Rohais Belrose. Dutch Oven. March 29th , 2017.
I have found that it`s best to preheat my the oven before I actually add my ingredients. Preheating the oven creates a much more uniform cooking temperature for your culinary creation. Cooking with a Dutch Oven is not an exact science. The heat is regulated by adding or removing coals from the top lid or by moving the entire setup to an area with fewer coals. Sometimes it is necessary to rotate the lid or the pot to eliminate hot spots where the heat has been focused on a particular spot.
The best Dutch oven cookware for the camp cook is built with three short legs on the bottom and a lid that is slightly indented and has a flange around the top. These types are perfect for cooking outdoors... the legs allow the oven to stand over hot coals, while at the same time providing space for air circulation. The indented lid allows coals to be placed on top of the oven and stay there easily. Your prospective oven also needs a thick wire handle attached to the oven itself for easy carrying and should have a small metal handle on the lid.
With camp ovens, they come in two metals - aluminum and iron. Aluminum is lighter weight (7-10lb) and is easier to maintain since it does not rust. Alum ovens are good for canoeing or other camping where weight is an issue. But aluminum ovens do not hold heat as well and can cause inconsistent cooking. Iron ovens are heaver (15-20lbs) and require seasoning to protect the iron from rusting. Iron ovens are great for regular family camping because they hold heat well and cook more evenly. I recommend using the iron oven for family camping because most of the cook books will assume a iron oven and weight isn`t an issue for drag and drop camping.
After the oven has dried, set it on a stove to ensure that it has dried completely. Apply a layer of shortening from the inside towards the outside right after. Put it inside a preheated oven to 350 degrees F and let it stay there for an hour, more or less. After this process, wipe to remove excess grease and insert a paper towel in between the lid and oven when storing. Keep in mind though that a newly cleaned dutch oven should not be immediately used for any food recipe that contains vinegar or tomatoes. But it is recommended using a newly cleaned dutch oven for deep frying bacon, chicken and other similar ingredients.
Now that you know what metal to get, you need to select a size. Ovens come in standard and deep heights. Standard sized ovens heat up the center of your food faster than a deep oven. Use a standard oven for fast cooking and a deep for slower cooking like browning rolls. For starting out, I recommend getting the standard size as it is what your recipe will assume. The oven diameters vary also. Large ovens equal more food. For your first oven, I recommend a 14 inch oven.
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