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4 Essentials For Campfire Cooking

June 7th, 2013 by ironcooker

4 Essentials Campfire Cooking

One of the highlights of any camping trip is a good meal cooked over a campfire.  There is something extraordinary about the experience.  In today’s camping society, modern cookware and specialty camping cookware make it so easy!  The camping adventure would not be complete without gathering around the fire to supervise a meal that’s finishing up, almost ready to be served.  Here’re 4 essentials to prime your campfire cooking experience!

1. Building a Campfire

Building A Campfire With RocksSelection of a campfire site is a must when it comes to building a good fire.  Sometimes camp-grounds and state parks provide campfire sites for the fire to be built in.  If a site isn’t already provided for a fire, it is best to select a site at least 8′ from the bushes and any other combustibles.  It is also very important that no tree branches hang over.  Forrest fires are very easily started and anytime you are starting a fire, careful planning is a must.

Once you’ve found a good fire building site, build a semi-circle out of rocks or stones.  Place a large rock in the back of the semi-circle and this will act as a chimney, which will help to keep the smoke spiraling upwards instead of in your face.

2. Getting the Campfire Burning

Getting The Campfire BurningGather some small sticks and branches to use as kindling.  Shredded paper and some twigs would also be great to place in the center of the circle.  It is important to cover the entire fire area in order to have a good fire going.

Using matches or a lighter, light some of the paper in different areas of the circle and watch the fire start to burn!  When you start getting larger flames, introduce logs to get a good fuel source going.  Charcoal can also be used for campfire cooking.  Once the flames have died down and the coals are glowing, you can start cooking.

3. The Grill Option

The Grill Option Dutch Oven Open FireOne option is to get a grill and put it over the fire, supporting it with level stones or rocks.  Using two level logs instead is another option.  Anything you want to cook can go directly on top of the grill, using a spatula or tongs to rotate and grill evenly.

Of course, bringing a grill out is only one option.  You can enjoy a wide range of recipes is you bring out some more sophisticated cookware, like your dutch oven.

4. What To Cook?

What To Cook Dutch Oven RecipesUsing a sharpened stick or a roasting skewer, hot dogs and marshmallows are maybe the most classic camping fair.  All you need to do is impale your food on the implement and hold it directly over the fire until it’s cooked to your preference.

Other kebabs are great for camping.  Try this: Place chopped pieces of meat on a skewer stick and add pineapple chunks between the meat, tomatoes, peppers, and onions.  Lay them on the grill until completely cooked.  Turning them often for even cooking.

Potatoes are another great option and easy to make.  Slice potatoes and add some cheese and onions along with salt and pepper and wrap in foil.  Then place directly onto the hot coals.  They will be delightful.

Of course, these aren’t the only options for enjoying a campfire meal, and cooking outdoors really can be a decadent foodie’s delight!

Do you have any campfire cooking tips and tricks that you’ve tried?  Any great recipes?  Tell us about it in the comments below!

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Posted in Campfire Cooking | 10 Comments »

4 Reasons Why Cast Iron is a Must Have In Your Kitchen

April 9th, 2013 by ironcooker

4 Reasons Why Cast Iron is a Must Have in Your Kitchen
If you’re a frequent reader, you know that we’re very enthusiastic about cast iron.  But for the uninitiated, it’s easy to wonder what place cast iron cookware has in a world of microwaves and Teflon.  Why should you want to shop for a cast iron skillet when there are so many other options out there?

For our readers who are already cast iron users, we’re aiming to give you some new tidbit that you can be excited about.  And for those who aren’t—here are the big 4 reasons why we love cast iron cookware!

1. Super Skillet and Pan Perfection!

Cast Iron Pans Over Flame CookingCast iron skillets are a trustworthy, durable piece of equipment whether you’re cooking in the kitchen or over a campfire.  Unlike other treated pans, a cast iron skillet will endure exposure to open flame and it will distribute the uneven heat to reduce hot spots.  Put them on the stove top, in the oven, and even atop a campfire.  This is one of the only types of pans that lets you sear a delicious cut of meat or fresh vegetables on the range and then finish by evenly cooking in the oven.

If you’re wondering about some specific applications, a cast iron skillet is a uniquely suited vessel for cooking your favorite deep-dish pizzas.  That’s because the evenly distributed heating and tolerance for very high temperatures will get pizza dough deliciously browned while all of the great fillings and toppings are cooked through.

Iron Cooker Cast Iron Pan on Sale

2. Get Your Money’s Worth

Cast iron pans are remarkably affordable, and you can usually find one below $25.  Other pans may cost that much on up to hundreds of dollars for a single piece!  And how often will you need to replace them?

A cast iron pan can last for generations.  Where nonstick coating wears off of other pans and copper may corrode and turn strange colors, cast iron skillets season over time and only darkens as the slick coating builds up. Truly, cast iron is one of the most versatile cooking materials around, and you’ll be able to use it for anything from breakfast to dessert!

3. Health Benefits

Cast Iron Pan Health BenefitsWell-seasoned cast iron is super slick, which means you won’t need to use as much oil as you would in other pans just to keep food from sticking.  Even a non-stick pan will call for using oils, and as the coating wears off, you’ll actually be using more cooking oil in your food over time.  The opposite is true with cast iron—the more you use it, the more the coating accumulates.

And what happens to that non-stick coating when it sloughs off?  Where’s it going?  It seeps into the food that you’re preparing.  Not only does case iron not contain those dangerous substances, but it actually fortifies your foods with additional iron.  That’s great for your health, and especially for ladies.

Cast Iron Pan Easy Clean Up

4. Easy Clean Up

I’ll put it flatly: cast iron doesn’t even need to be washed.  To clean a skillet, just pour in some salt and use it as an abrasive scrub to remove any stray food particles.  After that, you can just wipe it with a cloth.

You can put it under some water if you’d like, but be careful to keep your pan very dry in storage to keep it from rusting.  Any soap is a big mistake—it’ll ruin that great seasoning you’ve been building up for so long.

Did you learn anything about our favorite cookware in this post?  Did I miss any cool facts?  If you’ve got something more to add or you found out something new in this post, tell us about it in the comments below!

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Posted in Iron Cooker Updates | 6 Comments »

Dutch Oven Cowboy Beans

January 11th, 2013 by ironcooker

Dutch Oven Cowboy Beans

The dutch oven has a long history.  As a European import to the colonies that would become the United States, this humble cooking pot became one of the most valuable pieces that a person could own.  Its design allowed for both in-home cooking and transferred well to outdoor life.  Mountain men, fur trappers, cowboys, and other pioneers thought of the dutch oven as one of their most valuable possessions.

Since in-home amenities have evolved over time, dutch ovens have retained a certain mystique that parallels those pioneering individuals of our past.  Some of the most popular recipes give a respect to that spirit, even if the ingredients differ some from what is authentic.

Howdy, Stranger.

Dutch Oven Cowboy Beans BowlCowboy beans are a great example of such a dish.  Cowboys were certainly fans of beans baked in a dutch oven.  Many varieties of beans contain what is referred to as slow carbs, meaning that the caloric energy that they contain is processed over a longer span of time than foods like sugars and grains.  They’re also a great source of water-soluble fiber, which can make its way into the blood stream and clear congestive substances out of the arteries.  For cowboys, means would have provided a great way to maintain energy, stay healthy with a high-protein or high-fat diet, and (maybe most importantly) stay regular.

Most recipes you see today for what are called “Cowboy beans” are more about character than they are authenticity.  Many of these recipes include Texas-style barbecue flavors that incorporate tomatoes and sweet bases.  Ingredients like ketchup and barbecue sauce would’ve been foreign to a cattle man who was more at home on the range than in the big city, but these recipes aren’t about authenticity—they’re about a enjoying the many flavors of the dish.

Bring on the beans!

Dutch Oven Cowboy Beans - IngredientsFor this recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 2-lb. can of pork and beans
  • 4 slices of bacon, sliced into squares (maple-cured or hickory smoked preferred)
  • 1 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup of ketchup
  • 1/8 cup of cider vinegar

Instructions:Dutch Oven Cowboy Beans - Baking in Pot

  1. In a Cast Iron 4-Quart Round Dutch Oven [], place beans, onion, brown sugar, mustard, ketchup and vinegar.  Mix thoroughly.
  2. Place bacon on top of the bean mixture, being careful to cover the top as much as possible.
  3. Cover and cook at 350 degrees at least 1 hour.

This recipe serves 8 to 10 people.

Cowboy Up!

Have you tried this recipe yet?  This is the type of dish that just wants to go with other southwestern barbecue fair, like cornbread and beef ribs.  But it’s equally at home alongside franks and potato salad.  Don’t be afraid to make your own adjustments—this is a recipe that just begs to get a special ingredient that becomes a family secret.  Tell us in the comments how you enjoyed your cowboy beans and what you served them with!

You might also like…

Thanks to for the offering the great recipe that this version is based on!

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Posted in Campfire Cooking, Dutch Oven Recipes | 18 Comments »

Iron Cooker Updates – Iron Cooker News 6-3-2012

June 3rd, 2012 by ironcooker

Iron Cooker News

Where has Iron Cooker been, has been a question often asked lately.
There was a little set back as far as our newsletter & writing to our blog because of the passing of one good dog that use to sit with me at night. It has taken some time to get into a writing mood again. Things are not all well yet but we need to keep our readers informed on our changes & new items & upcoming events. 7 Quart Oval Slow Cooker

First of all we have added several new products to our website. We have added Hamilton Beach brand to our store for our customers with products like 7 Quart Oval Slow Cooker  that has been marked down 20% off retail Hamilton Beach Wave Crusher 8 Speed Blenderprice for a limited time. Also we have added Hamilton Beach Wave Crusher 8 Speed Blender & several other new products like this new cast iron tractor seat stool Cast Iron Tractor Seat Stool.Cast Iron Tractor Seat Stool
Iron Cooker is heading to Engadine on June 15th & 16th. We will be offering 20% off on selected items we have there for sale. We hope to meet some of you at our table to sample our chili & fries with Camp Dog Cajun seasonings. We will have our 7 quart Hamilton Beach Crock Pot Full of chili for you to see.
It is that time of year so look out for us at campgrounds & events this summer; we will be making offers on our products & trying out new items.
Watch for our new banner, we are looking forward to seeing you!


West African Chicken and Groundnut Stew


2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1/2″ pieces

1 tb Peanut oil

1 md Onion, chopped

1 Garlic clove, minced

28 oz Can whole tomatoes, undrained, cut up

15 1/2 oz Can Green Giant Great Northern Beans undrained

11 oz Can Green Giant Niblets Golden Sweet Corn, drained

1 Sweet potato, peeled AND chopped

3/4 c Water

1/4 c Peanut butter

1 tb Tomato paste

1 ts Salt

1 ts Chili powder

1/2 ts Ginger

1/2 ts Cayenne

3 c Hot cooked rice

In a 4 quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook chicken in oil until chicken is

lightly browned and no longer pink, stirring frequently. Add onion and garlic; cook

and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until onion is tender. Add remaining ingredients except

rice; mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 30

minutes or until sweet potato is tender, stirring occasionally. If stew becomes too

thick, add additional water. Serve stew over hot rice.

Posted in Iron Cooker Updates | 1 Comment »

Family Camping – Camping Eastern PA

May 27th, 2012 by ironcooker

Best Spots for Camping Eastern PA

Guest Post By: Steve Mattus

If Pennsylvania is your vacation destination, naturally, you would like to know about the best spots for Camping Eastern PA. Here is some useful information regarding some very good camping spots in Pennsylvania. Camping Eastern PAAppalachia Campsites
Whenever we look for accommodations for us, whatever purpose it may be, we always give top priority to the cleanliness. This is where Appalachia campsites score very high when we compare sites Skillet cookingfor camping in Eastern PA. Other amenities at this camping site are also very good and the courteous staff gives Appalachia campsites an edge over the others. This site offers some abandoned wooden sites as well. Although the roads are not paved, they are very attentively cared for. These camping sites in Eastern PA are very large and spacious, each having a fire ring and picnic table. Because these campsites are near the highway, you may face some noise. However, it is not loud enough to irritate you and be a significant disturbance. It is possible to access the restrooms from all sites. Restrooms are neat and clean with free showers.

Listed here are some of the amenities and activities just to give you an idea how Camping in Eastern PA can be very enjoyable:

  • 1 .   Swimming pool and Pond
  • 2.  Video Games and Pool table
  • 3 . Recreation hall and Live Entertainment
  • 4.  Playground
  • 5.  Television and Movies
  • 6   Laundry services
  • 7.  Kids planned activities
  • 8.  Ice cream and Snack bars
  • 9.  Security gateYou can take your pet with you at these sites. Moreover, you can have some additional fun because the restaurants, amusements and retail stores are situated at nearby places.Eagles Peak Family Camping Resort

    Situated at the top of mountain, these sites for camping Eastern PA are really of very high quality. These sites offer many camping options so you can choose according to the type of camp you need. Almost all the amenities and activities found in other similar campsites are present here too. As an additional feature, this campsite in Eastern PA has two swimming pools. One swimming pool has a beautiful snack bar. The other one is smaller and is designed for the adults only.

    Some Other Campsites and a Few Tips

    Some other options for Camping Eastern PA are Lake-In-Wood, Otter Lake Camp Resort, Starlite Camping Resort and Warwick Woods Campground. No matter which campsite you choose, a little bit of planning will always make it a more memorable experience for you. For example, the majority of food you take with you might be the kind that does not require cooking. This saves time, trouble and space for packing. Be sure to take a mosquito net and suitable bed with you so that you can enjoy a sound sleep.

    With these tips in mind, you’re sure to enjoy camping Eastern PA.


    Author Bio

    Steve Mattus is a travel expert and has experience travelling the world. His website,, is a state of the art travel related website offering travel products, free travel articles, free Travel Adventure Bulletin and much, much more.

    Article Source: – Free Website Content


Posted in Family Camping | 6 Comments »

Campfire Cooking – Camping Food

April 15th, 2012 by ironcooker

Food For Camping

Campfire cooking can be a challenging experience when you have children along on your camping trip. Kids can be as picky about what they eat as any Camp fire Food Hot Dogscreature on earth. Pack Camping food that can be made by themselves or with supervision from their parents. Always remember to never leave a child unsupervised by a campfire by themselves because of obvious reasons. Children like hot dogs on a stick or long stainless hot dog forks that work great for roasting brats or marshmallows over a campfire.  We have more than one set of these stored away in our camper for cooking brats almost every night at our favorite campgrounds. S’mores is another favorite that kids like to make at a campsite. There is something about roasting a marshmallow over an open fire that just can’t be copied at home. Have you ever tried stuffed bananas? Hollow out a banana & stuff it with peanut butter & chocolate: place it back in its skin & roast it over a fire for Camp fireonly a few minutes. There are many other items that can be packed for children & adults on your camping trip but don’t forget to pack a big supply of trail mix for your long hiking adventures. These are just a few items you may want to consider when packing your camping food items this spring. I am quite sure you have a real big list of your favorite items too & we would really like to hear your ideas. Leave your comments & tell us your thoughts too!


Posted in Campfire Cooking | 7 Comments »

4 Essentials For Campfire Cooking

Friday June 7th, 2013 in Campfire Cooking | 10 Comments »

4 Reasons Why Cast Iron is a Must Have In Your Kitchen

Tuesday April 9th, 2013 in Iron Cooker Updates | 6 Comments »

Dutch Oven Cowboy Beans

Friday January 11th, 2013 in Campfire Cooking, Dutch Oven Recipes | 18 Comments »

Iron Cooker Updates – Iron Cooker News 6-3-2012

Sunday June 3rd, 2012 in Iron Cooker Updates | 1 Comment »

Family Camping – Camping Eastern PA

Sunday May 27th, 2012 in Family Camping | 6 Comments »

Campfire Cooking – Camping Food

Sunday April 15th, 2012 in Campfire Cooking | 7 Comments »

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