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Dutch Oven Experiment


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#1 Eddie Z

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 02:55 PM

smalldutch.JPG

 

Today is another cooking experiment, involving this apparatus.    My cauldron firepit, the tripod I fabricated in my shop, and a new 20 quart dutch oven!  

 

The maiden voyage is a full batch of Chicken Cacciatore (served with pasta and homemade italian bread).  .     Figured I'd run with cheaper chicken than more expensive read meat..   Would rather screw up $70 worth of food than $150 worth of food.   LOL    Of course I don't intend to screw up anything, but ya never know.  

 

The critical skill will be control of the heat...which of course is the critical skill with any cooking adventure. 

 

I think I might have 20 ppl over to help me get rid of it..    Should be a trip.



#2 Tabbooma

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 04:05 PM

Do you lower the dutch oven into the cauldron?



#3 Jabadoodle

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 04:05 PM

That's quite a three-legged contraption.  Success on your experiment!



#4 cassady

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 04:25 PM

nice, but, i have a question. when i make cacciatore, i use some type of tomato product, isn't that taboo with cast iron if it's not glazed enamel lined?



#5 TEO

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 04:35 PM

My Italian friend cooked his meatballs and tomato sauce in cast iron.

 

 

Like yer outdoor rig.



#6 Jersey Thug

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 02:08 AM

i can't believe i'm the first person who only came in to giggle.

 

:funny1:



#7 Rayzeeday

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 02:32 AM

my wife kicked me out of bed after my bedroom demonstration of a dutch oven!

#8 Eddie Z

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 02:44 AM

smalldutch2.JPG

 

The experiment was quite a success.     The only thing I needed to do was block the wind from blowing my heat away...the reason for the plywood panels in the back.       The height of the dutch oven above the fire that you see in this pic is more or less the perfect cooking height.     On occasion, I lifted it higher when I wanted much less heat.

 

Otherwise, it was pretty straightforward.    I browned about 22lbs of chicken thighs and legs in batches first, set the chicken aside.    Then stir fried onions/peppers/garlic till al dente..  poured in some white wine, let it reduce.    Then a #10 sized can of whole peeled tomatos, along with some spices.    Then the partially cooked chicken went back in to finish, for about 40 minutes.    Ended up to be nearly 30lbs of Chicken cacciatore. 

 

The guests didn't quite come when the chicken was done, they came a bit later.    The large mass held it's heat for several hours till everyone was done.   The chicken didn't really get super overcooked, but it was a little better earlier than later.     

 

I served over a bed of penne pasta, with homemade Italian Bread made into garlic bread.     And some brownies for dessert.      About 15 people, and a lot of kids.     Some leftovers, but not crazy amounts.   

 

A ton of fun.       



#9 nancykind

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 02:46 AM

sounds like a good day and it looks delicious! :)



#10 Eddie Z

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 02:52 AM

nice, but, i have a question. when i make cacciatore, i use some type of tomato product, isn't that taboo with cast iron if it's not glazed enamel lined?

 

Generally you're supposed to season cast iron by wiping it down with veg oil and baking at 350 for an hour or more.    I'm pretty convinced the seasoning coating resolves any issues regarding the tomato products.        



#11 cheeseweasel

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 03:27 AM

Best with a thick blanket and you've loaded up on a Whopper with cheese and 4 deviled eggs.

#12 Kashmir

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 03:55 AM

That's a lotta chicken cacciatore !!!! :wow:

I *just* purchased two cast iron pans and the directions said to put the pan in the oven while it preheats to 300• . Turn the heat source off and leave the pan in the oven and when the pan is WARM then rub it with oil.
Does that season the pans correctly or is Emeril full of shit??? Eddie??

#13 KittyRocks

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 04:19 AM

hmmm i make tomato sauce in cast iron all the time but i do have to kind of reseason it when done. but did u know that cooking tomato (and other certain foods) increases the amount of iron in the food by like 8 times or more? cooking in iron skillets always ups the iron but in certain foods it REALLY ups the iron due to a reaction between the pan and the food. 



#14 Eddie Z

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 12:13 PM

That's a lotta chicken cacciatore !!!! :wow:

I *just* purchased two cast iron pans and the directions said to put the pan in the oven while it preheats to 300• . Turn the heat source off and leave the pan in the oven and when the pan is WARM then rub it with oil.
Does that season the pans correctly or is Emeril full of shit??? Eddie??

there's lots of guidance out there.    I don't think Emeril is full of shit, but I like doing it the classic way.    rub w/ oil>>350>.1hr. 



#15 Eddie Z

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 12:55 PM

That was not a cheap experiment.       I think it turned out to be about $60 worth of supplies that went into the Dutch oven...even after choosing a relatively cheap meat.    Could have easily been much more, if I had chosen a red meat meal, like Chili or Beef Stew.      Chicken $1.00/lb vs Beef $3.00/lb.

 

Kind of glad I'm not funding experiments for vessels as large as that cauldron I've used here as the firepit.    LOL.     Would become a $400 Experiment!   I'd need 50 people.



#16 In A Silent Way

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 02:08 PM

:drool:



#17 Lemireacle

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 03:15 PM

i can't believe i'm the first person who only came in to giggle.

 

:funny1:

 

:funny1:

 

smalldutch2.JPG

 

The experiment was quite a success.    

 

:clap: That looks fantastic!! :drool:



#18 hoagie

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 03:16 PM

your gonna have to do some baked beans in that thing with a hunk of homemade bacon....



#19 Eddie Z

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 03:52 PM

your gonna have to do some baked beans in that thing with a hunk of homemade bacon....

A big bean po-t is on the list of things that could be cool.       But I definitely want to keep experimenting with this.    Chilis, Stews, Jambalayas, Gumbos ..and even desserts are all fair game.          There's a ton of dutch oven recipes out there, all I have to do is adapt it to a bigger vessel.

 

The only thing that gets in the way of the process is $$$ and the difficulty in assembling enough people to consume the fruits of my labor.       Kind of feels wrong to invite my friends over and shake 'em down for $$$.,     Similar issue with the smoker...   Fill it with racks of ribs, and kiss $100 goodbye. 



#20 cassady

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 04:00 PM

looks amazing eddy! great job! and i'm glad the tomato product responded well,

 

guess i just listen to too many nay sayers on the acidic products downing the use of cast iron.



#21 TEO

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 04:15 PM

Make no mistake, leave acidic products sitting around for too many days in the cast iron and it is not pretty.



#22 cassady

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 04:28 PM

oh i agree,i can name a few tomato sauces i've sacrificed due to cast iron......

 

i still wouldn't due an all day type "sunday gravy" in non-enameled cast iron.



#23 cassady

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 04:30 PM

but, again, i do love the concept of eddy's new rig......:drool:

 

it screams stew to me....



#24 Feck

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 05:27 PM

i wonder how much more / less work it would be to just put the oven into the coals, vs suspend over the fire. 



#25 Eddie Z

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 05:33 PM

Putting the Dutch oven directly onto coals is frequently done.    The lid is shaped such that you can put coals on top of it too, if you wanted to brown the top of a dessert or something.    Google search of images shows lots of that.

 

I think it's more work since those coals will die down and need frequent replacement.    My rig can be continuously fed...and the height can be adjusted to back off on heat.  



#26 Feck

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 05:46 PM

no need to google, it's the only way i've ever used the D.O.; stews, pies, etc.

we just kind of built a bigger fire, and move some coals when / if necessary.

 

so you just kind of dumped the oven part, and just used it like a big cast iron pot ?

if nothing else, it would save my knees  - so there is that plus too.



#27 Eddie Z

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 06:02 PM

so you just kind of dumped the oven part, and just used it like a big cast iron pot ?

if nothing else, it would save my knees  - so there is that plus too.

More or less yes.     For now anyway.    The apparatus I build works well in the setting of my backyard with my cauldron as the only place I can build a fire. 

 

Sooner or later, I'll be on a camping trip where I might like to try the on-the-coal technique.      The chain on my tripod is long enough where I can suspend the DO over a fire on the ground too.      

 

Either way, the main intent of the DO is to diffuse whatever heat source to a gentle surrounding heat.      You could even put the thing on a king cooker with good results. 



#28 suburbanite84

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 12:30 AM

Unless it is bigger than it looks, how is that any more than $20-25 worth of chicken?



#29 Eddie Z

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 12:46 AM

You're right...about $23 worth of chicken...and a $5.00 can of Whote tomatoes, a $8 bottle of white wine, $20 worth of veggies, and a few dollars in other stuff to round out the meal.       Probably a $65 thing.    If it was a beef stew, would have been more like $90-100.00



#30 Eco

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 02:53 AM

Is this thingy coming to the boardie picnic? 



#31 Karen

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 12:01 PM

Putting the Dutch oven directly onto coals is frequently done.    The lid is shaped such that you can put coals on top of it too, if you wanted to brown the top of a dessert or something.    Google search of images shows lots of that.

.  

 

 A friend that we camp with at Florida festies cooks primarily in a dutch oven, everything from breakfast casseroles to cookies.   He typically puts the hot coals on top of the lid as well and it works great!



#32 ladygingechilla

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 12:17 PM

Nomnomnom! I didn't open this thread for the longest time because I thought it was just another fart joke :fart:

#33 Karen

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 12:49 PM

Nomnomnom! I didn't open this thread for the longest time because I thought it was just another fart joke :fart:

 

Me too!  :lol: 



#34 Eddie Z

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 01:01 PM

Is this thingy coming to the boardie picnic? 

Fair question, but I don't think so.      

 

I wave two things in the face of the Boardies:    the smoker experiments and now the Dutch Oven.      But the smoker and the firepit/tripod/dutch oven are mainly for my backyard cooking sprees.      Logistically annoying to take on the road.

 

The equipment I use for mobile events is already loaded in my trailers:     Roaster, Flattop Grills, King Cookers...  

 

I suppose I could use the dutch oven on a king cooker though...     Maybe I can make a big bean po-t or something.  I'll consider it. 

 

With the Boardie picnic only being like 30 people, and my favorite kitchen hand being somewhat tentative, my goal is to streamline the operation as much as possible.   Meaning that I don't want to deploy too many cooking platforms...especially finicky ones...where the heat control is manual (firewood).



#35 Feck

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 02:21 PM

no need to worry

 

<< has over 35 years experience cooking directly over open fires - not charcoal + 6 to 8 years working in commercail kitchens;  i guess i started using a smoker when my brother was still in TX, so that's well over 10 years, OK the first 5 were with an electric smoker, but the rest were all wood fired.



#36 kramer

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 04:31 AM

#1... I came in for a fart joke too, thuggee :)

#2... I have done a Sunday sauce in my cast iron pans w no issues!

#37 Eddie Z

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 12:27 PM

no need to worry

 

<< has over 35 years experience cooking directly over open fires - not charcoal + 6 to 8 years working in commercail kitchens;  i guess i started using a smoker when my brother was still in TX, so that's well over 10 years, OK the first 5 were with an electric smoker, but the rest were all wood fired.

Coolness.    I may have to seriously rely on your kitchen help for the picnic.     We'll talk in April...



#38 Feck

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 02:43 PM

and i will not be having any kids in the near or distant future :)