O.K. I went and bought a Dutch Oven..now tell me how to use it !

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
Apr 13, 2007
Beautiful East Texas pineywoods !
I got one with out the little legs on the bottom so that I could use it on my stove. Let's hear from the pros about using it . BTW, it's been seasoned this morning. ..
First, you put stuff in it to be cooked. Then you put coals under it and on top of it!

Really though, you'll love it. Used to have one, but got rid of it a very long time ago.

Dutch does alot of DO cooking I believe. Good Luck with it!
I've got a DO like that also. My parents carried it with them in their RV and cooked some wonderful meals with it on the charcoal grill. They put coals under it and on the lid, then the campers would go nuts smelling the aroma of our dinner.

I also have an antique DO that I use on the stove. It has no legs, has a flat bottom and a domed lid.
I would season it 2 or 3 more times. And DONT cook anything acidity in it right away, you'll kill the seasoning. Cook some greasy foods in it first to help with the seasoning get a good start. I have some good sites for DO's, I'll look for them


Remember not to "hard" scrub it when cleaning with anything too abrasive. Treat it like your favorite cast iron skillet.
Step one: Add food!

Step two: Add Heat!

All else is secondary.

There is also no big secret about seasoning a dutch oven or any cast iron for that matter and its care. Clean is the most important thing so don't worry about using soap and water or scouring pads, get it and keep it clean you won't hurt it making it clean. After it is clean and dry wipe it with just a little bit of veggie oil on a paper towel, you can heat it until it smokes or follow any of a thousand different methods as you see fit, but I will offer this bit of information. Turn the pot or pan or dutch oven upside down if you are going to try to season it all at one time or after every use. This will allow the excess oil to run out of the pot or pan or dutch oven instead of flowing to the bottom and making some kind of thick gooey spot on the inside of the pot.

The real deal is this, every time you use your cast iron a little bit of the oil turns to carbon and gradually seasons the pot. This will tend to happen faster on the sides and in areas where you don't tend to rub the stirring spoon or fork against all that much, because you actually scrape off that carbon in very small amounts before it has a chance to build up very much. As long as you cook with oil or animal fat the carbon will keep building up over time. If you happen to burn something that sticks to the pot and have to scrub to get it off, you wont hurt anything but your back and some of the seasoning. Scrub off the burnt food and wipe the pot with a thin film of oil and let the seasoning start to build up again. I store my cast iron upside down in the oven, the same place my parents did and the same place that most of the people that I remember did and do.

As far as tomatos and acidic foods go in cast iron? I have eaten more sloppy Joes and spaghatti sause out of cast iron than I can remember. Just try not to burn it in the pot when you cook it (As with all foods) And don't store foods in you cast iron (As with all foods) Again if you scrub off the seasoning, then recoat with oil and give it some time to work back, no biggie. It is a pot, not some magical mystical thing it is for cooking your food, keep it clean and if you can keep it full of good cooking!
When I was a kid my Mama made most meals in a dutch oven or a cast iron skillet- she had a ton of them. She even had one just for making soap (but that was outside).

Keeps the juices in there real good.

Mama always scrubbed it up real good, heated it until the water evaporated then rubbed it with a hunk of salt pork after washing, then she'd would warm it up again and rub it hard with an old white t-shirt and do it again. They always looked so clean and shiney and never seemed to stick.
I have a couple of well used and much loved iron skillets that has a very deep patina on them. Nothing sticks to either of them.............
I hope I can get my DO in the same shape....
Harold, you mentioned that you bought a Dutch Oven (no legs). In the Camp Dutch Oven classes that I used to teach, I showed how to use the legless Dutch for outdoor use.

Take a round trivet that has 3 or 4 legs on it and place it on your cook table. Place the Dutch Oven on top of the trivet. Place your briquettes just under the trivet. For top heat take a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil about 20 inches long. Fold it lengthwise so you end up with a 1 1/2-2 inch wide strip that's 20 inches long. Bring the two ends together forming a band. You want this band to be a little smaller than the diameter of the lid. When you have the size you need, staple the band together. Place it on the lid and place the briquettes on the lid inside the band. The band will keep the 'quettes from rolling off.
I have two flat bottom DOs as well as a number of frying pans and skillets in cast iron.

I heat with wood so the wood stove and the flat bottom DOs work well together. On a day when I am home I will put together a pot roast dinner, just a pot roast, veggies and some seasonings, and let it "work" all day. When evening comes the meal is ready and most excellent!

BTW, I have a three legged cast iron DO and a DO cooking stand on order from Cabelas.

Also, I find that my GOSM is excellent for seasoning my cast iron. Just leave the water pan out of it, and go for the seasoning.

We baked some potatoes in our DO while camping and they came out really good.Also put some stuffed mushrooms in the last half hour,both went well with the T-bones and salad.
you'll enjoy your D.O. I have done beef roast, pork roast, stews, bisquits cornish game hens. I'm still learning but it is fun
thanks Lisa, you just saved me hours of surfing. I was just about to post that i bought me a dutch oven, now what? when I found this post and you addition to it. purfect thanks
I'm thinking about buying a 5 quart and 11 quart. How well do these work in the smoker for chili, beans, etc?

I finally brought all my cast in from the trailer. I used to use it exclusively for camping, but indoors on the stove they're better than any of the Teflon coated crap I've had in the past.

Cleaning is a bit more difficult, can't just throw'em in the dishwasher. I boil water in whatever I've used. Wipe clean, heat on the stove until the water has evaporated, and wipe down with cheap veggie oil.
BTW I have the cheapest cast cookware you can find at Cummins tool... LOL and it's better than anything else I've use in the kitchen.
A little suggestion that years of cooking for the Boy Scouts taught me. Line the Dutch Oven with foil prior to putting food in it. Cleanup is waaaaaay easier.

The International Dutch Oven Sciety website previously mentioned is great for information. Also check out any of the Boy Scout sites. They surely have great information. I have a great Caramel Apple Cobbler recipe if you want it (goes great with homade cinnamon ice cream).

Here is a great cookbook online for Dutch Oven Cooking.

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