Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Apple Pie from a Camp Dutch Oven

The smallest Camp Oven I owned was a number 10 but Sportsman's Warehouse dropped some prices and it was enough to get me to spring for a Lodge number 8 (2 quart). I often use the number 10 for bread so I decided dessert would be the routine for this one.

This pie was made without a pie pan. I just smushed the crust up inside the oven and laid strips across the top rather than form a top crust. The cooking was easy. Following the +3/-3 rule produced a nicely cooked pie but the top crust was looking pretty blonde after 35 minutes. I dumped 6 extra coals on top and cracked the lid (wooden match between the outer ring on the lid and body) to help it brown for the final 20 minutes.
Camp Oven cooking is quite easy and I plan to post more about it as the weather improves.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Outdoor Breakfast Tacos

Cabin fever was starting to get to me. This winter I tended to be on-call on all the nice weekends and when I was free to goof off the weather didn't cooperate. Add to this my dog was starting to give me his "I'm bored" look and it was time for a quick getaway.

Last weekend we took off to the West Desert of Utah, near the Nevada border. It is empty country and it's easy to get 50 miles or more from pavement provided you trust your truck. The scenery and abundance of antelope, ghost towns and golden eagles being the attraction. Out there the only break in the solitude is the sound of passenger jets flying overhead.

The cast iron used on this trip was fairly new. No sense subjecting an old valuable piece to the jarring 4WD roads but the camp stove was a really sweet 1963 Coleman 3 burner. I like cooking with things that are older than me.
This shot shows the cheesy scrambled eggs before I added the salsa. (My dog doesn't like salsa... go figure) Running this old stove reminded me of driving an old tractor. I had to monkey with the pump often. It isn't a "set it and forget it" apparatus.
These tasted pretty damn good, food usually does taste better outdoors. The low temp was a mild 34 degrees F that morning. Coffee and breakfast tacos starts any day well.

  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Extra Sharp Cheddar (melt into eggs as you cook them)
  • Bulk Sausage
  • Tortillas
  • Salsa

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Skillet Porn

 
 Favorite "Miami" #7   era 1916-1934
 
 Vollrath #8 era 1920s-1940s
 

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Old Wagner Ware Dutch Ovens

I have a weakness for old Wagner Ware Dutch Ovens. I find them to be the best looking by a small margin. All the qualities one finds in the older cast iron are present in these super useful pots. They have a level of fit and finish that is entirely absent from newer products.

The oven on the right is a #8 Drip Drop Roaster and it was made sometime between 1920 and 1941. The smaller #7 Dutch Oven was made in the 1940s.
In the above photo you'll see the drip ring design changed. I have to assume the simpler lid was easier to cast than the more complex design (with raised letters) previously used.
The #7 came with a trivet that may or may not be original and correct for this size oven. Trivets are nice because they lift your roast or bird out of the cooking juices.

I use Dutch Ovens in various ways from slowly cooking beans overnight to baking bread at 475 degrees. They make a great deep fryer or popcorn maker. Beef Stew and Arroz con Pollo practically beg to be made in an old iron DO.

What do you make in your Dutch Ovens?