Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Dutch Oven

     Dutch oven cooking requires a little fore thought and after the pot is seasoned or prepped, it's as simple as crock pot cooking in your kitchen.  After the purchase of the Dutch oven, it needs to be seasoned.  This is a process of heating and oiling and heating and oiling.  Seasoning makes a non-stick coat and keeps the iron pot from rusting.  
     To season a new pot, wash it in hot soapy water and rinse well.  Thoroughly dry the pot and lid.  Rub oil inside and out of the pot and the lid.  coat it well.  Place it in a charcoal Bar be Que grill after you are done cooking your next meal.  Cover it and let it bake as the coals cool.  Some people suggest turning the pot upside down, I like the on the side method with the lid propped at an angle leaning on the pot feet. I like this blog, it is thorough
     Cooking in the dutch oven can be done in several ways.  First, you can use your pot like any crock pot and slow cook meals by heating the pot in the fire, sauteing all the vegetables and braising the meat then when you add the liquid to simmer, close the lid and add hot coals on top of the lid, set beside the fire to steam and stew for and hour or two. 

3872 × 2592 - Alex Neiwirth,
 with his fancy delicious Dutch Oven 
Pineapple Upside Down
  You can use your dutch oven as an oven to bake breads and cakes even.  This takes a  little practice keeping watch of the time and the heat.  You will also need a few pie weights or equally sized pebbles.  They keep the bread pan off the bottom of the dutch oven so you don't burn the bottom of your biscuits while you are baking the top of them!
640 × 480 - Dedicated to Promoting 
the Use and Care of Cast Iron Dutch Ovens
     The Dutch oven is perfect for boiling and for frying, too.  My last foray with the dutch oven cooked a .99 cent a pound cheap pork that had way too much fat and skin but it did have potential to be something special.  After rendering out about half the fat and putting that asides for seasoning and frying, The rest of the pork was boiled, seasoned and set out of the fire with coals on top for an hour and a half and made the best pulled pork.  The neighbors went nuts with the smell and stopped by to visit.  It did me a world of good to know I made my neighbor's dad a meal he talked about in the hospital before he passed a few months later.  The pork was juicy, tender and tasty.  It was a memory.
Click on to some of these blogs and web sites for more detailed instructions and recipes for using your dutch oven.  If you don't have one, Harbor Freight offers one for $29.99.  They are a rare site at any resale shop as they are a valuable versatile cook pot and you will get mine from my cold dead hands!


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