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Dutch-Oven Cooking

They make a Dutch oven from heavy cast iron.  It has three short legs.  The lid is slightly doomed, with a handle on top.  Cooking with charcoal is an easy way to standardize cooking times.

Cowboy Cookin' Recipes from AlansKitchen.comTo begin using a Dutch oven.

  1. Preheat it in a regular oven, over hot charcoal on a grill, or over campfire coals.  Always, heat both the Dutch oven and the lid.  Preheating makes sure that food cooks equally and more quickly.  While the Dutch oven is heating, light charcoal briquettes for under the Dutch oven and for placing on the lid.  Usually you place ten coals under the oven and place seven briquettes on the lid. 

  2. If the dish requires more than one hour of cooking time, you will add more coals to both the top and underside of the oven.  You use fewer coals for dishes that burn easily, such as some desserts, which need less heat.  To help with the cooking lay down heavy - duty foil over dirt, sand or rocks.  In a circle the oven's size, uniformly space the coals and put two coals in the center.

  3. Over the hot coals, place the Dutch oven with the food.  Add the cover and place the coals evenly on the lid.  To check if cooked, using a heavy oven mitt remove the lid.  Make sure the steam goes away from you.  Also, be cautious so ashes do not fall into the food.

Always remember when you preheat the Dutch oven or it is over hot charcoal, it is hot!  The ovens' heavy cast iron causes it to cool slowly and it stays hot for several minutes after taken off the heat.  An important safety tip: always use a heavy oven mitt.

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