During the summer of 2017, we had talked about getting a dutch oven but it had never happened. Our 2018 summer started off with two Rome Industries pudgie pie irons, and we have cooked some really good pies with them (please see our review about these). And again, the subject of a dutch oven came up. For our anniversary, Larry surprised me with a 12 inch Lodge Camp Dutch Oven, and a separate cookbook; 101 Things To Do With A Dutch Oven, to go along with it (please note that there is an instruction manual; Camp Dutch Oven Cooking 101, that comes with the dutch oven as well). We have found it vital to use a recipe as a guide because the recipes are what dictate how many coals to place on the top and bottom of the dutch oven, and how long to let it cook for. As far as the ingredients of the recipe, that is where you can do what you want.
So far, we have made lasagne and two separate breakfast bakes in it – everything has turned out great! Our next dinner in the dutch oven will be chicken a’la king with biscuits. But, we have many more things that we look forward to cooking in the dutch oven, to include breakfast sweet rolls, cobblers, cakes, various types of chilis, and the list goes on. Below, you will read about some extra things that Larry purchased to make the cooking process easier, safer and more efficient. He highly recommends getting all of the supplies at once so that you’re set up for success, and won’t be frustrated or disappointed.
SIZE/SHAPE: Larry purchased the 12 inch because he had read that 10 inch isn’t big enough, and 14 inch would be too big for us. And even with using the 12 inch, we always have a ton of leftovers since we are only cooking for two people. We have found the 12 inch to be plenty deep enough so that when we layer food inside of it, we’ve never even come close to having anything bubble over/through the lid. Because of the size of meal that can be cooked in a dutch oven, this would be a fun and tummy-filling way to cook for a group!
COOKING: The dutch oven is often used with charcoal. The recipe will tell you how many coals are needed on the top and bottom of it in order to achieve a certain cooking temperature. We have cooked with the dutch oven in both a fire pit and on a charcoal grill – both have worked equally well, although we find using it on a charcoal grill to be more convenient.
*Weber Chimney Charcoal Starter helps to heat the charcoals efficiently without the use of lighter fluid. Don’t use lighter fluid, it helps to keep the coals hotter for a longer duration of time. This means that your food will cook at the right temperature, and for as long as needed.
*Lodge Camp Dutch Oven Lid Lifter allows the lid of the dutch oven to be easily lifted up to examine the contents inside. Without the lid lifter, you would have to use some type of hot pad, which would then come in contact with the hot coals resting atop of the lid. This could be dangerous for a variety of reasons. And trust me, you will want to see how your food is coming along, so getting the lid lifter is crucial.
*Lodge Camp Dutch Oven Lid Stand gives you a place to set the lid down without it coming into contact with the table or ground – remember it is HOT! The lid will burn anything that it may come into contact with, and the lid might have food on it as well that you wouldn’t want to come into contact with other things.
CLEANING/STORAGE: Cleaning the dutch oven is similar to how you care for other cast iron products. Never use any type of soap/detergent. You simply use warm water and a soft scrub brush. When finished, wipe dry with paper towels. Larry purchased two of the Lodge plastic scrapers, which have been very useful for gently scraping off dried tidbits of food. Once it’s cleaned, dab some vegetable oil on a paper towel and rub it lightly on the interior and exterior of the dutch oven. Lastly, leave a paper towel in the belly of the of the oven and cover with the lid.
Overall: Excellent Purchase
Price paid: $60.25
Place purchased: Amazon.com
Link to Lodge Cast Iron website: Lodge Cast Iron
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