Monday, June 27, 2011

Cooking With Charcoal - Using a Dutch Oven

We have talked about cooking with charcoal before, using a foil-lined box oven. Here is another method, probably the most popular method of all, cooking with a Dutch Oven.

Anything you can cook in your oven or crock pot, you can cook in a Dutch oven. Whether you want a meal of chicken and potatoes, pot roast and potatoes, chili, or even pizza, a Dutch oven does a great job! It is great for baking biscuits and rolls, desserts and pies and even breakfast. I’ve even baked cookies and made French Fries and doughnuts. And to repeat my favorite saying, “If I can do it, anyone can do it.”

All you need to do is practice and have confidence. Lots of the Dutch oven cooking that goes on is done using charcoal briquettes. This makes it easier to estimate temperatures which results in better meals.

Here is a hint that has helped me know how many briquettes to use when adapting recipes from my oven to a Dutch Oven: Take the size of your oven such as 12” then double that number to 24. This is the number of coals to start with to reach 350º. Put 10 under the oven and the rest on top. Each additional coal placed on the oven adds about 20º. For baking put most of the heat on the lid. For frying, put most of the heat on the bottom.

I am not a great Dutch Oven Cook but I do have some Charcoal stored so I have another option in the event of a power outage. I also have some favorite recipes that I cook in the Dutch Oven. Any food storage recipe that you have for your oven or stove top can be adapted to a Dutch oven.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes to make in the Dutch Oven. I’d love to hear about some of your favorite things to make in a Dutch Oven and how often you use your ovens.

Dutch Oven Barbecue Meatloaf
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 c. milk
1 ½ t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
2/3 c. chopped onion
½ c. finely chopped green pepper
3 slices bread, crumbled
2/3 c. grated raw carrot
2 lbs. Hamburger, lean is best
1 can Coke or Pepsi, caffeine free or regular
1 small bottle ketchup
Mix eggs, milk, salt, pepper & bread until mushy. Add onion, carrots, peppers & hamburger. Mix well and form into a loaf. Place in a hot Dutch oven. Mix 1 can coke and 1 bottle ketchup. Pour over meatloaf and cook about 1 hour or till done. Baste occasionally and serve with extra sauce if desired. This sauce also works on ribs, pork chops, steak or chicken.

Mountain Dew Dutch Oven Chicken
½ lb. bacon
1 gallon zip-loc bag with 1 cup flour
2 chicken breasts
2 potatoes
2 carrots
1 large onion
1 can Mountain Dew soda (Used caffeine free)
½ c. shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat Dutch oven by setting on bed of coals.
Chop bacon into 1” pieces.
Dice vegetables.
Cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise.
Fry bacon in Dutch oven until crispy.
Remove bacon from Dutch oven but leave grease.
Shake chicken breasts in baggie of flour to coat.
Cook in bacon grease to brown, about 5 minutes, turning a couple times. Pour vegetables, bacon, and Mountain Dew on top of chicken. Cover with lid and cook at 350° for 45 minutes with ¾ of coals on lid. Using tongs or a fork, lift chicken breasts so they are resting on top of vegetables. Sprinkle cheese over the chicken. Cook an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

1 can (20 oz.) Pineapple Slices
1 c. brown sugar
1 cube butter
1 cake mix (yellow, pineapple, butter or white)
The ingredients listed on the box to make the cake batter
Line Dutch Oven with foil. Melt butter in the Dutch oven. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over melted butter. Arrange pineapple slices over brown sugar. Mix cake mix as directed and pour over pineapple. *Note: use pineapple juice as part of the liquid in the cake mix. Cook using about 8 briquettes on bottom and the rest on top. Bake 10-20 minutes depending on the size of your oven. (For a very large oven use more pineapple or double all ingredients.

Sloppy Joes
1 ½ lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
2 ½ c. tomato juice
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 c. vinegar
1/3 c. sugar
2 T. flour
Hamburger Buns
Brown meat, onion & celery together in Dutch oven using 20 coals on bottom. Drain grease. Add tomato juice, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and vinegar. Remove enough coals from bottom to achieve a simmer; let simmer a few minutes. Stir together flour and sugar and stir into simmering meat mixture. Cover and simmer until thick, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Serve on buns. Y: about 6-8 servings. *Recipe can easily be doubled.

Taco Soup
2 lb hamburger
1 onion
2 t. garlic, chopped
6 t. dry chicken bouillon
6 c. water
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chilies
1 can diced tomatoes
1 pkg. dry taco seasoning mix
1 pkg. dry ranch dressing mix
1 can corn
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
8 oz mild cheddar cheese
12 oz. bag Fritos or Doritos
Brown hamburger, onion and garlic in Dutch oven. Drain grease from hamburger if it was not lean. Add bouillon, water, tomatoes, dry mixes, corn, and beans. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 20 minutes. Serve into bowls lined with chips and sprinkle cheese on top with extra chips on the side. Y: 8 servings.

8 frozen hash brown patties (or enough to line the bottom of your Dutch Oven)
4 c. shredded cheese
1 lb. cubed ham (2 c.)Or cooked sausage or bacon - your choice
7 eggs (Add more if using a larger oven)
1 c. milk
½ t. salt
½ t. dry mustard
I like to line the Dutch Oven with Foil and Spray the foil with Non-Stick Cooking Spray. Put hash brown patties in bottom of Dutch Oven. You can also use diced (loose) hash browns, sprinkled in the bottom of the oven about 1/2 - 3/4" thick. Sprinkle with cheese & ham. In a bowl, beat eggs, milk, salt & mustard and pour over patties. Cover & bake 350º for 30-40 minutes depending on the size and temperature of your oven. Uncover, bake 15 minutes longer. *If using a larger oven, adjust all ingredients.

1 comment:

The American Homemaker said...

The house I moved into a couple of months ago has a charcoal grill, so I'm learning to cook with charcoal. Everything tastes SO good cooked on charcoal but it just takes so dang long! lol