Cooking Tips & Recipes :: Different Kinds of Dutch Ovens and its Usage

Dave Fowler’s Chili recipe
Image by The Rocketeer
Dave Fowler was a talk show host in the 1980’s in Houston. He had a pretty good recipe for chili. I made it once and enjoyed it, but lost the recipe until this weekend… when it turned up at my parent’s house. I scanned it for sharing.

Dutch ovens come in two different forms. The first kind is made to use on stovetops and ovens at home. For indoor use, these ovens have a flat bottom that can easily balance on top of a burner. Meanwhile, the second kind has a rounded bottom and typically comes with a three-legged stand. This is where the pot will hang as you cook it on top of some coals or even an open fire. For outdoor use, these are a popular tool for campers everywhere. The lid of this oven is flatter, enabling you to use it as a griddle pan or frying pan. A popular cooking method involves putting pieces of hot coal on the lid, enabling it to distribute the heat even more evenly throughout the pot. You?ll be able to use Dutch ovens for a variety of cooking purposes. You can bake and roast, fry, and cook delicious soups and stews. It lends a unique flavor to the food.

Seasoning is very important when it comes to Dutch ovens, or any cast iron pot for that matter. This kind of cookware has the ability to develop a natural, non-stick coating. This coating can develop through regular use of the pot, but seasoning helps promote this. All cast iron pots should be regularly seasoned, to take care of the non-stick coating. It not only helps to help you cook food faster and better; it also prevents any rust from developing in your oven. To season your pot, you have to coat it with a thin layer of oil. If it is brand new, you will have to scrub off the protective layer coating first. Once the pot is coated, you will have to bake it inside the oven for about an hour. Make sure that your oven is hot. Let it cool and repeat.

To avoid damaging the seasoning of your Dutch oven, avoid cooking food with high moisture and acid content. Tomatoes and beans are an example. Cast iron can rust if it comes into contact with acidic food. If you must cook these foods, you can simply re-season your pot to prevent it from rusting.

When cooking with Dutch ovens it?s best to use coal or charcoal briquettes as it will be easier for you to control the temperature. This is important when cooking with ovens, because cast iron retains heat very well. As a result, once the temperature spikes, you might have a hard time cooling the temperature down. You?ll know when the pot is too hot when you put some oil in and it starts smoking. If you begin to notice that your cast iron pot is getting a little hotter than you?d like, all you need to do is take out a few pieces of coal or briquettes so it has a chance to cool down a little bit. It?s best to remedy the situation before it?s too late, so always watch over the food you?re cooking.

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