Written by Gary, photographs by Yafei
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This year I was determined to take part in the Friday night Dutch Oven Cookout that is an integral part of the annual Lake Perris Teardrop Gathering. After a little research, I came across the 'The Camp Dutch Cookbook - Easy 5-Ingredient Recipes to Eat Well in the Great Outdoors' by Robin Donovan. I cannot say enough about this excellent little book. It's well-written and provides loads of information on dutch ovens, miscellaneous equipment, how to get started, along with recipes for breakfast, chilies, soups & stews, main courses, sides & snacks, breads & rolls, and desserts. This is a must-have book, and should be the first item you buy if you're interested in starting to cook this way.
Dutch Oven Favorites at the Annual Lake Perris Teardrop Gathering
Armed with the knowledge from this book, I added the necessary equipment to our camping gear. Most can be sourced at Big 5 Sports Goods or similar, and, of course, there's always Amazon:
Lodge 12-inch Dutch Oven (a 12 inch/6qt or larger dutch oven is preferred, especially when cooking for four or more.)
Camp Chef 12-inch Dutch Oven Carry Case, keep your dutch oven safe and sound.
Chimney Charcoal Starter, that quickly gets the charcoal red hot and ready for cooking.
Lid Lifter, essential to lift a hot lid or the dutch oven.
Lodge 4-in-1 Camp Dutch Oven Tool, ideal for supporting the lid when you need access to the dutch oven.
Metal tongs, great for placing the hot charcoal under tor on the lid of the dutch oven.
12-inch Dutch Oven Liners, I use these if clean-up is going to be an issue, or I want to cook a second dish straight after the first.
Dutch Oven Gloves, great for handling hot equipment - saves getting those fingers burnt.
Charcoal, I prefer coal over wood char as the former lasts longer. Available at any supermarket.
One of my favorite recipes from the 'The Camp Dutch Cookbook' is the 'Sausage Braised with Apples and Cabbage', that can be found on page 113. Preparation time is about 10 minutes, and cooking time 90 mins. Other hearty dishes include One-Pot Spaghetti in Meat Sauce and the Slow-Cooked Beef Stew. There are over 75 simple 5-ingredient recipes to chose from.
Xaria Looking Forward to Dinner
I will say dutch oven cooking can be somewhat slower than other methods, but camping is all about relaxing anyway. What's the hurry, when a yummy dinner is on its way!
Dad Discussing His Slow-Cooked Beef Stew
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