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Dutch Oven Recipes

Dutch The Dutch Oven is very much a part of American history and folklore. Made from cast iron, they are strong, heavy and retain and distribute heat much better than most modern day cooking utensils. Ideal for long, slow cooking, our colonial forefathers would use them to simmer many of their meals in the fireplace, and, during the period of westward expansion, the pioneers would bury them in a bed of coals, leaving them to stew till later in the day.

Modern day Dutch Ovens are basically unchanged in design and manufacture. There are two types of American Dutch Ovens in modern day use; flat bottomed with a slightly rounded top, for use on the stove top and in the oven, and three legged flat topped, for outdoor use on a bed of charcoal or over a fire. The flat top of the three legged version, also known as a "Camp Oven" has a lip to hold charcoal easier than the round topped and can also be inverted and used as a griddle.


The South African "Potjiekos" are very similar to our three legged Dutch Ovens though they vary slightly by incorporating a rounded top with a lip and having curved, bulging sides (as opposed to the flat sided American version) and thus more resemble the "pot belly" image from folklore. Visit the Web Site of our great friends, 3 Men With Nothing Better to Do for very interesting historical information and outstanding Potjiekos recipes.

On this page:

  • Dutch Oven Recipes
  • Curing and Caring of Cast Iron
  • Dutch Oven Temperature Chart

8 & 12 inch Dutch Ovens

Spud & Ham Au Gratin
An original Ugly Brothers for a 12 inch Dutch Oven.


 Amount  Ingredient  Preparation Method
6 large potatoes scrubbed & sliced less than 1/4 inch
 1 cup ham sliced and diced
6 TBS margarine you'll need more!
1/2 large onion minced
to taste garlic salt
3 TBS flour
2 cups milk
2 cups cheddar cheese grated
5 TBS Parmesan cheese grated
3 TBS bread crumbs fine
to taste jalapeno peppers, canned diced *optional
---- ----
  34 - 38    charcoal briquettes  

Slice potatoes 1/4 inch thin or less. Sprinkle with a small amount of garlic salt (the cheeses will provide a good amount of salt).

Saute onions (and any jalapeno peppers you may want to add) in 4 tablespoons margarine until soft. Blend in flour and make a light colored roux (add 2 more tablespoons margarine if roux is too thick). When roux is a light golden color add milk, bring to a light boil, and simmer until somewhat thickened.

Rub the inside of the 12 inch Dutch oven with more margarine. Mix in potatoes and cheeses then then sprinkle bread crumbs over the top.

Bake approximately 30-40 minutes using 10-12 coals under the Dutch Oven and approximately 25 coals on top. (approximately 400°F).



Dutch Oven Pizza
Basic dough, top as you like!

 Amount  Ingredient  Preparation Method
1 cup water warmed to approximately 110° F
  1 tsp sugar
2-2/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBS olive oil
    corn meal  
    olive oil spray  
  24 - 28 charcoal briquettes
Add yeast & sugar to warm water (approximately 110° F). Allow to stand 10 mins, until yeast is visibly active.Smoked Mussel Pizza

Don't even bother trying to knead the dough by hand! It works much better with a food processor or mixer. With metal blade in food processor, add all other dry ingredients to work bowl, turn on and slowly pour yeast mixture in through spout. Process for about 60 seconds. Dough should be only slightly sticky.

Put in a lightly greased bowl in a warm area and allow to rise 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Punch down and allow to rise again for about additional 30 minutes.

Lightly grease the Dutch Oven with olive oil then sprinkle the bottom lightly with corn meal. Roll the dough into a circle and cover the bottom of the Dutch Oven building up a lip around the edges to prevent any overflow or melting cheese to seep down the sides and under the dough. Spray the edges and dough lip with olive oil spray, this will help crisp and brown the exposed dough lip.

Now it's time to add your favorite toppings. Our current favorites are:

  • Roasted Garlic pasta sauce
  • Mozzerella cheese
  • Pepperoni
  • Pine nuts
  • Smoked mussels (not the canned ones, but "fresh" ones we get from our fish monger) and
  • Mexican Cotija cheese

The latter two are added during the last five minutes, just enough to heat the mussels through and to melt the Cotija.

Using a 12 inch Dutch Oven place 6 briquettes underneath and approximately 20 briquettes on top (approximately 400° F) for 20-25 minutes. In a 8 inch Dutch Oven use 4 underneath and 12 on top.

Madras Beef Curry
Adapted by Ugly Brothers for the Dutch Oven from the recipe of Judah Casburn. Recipe for a 12 inch Dutch Oven.

 Amount  Ingredient  Preparation Method
1-1/2 lbs stewing beef cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large onion diced
10 cloves garlic sliced
  5 green chili peppers
  8 tsp coriander
4 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp tumeric
  1 tsp  fenugreek (methie)
6 whole cloves
1-1/2 sticks cinnamon
6 whole green cardamom pods cracked
6 whole black cardamom pods cracked
  1 tsp black pepper cracked
  1/2 tsp dry mustard  
1 tsp tamarind pulp prepared
5 tomatoes diced
  1 whole lemon. juice of
  1 cup mushroom sliced
  --- ---
 30 - 60  charcoal briquettes

Combine all spices and fry in oil or ghee (clarified butter) over a low fire (do not scorch). Mix with meat in Dutch Oven with approximately 8 briquettes underneath and 15 briquettes on top, cook for one hour. Add tomatoes or tomato sauce, lemon juice and green chilis. Adjust liquid with water and cook over low heat approximately one hour. During last 20 minutes add sliced mushrooms and cook until tender.

CHEATERS SHORTCUT: If you can't locate the right spices, use about 4 TBS of Curry Paste. Curry paste is basically the above spices roasted and preserved in oil. It won't be the same but it'll still be good in it's own way. NEVER use curry powder as it consists primarily of tumeric and does not have the depth of flavor found in curry paste.


Ugly Beef Pot
An Ugly Brothers original recipe for a 12 inch Dutch Oven.

 Amount  Ingredient  Preparation Method
4 lbs chuck roast cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup   red wine  
  1 TBS Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning  
    olive oil  
1 large onion diced
8 cloves garlic diced
  2 TBS Hungarian Sweet Paprika  
  6 large  carrots  sliced
2 cups mushrooms sliced
10 oz. can diced tomatoes
12 oz. bottle Guinness Extra Stout
1/2 tsp salt
to taste Tabasco Sauce
1/4 cup Worchestershire Sauce
--- ---
 30 - 60  charcoal briquettes

Cut beef into approximate one inch cubes, sprinkle with Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning, put in non-reactive container or plastic bag and pour in wine. Allow to sit overnight.

When ready to start cooking light approximately 30 charcoal briquettes. In the Dutch Oven, on the stove or over a charcoal fire, saute onions in olive oil until limp then add garlic and saute for a while. Add remaining ingredients to the pot and place over 8 or 9 charcoal briquettes, place lid on top and cover with approximately 15 briquettes. Cook for 3 hours or longer, until beef is tender to the fork.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
The classic Boy Scout desert recipe for a 12 inch Dutch Oven.

 Amount  Ingredient  Preparation Method
1 18 oz.. box yellow cake mix mix according to directions
  1/2 cup   sweet butter   ( 1 stick )
1 cup brown sugar loosely packed
 20 oz... can crushed pineapple drained
5 sliced pineapple rings
  21  charcoal briquettes  

Mix 18 ounce box of yellow cake mix according to the box directions. Ignite charcoal briquettes. Line a 12 inch Dutch oven with heavy-duty aluminum foil (this will help you invert the cake when it is finished). When coals are ready, place 6 briquettes under the Dutch oven then melt butter and mix with brown sugar in foil lined Dutch oven. Place pineapple rings on bottom, mix crushed pineapple with cake mix and pour into Dutch oven. Gently mix the ingredients so that the pineapple rings stay on the bottom and some of the butter mixture is incorporated (you want at least half to stay on the bottom to caramelize). Place lid on the Dutch oven with 6 briquettes underneath and 15 briquettes on top. Cook for 35-40 minutes, rotating the oven and lid 1/4 turns in opposite directions at 10 minute intervals. When finished, remove from coals and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Then carefully remove cake, in foil liner, place plate on top and invert. When you remove the foil you should have a wonderfully caramelized top with browned pineapple rings.


Curing and Caring of Cast Iron

Curing your cast iron Dutch Oven or skillet will give it that beautiful rich black patina you have probably seen on well cared for cast iron cooking utensils. When first cured your cast iron will have a golden brown color which will develop into a rich black with time. To cure a new cast iron utensil:
1. Wash with hot, soapy water and a stiff brush. Rinse and dry completely.
2. Oil the cookware (inside and out) with MELTED solid vegetable shortening.
3. Turn upside down on the top rack of a 375°F pre-heated oven.
4. Put aluminum foil on the bottom rack to catch any excess drippings.
5. Bake the cookware for one and one half hour at 375°F.
6. Let the cookware cool slowly in the oven.
7. Store, uncovered, in a dry place when cooled.

To aid in curing the cast iron it is best to cook high fat foods in it the first several times you use it. As it cures and darkens with these foods it will more easily prevent sticking. To clean your cast iron use hot water and a soft sponge. Some purists refuse to use soap to clean cast iron , insisting that it will break down the cure. The Ugly Brothers use cast iron on a daily basis and have found that under such conditions small amounts of hot soapy water do not harm these utensils. One thing all cast iron aficionado do agree on though is to NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use steel wool or other abrasives on your cast iron! To do so will certainly scour off the fine cure you have worked so hard to achieve and will require you to scrape it all off and start curing aging from scratch! After washing you utensil dry it immediately by wiping it out and heating it up on the stove to drive out any moisture remaining in the metal, then, give it a thin coat of oil while it is still hot and allow it to cool down slowly.

Dutch Oven Temperature Chart (approximate)

Temperature (°F) / charcoal briquettes required - source: Lodge Mfg. Co.
This chart will gives you the total number of briquettes and recommends top/bottom distribution of them for desired approximate temperature
OVEN SIZE  325°  350°  375°  400°  425°  450°
8" 15 16 17 18 19 20
top 10 11 11 12 13 14
bottom 5 5 6 6 6 6
 - - - - - - -
10" 19 21 23 25 27 29
top 13 14 16 17 18 19
bottom 6 7 7 8 9 10
 - - - - - - -
12" 23 25 27 29 31 33
top 16 17 18 19 21 22
bottom 7 8 9 10 10 11
 - - - - - - -
14" 30 32 34 36 38 40
top 20 21 22 24 25 26
bottom 10 11 12 12 13 14
 - - - - - - -
16" 34 36 38 40 42 44
top 22 24 24 27 28 30
bottom 12 12 13 13 14 14

NOTE: For cooking times over an hour additional charcoal may be necessary. Either have another batch ready to go after about an hour and a half or, at about an hour, place unlit briquettes next to those on and under the oven to ignite them.

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