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Archive for April, 2014

Three Things You Need To Know About Salmon Fishing

April 23rd, 2014 by ironcooker

Three Things You Need To Know About Salmon Fishing
Salmon are one of the most delicious and widely used fish.  It makes appearances in a lot of cuisines– from Japanese to Nordic, and even Polynesian.  You can pickle them, smoke them, bake them, and even make salmon jerky!  And while it’s a tasty and healthful ingredient to have in your kitchen, it’s also great sport to venture off and fish for your own salmon.  And whether you’re making a special fishing trip to Alaska or make it part of a camping trip, here’s what you need to know to go fly fishing for salmon.

Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold: The Importance of Temperature

The Importance of TemperatureThe right water temperature is the key to success if you want to bag your own salmon. Invest in a quality thermometer, and keep an eye on how the water temperature changes throughout the day. If you can remember to take a reading at the same time each day, your readings will be consistent.  If you get a little sloppy about it, you’ll find some crazy jumps as the water temperature spikes or drops while it’s warmed by the sun or cooling off after noon.

Put the thermometer at least six inches below the surface of the lake or river, but don’t go much deeper than three feet.  If you can, try to take a reading at the same level each time, since temperature changes with depth as well as with the time of day.  Record your findings in a notebook, and get updates often.

Cool Waters Mean Better Salmon Fishing

Cool Waters Mean Better Salmon FishingExperienced fly fishermen know that salmon prefer cloudy weather. Less sunlight means that the water is cooler, and there’s more oxygen in cool water. And with more oxygen, salmon can be a lot more active.  But abundance doesn’t mean an easy catch: the energized salmon are sure to put up a fight to get away from the lure!

If you can find a midway point where the salmon will be present without wanting to put up much of a fight, you’ll be more likely to bring home a fish!

Taking Stock Of Your Fishing Equipment

Taking Stock Of Your Fishing EquipmentThe temperature of the water comes into play again, dictating what kind of rod, reel, and line you can use.  And of course, that also plays into which types of lures or baits will work.  Having access to those temperature readings really helps!  With that said, many fishermen have success with a lure or dry fly, in either a classic or contemporary pattern.  Check out what other fishers are using in your area when you’re looking into local regulations and licensing.

There’s definitely a lot of science and strategy involved in fly fishing for salmon. Knowing what types of rod, reels, lines, baits, and lures to use is a good start, but knowing about the regions climate, water temperatures, and oxygen levels can go a long way.

Do you have any tips on rods, reels, lures, or flies?  Have you made any catches because you were savvy to the water’s attributes?  And what are your favorite fly fishing spots (we’re all friends here, you can tell us!)?  Give us your feedback and tips in the comments section below!

Posted in Hunting & Fishing Life | No Comments »

Dutch Oven Roast Beef

April 19th, 2014 by ironcooker

Peggy’s Roast Beef

1 Boneless Rump Roast

1/2 cup 100% pure coconut oil

1 large onion cut up any you want.

4 to 6 cloves of garlic peeled but not chopped

Place all of the above ingredients in a cast iron Dutch oven over low heat.Put the lid in place and let it cook turning only every so often to keep one spot from getting too brown. I cooked mine about five hours turning it Cast iron Roast Beef Recipe occasionally.Remove the roast from the drippings which should be nice and brown by now.Place it on a plate. Add a little water to the drippings to make enough gravy. Turn the temperature up till the drippings begin to simmer.Mix cornstarch with water and use as a thickener. Add the slurry very slowly stirring constantly to prevent it from lumping. When the gravy is the right consistency you will know. Slice your roast across the grain and slip it back into the gravy.

I never season beef before I cook it unless I am stuffing it with garlic or peppers. As far as salt and pepper, I only season after the cooking is done and after the gravy is mixed. I only use salt and pepper to season my roast, but again, I only season just before we eat and after it is completely cooked.

Serve with mashed potatoes or rice and a veggie.

Posted in Dutch Oven Recipes | No Comments »

Campground Cooking

April 6th, 2014 by ironcooker


Campground Cooking With A Dutch Oven

An Article by Nicholas Filonovich

After a full day of camping excursions, fishing, hunting, etc., is there anything better than coming back to camp with a hot meal waiting for you?
Well this is done easily with a Dutch oven. A Dutch oven is a large cast iron pot with a lid that seconds as a skillet for your breakfast eggs or bacon, and can give your outdoor experience a wonderful meal at the end of the day.

Dutch oven with feet The basic idea of cooking with a Dutch oven is slow, slow, and slow! After your morning campfire for your breakfast and coffee and you are ready to hit the trails or stream, you bury your Dutch oven in the coals with a great meal inside that will be waiting for you when you get back! But we’ll get back to that shortly!

let’s start with the basics. First off, you will need to purchase a true campfire cast iron Dutch oven. A “true” campfire Dutch oven is made of cast iron, big and heavy with sloping sides and three legs to stand on. The lid seals the pot tightly has a rim around it to hold coals and earth. The lid is also an excellent skillet when flipped over to cook your eggs and bacon in the morning. There are “modern” Dutch ovens that are made of Aluminum, though these are definitely NOT desired for camp cooking. They easily overheat and tend to warp, and when you are cooking an all day meal to come back to, the last thing you want is a pot full of coals and dirt. So after you have purchased your new cast iron Dutch oven, the first thing you need to do is to give it a very good washing in hot water and soap. This washing will prepare it for seasoning. Many manufactures coat the cast iron with wax or other sealers to preserve the appearance of the utensil. After a good cleaning it is ready for seasoning. Seasoning is when you coat your new cast iron oven with oil or grease and “cook” it in your oven or campfire for several hours. Generally a couple to four hours is fine. The more the better. This process can get smoky in your oven so make sure you have your vent on. Basically this lets the oil or grease prepare the metal for even cooking and adds that special touch to cast iron cooking. Once seasoned, you will not have to do it again, as long as you do not excessively scrub the oven. Warm water and soap will do just fine for cleaning. Never use a “Brillo” pad or harsh abrasives. All Right, back to the cooking. A Dutch oven is designed for cooking over or in an open fire. Being heavily made with very thick metal, it distributes the heat more evenly. So when it is in a campfire either covered with coals or on a hook over a direct fire, it cooks very evenly. It also works great withDutch Oven Breadcampfires as they tend to very in the amount of heat they give out due to flare-ups, burn downs, hot coals, etc. One of the best uses and one of my favorites of using a Dutch oven is burying the oven with your favorite stew in a bed of coals and earth after your morning meal. Let your meal slowly cook all daylong while you are away enjoying your day outdoors. Later in the article we have included some “recipes” for all day stews. Dutch oven cooking is like any type of outdoors cooking, i.e. grilling, smoking, or even cooking a hotdog over a campfire, it is almost an art of trial and error. There is no exact science of how long to cook, what to add, how much to spice it up. Every campfire will give different results, though a Dutch oven does compensate for many. As a general rule, as with a home Slowcooker/Crockpot, the longer the better. Long, slow cooked meals tend to be very tender and delicious. The same goes for Dutch oven meals covered with coals and earth. Tender meats, tasty vegetables and seasoning all blended after hours of cooking, what more can one ask after a long day outdoors!


Well, I did say that I would give recipes at the end and here is a very basic recipe for your enjoyment!

Beef Stew:

2 pounds of Stew Beef in 1-inch cubes
4/5 Carrots,
Sliced 1 Onion,
Diced 3 Potatoes,
Diced 2/3 Stalks of Celery,
Sliced 1 28 oz. Can Tomatoes
2 Bay Leaves
2 Cups Beef Broth
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
Salt and Pepper to taste

One of the great aspects of a Dutch oven is that you can combine just about anything to create a great outdoors meal. You can add any type of meat, vegetable and spice to create a wonderful dinner. Some helpful hints; -Brown whatever meat you are using by adding a little oil or grease to the oven when it is hot. Once browned, drain fat and return to heat. -Add whatever vegetables and spices you wish to the meat and cover with water. -Being that it will be simmering all day, the meal should take anywhere from 6 to 12 hours, all depending on the amount of heat, coals, wind, rain, etc.. Cooking with a Dutch oven is most definitely not an exact science, which is why I love it so much. You never know what to expect, and that is part of the enjoyment behind it. But after you come back to your campsite after a day outdoors and you smell that wonderful stew cooking, you will know another one of the great outdoor secrets!

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Posted in Campfire Cooking | 11 Comments »

Easy Dutch Oven Bread

April 5th, 2014 by ironcooker

Dutch Oven Bread

Easy Dutch Oven Bread

Bread in Dutch Oven Prep Time:1 Hr 30 Min Cook Time:45 Min Total Time:2 Hr 14 Min

For Basic Bread
1 cup very warm water
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast (or one packet) (see Note)
pinch of sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 cups bread flour plus more for worksurface while kneading
2 teaspoons salt (see Note)
1/4 cup oil (see Note)

flake salt or raw sugar for topping
*special equipment: 4.5 quart or larger dutch oven with lid

(see Note)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese + 1/2 cup chopped scallions + 1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 1/2 cups grated parmesan + 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves + 1 teaspoon cracked red pepper
1 tablespoon cinnamon (sift into the flour) + 1 1/2 cups raisins
2 teaspoons nutmeg (sift into the flour) + 1 cup toasted walnuts + 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup (reduce water by 1/2 cup) + 1 cup toasted pecans + 1/2 cup sugar


Add water, yeast and sugar to a bowl and let stand for several minutes until yeast becomes foamy and bubbly. Add all the other ingredients. Yep. Dump ’em in. Combine by hand or using the bread hook of your stand mixer. When mostly combined, remove the dough onto a floured work surface and knead for about 2 minutes.
Put the kneaded dough into a bowl and allow to rest in a warm, dry place for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Turn dough out onto the floured worksurface again (add more flour!) and knead the dough for 2 minutes or until it becomes smooth and uniform in appearance. Form the dough into a small ball and let rest while the oven preheats.
Once the oven is preheated, pour about 1-2 tablespoons of oil into the dutch oven. Add the dough, seam-side down. Using a very sharp knife, cut a deep cross into the top of the loaf allowing the dough to pull away from itself slightly. Pour an additional 2-3 tablespoons of oil over the dough – inside the cross and over the smooth areas too! – and sprinkle salt or sugar over the loaf. Cover with lid.
Place dutch oven inside the oven to bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn temperature down to 400 degrees and remove the lid from the pot. DO NOT STAND DIRECTLY OVER THE POT AS YOU REMOVE THE LID. HOT STEAM WILL RUSH OUT! Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the loaf feels firm and light for its size.
Allow loaf to cool 10-15 minutes before removing from the pot to slice. Use a bread knife to slice if possible. Enjoy! Cooling Bread

Yeast: make sure you’re using live yeast that hasn’t expired!!! Also, the water you use should be around 110-120 degrees. Too hot and you can kill the yeast; too cold and it won’t activate.
Salt: reduce to 1/2 teaspoon for sweet breads
Oil: olive is good for savory, use canola or vegetable for sweet versions

Add ins: these are phenomenal in this bread, but the more things you add into the bread, the less your bread hook is going to work to knead the bread initially. If you use it to combine the ingredients then start having trouble, just dump the dough onto the countertop and knead by hand. It won’t kill you.
milk glass kitchen

Posted in Dutch Oven Recipes | No Comments »

Campfire Cooking Made Easy

April 2nd, 2014 by ironcooker

Campfire Cooking Made Easy
Maybe you’re new to campfire cooking.  Maybe you’ve cooked on a campfire, but not for a long time– say, since your last boy scout/girl scout adventure. Part of the fun of real camping is eating something that you’ve made, not ordered.  Cooking edible meals on a campfire should be simple, fun, and something anyone can do.  Here’s what you need to know if you’re going to cook outside.

Learn to Build a Good Fire

Learn How To Make A Fire

You want a fire that keeps on going, turning into hot white coals as it burns.  That means taking the time to construct your fire, and not just throw a bunch of kindling together. If you just pile wood on a fire, it will get too hot and burn the surface of your food while the inside is left raw and uncooked.  And that’s not good campfire cooking!

Tools of the Trade

Tools of The Trade - Types of CookingYou can use several techniques to prepare your food over a campfire.

  • Open flame cooking:This is good for your basic camping meal.  Hot dogs, s’mores, and toast to name a few.  If you can spear your food with a skewer, cooking fork, or long stick and hold it over the flames, you can cook form a camp fire.
  • Campfire grill: Inexpensive and versatile, campfire grills get set up directly over coals and used like a backyard grill.  Wrap up potatoes in foil, pierce meat and veggies on to kabobs, throw on a whole ear of corn, or even boil your pot of coffee in the morning.  Just make certain your coals are warmed up for a consistent temperature.
  • Dutch oven: This is by far the easiest, safest, and most versatile way to cook when camping.  A good dutch oven is invaluable.  You can cook stew, soup, pizza, casserole, even pie in a dutch oven.  The best part of a dutch oven is the fact that you put your food in the pot, place the pot in the coals, and leave it.  Your perfect camping buddy.

What is on the menu?

What’s on the Menu?

Of course, you’ve got to plan ahead to know what ingredients and equipment you’re going to pack out.  Just remember that perishable foods may need to be kept refrigerated or in a cooler.  Plan your meals around what needs to be kept cool the longest and use those items first.

  • With Children: If you have kids on the trip, plan for 3 main meals with snacks.  Breakfast might be eggs, bacon, or pancakes, all of which are easy to make with a dutch oven, a cast iron skillet, or over a campfire grill.  Lunch can be simple, like sandwiches or hotdogs with fruit.  Dinner can be more adventurous and easy, like hobo stew (which is anything from a can in a pot with cooked meat) and s’mores for dessert.
  • Solo Plus: If you are by yourself or with your spouse, this is where you can come up with some true campfire meals. Cooking the fish you just caught for any meal is the most rewarding.  Pair this with some foil wrapped potatoes and onions and you’ve got a mouth-watering dinner with little to no refrigeration needed.
  • In Groups: If you are going with a group of people you can pass around the chef’s hat.  Seeing who comes up with what based on the ingredients at your disposal can be really fun!  But a big pot of franks and beans with cornbread muffins is often enough to make a big group happy.  End the meal with foil cooked apples and brown sugar, and you’ll be a hero to your friends.

You Can’t Avoid The Grunt Work

Once all the cooking is done, kitchen detail comes next.  Clean up is even more important at the campsite than it is at home.  Make sure that the fire is contained and put out before you leave.  Collect all of the food, cooking tools, and trash and secure them so you don’t attract animals.
Cooking over a campfire can be a great experience and a lot of fun.  Do you have any tips for campfire cooking?  Any favorite recipes? Let us know in the comments section!

Posted in Campfire Cooking, Family Camping | 16 Comments »

Three Things You Need To Know About Salmon Fishing

Wednesday April 23rd, 2014 in Hunting & Fishing Life | No Comments »

Dutch Oven Roast Beef

Saturday April 19th, 2014 in Dutch Oven Recipes | No Comments »

Campground Cooking

Sunday April 6th, 2014 in Campfire Cooking | 11 Comments »

Easy Dutch Oven Bread

Saturday April 5th, 2014 in Dutch Oven Recipes | No Comments »

Campfire Cooking Made Easy

Wednesday April 2nd, 2014 in Campfire Cooking, Family Camping | 16 Comments »

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