Call Us 616-929-5066 or Email Us

Dutch Oven Recipes: A Full Day of Dutch Oven

February 8th, 2015 by ironcooker

Dutch oven with feet

A Dutch oven is any in a family of thick-walled cooking pots, usually made in cast-iron.

They have tight-fitting lids and have been used to cook for hundreds of years.  While this article will talk about European and American historical applications, similar cooking pots were all developed by the Dutch, the Japanese and the Balkans.  Derivative cookware took hold in Britain, America, Australia, and South Africa.

The History of the Dutch oven

The proper Dutch oven has a long history of being a sturdy, utilitarian pot in Europe and through America.

Early European History

The similar cookware in the style of the Dutch oven was developed in the late 17th Century in both the Netherlands and Britain.  The Dutch used production and manufacturing methods that involved dry sand molds in which to pour metal.  The result was a smoother cooking surface that was more desirable than what the English could produce, and the pots were eventually imported into Britain to satisfy the demand.  Seeing an opportunity, Abraham Darby would later travel to the Netherlands to observe the manufacturing process.  Once he returned to Britain, he filed for a patent and produced the cookware for Britain and the American colonies.

American History

On the other side of the Atlantic, the design of the Dutch oven began to change in order to better suit the needs of the people.  A shallow pot, legs to hold the pot above coals became commonplace, and a flange on the lid allowed people to place hot coals on the top of the pot to evenly cook the contents without getting coal in the food.  Dutch ovens were beloved by colonists and settlers for their durability and versatility.  A single pot could be used for boiling, baking, stews, frying, roasting, and almost any other cooking application.  They became so desirable in fact that people of that time would include their favorite iron cookware in their will in order to ensure that it was bestowed to the desired inheritor.  It’s no surprise, then, that Dutch ovens were carried into the westward expansion by rugged pioneers like those in the Lewis and Clark expedition, mountain men, and cattle drivers.

Use in Cooking

Dutch ovens are versatile, utilitarian cookware, but they’re specially suited for long, slow cooking recipes.  Think roasts, stews, and casseroles.

In keeping with the pioneering spirit, Dutch ovens are great for camping and the outdoors.  Often, a Dutch oven made for camping will include features like tripod legs, wire bail handle, and a concaved lid to place hot coals on top for an even internal temperature.  You can even use one of these sturdy pots for true baking, producing great foods and sides like biscuits, cakes, breads, pizzas, and pies.  Using smaller insert baking pans, you can rotate out finished foods and keep baking or start on uncooked dishes.  Some models will allow for stacking to conserve heat, and may go as high as 5 or 6 pots atop one another.

Recipes

The Dutch oven was a valuable piece of equipment for its versatility.  If need be, one could literally cook every meal in one of these durable pots.  To demonstrate that point, five recipes to carry you throughout the day are included here.

dutch ovens

Supper

 

Resources

If you’re looking for more recipes, check out these great resources:

Dutch Oven Dude: The quintessential Dutch oven enthusiast, this site is full of recipes for your Dutch oven.  http://www.dutchovendude.com/dutch-oven-recipes.asp

The Blog at Iron Cooker: A great resource for Dutch oven recipes, outdoor life, cast-iron care, and a retailer for several types of Dutch oven.  http://www.ironcooker.com/blog/

Dutch Oven Mania: These people love Dutch ovens!  Find a number of great recipes, guides to clean and maintain your Dutch oven, and advice on what to look for in a Dutch oven.  http://www.dutchovenmania.com/dutch-oven-recipes.html

Seasoning and Care

Depending on how the Dutch oven is manufactured, you may need to keep in mind some tips for keeping your pot clean.

For Bare Cast-IronSize Matters Multiple Dutch Oven

Clean your bare cast-iron Dutch oven like you would any other cast-iron cookware: using a brush and boiling water.  It’s best to use very little or, preferably, no dish soap.  Once it’s dried, apply a thin layer of cooking oil to prevent rusting and store your Dutch oven in a clean, dry place.  Leave the lid ajar for air circulation so you can avoid the smell and taste of rancid oil.  You can also use a newspaper or dry paper towel to wick away any of the ambient moisture.

For Enameled Ovens

Enameled ovens don’t need to be seasoned before they’re used.  Remember that enameling is best suited for water-based heat, which means you should avoid deep-frying.  Clean it like you would you ordinary cookware—some brands can be put in the dishwater.

References

There are some really great photographers whose pictures were too great to pass up.  Thanks to these blogs for beautifying this lens.

Posted in Dutch Oven Recipes | No Comments »

Dutch Oven Recipes: Black Forest Cobbler

February 1st, 2015 by ironcooker

Image1

The Black Forest Cake is something of a misnomer.  In its native german, the cake goes by the name of Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, which literally translates to Black Forest cherry torte.  And you can see by the assembly that it is as much a cake as a Boston Cream Pie is a pie.

A Black Forest Cake is constructed by layering chocolate cake, whipped cream, and cherries on top of each other.  It’s capped at the top with another round of chocolate cake, and then the whole thing is dressed down with more whipped cream and often decorated with cherries and chocolate shavings on top.  Or, at least, that’s how it’s supposed to be done.

[Fun Fact: This cake gets its name not because the cake itself came out of Germany’s Black Forest, but because it is traditionally doused with a cherry liquor that hails from the region.]

What Makes a Black Forest Cake?

While this torte certainly has an involved and illustrious background, the most important part is what you get to eat.  This is a dessert that combines iconic flavors that westerners recognize in german desserts.

Chocolate is the foundation on which this cake is built.  The entire region gets credit for mastery of refining and bringing out the richness and depth of chocolate.  It should be no surprise that the swiss and the swedes have both also adopted their own versions of this cake.  The rich, chocolate foundation is built upon by a traditionally tart cherry flavor profile.  And while chocolate comes off as earthy and heady, the dull acidity of tart cherries provides a high note that plays against chocolate’s base flavors.  And of course, the whole thing is tied together with the creamy, sweet texture of ample amounts of whipped cream.

The problem is, a Black Cherry Cake is entirely too fragile to pack out to a campsite, and way too involved to make with the tools you have.  Or it is?

The Solution: Black Forest Cobbler

The Black Forest Cobbler is a great substitute when you’re craving the rich, engaging flavors of a Black Forest Cake but you’re nowhere near a kitchen. All of the ingredients are stable and can survive your trek, so there’s no reason not to treat yourself!

Ingredients

  • 1 Package of chocolate cake mix
  • 1 Can of cherry pie filling
  • 1 Can soda pop – cherry or lemon lime
  • 1 Hershey chocolate bar

Instructions

  1. Empty pie filling into a Non Stick 9 Inch Pie Pan.
  2. Sprinkle about 3/4 of cake mix on top in an even layer.
  3. Pour half of the can of soda on top of cake mix.  Aim for even distribution.
  4. Mix the soda into the cake mix, taking care not to disturb the pie filling underneath.
  5. Break  chocolate bar into small pieces, sprinkling on top.
  6. Put four small pebbles in a Cast Iron 4 Quart Round Dutch Oven.  Place the pie tin on top of the pebbles.
  7. Cover your Dutch oven and set on a small circle of coals. Cover the lid with coals.
  8. Cook at about 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until the cake looks done when cut or poked.


And that’s a way to MacGyver a crumble worthy of the Black Forest Name even when you’re in the wilderness!!

Have you tried this recipe?  How did it work for you?  Tell us about it in the comments below!

You Might Also Like…

Thanks to Dutch Oven Dude for a great way to enjoy our favorite recipes, even outside of the kitchen!

Posted in Dutch Oven Recipes | No Comments »

Thanksgiving Side Dishes: The Cast Iron/Dutch Oven Collection

November 27th, 2013 by ironcooker

Thanksgiving Side Dishes: The Cast Iron/Dutch Oven Collection
For November this year, we’ve gone out to gather up some of our favorite recipes that you can cook in a dutch oven or on iron cookware.  So even if you’re going ‘Over the River and Through the Wood’ as the song says, you might not even have to make it to Grandmother’s house to get a solid meal.

Before we run down the recipes, let’s look over the rules:

  1. Each recipe must be prepared using cast iron cookware or a dutch oven, or at least have a reasonable option to do so.
  2. We’re not covering turkeys.  There are already enough ways to make a turkey—oven-roasted, grilled, or even fried, for example.  We’re not going to through our hat into that particular debate.  But in case you think that’s disingenuous, have you thought about putting your bird on a spit?

Thanksgiving Stuffing & Dressing (via All Food Considered)

Thanksgiving Stuffing Dressing

Stuffing?  Dressing?  Is that the same thing?  These are all questions that you ask at the very beginning of the meal because that’s the only time you have enough attention and energy to care.  But whatever you call it, this savory and starchy side is better when meat is introduced.  A smoky, savory, spiced element really places against tender vegetables and makes a base of flavor for bread.  This recipe starts with a pound of pork sausage and ends with sage and thyme.  How do you go wrong?

Bacon Cheddar Corn Pudding (via Every Day Dutch Oven)

Bacon Cheddar Corn Pugging-banner

There’s definitely a checklist of things you need to have Thanksgiving: turkey, gravy, rolls, potatoes, stuffing—and after that, things get hazy.  If corn pudding isn’t on your list of must-haves, this year try it out.  This recipe is creamy and savory, where the natural sweetness of the corn plays against the sharp and salty notes of bacon, cheddar, and ranch dressing.  This pudding has literally all of the good stuff you want during a barbecue—but it’s served at Thanksgiving.

Mashed Potatoes (via Delicious As It Looks)

Mashed Patatoes

Mashed potatoes are the requisite starch at Thanksgiving.  It’s easy for most people to cover a pile in turkey gravy and never give them a second thought, we suggest this recipe that you might think twice to season yourself.

It starts with a base of red potatoes, smashed with milk and butter.  The fattiness in the dairy plays against the potatoes’ natural and somewhat waxy texture make for a silky, substantial side.  Finished with garlic oil, thyme, and fresh ground pepper, you may want to break out a separate dish so you can enjoy them on their own.

Shirley’s Apple Crisp (via Salted Sugared Spiced)

Shirley Apple Crisp

Honestly, what’s Thanksgiving without dessert?  This apple crisp takes advantage of one of our favorite seasonal fruits without being fussy.  You get exactly what you came for: tart apples, sugar, cinnamon, done.  You might ask, why not add in different kinds of apples, or other spices?  The answer is simple: you don’t need to.  As told in the introduction, this recipe has a 75 year history in the author’s family.  That’s an endorsement that I’d take in a heartbeat!

Do you have any favorite thanksgiving recipes that make you break out the cast iron or dutch ovens?  Will you be trying any of these recipes this year?  We’d love to hear your reactions and reviews in the comments below!

Posted in Dutch Oven Recipes, Iron Cookware Recipes | No Comments »

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Recipe

December 28th, 2012 by ironcooker

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake SliceIt feels a little counter-intuitive to say it, but pineapple upside-down cakes are a winter staple to me.  Whenever she was invited to holiday parties, my mom has always brought one of these sugary desserts.  Family friends have begun to crave them at holiday parties, and who can blame them?  It’s a bright, flavorful dessert that seems fit for the Ghost of Christmas Present of Dickens’ Christmas Carol to enjoy.  The bright maraschino cherries light up in the middle of glazed pineapples, like Christmas lights on a house at night.

And the flavor is uniquely suited for this time of year!  The cake is light and airy, supporting the syrup and fruits like a tropically flavored cloud.  The sugary syrup recalls the flavors of fall that have just passed, and all of the best warm accents for the cold winter.  The fruit has a bright flavor that sings on the palette, contrasting some of the deeper and richer flavors of the season like chocolate and nuts.

Deceptively Easy

The really impressive thing about the Upside-Down Cake is that it looks and sounds like it may be complicated to prepare, though it’s very easy.  It’s a layered cake that’s built form the top down, and by the time it’s been cooked all of the layers fit and work together.  For your next holiday party, bring one of these and light up the winter night!

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake IngredientsIngredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 (20-ounce) can pineapple slices, undrained
  • 9 maraschino cherries
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (optional)

InstructionsPineapple Upside-Down Cake Cooking

  1. Melt butter in a Pre Seasoned 10 ½ Inch Cast Iron Skillet. Spread brown sugar evenly over bottom of skillet. Drain the pineapple, reserving 1/4 cup juice. Arrange pineapple slices in a single layer over brown sugar mixture, and place a cherry in center of each pineapple ring.  Set aside the skillet.
  2. Beat egg yolks until thick.  Gradually add granulated sugar, beating well.
  3. Heat reserved pineapple juice in a small saucepan over low heat. Gradually add juice mixture to the yolk mixture, beating until blended.
  4. Combine all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder.  Add the dry ingredients to the yolk mixture, beating at low speed until blended.
  5. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form and then fold egg whites into batter. Spoon batter evenly over pineapple slices.
  6. Bake at 325° for 45 to 50 minutes. Cool cake in skillet 30 minutes; invert cake onto a serving plate. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

Turn the Party Upside Down!

Have you seen how easy it is to make a pineapple upside down cake?  Is it better served with whipped cream, ice cream, or in all of its naked glory?  Let us know what you think in the comments below!

You May Also Like…

via 1 2 3 4

Posted in Iron Cookware Recipes | 4 Comments »

Dutch Oven Recipes: A Full Day of Dutch Oven

Sunday February 8th, 2015 in Dutch Oven Recipes | No Comments »

Dutch Oven Recipes: Black Forest Cobbler

Sunday February 1st, 2015 in Dutch Oven Recipes | No Comments »

Thanksgiving Side Dishes: The Cast Iron/Dutch Oven Collection

Wednesday November 27th, 2013 in Dutch Oven Recipes, Iron Cookware Recipes | No Comments »

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Recipe

Friday December 28th, 2012 in Iron Cookware Recipes | 4 Comments »

Recent News

Discussion

Categories

Outdoor Topics

RSS Featured Cookware

Join Us On Facebook

- Facebook Members WordPress Plugin

Cooking Resources

Hunting Resources

Outdoor Resources

Archives