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Old 07-15-2008   #11
aurora, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 107
I bought a book called "Camp Cooking, 100 years. By then national museum of Forest Service History" ISBN 1586857614 at the Grand Mesa forest service hut. It is almost completely DO recipes. Lots of good stuff.

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Old 07-15-2008   #12
Chip's Avatar
SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
[quote=smittyvwbus;105761]I do believe that the Al ones do not aquire the same old world flavor that the cast ones do.

The aluminum ones are also cast, and quite porous. They can be seasoned just like iron pots. My Dutch Oven Combo (the griddle/lid in particular) has acquired a wonderful dark-brown coating with a slick feel. The key seems to be repeated greasy fry-ups and no detergents or scouring. I clean up with hot water (or cold on a hot pan) and a good wipe with paper towels.

I first learned to cook in camp, with iron dutchovens, and have nothing against them except the weight. For river trips, I try to keep my load as light as possible. The aluminum Dutch Oven Combo replaces a cast-iron 10-inch dutchoven and a griddle, at less than one-third the weight. It's also a better shape for 2-burner campstoves and nicer (being rectangular) for things like cornbread. Also easier to pack than a round one.

But I just checked Cascade's website for a picture, and couldn't find it. Mine was made by Rome Cookware.


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Old 07-16-2008   #13
Blue Shiver, CO, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 41
Mine is cast but the inside cooking surface is machined, so it's not a rough as a traditionally cast DO, but I'll try it. Mines made by GSI Outdoors I think. Does that big square one have legs???
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Old 07-16-2008   #14
Chip's Avatar
SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
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No legs on my rectangular one. Basically, it's like a square deep-fry pan with lid, but twice as wide. Two handles on the pan, one on the lid/griddle. There's a photo in Cascade Outfitters summer catalog.

The legs on the cast-iron pots are useful when cooking in a fireplace (which the original ones were used for more often than camping). The legless aluminum one works well on a firepan, with the grill set about a half-inch above the coals, and coals evenly placed on the top— good set-up for baking.

For stews and dishes with plenty of liquid, you can set it directly on coals (not too many). For roasts & whole chickens (those little frozen game hens are a treat), a wire rack is nice, to keep 'em off the bottom.

I never had specialised recipes– just cooked whatever I fancied with adjustments for the method. It's a good idea to test a recipe at home, so you don't bugger it up on a trip.

Probably my major coup in a dutch (while working as a guide) was a pineapple upside-down cake in an 18-incher. Hard to get that sugary stuff evenly done without scorching.

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Old 07-17-2008   #15
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 56
c dub knows what up with Dutchies. More Cee Dub's Dutch Oven and Other Camp Cookin': C. W Welch: Books
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Old 07-17-2008   #16
Chip's Avatar
SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098


The Combo pan I've got is cast aluminum, neither anodized nor machined inside. As far as whether this sort of ware can be seasoned, see the photo. The pan is new (you can see how porous the casting is). The griddle lid has been used a lot and I'd say it's more-or-less seasoned.

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"Seasoning" is simply allowing grease and burnt food residue to fill in the pores in the metal and form a varnishy coating. An anodized pan can't be seasoned because the pores (if any) are filled by the coating. Think of it as instant factory-applied seasoning.

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Old 07-18-2008   #17
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,347
You can also use rocks on leg-less units to keep it slightly above the coals

We made blueberry cobbler last night. They are a great way to cook and bake in the summer and keep the heat out of the house!
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Old 07-21-2008   #18
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
cast iron, hard anodized AL and regular AL

I have and use all three types of Dutch Ovens and all of them will cook up good food. Here is my experience.

Cast Iron. When I car camp or have plenty of room on the raft, my cast iron DO's are my choice. I feel cast iron justs spreads the heat out, gives you a hotter oven and it just seems to work better. When cooking corn bread or biscuits - I get better results in cast iron. Granted they are heavy, prone to rust and you need to take better care of them. Cast iron can be easier to clean depending on what you cook in them. IE just wipe em out with a cloth and some oil and off you go but if food sticks you need a wooden spatula and maybe hot water to clean off the food, then oil.

I have been using the GSI hard anodized AL for a couple years and they are working well for me. On river trips these ovens are great. The best thing is clean up, as food does not seem to stick to the surface as much as the regular AL. I do not think they heat up as well as cast iron or spread the heat as well as cast iron - but they seem to me to work a little bit better than regular AL. Clean up is super easy and that is a plus On the river I just toss them in the clean up line with the regular dishes. If you told me I could only have one DO - it would be a GSI Hard Anodized AL 12 incher. It is easier to use what ever spoon or scraper you have with these DO's, with my cast iron I like to use wooden spoons etc to avoid scraping or scratching the baked on finish.

I have several plain ole AL DO's and they also do the job. I tend to watch the heat closer as I think they are more prone to localize the heat. Clean up is also easy as you just wash them like anything else. For sure, I spray them well with PAM just before pouring in the food.

Bottom line is what ever kind of DO you have, learn to control the heat and you can cook up good food.

One thing I do is put a good coat of PAM on any DO I use just before I put the food in the DO. Even the cast iron units. Cast iron gets a paper towel wipe down with a good cooking oil after cleaning - the others just get dried out and put away.

For my cast iron units, I have plywood storage boxes they live in. The others get a padded cloth zip bag with a home made bottom insert of cutting board material. I highly recommend either a box or bag for your DO's storage time.

I would have to go and count in the storage shed the number of DO's and cast iron stuff I have. Including some cast iron stuff passed down to me from my Mom and I do not know where she got them. But the fry pans I got from her do a great job cooking and cannot be beat for baking a golden crusty pone of corn bread.

Bottom line, on a river trip a nice cake, cobbler or baked dish is a real treat. Plus it is fun to do. On many of my river trips we will make up a cake or cobbler and put it on the coals after dinner. Then set around the fire enjoying dessert - its a great way to end a fun day on the river.
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Old 07-23-2008   #19
Dipshit with the most.
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Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,497
Aluminum vs Cast iron and a couple of recipes.

Over course of guiding and rafting for the last 18 years ( many times as lead guide head cook etc) I have cooked thousands of DOs of food.
Mostly in aluminum. Some in anodized aluminum, and a fair amount in a cast iron when I first got married.

I have a couple of cast iron fry pans that I cherish, but I will happily give my cast dutch away. The only advantage that I can see is that food stays hot in them longer.
But, so heavy. The food tastes funny if the oil you use to swipe it down with goes rancid. To get the taste out you have to heat it up ( hot too ) and reclean or swipe it with oil again.

Aluminum heats quicker, can cook faster ( without a wind ) and is so much easier to maintain.

Here are a couple of quickie recipes off the top of my head:
Roast and rice.
Pork shoulder roast stuffed with slivers of garlic. Cook about 20 minutes or so with as much heat on the pig as you can. This is to brown it up a bit. Salt and pepper seasoning on it too.

Add rice. Remember 2 to 1 ratio. For me it is about 3 cups of water to 1.5 cups rice. Add the water first to deglaze the pan. YOu can add a 1/4 cup of soy to the water as well. Bay leaves are good at this point too. Poke them down in the water. You can use chick stock or beef stock in stead of water for more flavor.

Cook for another 30 to 40 minutes. Throw in 1-2 lbs of brocolli or asparagus and wait about 10 for al dente and you are done. Remember to apply generous quantities of sudsy beverages during the waiting time. Sometimes this goes in the dutch too. While I can't say beer adds, but it certainly doesn't detract.

Greek chicken

Whole chicken. Salt and pepper thoroughly. I tend to use the grinder pepper and salt for this. Lube with EVOO, add oregano ( 1-2 tablespoons ), squeeze a quartered lemon or two over the chicken and put the quarters inside the chicky.

This goes over bed of quartered potatoes, onions and whole garlic cloves. Olive oil over all or at least rolled around in it. Salt and pepper. Sometimes I put in a whole head of garlic with the tips cut off and this is pretty tasty too.
This can take a lot of heat on the top to help brown the chicken.

Foccacia Bread.

I just buy the frozen bread dough of some kind at the market. Let it thaw and rise, covered with a damp towel. On trips it is usually thawed by night one.

Punch it down. Salt, pepper, rosemary, ( I prefer fresh but when on the river...), garlic bits and olive oil can all be folded into the bread dough. YOu can cook this fairly hot for browning but not too long as it can burn. Maybe thirty minutes total. I do go by smell with baking. If you can't smell it, it ain't done.
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Old 07-23-2008   #20
Chip's Avatar
SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
Weird new dutch from Partner Steel

Looking at the Partner Steel website Partner Steel Camping Equipment, I noticed this rather odd looking but no doubt functional design. (Click on it to enlarge.)

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Top is a square griddle. It would pack easier than a round one, for sure. You could make a Pyramid Upside-Down Cake.


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