The cast iron Dutch Oven with a stylish black color looks good in most kitchens. It features loop handles for convenient handling and the oven is easy to clean and maintain.
Seasoning is a necessary step in using cast iron cookware. Oil is baked into the pores of the iron at the foundry to prevent rusting and to eventually provide a natural, non-stick cooking surface. Unlike synthetically coated cookware, it is possible to restore the cooking surface of cast iron.
Lodge uses a proprietary soy-based vegetable oil to season our cookware. The oil contains no animal fat or peanut oil. The seasoning is functional application and slight inconsistencies may appear in the seasoning finish. The inconsistencies will not affect cooking performance.
How to Use Your Cast Iron Dutch Oven in the Right Way?
Use the hot water to rinse without the soap, and dry thoroughly.
Before cooking, apply vegetable oil to the cooking surface of your pan and pre-heat the pan slowly (always start on low heat, and then increase the temperature slowly). In order to keep the pan from sticking, you shouldn’t cook very cold food in it.
Once the utensil is properly pre-heated, you are ready to cook.
What you should keep in your mind carefully is the handles will become very hot in the oven, and on the stove top. Always use an oven mitt to prevent you from burning when removing pans from oven or stove top.
As for me, I don’t like baking with my cast iron dutch oven, I’d rather use it for stews, chili and other liquid based dishes, so it better for me.
No matter what size do you choose, I do want to tell you that the 12″version can be your first choice. The cast iron dutch oven can help you cook many kinds of dishes. However, you need to notice the small one may limit your ability of cooking.
A good lid lifter is one of the most important parts of the cast iron dutch oven when you’re cooking outdoor. I prefer the deluxe lid lifter than the standard hook version which are both made by The Lodge. Don’t worry about the Lid that will be swinging and dumping coals into your stew when you grab the lid.
And absolutely, I think the Lodge brand is a great choice. If you want to try anything else, then go and get it, but what I will recommend is The Lodge, because I’ve used it till now.
A lid lifter is essential to safe camp Dutch oven cooking. The “T” bar design lifts hot lids of coals and helps move Dutch ovens from fire to table. Great for lifting, rotating, or moving a hot lid. Made of 9 mm bar stock with high temperature black finish and heat diffusing spiral handle. It features hanging loop on end and fits all Lodge Dutch ovens, and it measures 14 x 4.5 inches. This is a well designed tool. I was a little skeptical of paying this much at first, but when you use it you will know the reason.
Two things I love about this lifter – The cross brace at the hook end and the cross brace at the handle end. The brace on the hook end allows you to rest the handle on top of the lid while you’re shifting things around on the fire or need a spare hand for something else. It also helps to keep the lid from tipping to the side when checking your vittles and keep ashes/coals from falling in.
Great! The cross brace at the handle end is a nice surprise too. One of my ovens is a deep 12 inch. It weighs a lot. I can pick the whole oven up by using this handle if I hook a finger or two under that cross brace. Much more secure than just gripping the handle alone. No need for another pot lifter or anything, this does it all.
There is no need for you to prepare a lid stand, but if you want to set your lid on a unclean, irregular surface, it will be handy with a lid stand. It’s cheap enough for any family, and as for me, it’s a worthwhile buy because it’s really useful and small enough to carry on when I’m on camping.
I bought 2 of these and used them at the grill and then took them in the house and used them again to keep the hot pot or pan safely off the table. They take up little room when they are put away after using. It is a useful product you can choose to buy.
One thing I don’t like is that the rack will sometimes partly close when you go to put something like a dutch oven lid on the rack. You have to be watchful to make sure the rack remains fully open or the object you are putting on the rack may slide off the stand. This could ruin your day. I have found that putting a dish towel down first and then putting the stand on top of the dishtowel does can help with this problem.
55 Gallon Drum Cover
In winter, the cold wet ground will sap the heat from my coals and put my coals out all together in some instances, that’s the biggest problem I had with my dutch oven. In order to solve this problem, I bought a $14 steel drum cover and drilled 1/4 inch holes 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart in the center rather than buying a fancy cooking table.
A little air can flow into my coals through the holes, and it’s useful to help me maintain a constant, hot temperature.
Ashes will build up on the top of your dutch oven and underneath and that will smother your coals. Besides, when you’re slow cooking for long periods of time, a wisk broom will give you a big help.
To be honest, I’ve never used a tripod although it really looks cool. It can keep your dutch oven far away from your heat source.
Heavy duty solid steel construction and nickel plated chain with ‘S’ hook for easy cooking height adjustment. Its design features maximum stability. It works great for hanging lanterns, suspending water jugs, drying clothes, and many uses.It is safe, easy to set up and store.
The tripod seems to be built great and would work perfectly with a in-ground fire pit. It was a bit shorter than I needed for my above ground fire pit so I bought 3 cinder blocks and set those under the legs to get a bit more height.
My Lodge dutch oven has a spiral handle (it can help to keep it cool and make oven easier to handle) which doesn’t allow the supplied hook to attach to the dutch oven, I went to the local hardware store and bought 1 foot of chain and two hooks. Then I could put a hook on each side of the spiral piece and then use the tripod supplied hook to connect to the chain.
The most important thing to keep you safe is the gloves. I often go out to have a outdoor cooking with my family and friends by using the dutch oven. So I can do many test that what tools I need for the outdoor cooking, and I find out the most necessary and important tool is the gloves. A good pair of gloves can protect you from burning and make it easy to move your coals or the dutch oven. Hope this can help you.