What camping/cooking gear is “must haveâ€

Anything to do with camping, fundamentals, secrets, etc...

Postby timlsalem » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:08 am

I have never cooked with CI before. It's probably because I was thinking it's a hard tecnique to learn. I do want to try a DO over a open pit fire. The problem is I don't know what the minumum amount of food they will cook. It's just me usually camping and I lean towards convienence over anything else. Electric slow cooker and electric skillet is what I've grown accustom to over the years.
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Postby bobhenry » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:45 am

Tim Think of your Dutch Oven more as a slow cooker. Pull coals away from the fire and set up in or near the pit but let the coals do the cooking. I use an old discarded fireplace shovel and use about 1 shovel full on the bottom and 2 on top. Actual coal placement varies with the technique you are trying to do. Here is a good description

ROASTING:
The heat source should come from the top and bottom equally. Coals should be placed under the
oven and on the lid at a 1 to 1 ratio.
BAKING:
Usually done with more heat from the top than from the bottom. Coals should be placed under the
oven and on the lid at a 1 to 3 ratio, having more on the lid.
FRYING, BOILING ETC:
All of the heat should come from the bottom. Coals will be placed under the oven only.
STEWING, SIMMERING:
Almost all heat will be from the bottom. Place the coals under and on the oven at a 4 to 1 ratio
with more underneath than on the lid.
THE LID:
The lid can be placed on the fire or stove upside down and used as a skillet or griddle. Using the
lid in this fashion, you can make virtually error free pancakes and eggs that don't run all over.[/img]

Here is the online cookbook where this excerpt came from. Just stock up on paper and copy it ( 50+ pages ) I think !

http://www.troop168.net/cooking/DOCookbk.pdf
Last edited by bobhenry on Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby timlsalem » Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:11 pm

Thank you bobhenry. I'm printing right now. So basically I can do all my cooking with a DO? What about CI skillets. Are they practical and worth the cost for a one person camper?
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Postby bobhenry » Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:24 pm

timlsalem wrote:Thank you bobhenry. I'm printing right now. So basically I can do all my cooking with a DO? What about CI skillets. Are they practical and worth the cost for a one person camper?


Don't tell the purist cast iron folk I take a small teflon skillet for eggs or a toasted cheese or a hoggie style sandwich. I still can not fry an egg in a cast iron skillet ( But don't tell anyone)

P.S. see reference to dutch oven lid above

:laughter:

Image

The lid is great for burgers to , the grease will drain to the center if you set it fairly level. So now you have an old school George Forman grill also ! :lol:
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Postby Blumie » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:06 pm

Though I've never cooked on the dutch oven lid, I have roasted a whole chicken with potatoes. carrot, and onion in our DO. I've baked cakes and pies and meatloaves, stir-fried, and made chili in it. Thanks to bobhenry's info on the ratios of coals top & bottom for various cooking methods, I'll probably be even better in future! Basically, though, you don't have to change much about your cooking from home when using a DO in camp.

Be careful around your cooling-off DO, however. We were feasting on roasted chicken in camp at the headwaters of the Rio Grande, with the chicken juices still cooling in the open DO nearby, when a gray jay flew in and landed on the lip of the still-hot DO to check out the food smells. It burned its feet on the DO! I still feel bad about that.
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Postby bobhenry » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:22 pm

blumie wrote:Though I've never cooked on the dutch oven lid, I have roasted a whole chicken with potatoes. carrot, and onion in our DO. I've baked cakes and pies and meatloaves, stir-fried, and made chili in it. Thanks to bobhenry's info on the ratios of coals top & bottom for various cooking methods, I'll probably be even better in future! Basically, though, you don't have to change much about your cooking from home when using a DO in camp.

.


Not my info It is an excerpt from the cookbook link above. Hope the info helps I know it sure cleared the fog for me :thumbsup:
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Postby COCamper » Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:32 am

I understand the armed forces as the experts when it comes to living in the outdoors and I love using their products. It is the 'must have' in my mind! I also like to save while buying these products.

Check em out --> US Cavalry Coupons
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Postby bobhenry » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:13 am

Just before our spring gathering I found a stainless steel collander style basket at yep that place (Goodwill )

Instead of being bowl shaped it had a flat bottom and the sides were 90 degrees to the bottom. It was about the d.o.'s size so I rolled the dice and spent the $1.99. Turns out it just fit in the dutch oven, and I mean just. I had just enougn room to allow me to wad up 3 balls of aluminum foil and toss in under the flat bottomed drainer pan.

Why you ask !Image

It allows the food to cook without risk of burning the bottom and with fatty dishes like this meatloaf it lets the food drain as it cooks. It is now stored in the dutch oven ever at the ready for use.

In fact yesterday I found a similar one but it has small feet :applause:
thats even better no more wasted aluminum foil balls.

So I guess I can add yet another technique to the dutch ovens many capabilities........ "STEAMING"

A cup or so of water in the bottom of the d.o. and a hand full of frest veggies in the basket and you have ........

Wait for it ....................................


Image

The old school cast iron version of the "Bamboo steamer ! "

Im thinking brocolli and cauliflower in a nice cheese sauce :thinking:
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Postby Wolffarmer » Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:26 am

I cook corn on the cob in my bamboo steamer. I use it on my CI Lodge Wok that is about 25 years old.

:D
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Postby slowcowboy » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:29 pm

Man bob henry you are making me hungry! what teardrop gathering do you attend, I would stop by just to get a chance at seeing a proffesonal camp cook in action and nibble! heee. a hungry slowcowboy looking at bob henrys photos of the camp cook wizard.
Plans. there was supposed to be plans to be followed when I built this thing. Opps! AH, gee, tum,tee tum. I think I forgot about the plans 2 years ago. ------Tow vehicles, 1995 ford explore, 1994 ford ranger, 1993 ford F-150, 2009 4x9 Off road teardrop, on harbor freight greatly modified frame.
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Postby slowcowboy » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:34 pm

You guys think a person can do a cubbed style round steak fried in a coleman. Propane fired skillet like the ones sold at cableas or walmart?

I just bought one and wander if it can improve my steak frying.

if I ever get a chance at taking another gal out on a date to the mountains. My steak frying dreams, Slowcowboy.
Plans. there was supposed to be plans to be followed when I built this thing. Opps! AH, gee, tum,tee tum. I think I forgot about the plans 2 years ago. ------Tow vehicles, 1995 ford explore, 1994 ford ranger, 1993 ford F-150, 2009 4x9 Off road teardrop, on harbor freight greatly modified frame.
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Postby bobhenry » Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:06 am

slowcowboy wrote:You guys think a person can do a cubbed style round steak fried in a coleman. Propane fired skillet like the ones sold at cableas or walmart?

I just bought one and wander if it can improve my steak frying.

if I ever get a chance at taking another gal out on a date to the mountains. My steak frying dreams, Slowcowboy.


SC I remember your black and red steak story. Perhaps it is time to live up to your handle and S L O W down. Cooking is time and temperature.

More time less temperature or less time more temperature. I love the D.O.'s because you can slow way down. I surmise your are younger and still have your God given teeth so maybe ruining a good steak by pan frying it in a hurry is still edible for you but I would much prefer a nice tender well prepared steak that was ready to cut with the side of my fork.

All this being said here is your homework if you choose it........

Take your cubed round steak and cut it into serving size pieces ( or you can just get prepared cubed steaks at the butchers) Marinate them in any of the packaged blends you can find in the store or as I do just a can of spiced finely diced tomatoes and a few ounces of vegatable cooking oil.
Let it rest a full 24 hours in the fridge. The acid in the tomatoes will actually start the cooking and tenderizing process in the refrigerator. When you remove it it will have changed from bright red to a tan/brown do not panic it is better than fine. I would take the now serving size pieces and blot them almost dry with paper towel and coat them with a flour and course black pepper mix in a bowl or flat pan. Have that skillet ready with just a little grease or simply use some of the oil from the marinade and seer the steaks to seal in the goodness ( 90 seconds to 2 minutes a side in a really hot skillet is plenty). If this is a very promising 1 st date I would probably have well hidden 2 or 3 cans or bottles of prepackaged gravey. I will admit "ol what's her name" is the gravey maker mine always tastes like I dropped the 5 lb sack of flour in it.

ANY GRAVEY EXPERTS ......fill in the brown gravey instructions here :thumbsup: I buy a mix of brown and mushroom gravey in the jar. :oops:

At this point I would have seered the steaks in the D.O.with a boat load of coals all on the bottom. So the steaks are now ready to be BAKED :shock: :shock: :shock: Yes baked steak OMG God good !

Remove all but a few (very few) coals from the bottom and place the D.O. again. Now very important distract your date with the bald eagle sighting and while pointing away pour the gravy over the steaks. Dispose quickly of the evidence and sadly say OH he is gone ! Oh Oh Oh remember that can of fine diced tomatoes you may have used for marinade ,if you are brave, drain the oil from them and add them to the gravey I do and it is great but I LOVE tomatoes. Now replace the lid and pile on the coals. You are baking so the heat is all most all on top.

If she is a jump in and help kinda gal have her help with the foil wrapped potatoes ( hint add a generous amount of water or in my case beer to help them steam) A large sweet onion and maybe a couple ears of sweet corn done like this is fantastic with the steak. Just toss them in close but not too close ( remember more time less temperture )to some good coals from the campfire.

I am always guessing on time with a dutch oven but I would give it an hour and simply remove a piece and use the fork cutting test if it is difficult to cut with the side of the fork just toss it back in for another 30 minutes. Believe it or not 90 minutes of good conversation with the aid of a good wine and the time will go quickly . The best part you arn't babysitting a flaming hot skillet but kicked back with a sweet gal in deep conversation. AH the beauty of a dutch oven it does the work and you get the credit!

So get out there and make a practice run and we are expecting a report back :D on the outcome.

Damn I made myself hungry think I will whip up breakfast :twisted:
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Postby slowcowboy » Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:21 am

Wow! now that sounds like something treffic to try. The heck with cornflakes.

I am going back to the fridge now to hunt up last nights steak. but it was broiled. I will have to print that recipe for steak out. Slowcowboy.
Plans. there was supposed to be plans to be followed when I built this thing. Opps! AH, gee, tum,tee tum. I think I forgot about the plans 2 years ago. ------Tow vehicles, 1995 ford explore, 1994 ford ranger, 1993 ford F-150, 2009 4x9 Off road teardrop, on harbor freight greatly modified frame.
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Postby Miriam C. » Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:13 am

:shock: Tomatoes! SC All I do for cubed steak (good stuff) is: Flour, salt, pepper and the secret is basil. All to taste. You can taste the seasoning in the flour. In a medium hot pan add oil or Crisco and put the steak in when the top of the pan is hot. Oh and oil only to half the height of the meat.

Fry it so it doesn't burn! Light brown is good!

Then the gravy. A couple of tablespoons of the same grease you cooked in. Sprinkle in the left over flour mix until coated but not oily or dry, you have to stir. Add water and re-season if needed. Some garlic is good too. Don't add milk unless you want sweet gravy... Stir this until you have it the consistency you like. Remember you can always add water........

Now smother the steak and cook some more. Not long. You will smell it and get hungry when it is done. :twisted:

Oh and if you get to the store you can buy the steaks already breaded and ready to go.
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Postby Wolffarmer » Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:13 am

You guys are killing this here fat man.

:cry: :cry:

YUMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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