Paul Revere is often credited with designing the classic American Dutch oven: a cast iron pot with a flanged lid that holds coals on the top, and three stubby legs that help the pot sit low over a bed of coals on the bottom. If that rumor is true, “Thanks, Paul!”
Although Dutch oven cooking is commonly associated with cowboys and chuck wagons, I heartily recommend one for anyone who wants to show off a bit at the modern campground. This is your chance to be wildly popular among your friends, family, and nearby campers – unless of course, dinner is late.
I first tried Dutch oven cooking about 17 years ago shortly after attending one of Texas Parks and Wildife’s Becoming an Outdoors Woman workshops. I bought a Lodge brand oven, made right here in the USA, using the classic Paul Revere design.
If you’ve never cooked with a Dutch oven before, you’re in for a treat, and there are plenty of books that offer great recipes, and that guide you through the process of cleaning and seasoning a new oven. Two of the first books I used were Dutch Oven Cooking with Tony Cano and the World Championship Dutch Oven Cookbook.
One of my own family’s favorite Dutch oven recipes is peach cobbler with homemade vanilla ice cream. This is a super-simple recipe if you use canned peaches and yellow cake mix, but for more kudos, you can always make the batter from scratch and use fresh, sliced Fredericksburg peaches.
You’ll need the following:
14” Dutch oven 25 hot charcoal briquettes (use 17 on top and 8 on bottom) 1 box yellow cake mix 4, 16 oz. cans sliced peaches ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
Step by Step:
1. For easy cleanup, line the oven with foil. (But be sure the lid will still fit tightly on the oven. You don’t want to cook with the “oven door” open!)
2. Pour the canned peaches into the oven.
3. Prepare the cake mix and pour over the peaches
4. Sprinkle with cinnamon
5. Cover tightly 6. Arrange 8 briquettes evenly on a fire-proof cooking surface
7. Set the oven over the 8 briquettes and arrange the other 17 briquettes on the top.
8. This should cook in about 30 minutes.
Caution: When you check the cobbler for doneness, be sure to move the lid carefully to avoid brushing ashes from the lid into your yummy cobbler!
Serve this with your own homemade vanilla ice-cream, or bring BlueBell along!
What are some of your favorite Dutch oven recipes? Care to share?