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Topic: Campfire & Cast Iron Cooking

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Subject: Campfire & Cast Iron Cooking
Date Posted: 7/16/2007 7:26 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2007
Posts: 6
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My husband and I love to cook outside and are always looking for great campfire or cast iron recipes.  For starters, I'll share my favorite:  Place Pillsburg roll-up pie crust in bottom of greased 10"dutch oven.  Pour in 4-6 cups of blackberries (or other fruit, but adjust sugar later!).  Pour 1 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4-1/2 cup flour on top.  Add 1/2 cup water and 4 tablespoons of butter.  (Yes, just dump it all in there!)  Place another pre-made crust over blackberries and pat with another 2 tablespoons butter (sprinkle with a little bit of sugar too).  Cut X to vent.  Place 10 coals on ground.  Set oven on coals and cover top of oven with 25 coals, checking and turning every 7-8 minutes  (usually takes about 30 minutes).  This can also be cooking inside in the oven at 375 degrees.  Enjoy!

Date Posted: 7/24/2007 4:20 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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Merica, that sounds like f un! I read about dutch oven cooking in a Texas Highways magazine once that someone left here at work but I'm not a camper(wouldn't even know how to do it!) and never cook outside though I'd like to. I was hoping some others would have some recipes/discussion about this kind of cooking since it's so interesting!

Date Posted: 7/25/2007 7:05 AM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2007
Posts: 6
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Susanna,

You can also cook these recipes in your cozy home oven.  We have a campfire ring and cook over a campfire of charcoal briquets, no camping required!  Of course, you can get really serious too with a chuckwagon and all!  We've been to several cook-offs and they are a lot of fun--plus you usually get to sample YUMM!

Date Posted: 8/22/2007 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 75
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Yeah! I was hoping I'd see this topic; hopefully it will make it into the PBS cookbook too!    Starters-if anyone is interested in some basic info on utensils and tips for dutch oven cooking just PM me as I have some handouts we use with the scouts I'd be glad to share--or if you want I can post some basics here. 

Foil Pouch cooking   -always use heavey duty foil if possible; your heat source can be a campfire or a grill (don't have a grill-in an emergency get a metal garbage can lid, metal shovel, or heavy duty skillet-- set it on a patch of dirt or concrete, put a layer or two of aluminum down and walla-you have a grill for foil pouch cooking).  If you are cooking directly on the fire or coals then I recommend using 2-3 layers of foil around the food that you are cooking to help reduce burning; if you are cooking on a grill or using a grill top then one layer is all you normally need.  It's nice to have a pr of tongs vs trying to use a couple of forks to turn the oouches too.  An easy way to reduce any juice runoff while you are assembling the pouch is to put the center of the pouch in your palm and indent it -making a small bowl to fill. One nice aspect of most of the pouch meals is that you can have different portions/ingrediants for different people (handy if you have a kid who won't eat carrots but one who loves them).

You can foil pouch cook meats and vegetables --either seperately or together.  Keep in mind if you mix items up that you need to take into account how much they need to cook--for example a raw potatoe is going to take longer to cook than a canned potatoe, raw chicken will take longer to cook than canned chicken, etc.  Try not to mix types--for example if you cook a raw piece of chicken and canned vegetables then the veggies will be very mushy by the time the chicken is done.

Quick Chicken and Veggies --couple cans of mixed veggies, can of cooked chicken (or chicken leftovers from grilling or rotisserie), butter, S&P (lemon pepper is good too)       Take a square of aluminun foil (about 12 inch), in center of foil put a few spoonfuls of the veggies and chicken, add a dab of butter and a little seasoning, fold the foil over and roll up the ends tightly; place on the heat.  This will cook fast since all the ingrediants are really cooked you just  need to get them hot--about 5 minutes on each side or less if fire is very hot).  Some cheese sprinkled on top when it's opened is good too.   

Hobo Dinner (most Scouts have made)--some hamburger meat, carrots, potatoes, raw, onions, S&P.  Prep the veggies (normally raw, so will need to wash, peel, and slice/chunk up--reduce cooking time if using canned or precooked veggies).  Put some veggies in your pouch, add a chunk or ball of hamburger meat to the center or top, add some seasoning, and roll up the foil.  This will take about 10-15 minutes on each side depending on the heat.  You can substitute chicken for the hamburger or Fish.  If you are subbing in Fish then it should be fresh, canned, or frozen (not breaded)--best is fresh.  Another good seasoning for the dinners is a dash of Italian dressing)

Cheesy Potatoes --Put sliced potatoes, a dab of butter, and either some parmesian or other cheese(sliced, shredded, etc), in pouch and seal; cook--if potatoes are raw, add extra butter or cook for a bit with the butter before you add the cheese.  I've also seen people add bacon bits (real ones), onions, and peppers to this too.

Grilled Meal-(grilled cheese sandwich and dessert).  lay out foil piece, put butter on bread, lay slice butter side down on foil, add slice(s) of cheese (you can also add lunch meats like ham), take second piece of bread, butter one side, put lid on sandwich with butter side out so it will be against the foil.  Roll/fold the foil so it lays flat on the bread, put the folds off the ends of the bread.  The key to getting a good "toast" out of this is to have the foil flat on the bread on both sides.  For desert, take a can of pie filling (your choice, we've found that cherry and apple work great, and when desperate have used jelly/jam and had tasty treats too).  Do the same procedure-butter bread, lay it butter side down, insert filling, put on top with butter side out, roll foil.  Now toast on the fire.  These cook pretty fast so keep a close eye on them and they work best when you have a grill surface instead of putting it directly on the coals/fire.  I recommend cooking the sandwich first and then doing the desert so you can eat both while they are hot.  Sometimes we sprinkle some extra sugar or cinnamon on the desert too.

Fran

       

Date Posted: 8/24/2007 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2007
Posts: 6
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Thanks so much for the easy recipes-perhaps this will encourage newbies to give campfire cooking a try!  I love that there will be no dishes to do...(smile)

Date Posted: 8/24/2007 8:51 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 7,466
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We made this when I was a 4-H camp councelor

Cut a hole about 1 1/2-2inches across in the top of an orange.  use a spoon to scoop out (and eat) the inside.  Fill the rind 1/2-3/4 full of cake patter.  Put top back on orange and wrap tightly with foil.  bake in the hot coals about 20mins to 1/2 hour.  you may have to adjust the time depending on how hot your coals are.

peal and eat!

Date Posted: 8/28/2007 6:35 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2006
Posts: 1,443
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I just make lasagna in my dutch oven this weekend while I was camping....it was very good.   I preped the lasagna before I left....then just put the whole dutch oven in the cooler  (cooked it the first night - so no water would get in)....I just put it right on the coals of the campfire....the bottom burnt a little but still yummy

 

Jenny (Jenny) - ,
Date Posted: 8/30/2007 12:04 PM ET
Member Since: 12/13/2005
Posts: 682
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I'd love to get more adventurous with our campfire cooking-- a dutch oven will be on my Xmas wish list. Right now, we're masters of the foil dinner, as described above. Banana boats are another favorite: split unpeeled banana down the middle, stuff with chocolate and pieces of marshmallow, wrap up in foil and cook on the coals.

Date Posted: 8/30/2007 9:14 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2006
Posts: 1,443
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We had those too this weekend.....



Last Edited on: 8/30/07 9:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/31/2007 1:00 AM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2007
Posts: 24
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Fran, thank you so much for the hobo dinner ingredients! I used to be a girl scout, and loved that, but couldn't remember what all was in it. :)

Date Posted: 8/31/2007 10:17 AM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 75
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Does anyone have recommendations on Dutch Oven gear (what to have or brands they'd like to share).  I have always bought Lodge based on several people telling me it was the best brand--and I haven't been disappointed.  I know you need to be careful buying at yard sales and getting something with an invisible crack.  Here is my list of essential DO gear:

one 10 inch DO with relatively flat lid (old DOs can have a domed lid which make it hard to impossible to put coals on top of lid unless you bury the DO in the ground);  one 12 inch DO with flat lid (10 inch is mainly for deserts and 12 inch is mainly for meals), charcoal chimney/starter, lighter, newspaper, charcoal, starter fluid, leather gloves (cloth will not do, the leather will let you handle hot items), a Lodge lid holder (this looks like an X when you spread it out, you can set the lid on it while you are stirring the pot and you can put it on top of some coals-invert the lid over it and you have a skillet/griddle), pair of long togs to move charcoals, lid lifter or pr of pliars, alum foil, plastic dish scraper (like pampered chef sells), metal feed pan for each DO (you can put the coals and DO in it and cook without worrying about coals scattering or burning grass, also when you're done cooking you can keep the coals in the pan while they cool down or put water on them and reduces chance someone will accidently step on a hot coal)  If you cook a lot of bacon or pancakes you might also want a griddle and I have a small skillet I use primarily in the house to make corn bread.  Start small--10 inch DO, tongs, pliars, alum foil and see if you like it before you get a full set.  Seasoning your gear and proper washing is VERY important.

Fran

Date Posted: 8/31/2007 10:20 AM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 75
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The lasagna sounds great--what's your recipe?  I've thought about trying one in the DO but haven't yet--I'd like to try a recipe using the precooked noodles--anyone have a recipe for that?.

 

Fran

Date Posted: 8/31/2007 11:00 AM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2006
Posts: 1,443
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I just used my standard recipe....I pre-cooked my noodles first.  (One time I used the uncooked noodles - in a crockpot though - and hated the way they came out....will never use them again).  I made sure I sprayed the dutch oven first.  It still stuck alittle, but not as bad as it would of if I hadn't sprayed.

Date Posted: 9/27/2007 8:23 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Maria, just curious, to keep your lazagna from sticking to the bottom of your dutch oven, what about a layer of par-cooked bacon in the bottom first? Partially cooking it would remove some of the grease so as to not interfere with the lasagna, but still serve as a well greased layer that would stay on the bottom? Just a thought!

I'm definitely putting a category for camp cooking in the cookbook, so if anyone has anymore, please be sure to add them here!

I used to have a great campfire cobbler recipe, I'll have to see if I can find it again. We used to do a lot of camping and always cooked over the open fire!

Date Posted: 9/28/2007 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2006
Posts: 70
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Date Posted: 9/28/2007 11:10 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2006
Posts: 1,443
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Sherry - Thanks for the tip....that sounds like an interesting idea. 

Date Posted: 9/29/2007 9:20 AM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2007
Posts: 6
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Responding to Dutch Oven Gear,  we use welding gloves from Lowe's (for insulation in picking up hot irons)--these are cheaper than the Lodge ones and better insulated.  We've been thrilled with them!