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Ovens for outdoor cooking why the dutch oven is best for outdoor cooking

Ovens for Outdoor Cooking – Why the Dutch Oven is Best for Outdoor Cooking

Outdoor cooking differs dramatically from the indoor cooking scenario, primarily because of the lack of a defined cooking space. Those who enjoy or simply need to cook in the outdoors have developed practices and techniques that allow them to produce meals without significant trouble.

Cookouts may employ the use of various techniques of cooking, such as roasting, baking, grilling, frying, or boiling and the use of utensils or equipment depends entirely on the techniques employed.

One of the long-surviving equipment for cooking in the outdoors is the Dutch oven. Associated with the old Wild West, the Dutch oven is a thick walled cooking pot with a tight fitting lid. Mounted on three short legs, the Dutch ovens used for camping may also have a wire bail handle, and a slightly concave, rimmed lid so that coals from the campfire can be placed on the top of the oven as well as below it.

The long enduring Dutch oven goes as far back as the 18th century, when Abraham Darcy, an Englishman, came back from Holland impressed with the cast iron kitchen ware of the Dutch. He soon began casting his own pots, and the Dutch oven became popular along with other cast iron cookware in the American colonies. The shape of the oven allowed the cook to place hot coals on top of the lid, light a fire underneath, as well as pack the oven into hot coals. As a result, a wide variety of food could be cooked in the oven, even cakes, biscuits, breads, and pies.

Because of this versatility, the Dutch oven became part of every chuckwagon cook’s equipment and every campfire meal, allowing the preparation of an entire meal of beans, chili, biscuits, and a pie, all on the same campfire. As America expanded and Americans moved to the West, the Dutch oven went along and stayed. The Dutch oven was essential to the cowboy’s survival and grew to be part of hiking and camping gear, particularly the Boy Scout camps.

Today, Dutch ovens are characterized as either «kitchen» or «camp» style ovens. A kitchen style Dutch oven can be converted for use in the camp. If you are using a propane burner, you will only need to place the oven on the burner. You could also adapt it to the campfire by hanging it from a tripod over a charcoal fire or the campfire itself. A camp Dutch oven is usually made of cast iron and has three short legs that raise it above the heat source. The lid is shaped so that coals can be placed over it. Often, the lid of the camp Dutch oven is shaped so that it can double up as a griddle at the campfire.

So next time you go camping, take the Dutch oven along. Which other oven will allow you to cook an entire meal, including a pie at the campsite? Sturdy and reliable, the Dutch oven has proved over time that it is matchless at the campsite or the cookout!

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