Jambalaya pots.

Discussion in 'General Dutch Oven Information' started by dfbourg, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    Hey there Dutch oven cookers. I just joined the forum a few weeks back to gain some knowledge on becoming a pitmaster. I'm from south Louisiana and I am an avid outdoor cooker. I really don't think of my cooking being done in a Dutch oven, I always refer to it as my black iron pots. I'm a big jambalaya cooker and was wondering if anyone else in the forum is use to cooking with the bigger pot.
  2. My largest dutch oven is 18"x8". It makes some killer gumbo.

    Happy smoken.

  3. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    An old jambayla cook once told me the difference between a DO and a black pots was legs. I don't know if its true, but it works for me.

    I have plenty of pots. Large and small, I am thinking 16/18 on black pots and definately larger for big jambalayas. Thinking seriously about trying some cracklins when it cools a little this fall, I know Pop always cooked 'em in it. I have the Cast iron pipe cut out stands and I really apprecaite your stands. If you have to lug it in any distance your stands get my vote of approval. 

    I'll check around, I've been meaning to get it all out and clean it up anyway.

    Oh and nice to meet you. You tried your hand in Gonzales/Sorrento yet?
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
  4. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    Nice to meet you Foamheart. That is the area that I live in. In that picture that is my 5gal and 20gal pot. The stands do work out great if you have to move it but it was designed to cook outside and not have the wind affect the fire. I also have a 30 gallon pot where I put wheels on the stand.
  5. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    I couldn't find a picture of my 30 gal showing the stand with the wheels but this is my daughter stirring in the 30gal pot

  6. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have 2 gypsy pots here.  Grands used it years ago....but rust is covering the one that can be used.  My Mother had plants in another one...and it has a huge crack in it.

    Your little one looks like a great helper! I like Pasta-lya too

  7. That's a big pot. Pretty young lady as well.

    Happy smoken.

  8. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    Thanks for the kind words on the lil lady Mule. Kat I also like pastalaya. It's actually easier to cook since the pasta is much more forgiving that the rice is when you get into the large amounts.
  9. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    We used to do Travel Softball with the girls when they were in High School.  Loved to be in the Hotel with a team from LA.....they always brought their equipment and made pastalaya......was the best I have had in years.

  10. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would guess we know a lot of the same Jambalaya cooks.
  11. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    @Mule they do make a killer gumbo. I can't wait to smoke some chicken when it gets cooler to use that in my gumbo.
    @Kat one thing about us from Louisiana when we head out for events the cooking equipment is packed before the clothes
    @Foam there is a chance we do know some of the same folks. We just had the swamp pop festival this weekend with the jambalaya cook off. The only thing if I do one of the cook offs around here I can't use the stands since all the cooking is done on a wood fire.
  12. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I understand about the fire cooking. I was around for the very first festival, back when they blocked off burnside in front of the then HS and the traveling  skating ring was over across the street. Old Roy Marchand made a fortune when they did it with his store on the corner. LOL Lets see ....... Boudreaux, Gautreau, Marchand, Lamendola, Brignac etc........ Did Pasqua ever win one, he sure wanted it bad enough, but he kept putting bell peppers in his ...... LOL I have not been back since before they moved to Louis's Park in Sorrento which is below sea level....... I actually hear that they furnish all the ingredients including spices now, I guess that removes secret herbs and spices. 'Course it wasn't a very viable source I heard it from.

    Anyway, I'll have to go and clean out the old storeroom and see whats still there. Have not really used it in a long long time.

    You should try it, mastering the fire is not that hard. A few test drives and you'll be more worried about breaking the rice when turning it.

    BTW thats a cute swamper ya got there.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
  13. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The big ones like that were originally used for boiling down syrup weren't they?   In the south it would be sorghum or cane syrup as opposed to maple or other saps in the northern region.

    I see them on craigslist every now and then, but the ones I've seen the past year or so were a little pricy.  I did see a huge solid copper syrup kettle a while back and you don't even want to ask what they were asking for that!  I think it weighed about 400 pounds (like I said, it was huge).  In my neck of the woods you would have to have an armed guard around it every time you took it out of storage to keep the toothless meth-tweakers from "recycling" it for you...
  14. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    Foam I'm not sure if he won or not but you are right about them furnishing everything. It supposed to be that way everyone is on a level playing field but the secret stuff is what makes the difference. I have cooked some in wood and its not that hard. At least they changed it up about 3 years ago by making the judges taste the chicken. To many cooks were frying the chicken to get the color then throwing it there after the jambalaya was cook. Had a few of them where the chicken wasn't cook and some people got sick.

    Dward maybe way back in the day they used them for cane syrup but you can find them all over now down here. Now they are a lil pricey. A 5gal will set you back about $200 at most stores and the 30gal that I have will go close to 400-500 depending on where you get it and if it is seasoned. Hell if I had to sell the stands that I made for mine that would a few hundred dollars just for it.
  15. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    No, actually the bulk of the pots are made specifically for Jambalaya, Cracklins, and Chili. The sugar mill pots are huge and if you found one now you couldn't afford it. Makes you cry the rich folks want their antebellum flower pots and actually drill holes in them and once drilled can never be fixed. Loads of stores in the area actually have pots they rent/lease to the cooks. In the olden days the pots that cracked from use were set out for all to see. Like a dead anchor being dragged around your neck. Usually either one of plantation owners home would claim it or the mill would. Either way if there was no pots in the yard you knew the mill manager knew what he was doing.

    Where we are, there is no syrup production is nearly all sugar, now in Washington parrish they grow a cane specifically for syrup called Blue Ribbon Cane, that is where Steen's is made. The Sugar mills now are nothing like they were when I was a kid, its all electronic digital computerized instrumentation. Heck they don't even cut the cane the same, don't get me wrong its an improvement. But where there used to be 15 small sugar mills, today there is only one. Less trucks on the highway, less road damage, less people needed to harvest transport and refine.

    There are some really beautiful old pots around, nearly all full of plants.

    I need to reset my babble switch this afternoon.
  16. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    Your right Foamheart. The kettles from the mills were way larger. I grew up in St. James parish only 2 miles from the sugar house and my dad worked in the farming industry. I remember when we moved into our house about 35 years ago we had one of the big kettles in the yard that my dad gave away.

    I do know of one or two families that planted just a few acres of cane that used to process it themselves where they used the smaller pots but that was far and in between to find someone doing that.

    I remember going to the mill every year to see my uncle and bringing the butter dish to get the fresh brown sugar. We did that for years until seeing the some of the things that were running around in there and that's when I said I'll buy my sugar after it has been processed.

    There was also a mill in St. John parish that only made the syrup.
  17. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Keep talking people need to be reminded what life was like back in the day. I do like the sound of those pots !
  18. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's what they have flour sieves for....... LOL Sugar makes the best Pralines and I still use it in my coffee.......... Harder to come by these days unless friends drop some by.

    Sugar mill, St James........ Helvetia? Milled from from the Wagaspack to the Hymel Planations basically and a few other plantations south.  Then Texaco bought the Wagaspack's (including the store), Jamesie just sold the Hymels, Helvetia was closed in the 80's Now everything goes across the river. Boudreauxs, Gandy's, Poche's, Schexniders, Babin most of them all have kids now which have also retired and are all selling land to divid up among families?

    With the exception of the Hernandez's I don't remember a family syrup industry, But there could have been.

    AND Moikel, There is a couple of them sitting in a near village called Thibodeaux that are completely full of jade plants. Niece's Mother-in-law has one full of those huge oriental carp and water weeds near Baton Rouge. Huge pots.
  19. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    Helvetia was in convent but I lived on the West Bank. We lived between St. James Coop and Oak Alley plantation. The east bank they are selling the land because of the haul they have to make now. The West Bank side is not as developed yet but they are even selling out.
  20. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well of course I am east bank..... BTW you inspired me, I made chicken jambalaya for supper. You gotta try using your own home made bacon for your grease. OMW!

    These folks ain't hurtin from what they are getting paid for the land. Just a shame to see a life style passing away. Guess I should've stayed and enjoyed it when I could have, 'course then I couldn't wait to get away. Ain't that life?

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