essential American cooking implement
since colonial times, the Dutch oven is a three-legged cast-iron pot
a flanged lid that holds hot wood coals or charcoal. This versatile
oven can also be used as a soup pot, frying pan, or deep-fat fryer.
management rather than recipe preparation is the real key to successful
Dutch oven cooking," writes outdoor cooking expert C.W. Welch in Retro
Ranch: A Roundup of Classic Cowboy Cookin'.
baking with a 12-inch Dutch oven,
generate bottom heat by placing five or six hot charcoal briquets in a
circle between its legs. To generate a higher temperature place 18-24
"next to each other around the outside flange of the lid, with two or
spaced evenly around the lid handle," Welch advises.
roasting, generate heat the same as
for baking, but if the dish has cooking liquid in it increase the
of briquets beneath the oven by 50 percent.
frying or boiling, keep adding briquets
underneath the oven until you get the right temperature.
should be lit about 15 to 20
minutes prior to cooking and should be turning light grey when they are
ready to use. Unless there is wind, the briquets should last for about
an hour. Most dishes will cook in that amount of time," Welch points
you know when the dish is done?
smells done, it's done. If it smells
burnt, it;s burnt. And if you can't smell it, it's not done!"