Sunday, October 9, 2016

Outdoor CAMP Cooking

With my record in the kitchen, you would think I might pick a hobby other than cooking.  I DO like a challenge however, and this is one you can try practically anywhere ... even while camping in my back yard.

My Dad had a Griswold 14 inch cast iron dutch oven he always cooked biscuits in when we were camping.  Lucky for me, I found it in an old 4-H show box.  My cattle showing career only lasted about three months, so it had become a storage unit.  I can't tell you how happy I was to find that oven!!  That makes two, since I purchased a small 10" Lodge cast iron oven in Ferndale.  Just so you know, Lodge can't hold a candle compared to Griswold!!  If you have any Griswold cast iron, either hang on to it or sell it to me.  Seriously, I'm always in the market.

Having purchased Kent Rollins' A Taste of Cowboy cookbook, I finally got up enough nerve to try cooking on the campfire.  Kinda sorta.  Nowadays, charcoal fits the bill nicely.  I joined a Dutch Oven Cooking group on Facebook and was inundated with ideas and pictures to get me started.  Pretty nice group of people to share all their secrets!!

First up, buy a couple of those metal pans you drain your car oil into.  They said not to use a "used" one, something about a fire hazard.  I purchased a new charcoal can to get my coals going, just before finding one in my garage.  Where did THAT come from??  I even found this little folding aluminum table to set it on.  Yes, my fire extinguisher is just out of sight on the table.
Once starting to look gray, I put 8 pieces in the pan and put my small 10" oven on top.  That part about using metal tongs to place them there was bad information.  The heat coming from the can must be about 1000 degrees, burning my fingers nicely.  I just dumped them in.

I remember my dad melting lots of crisco (ugh) in the bottom for his biscuits, so I did the same, but with butter instead.  You can't go wrong with melted butter!!  I dumped in the batter, quickly spread it around and dropped a little cheddar cheese on top for good measure.  My dad smiled when I did that.

I put the lid on with my handy dandy lid lifter and dumped the rest of the charcoals on top.  Pretty much dutch ovens cook from the top down, so you always put more on the top than the bottom.  This many coals on the bottom would result in a back yard burial.  It's a good thing I read that part of the recipe first.
I moved the lid a couple of times for even cooking and VOILA!!!  Beautiful fluffy high-in-the-sky cornbread!!  WOW!!  I couldn't believe it came out so good on my first try!!  After letting it sit a couple of minutes, I sliced it up, slathered it with more butter and wolfed it down.  YUMMY!!  The even more amazing part, it wasn't burned on the bottom!!  
This is going to be fun.  Next time I'll try my Dad's big oven for something like chicken fried steak and gravy.  Maybe I can invite half the town to dinner.  That old Griswold pot is worth a fortune by the way.  On today's market, I could get in excess of $1,000 due to it's age and condition.

In the late afternoon, I finished up the bag Miss Patty got for me.  There was a little hiccup when the pattern called for interfacing, which I purchased ... then later on it called for FLEECE interfacing.  It took another trip to the store, but it was worth it.  I can get lots of market stuff in THIS bag!!!
I spent the rest of the evening going through every Dutch Oven cookbook I have, trying to decide on my next conquest, and planning my Halloween Trick or Treat decorations.  While in the garage looking through my camp boxes, I discovered my FOG machine.  THIS is going to be FUN!!!


  1. Now I am not a huge Corn Bread fan...but that looks so delicious!

    1. Thank you Dave .... it was so good it became dinner last night. Nothing else needed!!

  2. I'll give you a really big tip if you have a party and want to smoke and cook six racks of ribs A big ham or a big turkey
    The next time you go to Ace Hardware pick up an Orion cooker there fairly large about 3 feet tall 2 feet in diameter they run about 60 bucks they're made of stainless steel the best thing I can suggest is you look on YouTube for a video under cooking with an Orion cooker
    The only drawback it's not good for just one but if you're going to have a party guarantee that will do the job hour and three quarters for six racks of ribs two hours for a 10 pound ham or 2 1/2 hours for 14 pound turkey
    Observe the directions closely it's not productive just for one or two people but if you're going to have a party Great
    And if you did still doubt it's ability contact Mr. Nick I would imagine he still has his mine is about three years old still work great unfortunately I have to make an appointment to get it from my son And away from the guys at the fire station

    1. Never heard of it. I'll look it up. Don't usually have big parties however!!

  3. On your Dutch oven arn,t you supposed to turn the cast-iron lid over
    If not how do you keep the ashes for rolling into your food on a windy day

    1. You're supposed to use a wind screen ... which I have, but the table it's attached to weighs in at around 75 pounds. Not so much fun putting it up or taking it down. You CAN however, turn the lid upside down and make pancakes!! Pretty cool!!!