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Dutch Ovens 1502

No Life Club Posts: 2,450 Learn to swim...
Dutch Ovens
« on: June 01, 2019, 10:48:52 PM »
So I have been thinking lately that I'd like to try cooking with a Dutch oven.  Non-enamled. I'd like one about 6 qts or so.  This will be used both in my kitchen and over a campfire and I would like one with a lift handle.   Cursory searches online have lead me to Lodge but I was wondering if anyone could recommend a particular brand or source that is well made but not crazy expensive.   I would pay up to $100 for one if I knew it would last forever.  What makes $100 pot better than a $20 one?  I'm knew to cast iron so hopefully someone can educate me a bit. 

Feel free to share all things Dutch oven in this thread as well.  Recipes, pics, tips, tricks, etc.
No Life Club Posts: 1,034
Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2019, 12:33:01 AM »
What makes one cast iron different than the other is an interesting question
 I do believe some of the cheaper castings at least in my opinion often have a grainy surface finish making them harder to clean and season. I have several fajita skillets and a large 24 inch Skillet that serves as the fire-pan for my rivet forge that all suffer from this condition. A grainy cast and can also mean a less dense casting with less metal and possibly a thinner wall.
One of the big differences you'll notice with lodge is in the size; the old method of measurement had a pan is measured in inches at the bottom where it's narrow not at the top where it's wide. Lodge  is the only company that still uses this method meaning their pans will always be a size larger.


I have used the Cabelas starter set as my daily cook ware for over 15years (with a couple ss skillets & sauce pans added in)
I can see my only complaint with the Dutch oven is it doesn't have a coal lip on the lid.

I don't know if they're the same quality after all these years but here is that set

https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/cabelas-cast-iron-5-piece-starter-set

I did have a a big Lodge dutch oven when I was in my teens and early twenties. The only reason I took it out service was because of my own youthful neglect in maintaining it. (Plus it was one of their larger ones, so way too big for my needs)
It truly was a quality piece and all worth the money.
It currently sits in the family shed 1500mi away with my old tools ( someday I'll get my shop put together with everything)

Recipes recources:
2 books I can recomend are the Lodge "field guide to dutch oven cooking" and an old book called 'Lovin Dutch Ovens" by Joan Larsen

Sorry for my long and rambling musings... voice type makes going along way too easy

The pics are the Cabela's Dutch oven and the frying pan the lid is interchangeable for both.(the oven hasnt been used latley and needs reseadoned, the skillet and lid are used almost daily.

Edits: spelling grammar & remove extra unrelated story
« Last Edit: June 02, 2019, 01:53:21 AM by Noa Isumi »

I used to be a lot of things, and someday will again.
But for now I'm just a lost jack of trades with neither mastery nor home. ~NoaIsumi
No Life Club Posts: 2,450 Learn to swim...
Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2019, 03:04:26 AM »
Wow thanks for the informative response! I'm leaning toward a 6 quart size "camp" type with legs.  I'll be looking into a skillet down the road too.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,802

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Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2019, 03:11:45 AM »
I've got a 10" and 12" Lodge shallow Dutch Oven (with legs).  Lodge is very good. I use a deep version (no legs, domed lid) on stove top at home, and love that one, too.  Great for making fried chicken. The camp versions with legs work on some stove tops, as well, but the flat bottom of my deep Dutch Oven is easier to use on the stove and in the home oven.

I've used other models that aren't nearly as good quality and far as casting quality and materials.

Lodges are not perfect--I'm not a big fan of their 'pebbled' surface. I usually take some sand paper to my new Lodge cast iron and smooth them down. Nevertheless, I think Lodges are the most durable of the modern makers. Invest in a Lodge and don't look back. Your grandkids will thank you.  :tu:

Illegitimi non carborundum
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Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2019, 03:16:55 AM »
Clown, I'd recommend looking at the "Combo Cooker".




This comes as a set and is wonderfully versatile. You can use the lid as a skillet, the bottom as a fryer or stew pot, and together they work like a small Dutch Oven.  I use mine to bake bread in with great results. Unless you need a really big Dutch Oven, the combo cooker may be a great all-around set.

(Oh, for camp fire cooking, get a trivet to set the legless Combo cooker on. Shovel coals under and on top and you are good-to-go.)

Illegitimi non carborundum
No Life Club Posts: 2,450 Learn to swim...
Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2019, 04:50:11 AM »
Clown, I'd recommend looking at the "Combo Cooker".

(Image removed from quote.)


This comes as a set and is wonderfully versatile. You can use the lid as a skillet, the bottom as a fryer or stew pot, and together they work like a small Dutch Oven.  I use mine to bake bread in with great results. Unless you need a really big Dutch Oven, the combo cooker may be a great all-around set.

(Oh, for camp fire cooking, get a trivet to set the legless Combo cooker on. Shovel coals under and on top and you are good-to-go.)

Nix thank you for even more good advice! You have me thinking that that combo cooker might be the way to go.  6 qts is likely bigger than I need for most things.  I have a glass top range at home and I think the legs of the camp oven might pose a problem trying to use it in my kitchen.  Do the flat bottom models work on glass top ranges?
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,802

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Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2019, 05:38:46 AM »
Yes.  :tu:

In summer, I set up a single-burner induction 'burner' outside (with a glass top), so I can cook without heating up the house. The cast iron is brilliant on that.

Inside I have gas, but I know that cast iron works on IR stoves well, too.

It's hard to beat cast iron.

I do use enameled cast iron when cooking very acidic foods for a long period of time, e.g. chili. A cast iron pan/pot develops a protective seasoning with use and time. Acidic foods can strip that. Not a problem--the piece of cast can always be re-seasoned--but once you have a nice deep seasoning on your cast you don't want to lose it. So, from that perspective, it's good to have some cooking vessels you can use with acidic foods, e.g. enamelware or stainless steel.

The other problem with cast iron is that, like SAKs, you'll probably want more pieces with time.   :facepalm:

Illegitimi non carborundum
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Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2019, 05:48:13 AM »
Nothing beats cast iron for making good cornbread. Nothing.

The secret to good cornbread: get a cast iron skillet or Dutch Oven good and hot. Preheat that sucker for 20-30 minutes. Add your oil or butter or bacon grease to the hot cast iron, then let that get hot enough to start smoking. Then immediately add in your cornbread batter.  Bake 'til perfect. Oh....heaven!

Illegitimi non carborundum
No Life Club Posts: 2,450 Learn to swim...
Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2019, 06:32:20 AM »
Nothing beats cast iron for making good cornbread. Nothing.

The secret to good cornbread: get a cast iron skillet or Dutch Oven good and hot. Preheat that sucker for 20-30 minutes. Add your oil or butter or bacon grease to the hot cast iron, then let that get hot enough to start smoking. Then immediately add in your cornbread batter.  Bake 'til perfect. Oh....heaven!

Yes! This is just what I was hoping to get out of this thread. Thank you Noa and Nix.  Going to have find a few things to sell so I can't start my exploration into cast iron.  I do love me some corn bread!
No Life Club Posts: 4,917
Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2019, 01:38:46 PM »
In South Africa, many of the Europeans that settled here in the 1800s were from Holland, bringing their style of cooking with them. Today, the Afrikaner (Dutch decent) use a cast iron ‘potjie pot’ which is rounder at the bottom, for suspending over a fire (some also have 3 cast legs).  I’m using one today with a folding stand to make oxtail outdoors. It’s a traditional way of cooking in South Africa.  :cheers:
No Life Club Posts: 3,545
Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2019, 02:14:08 PM »
My son uses cast iron exclusively in his kitchen, started with Lodge and then via garage sales, estate sales, and flea markets he began finding items labeled WAGNER. 

Wagner is no longer produced but is sought after because of the quality, the surfaces are extremely smooth.

My wife has found a few pieces.  After cleanup and seasoning she loves using and does not even complain when I use over open fire or on my grill.

I also, have a large flat grill from Lodge that I use on my grill for breakfast feasts and flat top grilling delicate items as fish to avoid the orders in the house.

If hunting for use, select pieces that are smooth. No pebble type finish.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

If I start and end the day above ground, it is a good day!

Hope yours is as good!
Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 21,331
Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2019, 03:37:44 PM »
A dutch oven is the one piece I dont have in cast iron yet.  I bought some very nice vintage cast iron at the flea market.  One thing you will notice with vintage cast iron is the weight, or lack thereof.  The other thing is how smooth it is.  I'll snap a picture of the pans I use in my kitchen for nearly everything.  I have Wagner and Griswold n my kitchen.   

Nix nailed how to smooth new Lodge cast iron.  Happy cooking. 
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Esse Quam Videri
No Life Club Posts: 3,545
Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2019, 04:11:00 PM »
Griswold is another great name in cast iron and even harder to locate.

It was a brand that was carried on wagons for journeys west. 

In NE Indiana there are several Amish communities.  Lodge is sold now in hardware stores in Grabill, Berne, Shipshewana and other towns near them. Griswold is a price at garage sales when found like a Holy Grail.
Told more common in the plain states. 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

If I start and end the day above ground, it is a good day!

Hope yours is as good!
No Life Club Posts: 2,450 Learn to swim...
Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2019, 06:26:17 PM »
Thank you Max, Loop Cutter and Aloha for the tips.  I'll have to start hitting up flea markets and garage sales to see what I can find.  I think I may start with that Lodge combo cooker to get my feet wet. 
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,802

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Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2019, 07:57:34 PM »
In South Africa, many of the Europeans that settled here in the 1800s were from Holland, bringing their style of cooking with them. Today, the Afrikaner (Dutch decent) use a cast iron ‘potjie pot’ which is rounder at the bottom, for suspending over a fire (some also have 3 cast legs).  I’m using one today with a folding stand to make oxtail outdoors. It’s a traditional way of cooking in South Africa.  :cheers:


Ooooh, you are making me jealous.....

Illegitimi non carborundum
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,802

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Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2019, 08:01:26 PM »


Wagner is no longer produced but is sought after because of the quality, the surfaces are extremely smooth.

...

I also, have a large flat grill from Lodge that I use on my grill for breakfast feasts and flat top grilling delicate items as fish to avoid the orders in the house.




Right on, Loopy!   :tu:

I have a cherished Wagner 12" skillet. It's just awesome. 

And I found a large, flat Wagner griddle that is wonderful to use for various things. I throw that Wagner griddle on the grill and use it for everything from bacon to stir fires (sort of like "Mongolian Barbecue").  It's also a nice way to do burgers outside: you get the crusty sear, but also the wood smoke flavor.  :tu:

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Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2019, 08:02:18 PM »
Griswold is another great name in cast iron and even harder to locate.


I've kept an eye out for Griswolds, but there are very hard to find. Collectors go after those.  :tu:

Illegitimi non carborundum
No Life Club Posts: 3,545
Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2019, 08:45:50 PM »
Here are a few picture of 5 qt Dutch Oven w/lid
Very good casting skills to obtain the quality of the text.


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If I start and end the day above ground, it is a good day!

Hope yours is as good!
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Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2019, 11:46:51 PM »
I'm sorry Wagoner went out of business. They were great.

Illegitimi non carborundum
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Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2019, 01:52:20 AM »
Ohhh....yer killin' me with that Griswold.....

Illegitimi non carborundum
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Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2019, 01:53:52 AM »
I love the fact that the more you use cast iron, the better it gets. 

"Daily users".

That the way to keep cast in tip-top shape.

Illegitimi non carborundum
Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 21,331
Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2019, 04:00:36 AM »
Not much we dont cook in them.  They had a lot of life before me and will during my life and long after.  We aren't as fussy as we once were with them but we keep them in good shape. 

I've got lucky and found those Griswold in decent shape.  Lots of work to get them to look as they are but well worth it.  Eggs slide out of any of those like they were non stick teflon coated.  The more you use them the better they season and better they cook.  We keep those on the stove top as we use them daily.  Plus I just love looking at them.  I have several more and have given away quite a lot too.  I was getting a bit addicted so I had to slow a bit. 

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Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2019, 05:57:11 AM »
I keep mine handy, too. They get used constantly. (Although, I do have a couple in storage in the basement. Even so, I try to rotate them into the cooking rotation every so often.)

I also use a couple of carbon steel pans as well. Like cast iron, carbon steel pans get better with use and age. I swear they are now better than most non-stick pans.

Along similar lines, I've been doing more Indian cooking lately. In India they have a classic pot, sort of like a round-bottomed wok, called a kadai or karahi or kadhi.....  Modern versions are steel or aluminum, but the classics are 'iron'. I just ordered an 'iron' one from eBay. Shipping from India. I'm stoked to clean it up, season it, and get cooking in it. Probably start by making some fritters or pakoras. I've found that deep frying is a great way to start developing (or further developing) the seasoning of a pan.

When breaking in a Dutch oven, I've always started by making a batch of fried chicken. A cast iron Dutch Oven is a great pot for cooking fried chicken.  :tu:

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Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2019, 10:58:00 PM »
Baking bread in the Combo Cooker:




For the first 30 minutes, I use the bottom of the Combo cooker as the lid and cover the dough. This creates a steamy environment and protects the loaf from burning. After 30 minutes I take the bottom (now the lid) off and let the loaf finish cooking and browning.

Here, on the grill, but at this point, I use the same technique in Winter inside in the oven. It would work just as well on a camp fire, using a trivet or stand to keep the pan off the coals.

Illegitimi non carborundum
No Life Club Posts: 4,917
Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #25 on: June 03, 2019, 11:13:16 PM »
mmm, can almost smell that fresh bread Nix  :like:
No Life Club Posts: 2,450 Learn to swim...
Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2019, 11:14:20 PM »
Baking bread in the Combo Cooker:

(Image removed from quote.)


For the first 30 minutes, I use the bottom of the Combo cooker as the lid and cover the dough. This creates a steamy environment and protects the loaf from burning. After 30 minutes I take the bottom (now the lid) off and let the loaf finish cooking and browning.

Here, on the grill, but at this point, I use the same technique in Winter inside in the oven. It would work just as well on a camp fire, using a trivet or stand to keep the pan off the coals.

Looks delicious! Strangely enough, hunting for a bread recipe lead me one for a dutch oven and got me on this kick.
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Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2019, 12:58:41 AM »
Gotcha covered, clown.

Illegitimi non carborundum
No Life Club Posts: 1,034
Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #28 on: June 04, 2019, 03:21:35 AM »
Here is a good example of the old vs new method of measuring pan sizes
Both of these are no.10 skillets
The big one is Lodge and is 10in at its base, the small one is a Cabella's and is 10in at the top. The size diffrence is really noticeable when I place the Cabella's lid on the Lodge, though I would bet if the Lodge was a no8 it would fit. (No I did not cook the potatoes with the lid I just put it on for the photo)

So whats for dinner?
Hot sausage, fried potatoes, corn on the cob, with sweet tea and red velvet cake for dessert.

I used to be a lot of things, and someday will again.
But for now I'm just a lost jack of trades with neither mastery nor home. ~NoaIsumi
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,802

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Re: Dutch Ovens
« Reply #29 on: June 04, 2019, 03:34:32 AM »
Classic.  :like:

I've got a couple 10" skillets--a very useful size.

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

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