First stab at a dutch oven

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by JackDanielGarrett, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. I read, on here or another forum, we have lost the ability to cook over a fire. I tend to find this true, we brought the stoves inside, fired with wood, then gas and electricity. As I mentioned in my introduction, I love cooking outdoors and have been using a smoker for 25 yrs now. Recently I built a rude outdoor firepit with stones, metal posts on both sides with a piece of metal connecting the two, as an old chuck wagon camp cook fire.

    This past weekend I marinated a 7 lbs chicken in Italain dressing, boiled the giblets for my broth. Next day, sliced and seperated 3 onions, added a half cup of the broth, laid the marinated chicked on the onions and seasoned with cajun seasoning.
    To maintain 350 degress I placed 9 coals on the ground, placed DO on top and placed 16 coals on top. Two hours later....heaven.

    I believe to be a prepared society, along with VERY smart prepping, we should rediscover the lost art of campfire cooking.

    I have MANY pie iron recipes, which I think is a VERY good item for all preppers, anything can be cooked in them. And a plus to any "arsonal"...;)
  2. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    Wow, that's awesome! You'll be able to cook no matter what kind of SHTF stuff happens! It sounds delicious.

    How do you know which stones will be safe in the kind of heat the firepit puts out? We had a friend who built one, and the stones cracked, split, and threw pieces of rock when it got hot. We'd like to build something like what you describe and have a lot of rock on our property.

    The art of campfire cooking should be on our 'to learn' prep list!

  3. well gypsy, this being Florida, we have actually No We have flint and limerock. It does burst from the moisture escaping, but so far so good. I will attempt to load some pix of it, but I built it with a higher back, I hang chickens from wires ( I know, sounds crazy) And the higher back helps the heat to radiate to the chickens hanging in front of the flames. It sounds so stupid when I type it out...HOPE that helped!
  4. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    Not all rock is as dense as the granite and marble we use to build with. Some rocks are much more porous and permeable. This permeability allows air and water to enter into the rock body, where physics and chemistry take over to explode the rock when it heats up. Air/water-permeable rocks are much more likely to explode than dense non-permeable rocks. This is because air or water is absorbed by the rock when it is cool, and then the air or water molecules trapped inside the rock expand faster than the solid rock when it heats up next to the fire . If there is a high enough volume of water in a hot, porous rock, the rock will explode when the force of the expanding steam gas inside is greater than the rock can contain.

    There are three basic types of rock: igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic. Igneous rock is the result of volcanic activity throwing out hot lava, which then cools to a rock solid. Sedimentary rock is the product of many layers of ocean or lake sediment settling on the ocean or lake floor. Metamorphic is rock that was once either igneous or sedimentary and has been heated and compressed over time into something that is much more dense than the original rock. The most common hard rocks are granite, marble, and slate. Marble and slate are both metamorphic rocks, which have been formed over time by the compression of limestone and shale, respectively. Granite is an igneous rock that was never exposed to air or water as it cooled down, allowing it to solidify in a very dense form. Softer rocks, like sandstone, limestone and pumice, are not as dense as granite or marble; there is more space in between the molecules that make up the stone. This makes them both lighter, softer and more permeable to water. Both sandstone and limestone are sedimentary rocks that were formed without a great deal of compression, thus allowing for their high levels of permeability. Pumice stone is also porous, but is an igneous rock that forms when hot volcanic lava mixes with colder air or water, forming bubbles that weaken the rock structure, making it very porous.
  5. lotsoflead

    lotsoflead Well-Known Member

    the stews,soups came easy, it was the breads,cobblers that were a problem to controll at first.
  6. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    JackDanielGarrett, the higher back to radiate heat and help cook the chickens/meat sounds like a smart feature! I look forward to seeing the picture when you post it.

    Blob...I recognized each word of your post as being "english" but it was pretty much greek to me. So, you should plan a trip to Montana and help us pick out rocks!

    We have many kinds of rocks on or property, but I don't know what they are. Interestingly, some the same size are not the same weight. Some are smooth, some are rough. Some crack easily, some won't crack at all.
  7. HozayBuck

    HozayBuck Well-Known Member

    All I know about rocks and fires is that I once heard it said that one should not use rocks from near a source of water. I have seen rocks explode with force I wasn't sure the OP meant he used rocks to cook with or coals.. I know most folks use bricketts..

    I have some friends who cook with dutch ovens and I have a small one just never used it... may be time to start! fact it is time!
  8. jnrdesertrats

    jnrdesertrats Noob

    I am thinking one day a week my wife and I can cook dinner off the grid. Freeze dried, MRE or dutch oven. I bet with some practice we can work our way up to some of those dutch oven peach coblers I a have heard about.
  9. I found a product named "fire clay" that can be added to concrete. Seems it will hold the stones together, that is where my major prob is, the concrete cant stand the "heat in the kitchen" I may shmere some on the inside of the pit, maybe that will help from heating the stones so much.
    I have hung the chickens two times now. Simply jab two holes each side of the backbone, maybe 2 to 3 inches from the "preacher nose" up the backbone. Insert a wire (I use rebar tye wire) through and hang from a cross bar over the pit. The are a couple of videos on youtube. It is a very simple way to cook a chicken or turkey, may could a small ham too.
    And you all are right..MOST and rocks will burst, if the moisture content in high. jnrdesertrats..I wait a year to try the dutch is easy. Next is breads or a dump cake!