If you know Jim, you aren’t surprised that, once he saw Rollie’s Dutch oven in action, it wouldn’t be long before he’d be shopping for one of his own. What we got is a Lodge Logic, seasoned, 5 qt., 10” diameter “Camp Oven”. At Sportman’s Warehouse, we paid about $50 for it. Yesterday was the trial run, using a very slightly altered version of a cake recipe from the little owner’s manual that came with the oven. Here’s how it went.
First, we sprayed the oven with cooking spray, including the inside of the lid. Then we dumped a can of no sugar added cherry pie filling into the oven. We sprinkled about a third of a reduced sugar chocolate cake mix on top of the pie filling, and mixed the rest of the mix with about 2/3 can of diet cherry 7-up and spread that over the top of the mess. Jim added a few walnuts and pieces of a Hershey’s candy bar.
Ready for the fire!
The fire maker is one of those charcoal starter gizmos. Put newspaper in the bottom and the charcoal on top. The number of briquettes is a key factor in setting the oven temperature. Jim used the chart in the book to determine he should use 7 briquettes on the bottom and 14 or 15 on top. Since heat rises, fewer coals are used on the bottom so that the heat is more evenly distributed. Jim used remarkable restraint about that liquid fire starter he likes – with this cooking method, he read that the liquid causes the coals to burn hotter and faster, which is not a good thing.
The fire starter:
The coals were put into the bottom of the Smokey Joe barbeque, then the Dutch oven, and finally, the coals over the top. The Smokey Joe lid was not used.
Fifteen coals on top:
About every 15 minutes, the oven needs to be turned about 1/4 or 1/3 of a turn. The book says to turn the lid in the opposite direction. For recipes that need several hours to cook, you have to keep adding more coals. These coals were about done in by the time the cake was baked, about 40 minutes.
It’s ready! Yum:
This turned out pretty good. I can’t wait to see how it does with chicken, stew, beans, roasts, oh my! It’s not quite the open desert, but we can keep a little bit of that camping lifestyle going, even in the big city!