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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 »

The Minimum Outdoor Camping Gear You Need

March 21st, 2014 by ironcooker


 Outdoor camping requires good cooking gear

by: Rudy Silva

Summer camp is coming soon. Outdoor camping requires good cooking gear. Camping gear like tents, bags and or foods are basic. You should also bring waterproof storm jackets. You should use the summer for more camping activities. Read this article to get more camping ideas.

If you are planning to have an outdoor adventure, you need to be prepared with your outdoor camping gear. It is not necessary to bring everything from your kitchen and bedroom to have a comfortable condition. All you need to have is the survival gear.

Depending on your adventure, you can have hiking gear and camping and hunting gear. For all outdoor adventures, you will need the essentials including footwear, clothing, backpacks, camping tents, campground cooking tools and accessories.

camping tentsMost outdoor foot wear is camping boots and trekking and hiking shoes. For serious hikers and campers, REI has high-end products for backpacking boots. You can also check out the hiking shoes of The Walking Company for good options, if you are an enthusiast of urban treks. Most shoes of The Walking Company ensure comfort.

Clothes are very important outdoor camping gear, because it can be cold at night when you are on highlands like mountain tops or hill tops. Be sure to bring with you a waterproof storm jacket. Check out Patagonia, Moosejaw and Backcountry.

Eastern mountain sports make quality backpack. Their products include daypacks, hydration packs and multi-day packs. Backpacks need to be durable because they hold and keep valuables. Camping tents provide shelter and protection for you when you are outdoors.

You will be shielded against the scorching heat of the sun, the pouring rain, and the rushing wind. Tents keep you guarded from pests like mosquitoes, noseeums and flies. They also protect your valuables like camp gear.

Outdoor camping gear would not be complete without your cooking tools. Whether you love cooking, preparing raw foods or opening canned goods, you will need to use fire. In most camp sites, a separate ground for cooking is prepared.cast iron skillets

Be sure to bring a bag of charcoal, spatula, propane stove, few pots, skillet and you will never be hungry. You can bring meat for steaks, hot dogs, hamburgers and sandwiches. Among the camping accessories that you will need are the sleeping bags, compass and maps. You can also bring GPS.

Compass and maps are particularly important for people who visit a site for the first time or when there is no tour guide to provide directions. GPS devices are among the outdoor camping gear that is a product of technology innovation to make camping more convenient.

Sleeping bags and pads will not make you miss your bed at home. You will not have to sleep on hard ground as you can use cushions. You can choose inflatable pads or closed-cell pads. You will place your sleeping bag on top of the pads.

If you are new to camping or hiking, you should choose summer as the ideal season for you. If such is the case, you will not need an expensive sleeping bag for your outdoor camping gear. A lightweight rectangular sleeping bag will be comfortable for you.

If it is too warm, sleeping on top of it with a sheet or blanket is recommended. Of course, you need to bring pillow and blankets for a good night sleep. Hiking or camping is more enjoyable when you have complete outdoor camping gear.



About The Author

Stop by to select your outdoor camping gear now. We have complete gear selection for kids and men. We have the gear you need for cross country skiing. Do you need special books and DVD�s on sports? You can come to Gear equipment and discover a new world of camping supplies.

Posted in Family Camping | 2 Comments »

Ready For Spooky Stories? 4 Resources To Get You Going

October 31st, 2013 by ironcooker

Ready For Spooky Stories? 4 Resources To Get You Going
Halloween is around the corner!  And while many other blogs might use this time to show you how to make spooky snacks or create devilish decorations, we’ve got a great topic all our own.  Is there anything better than hiking out into nature on a crisp autumn evening, striking up a campfire, roasting marshmallows (or something even better), and scaring the pants off of each other with a great ghost story?  We don’t think so.

Here’s a run down a few of our favorite campfire story sites.  Take a look around—you’re sure to find a few to put a chill up your spine.

Urban Legends from

Urban Legends from
This is a collection of some of the most classic campfire stories around.  Mostly in the realm of the (fantastically) real, it’s a list of close-call and mistaken identity stories where the finale twists back on the audience.  These are definitely the types of stories you tell in the stillness of the night, asking, “Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the lights?”

American Folklore

American Folklore - Spooky Campfire Stories
Here you can find some of the classics in supernatural stories from all around the country.  There’s a little bit of everything: frontier, civil war, and even some modern mentions like a Ouija board.  They’re sometimes spooky, sometimes have a sense of humor, and sometimes play at your heartstrings.  Check out this list to find a folklore favorite and rediscover the secret of the yellow ribbon.

Scary For Kids

Scary For Kids
Halloween is a great time to initiate some new campers into the fun.  This is a site with a few classics and some newer stories, ready-made to be told to the kids in the group.  Some seem a little over-the-top, but isn’t that just what they crave?  But heed the warning of the nature photographer’s story, and make sure to sleep with one eye open—just in case.

How to Tell a Ghost Story via Howcast

How to Tell a Ghost Story via Howcast
Have you already heard them all before?  Playing to an audience who already knows their stuff?  Here’s a quick video that shows you how to tell a ghost story yourself.  It shows you how to set the mood, spike the details, and use a little dramatic effect.  If everything else is old hat, then come up with your own story, customized to creep out anyone crazy enough to sit at your campfire.

Do you have a favorite scary story to tell around the campfire?  Which stories spooked you when you first heard them?  Tell us all about them in the comments below, and have a horrifyingly happy Halloween!

Posted in Family Camping | 1 Comment »

Beef Stew

October 19th, 2013 by ironcooker








Beef Stew outdoor recipe

Campfire cooking is always fun and very rewarding because there isn’t anything you can cook in your oven at home that you can not cook in a dutch oven over your campfire.
Beef Stew We have a couple favorites that we make on our camping trips and one we would like to share with you is this beef stew recipe with home made egg noodles.
Sometimes we top it off with dumplings made from a recipe printed on a box of Bisquick.  You will want to start out with a nice lean beef roast,
but before preparing the roast you will want to start making your home made egg noodles. I use this egg noodle recipe from – It is a very easy and simple recipe,
you will want to make it ahead of time and refrigerate your noodles until you are ready.
Of course the very first step is starting your campfire.  There are many choices for fire pits and that could be a whole other chapter. When your ready to set up your tripod and
Dutch Oven you will want to boil some water in it for your vegetables. Cut up an onion, half a dozen small potatoes and some carrots for your stew and put them in the boiling water.
cook them until they are just starting to get tender and remove them from the Dutch Oven.Dutch Oven & Tripod
then slowly drop your egg noodles into the boiling water – stir often to keep them from sticking. remove your oven from the fire – drain & rinse the noodles
Now you are ready for your beef roast, put a little oil in your oven & heat it up then sear your roast on all sides,  add just a little water but be very careful,
put the lid on and let it cook until its good and tender, then add the vegetables – egg noodles spices of your choice & enough water to cover everything.
The rest is a matter of letting it simmer on the campfire until you can no longer stand the temptation.


Posted in Dutch Oven Recipes | 1 Comment »

Michiganders: Join Us At Woods-N-Water News Outdoor Weekend!

August 29th, 2013 by ironcooker

Michiganders: Join Us At Woods-N-Water News Outdoor Weekend!
Look out for Iron Cooker at the Woods-N-Water News Outdoor Weekend event this coming Labor Day weekend (September 6, 7, and 8) at the Eastern Michigan Fairgrounds in Imlay City.  This is one of the most fun outdoor shows in the country, and Iron cooker is proud to be a part of it!

Weekend Features

The organizers really do a great job of putting together an engaging, entertaining weekend.  We’d love for you to drop by our booth and say hello, and there’s a ton of other great things to do and see!  Check out this list of activities and features for the weekend:

  • Ultimate Air Dogs
  • Non-stop hunting seminars
  • Deer field dressing demonstrations
  • Chainsaw carving contest
  • Dog handling demonstrations
  • Non-stop dog training
  • Live animal display: white tail deer, dogs, exotic animals
  • Chili cook-off contest
  • Fishing experts
  • Hunting breed puppy tent
  • Frontier encampment
  • Food vendors: traditional buffalo burgers, turkey drumsticks, jerky, and venison stick samples.
  • Civil war encampment
  • Free parking
  • Children 12 and under get in free

Come By to Say Hi to Iron Cooker!

Come Visit Iron Cooker
We’ll be bringing most everything to this event and most everything will be for sale!  Check out our Camp Chef 18” smoke vault, 14” and 15” Cast Iron Skillets, Dutch ovens, pie and bread pans, and Heat Guard Gloves.  You can sort through accessories like our bacon presses, hot pads, gloves, and muffin pans.  We’re even running a special on our small skillets at the show.

We’re bringing in a specialty collection of food prep cutlery pieces: 5 knives, a carving fork, and cutting board.  And you can see for yourself our newest piece for this year too, the Camp Chef Mountain Man Grill.

We’ll See You There

Check out the website for more information on events, pricing, and accommodations.  And please stop by to talk with us about your favorite outdoors activities!

Are you enjoying what you’ve bought form the site?  Are there any topics that you’d like to hear more about on the blog?  Tell us about your experiences in the comments below—or in person at Outdoor Weekend!

Posted in Iron Cooker Updates | 1 Comment »

Camp Cooks: Remember These Food Safety Tips!

August 22nd, 2013 by ironcooker

Camp Cooks: Remember These Food Safety Tips!

Some of the best meals are the ones we enjoy outdoors. There’s just something special about sharing a table (or picnic blanket) with friends and family, in the fresh air, while the aroma of freshly grilled meat wafts your way. But without the proper precautions, an otherwise enjoyable meal could easily result in a food-borne illness.

Fortunately, you can prevent that with just a few simple, quick, and easy rules.

Outdoor Food Safety Starts Inside

Outdoor Food Safety Starts Inside

Some of the most important parts of outdoor food safety begin while you’re still inside. Following these tips will ensure that your food is delicious and safe from the start!

  • Keep Your Hands Clean: Always wash your hands with hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before preparing any food and again when you finish. This seems like common sense, but it’s something that is often and easily forgotten. While hot, soapy water is always best, hand sanitizer is good for a quick fix when a sink may not be available– so make sure to keep some with you when dining outside.
  • Separate Raw From Cooked: Keep raw items separate from ready-to-eat dishes. Cover and wrap raw meats tightly to avoid raw juices from coming in contact with already prepared foods.
  • Refrigerate ASAP: Make sure that anything that you’re going to refrigerate gets inside the fridge as soon as it’s prepared, and always keep meats that are defrosting and marinating in the refrigerator until they are ready to be cooked.
  • Separate Dishes For Separate Plates: Never use the same dish or container for cooked meats as you have for raw, unless you can thoroughly clean it in between. It’s best to bring a clean, untouched dish for those meats that are hot off the grill
  • Watch Cross Contamination: Be sure to wash utensils, counter tops, cutting boards, and dishes before, between, and after each item gets prepared. Cross-contamination is one of the main culprits in food-borne illnesses during preparation, and while grilling and serving. Careful attention is a must!
  • Clean The Grill: Remember to clean your grill before and after each use!

Keeping Temperatures Separate

Keeping Temperatures Separate
One of the main concerns in outdoor eating is maintaining the proper temperature . If you don’t, bacteria can breed and make food unsafe to eat. Here are some key tips to remember:

  • Covered In Transit: If you are transporting meats or other perishable foods to a picnic site, completely cover and surround them with ice. And again, separate raw meats from other food items.
  • Tell-Tale Tool: A food thermometer is the only reliable way to tell if meat is thoroughly cooked. Don’t rely on color or texture.
  • Peak Meat Temperature: Ground beef and pork should reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees, while chicken and other poultry should reach at least 165 degrees.
  • Cook All At Once: Don’t attempt to partially cook meats ahead of time. Plan on cooking them from start to finish on the grill, at the campsite. Otherwise, you can cause bacteria to grow and multiply, and reheating doesn’t kill the bacteria.
  • Strict Time Limit: Lastly, never allow any food, hot or cold, to sit outside of the refrigerator or cooler for more than 2 hours. If the temperatures are high that day, above 90, the rule is 1 hour. If you can’t get it refrigerated within those time frames, toss it. Better safe than sorry!

Some of the best tasting meats and other foods are cooked and/or eaten outside, and safely so! Taking the above simple measures will ensure a safe outdoor dining experience. Do you have any tips or tricks to ensuring outdoor food safety? What are some of your favorite meats to grill or dishes to bring to a picnic? Please feel free to share and comment below!


Posted in Campfire Cooking | 3 Comments »

Campground Cooking

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

The Minimum Outdoor Camping Gear You Need

Friday March 21st, 2014 in Family Camping | 2 Comments »

Ready For Spooky Stories? 4 Resources To Get You Going

Thursday October 31st, 2013 in Family Camping | 1 Comment »

Beef Stew

Saturday October 19th, 2013 in Dutch Oven Recipes | 1 Comment »

Michiganders: Join Us At Woods-N-Water News Outdoor Weekend!

Thursday August 29th, 2013 in Iron Cooker Updates | 1 Comment »

Camp Cooks: Remember These Food Safety Tips!

Thursday August 22nd, 2013 in Campfire Cooking | 3 Comments »

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