RSS

How to Heat a Dutch Oven to 350 Degrees

March 20, 2012

Food Preparation

cooking in a dutch oven

Years ago, I took a short Dutch Oven cooking class. I learned that you can bake anything in a Dutch Oven that you can make in your home oven. Anything. Want a to bake a casserole? No problem. Fresh homemade bread? You can do it. Baked beans, pizza, or a pork tenderloin? You got it. Baking in a good Dutch Oven can be fun and rewarding.

Cobblers, the Classic Dutch Oven Dessert

Like a lot of people, I started my Dutch Oven cooking experiences with the classic cobblers. And years later, I still enjoy making cobblers. In fact, this past weekend I made a couple of them.

The first was during an overnight camping trip with a bunch of young men and their fathers. I helped to make Peach Cobbler using a recipe that one of the fathers had brought. It turned out really well and I’ll have to email him to get a copy of the recipe. We heated the Dutch Ovens in the most primitive way; we used hot coals from the campfire on top of and underneath the Dutch Oven. It doesn’t get much more primitive than that.

The second cobbler that I made was at home with my family. I made a Cherry Cobbler using a variation of a Peach Cobbler recipe that I’ve used many times in the past. Although it was improvised, it turned out well. For this one though, I cheated a bit and used our oven. Yes, you can cook in a Dutch Oven inside your own electric or gas kitchen oven. Just prepare everything as you normally would and place the Dutch Oven inside your traditional oven. It works great.

Here’s the Cherry Cobbler recipe that I used. It’s really simple.

Joe’s Cherry Cobbler

  • 3 21-ounce cans of Cherry pie filling
  • 1 box of French Vanilla cake mix
  • 12-ounce can of Sprite
  • 2 tablespoons of butter

Empty the 3 cans of pie filling in the Dutch Oven. Sprinkle approximately 1/2 cup of cake mix directly on the pie filling. In a mixing bowl, mix the remainder of the cake mix with the can of Sprite. You don’t have to mix it really well; leaving a few lumps in the batter is fine.  Pour the batter into the Dutch Oven. Slice the butter into thin patties and place on top of the batter. Cook at 350F for approximately 45 minutes.

Heating by Formula

When baking with a Dutch Oven, it’s important to remember that most of the heat should come from the top. You should place twice as much heat on the top of the Dutch Oven as below it. This will help to keep the contents from burning on the bottom.

When cooking with charcoal briquettes, I use a formula for calculating the number of briquettes that will be required to heat the oven to 350F. Take the size of the Dutch Oven and multiply by two. So for a 12-inch Dutch Oven, that’s 24 briquettes; for a 1o-inch version, that’s 20 briquettes. Now place 2/3 of the briquettes on top and put the remainder underneath. For a 12-inch Dutch Oven, 16 would go on top and 8 will sit below the oven. For the 10-inch model, I’d place 14 on top and 6 underneath. Of course this is just a guideline. In cold or windy weather, you’ll need to adjust by adding additional briquettes proportionally.

To increase the temperature by 25F, add two briquettes. To increase by 50F, add 4 briquettes. So, a recipe that called for baking at 400F in a 12-inch Dutch Oven would become 2*12 + 4 or 28 briquettes. Likewise, subtracting 2 briquettes will reduce the cooking temperature by approximately 25F. Under most circumstances, 350F is a good temperature for Dutch Ovens.

Cooking with coals from the campfire is more of an art than a science, but with a little practice and patience you can master this technique. (It’s pretty hard to mess up a cobbler.) Just remember that most of the heat should come from the top. I’ve also found that it’s typically better to move the coals just outside of the fire ring rather than trying to cook in the fire itself. It’s frequently just too hot in the fire to adequately regulate your heat.

So what about you? Enjoy cooking with a Dutch Oven? 

Related Posts

12 Comments on “How to Heat a Dutch Oven to 350 Degrees”

  1. Tom Says:

    Pot roast is great with fruit wood or briquettes. When using wood I use a key hole type of fire ring and drag out hot coles to the Dutch Oven that way I control the heat, Generally I use have as many coles on the bottom than on top. I also rotate the oven and lid in opposite directions a quarter turn every 15 minutes.
    I first brown the pot roast on all sides. then I add half a large Walla Walla sweet onion to the bottom. I set the meat ontop of the onions add my carrot. I add the carrots one hour before it’s done. season with salt and pepper, liquid smoke and spinkle with Cabelas Wild game seasoning. fill with water close to the top, cook for three hours.

    Reply

    • Joe Says:

      Oooh, sounds great, Tom! Thanks for sharing.

      Good point about rotating the lid and post in opposite directions. I do that as well. And I try to do it without opening the oven at all. Opening it lets the built in heat out.

      Joe

      Reply

  2. Cassie Says:

    I don’t have a dutch oven just yet, but that recipe looks fantastic. I can’t wait to add one to my supplies and give this a try. Thanks for posting it!

    Reply

    • Joe Says:

      Dutch ovens aren’t a dime a dozen but there are certainly worthwhile. Plus they are a lot of fun to cook with. You’ll enjoy it when you get one, Cassie.

      Reply

  3. Miami DUI Lawyer Says:

    The treatment is relatively painless and gives very good
    results for those that are good candidates. t need to worry about any side effect since diverse kinds of treatments are
    also used to make the procedure very effective.
    He actually won the Anus Equus Award from
    the graduating medical class at the University of Pittsburgh while I worked for him.
    If you will compare the treatment cost with other clinics, you will find that they are offering
    very competitive as well as affordable prices in Delhi as well as NCR.
    Besides that, the skin which has been exposed to the laser beams
    would experience redness or get burnt especially for those who have sensitive skin.

    Reply

  4. click here Says:

    For newest news you have to visit internet and on web I
    found this web site as a finest site for newest updates.

    Reply

  5. check it out Says:

    These are really wonderful ideas in concerning blogging.
    You have touched some fastidious things here. Any way keep up wrinting.

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Makin’ Bacon | PreppingToSurvive.com - January 8, 2013

    [...] How to Heat a Dutch Oven to 350 Degrees [...]

  2. How to Can Fresh Small Potatoes | PreppingToSurvive.com - January 15, 2013

    [...] How to Heat a Dutch Oven to 350 Degrees [...]

  3. Dutch Oven Basics Part Two: Prepping and Cooking with Your Oven / BePrepared - June 25, 2013

    […] 3-4 between each leg) and place briquettes in a checkerboard pattern on lid (about 15-16). Check out Prepping to Survive’s advice on how to heat a Dutch oven to 350 degrees. Since this is not as exact a gauge as your kitchen oven, you may need to learn by experimenting […]

  4. Dutch Oven Basics Part Two: Prepping and Cooking with Your Oven - Space Coast Preppers - June 25, 2013

    […] 3-4 between each leg) and place briquettes in a checkerboard pattern on lid (about 15-16). Check out Prepping to Survive’s advice on how to heat a Dutch oven to 350 degrees. Since this is not as exact a gauge as your kitchen oven, you may need to learn by experimenting […]

  5. 8 Delicious Dutch Oven Campfire Recipes - Hick Country™ - March 1, 2014

    […] Note, some of these recipes specify a “degree” setting to cook the recipe at. If you’re unfamiliar with how to heat a dutch oven to a specific temperature over a campfire, you can check out this handy tutorial on the subject here. […]

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,930 other followers

%d bloggers like this: