Seasoning Your Dutch Oven

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					  Troop 367
 Dutch Oven
Cooking Guide

         Dave Rish
   Assistant Scoutmaster
         Troop 367
                             Troop 367 Dutch Oven Cooking Guide

                                 Table of Contents

Caring for your Dutch Oven ______________________________________________ 3
  Seasoning and Re-seasoning __________________________________________________ 3
  First Time use ______________________________________________________________ 4
  Clean Up __________________________________________________________________ 4
  Storage____________________________________________________________________ 5
  Cooking in the Dutch Oven ___________________________________________________ 5
    Temperature control _______________________________________________________________ 5
    Other Tools You will Need _________________________________________________________ 6
    Baking Temperature Chart __________________________________________________________ 7
Recipes _______________________________________________________________ 8
  Carmel Apple Crisp _________________________________________________________ 8
  Fruit Cobbler Deluxe ________________________________________________________ 8
  Pineapple Upside Down Cake _________________________________________________ 9
  Easy Peach Dump Cobbler ___________________________________________________ 9
  Peach-Orange Dump Cobbler ________________________________________________ 10
  Dutch oven Bread Pudding __________________________________________________ 10
  Easy Fruit Cobbler_________________________________________________________ 11
  French Toast Casserole with Praline Topping __________________________________ 11
  Sausage Gravy ____________________________________________________________ 12
  Chili _____________________________________________________________________ 12
  Beef Stew _________________________________________________________________ 13

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                             Troop 367 Dutch Oven Cooking Guide

              Caring for your Dutch Oven
Seasoning and Re-seasoning
Cast iron Dutch ovens, if properly cared for, will last for many generations.
Constant and proper Dutch oven care beginning from the day the oven is
purchased will keep it in service for many years. When you get a new Dutch
oven, or any cast iron product, you must first remove the protective coating. The
coating is placed there by the manufacturer to prevent rust. Remove this coating
with hot soapy water and a scrubber. Scrub the Dutch oven several times,
rinsing after each time, to make sure the coating is completely removed.
After cleaning, rinse with hot water to clean off the soap and dry it with a towel
and allow to air dry. You can completely dry a Dutch oven by placing it in a warm
kitchen oven for 30 minutes, then let it cool enough to handle.
At some point, you may need to strip and re-season a rusting or rancid Dutch
oven. It's not that difficult. It can be done in your kitchen oven, but I've found the
easiest way to strip an oven is to use a gas grill. This process will create a lot of
smoke; that’s why I like the gas grill outside. Place the Dutch oven upside down
in the gas grill or on the bottom rack of your kitchen oven with the lid placed on
top of the legs. Set the temperature of the kitchen oven or grill to 400° and bake
for 1-2 hours. A self-cleaning oven works well; set it to self clean for 2 hours and
let it be. Allow the Dutch oven to cool completely before removing.
Once the Dutch oven has been burned and allowed to cool the remaining debris
must be removed from the oven surfaces. This is done by scrubbing the Dutch
oven with a piece of steel wool or a metal scouring pad under hot running water
until all surfaces are clean. Once clean, towel dry the Dutch oven then allow it to
air dry. The Dutch oven is now ready to re-season.
Now you are ready to begin the seasoning process. Some prefer white
shortening like Crisco; others prefer vegetable or olive oil. I have used both and
all seem to work fine. Using a paper towel or clean cotton cloth, apply the
shortening or oil to the inside and outside of the Dutch oven and lid until it is
completed covered.
Make sure the oil covers every inch of the Dutch oven, inside and out and place it
on the center rack, upside down with the lid (upside up) resting on top of the legs.
This will keep oil from pooling in the bottom of the Dutch oven. Bake the Dutch
oven in your kitchen oven for about an hour or so at 400°. This baking can also
be done on a gas grill. This baking hardens the oil into a protective coating over
the metal.
After baking, allow the Dutch oven to cool slowly. When it is cool enough to
handle, apply another thin coating of oil. Repeat the baking and cooling process.
When the oven can be handled again apply another thin coating of oil. Do not
leave any standing oil in the oven! Standing oil can turn rancid, ruining the
protective coating you just applied. Allow the oven to cool completely. Now it

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                             Troop 367 Dutch Oven Cooking Guide

should have three layers of oil; two baked on and one applied when it was warm.
The oven is now ready for use.
This seasoning procedure only needs to be done once, unless rust forms or the
coating is damaged in storage or use. This baked on coating will darken and
eventually turn black with age. This darkening is a sign of a well kept oven and
of it's use. The seasoning's purpose is two fold, first and most important, it forms
a barrier between moisture in the air and the surface of the metal. This
effectively prevents the metal from rusting. The second purpose is to provide a
nonstick coating on the inside of the oven. When properly maintained, this
coating is as nonstick as most of the commercially applied coatings.

First Time use
It is best to begin with foods which require a lot of oil or liquid and stay away from
tomato sauce for the first few times the DO is used. Baking things like cakes or
bread is a good starter as they tend to help to build up the coating on the DO.
Warning Note:
Cast iron Dutch ovens do not like quick changes in temp; cold to hot, or
hot to cold. Never put a hot oven in cold water; the cast Iron is brittle and
will crack.

Clean Up
Dutch oven care starts with the seasoning of the metal, but the second step is to
make sure you clean your ovens properly after each use. More often than not,
cleaning cast iron Dutch ovens is much easier than scrubbing pots and pans.
For cast iron, the cleaning process is in two steps. First, you remove any
remaining food and second, you maintain the protective coating. If you cooked in
foil or a Dutch oven liner, just rinse and wipe dry and apply a light coating of
seasoning and you are ready to go again. To remove stuck on food, place some
warm clean water into the oven and heat until almost boiling. Using a plastic
mesh scrubber or coarse sponge and No Soap, gently break loose the food and
wipe away. After all traces have been removed, rinse with clean warm water.
Soap is not recommended because it will break down the protective
covering and will get into the pores of the metal to taint the flavor of your
next meal.
After cleaning and rinsing, allow the oven to air dry. Apply a thin coating of oil to
both the inside and outside of the oven and the top and underside of the lid. If
you do not oil the outside of the oven, the protective barrier will break down with
use and the oven will start to rust.
If the oven gets rusty, you can clean it up by soaking the rusty area in Coca Cola
for an hour or so. Scrub with wire scrubber only where it is rusty. Then, rinse it
out and re-season that part of the oven again by applying a coat of seasoning oil
and heat to 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

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                             Troop 367 Dutch Oven Cooking Guide

It is important when storing your Dutch oven to keep the lid cracked so that air
can circulate into it. This can be accomplished by laying a paper wick, made
from a napkin or paper towel folded accordion style, across the rim of the oven
leaving a small amount outside, and then setting the lid down on top of it. The
wick also acts to draw any moisture out of the oven. If air cannot circulate into the
Dutch oven, the oil used to protect it will turn rancid and will permeate the pores
of the metal with a sour odor. If you are going to store your oven or not use it for
a long time, simply store it without the lid and apply a light coat of mineral oil and
the mineral oil will not become rancid. Store in a location where it is protected
from moisture and dust.

Cooking in the Dutch Oven
Temperature control
Always use high quality briquettes. I recommend using Kingsford charcoal.
Kingsford is packed tighter than most other brands so it won't pop and spit, and it
tends to burn longer than other brands. Kingsford charcoal will generate good
heat for about an hour.
A charcoal starter or "chimney" offers a fast way of lighting briquettes without
using lighter fluid. Simply place your charcoal in the chimney, then wrinkle up 3-
4 pieces of newspaper and place under the chimney. Light the paper with a
match stuck through the vent holes in the side. That's it. In 10-15 minutes your
charcoal is hot and ready for use. When coals are 'hot', they are barely covered
with white ash and you can hold your hand near them for only 2 or 3 seconds.
You can hold your hand near 'medium' coals for about 5 seconds. Low coals are
covered with ash. You should be able to hold your hand near them for about 7
The general rule of thumb to produce about a 350° heat is to take the size
of the Dutch oven in inches, double the number, and use that many total
So, for a 12" oven you would use 24 briquettes, for a 14" oven you would use 28
briquettes, etc.
Remember this is just a rule of thumb and does not work for all makes of
ovens! This rule for instance does not always work when cooking with the large
troop Dutch ovens because they are much deeper. I have found that they take
several additional coals on top.
There is a baking temperature chart from Lodge Cast Iron Mfg. for use with their
ovens listing the total number of briquettes necessary to bring an oven to
different temperatures at the end of this section.
Other factors such as air temperature, humidity, altitude, and wind all influence
how much heat is generated by burning briquettes. Cooler air temperatures, high
altitudes, shade, and high humidity will decrease the amount of heat generated

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                              Troop 367 Dutch Oven Cooking Guide

by briquettes. Hot air temperatures, low altitude, direct sunlight, and wind will
increase the amount of heat generated by briquettes. Also note that in windy
conditions briquettes will burn faster due to the increased air flow around them,
so they will not last as long.
Heat placement around the Dutch oven is crucial to yield the best cooking
results. Briquettes placed under the oven should be arranged in a circular
pattern no less than 1/2" from the outside edge of the oven. I place the Dutch
oven in it’s cooking spot and use a stick to mark the outside edge. This lets me
know where the coals should be placed. (The first cake I baked in a Dutch oven
was cooked beautifully except for one edge, which was raw because I did not put
briquettes close enough to the edge to cook it properly.) Briquettes placed on
the lid should be spread out evenly. Try to avoid bunching the briquettes on top
or bottom as this causes hot spots.
On average, every 2 briquettes added or subtracted to/from the Dutch oven will
change temperature about 25 degrees.
To keep from generating hot spots which cause uneven browning and burned
spots, rotate your Dutch ovens every 15 minutes by turning the oven 90° in one
direction and the lid 90° in the opposite direction. The easiest way to manage
this is to lift the lid, rotate the oven 90° clockwise, then put the lid back on so it is
facing the same way it was when you lifted it.
The best way to determine if your dish is cooking properly is to look at it. Don't
be afraid to lift your oven lids to check on your food. When I lift the lid to rotate
my ovens, I will always look inside to see what the food is doing. This lets you
know if the oven temperature is right or if I need to add or take away briquettes.
If the inside of the Dutch oven lid is smooth, it can be placed over the fire or
stove upside down and used as a skillet or griddle. The inside of some lids are
covered with little bumps that cause the condensate to drip evenly over what is
being cooked. Usually, the smooth lids have a slight concave shape that helps
prevent your eggs or pancakes from running over the edge.
If you have to cook in cold, wet, or windy weather, you will need more briquettes.
Try to keep the rain off the Dutch oven by placing it in a ventilated, covered area,
or build a rain/wind shield from foil.
If you need to add briquettes to the Dutch oven, add them a few at a time. If the
oven gets too hot, it takes a long time for the cast iron to loose heat and the food
may burn.
For most dishes, you will not need to heat the Dutch oven before adding your
ingredients. One exception is cooking a large piece of meat, such as a roast.
Heat the oven with a little oil and brown the meat on all. Then add vegetables,
etc. and cook.

Other Tools You will Need
Charcoal Starter Chimney: The chimney is the easiest way to get the charcoal

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                                             Troop 367 Dutch Oven Cooking Guide

Lifters: You will need something to lift the lid with. There are many different
designs of lid lifters. Most work, some work better than others.
Tongs: Long handled tongs are used to arrange and move the hot coals during
cooking time.
Others: You may also use lid holders to place the lid on when checking on the
food. A small cornstalk whisk broom can be used to brush the ashes from the lid.

Baking Temperature Chart

                Number of Coals per Baking Temperature for Dutch Oven Cooking
                                        by Lodge® Mfg.
Temp            325°                  350°                 375°                 400°                 425°                 450°
 Size   Total    Top/Bottom   Total   Top/Bottom   Total   Top/Bottom   Total   Top/Bottom   Total   Top/Bottom   Total   Top/Bottom
  8”    15        Top-10      16       Top-11      17       Top-11      18       Top-12      19       Top-13      20       Top-14
                   Bot-5                Bot-5                Bot-6                Bot-6                Bot-6                Bot-6
 10”    19        Top-13      21       Top-14      23       Top-16      25       Top-17      27       Top-18      29       Top-19
                   Bot-6                Bot-7                Bot-7                Bot-8                Bot-9               Bot-10
 12”    23        Top-16      25       Top-17      27       Top-18      29       Top-19      31       Top-21      33       Top-22
                   Bot-7                Bot-8                Bot-9               Bot-10               Bot-10               Bot-11
 14”    30        Top-20      32       Top-21      34       Top-22      36       Top-24      38       Top-25      40       Top-26
                  Bot-10               Bot-11               Bot-12               Bot-12               Bot-13               Bot-14

Some information in this section taken from Byron’s Dutch Oven Cooking website and A Quick Start to Dutch Oven
Cooking 2009 by Jim Bloom.

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                                 Troop 367 Dutch Oven Cooking Guide

These are some of the dishes that I have made using Dutch ovens at some of the Troop 367
campouts. Several recipes come from Byron’s Dutch Oven Recipes website. Everything I have
cooked form this site have been delicious.

Carmel Apple Crisp
From Byron’s Dutch Oven Recipes website
Filling                                                               Topping
8-10     large granny smith apples; peeled, cored and sliced          2 cups brown sugar
2 Tbs. lemon juice                                                    2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar                                                         1 cup instant oatmeal
1/3 cup flour                                                         1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp. ground cinnamon                                                1 cup butter; melted
3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
3/4 tsp. salt
1 (12 oz.) jar caramel sauce

In a buttered 12" Dutch oven, add apples and lemon juice; stir to coat apples. In a separate dish
combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt; stir to mix. Pour dry ingredients over
apples and stir until apples are well coated. Spread out apples and pour caramel sauce over the
In a medium bowl combine brown sugar, flour, oatmeal, and walnuts; stir to mix. Using a fork, mix
in melted butter to form coarse crumbs. Spread topping evenly over apples.
Cover Dutch oven and bake using 10-12 briquettes bottom and 16-18 briquettes top for 60
minutes. Serves: 16

Fruit Cobbler Deluxe
From Byron’s Dutch Oven Recipes website
1     (30 oz.) can sliced peaches; drained
1     (30 oz.) can sliced apricots; drained
1     (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple
1     tsp. almond extract
1     tsp. cinnamon
1     box white cake mix
1     can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/3   cup toasted sliced almonds
Line a 12" Dutch oven with heavy duty foil. To lined Dutch oven add fruit, almond extract,
cinnamon, and 1/2 cup of the dry cake mix; stir to mix.
In a separate bowl mix together the remaining cake mix and the sweetened condensed milk to
form a batter. Pour batter over the top of the fruit and sprinkle with toasted almonds.
Cover and bake for 45 to 60 minutes using 8-10 briquettes bottom and 14-16 briquettes top until
topping is golden brown.
Serve topped with whipped cream or serve with vanilla ice cream. Serves: 8-10

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                                  Troop 367 Dutch Oven Cooking Guide

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
From Byron’s Dutch Oven Recipes website
Topping                                             Cake Batter
4     Tbs. butter                                   1     yellow cake mix
1     cup brown sugar                               1     cup pineapple juice
8     pineapple rings                               1/3   cup water
8     maraschino cherries                           3     eggs
                                                    1/3   cup oil
Prepare Cake Topping: Melt butter in bottom of a 12" Dutch oven. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly
over butter being careful not to touch the sugar once it has begun to dissolve into the butter.
Carefully place pineapple rings on top of the brown sugar, 7 around the outside and 1 in the
center. Place a maraschino cherry in the center of each pineapple ring.
Prepare Cake Batter: In a mixing bowl combine cake mix, pineapple juice, water, eggs and oil;
mix well. Spoon cake batter carefully over the top of pineapple rings. Spread batter evenly to
Bake: Cover Dutch oven and bake using 10-12 briquettes bottom and 14-16 briquettes top for 45
minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched.
Let the cake cool for 10 minutes or so in the oven with the lid cracked. Next run a rubber spatula
around the inside edge of the oven to loosen the cake. To turn the cake out, first lay a piece of
parchment paper across the top of the oven so it lays flat and replace the lid so that it holds the
paper in place. Make sure you have an available lid stand resting on your table for the next step.
Using gloved hands place one hand on the lid and the other hand under the oven and carefully lift
and flip the oven over so the cake falls onto the lid. Rest the oven upside down on the lid stand
and tap the bottom and sides of the oven lightly with your hand to make sure the cake didn't stick.
Then lift the oven off the lid. The cake will be resting on the parchment lined lid and can be cooled
this way or slid off the lid using the parchment paper. Allow cake to cool slightly before service.
Serves: 8-10

Easy Peach Dump Cobbler
From Byron’s Dutch Oven Recipes website
2       (30 oz.) cans sliced peaches; drained
1       yellow cake mix; dry
1       can Sprite or 7Up
ice cream of your choice
Into a 12" Dutch oven add peaches and spread out. Pour cake mix over peaches then pour the
soda over the cake mix. Stir to mix completely. Place lid on oven. Bake for 45 minutes to an
hour using 12 briquettes top and 12 briquettes bottom. Rotate oven and lid every 15 minutes.
Serve warm with ice cream. Serves: 8-10

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                                 Troop 367 Dutch Oven Cooking Guide

Peach-Orange Dump Cobbler
From Byron’s Dutch Oven Recipes website
2 (30 oz.) cans sliced peaches; drained
2 (8 oz.) cans mandarin oranges; drained
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 yellow cake mix; dry
1 can Orange soda
4 Tbs. butter; cut into pieces
vanilla ice cream
Line a 12" Dutch oven with heavy duty foil. To Dutch oven add peaches, oranges, and cinnamon.
Stir to mix. Sprinkle brown sugar over fruit. Dump cake mix in a large pile over center of fruit.
Make a well in the center of the cake mix. Pour orange soda into the well then stir cake mix in to
moisten. Spread mixture evenly over fruit. Dot top with butter.
Place lid on Dutch oven and bake using 8-10 briquettes bottom and 14-16 briquettes top for 45-
60 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Serves: 8-10

Dutch oven Bread Pudding
6 eggs
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup sour cream
1 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound sliced bread, cubed
½ cup melted butter
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
In a medium mixing bowl, mix eggs, sugar, sour cream, half-and-half, and vanilla. Grease a
Dutch oven with a little of the melted butter. Place the bread in oven. Pour the remaining butter
over the bread and toss to thoroughly coat. Evenly sprinkle the brown sugar and nutmeg over the
bread and toss to combine, Pour the egg mixture over the bread and mix well. Let stand about
20 minutes until the bread absorbs most of the liquid mixture.
Bake in Dutch oven 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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                                    Troop 367 Dutch Oven Cooking Guide

Easy Fruit Cobbler
From Byron’s Dutch Oven Recipes website
1       stick butter
2       cups flour
2       cups sugar
1       Tbs. baking powder
1       tsp. salt
1 1/2   cup milk
2       (20 oz.) cans pie filling (your favorite)
1       tsp. ground cinnamon
Melt butter in a 12" Dutch oven using 10-12 briquettes bottom heat.
In a separate bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; stir to mix. Add milk and beat
until batter is smooth. Pour batter over melted butter -- do not stir. Spoon pie filling by
tablespoons over batter -- do not stir. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top.
Cover and bake using 10-12 briquettes bottom and 18-20 briquettes top for 45 to 60 minutes
rotating oven and lid 1/4 turn in opposite directions every 10 minutes until crust is golden brown.
Serve topped with whipped cream or with vanilla ice cream. Serves: 12

French Toast Casserole with Praline Topping
1 loaf French bread                                   Praline Topping
8 eggs                                                1 cup packed brown suar
2 cups half-and-half                                  1 cup chopped pecans
2 Tablespoons sugar                                   2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla                                    ½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cinnamon                                   ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Dash salt
Praline topping (below)
Maple syrup

Slice bread into 20 1-inch slices. Arrange slices in a generously buttered Dutch oven,
overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine eggs, half-and-half, and remaining flavorings
and beat whisk until blended, but not too bubbly. Pour over bread slices making sure all are
covered evenly, and spoon between slices. For the topping, combine all ingredients in a bowl
and blend well. Spread praline topping over bread and bake about 40 minutes until puffed and
lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.

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                                   Troop 367 Dutch Oven Cooking Guide

Sausage Gravy
8 oz sausage
2 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons flour
1½ to 1¾ cups milk
Salt & pepper to taste
Cook the sausage in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat, stirring to break up the sausage.
When the sausage is browned, add butter. When the butter is melted, add the flour and stir until
well blended. GRADUALLY add the milk while stirring. Continue to stir while cooking until
thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4. This recipe can easily be multiplied to feed
more people. (At the campout in January,2010, I multiplied this recipe by 6.)

2 lb Ground Beef
1 medium Onion, chopped (I usually add a little more)
4 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons ground Cumin
2 teaspoons salt
4 to 6 Tablespoons Chili Powder
2 Tablespoons all-purpose Flour
1 ½ Tablespoons Sugar
2 (16oz) cans Kidney Beans, undrained
1 (16oz) can Whole Tomatoes, undrained & chopped
1 (6oz) can Tomato Paste
Combine first 5 ingredients in large Dutch oven; cook over medium heat, stirring to crumble meat,
until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off pan drippings. Stir in chili powder, flour, & sugar.
Add remaining; stir well (mixture will be very thick). Cover and cook 30 min over low heat. Yield:
8 1-cup servings. This recipe can easily be multiplied to feed more people. (At the camporee in
October, 2009, I multiplied this recipe by 10.)

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                                 Troop 367 Dutch Oven Cooking Guide

Beef Stew
2 pounds stew beef
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups water
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 onion, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
Dash of allspice
3 large carrots
3 ribs celery
6 small potatoes, quartered
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
In a Dutch oven, brown the meat in hot oil. Add water, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves,
onion, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, and allspice. Cover and let simmer for 1½-2 hours. Add
carrots, celery, and potatoes. Cover and cook 30-40 minutes longer. To thicken, combine the
cornstarch with ¼ cup of water until smooth and add it to the stew. Stir and cook until thick and
bubbly. Serves 6. This recipe can easily be multiplied to feed more people. (At the campout in
January,2010, I multiplied this recipe by 6.)

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