A special notice to our email subscriber list. Especially those that collect or are trying to identify a piece of cast iron, or a foundry.
By multiple request. We are adding a link to our old TOPONAUTIC Blog that contains numerous webpages on collecting and identifying cast iron. We continue to reconstruct our old blog pages over here on TheDutchOvenCook. But progress is slow. Nearly non-existent during the warmer months of the year.
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The Cathedral Gorge Rangers reached out to me today. They are still going ahead with their Dutch Oven Cook-off. Though they are concerned they only have 1 cook signed up as of today. Please get your entries forms in!
There is a simple on-line entry form at the link below. Entry is FREE if submitted ahead of time. If you wait and sign up the day of the event there is a $5 entry fee.
They aren’t sure if the Area 51 Event, planned at the same time, is the cause of lack of sign ups? They don’t believe the 51 Event will filter over into this area.
If you are planning on attending as a cook and haven’t signed up with them, please do so. Or at a minimum let them know you will be there to cook.
Many of us in our local Dutch Oven group have been attending this cook-off for years. It is our favorite competition event. Attending as a cook, as well as joining in with all the fun events the rangers plan for the whole day.
How many of you have multiple pieces of Cast Iron Cookware? I certainly have way too big of a collection. Probably borderline hoarder? Actually, no “probably” about it. LOL!
From Skillets to Dutch Ovens, to other iron in between. They are meant to be used and not just sit on the shelf. I try to put many of them to real use from time to time.
Often times I find myself returning to my #8 Cast Iron Dutch Ovens. I have three of the more modern Lodge in this size.
I find them perfectly sized when cooking for two people….perhaps even large enough for four depending on what you cook or bake. No need to waste expensive charcoal. Most things can be baked or cooked with 15-16 properly arranged briquets.
I find the 8 inch Dutch Ovens especially ideal for camping. While their larger cousins are great for competition cooking, large pot-luck’s, or cooking/baking for more people or a larger than two family. My go to Dutch Oven for camping trips is my 8 inch. The smaller size makes their weight insignificant.
These are great for a small batch of morning biscuits or pastries. Able to produce those hot and fresh goodies while waking up to some fresh coffee. If you want a full blown breakfast, bake up a Dutch Oven Mountain Man Breakfast.
Calling all Cooks, eaters, and spectators to visit the Mormon Fort.
If you are a Las Vegas visitor. Or new to the area. Many never realize this State Park is in the center of Las Vegas. There is a ton of frontier history to go along with this fun cooking and eating event.
This is a preliminary post so that you may mark your 2020 Calendars.
This State Park, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Has scheduled their 2020 Dutch Oven Cook-off for Saturday March, 28, 2020.
This is a no yeast, quick and easy recipe for bagels. We often do these in a Dutch Oven while camping. I can't take credit for the recipe since a friend [Kathleen LeBlanc] shared it, and the technique, with me while camping. She did not know where it originated either.
A wind screen or windshield is often necessary to properly cook in the outdoors. Especially if you are cooking on some type of raised platform. A platform such as a cook table, or a camp stove placed on a picnic table.
While both cook tables and camp stoves may come with their own shield, they are often too low, and inadequate.
I have seen numerous types of DIY wind screens, out of many materials.
This DIY project was thought out to use readily available materials. With the idea in mind during fabrication, to use the simplest of tools found in nearly any household. Best of all, workable by nearly anyone with minimal tool handling skills.
I also wanted this to break down and sort flat as possible during transport or storage.
The final “must have” was that this screen needed no tools, to set up/erect for cooking, or to break down for storage.
This DIY project shows the basics of building a Windshield for your Camp Stove or Dutch Oven. Numerous modifications could be made to suit your personal needs.
I prefer the higher shield as shown. Both for use, and for ease of construction.
The long sides of mine are made from a 18X25 inch cookie sheet. The smaller ends are 13X18’s cookie sheets. These sizes will avoid the need to make any cuts concerning the cookie sheets. These cookie sheets are clamped together with easy to fabricate aluminum angle clamps.
The clamps are snugged up using Thumb Bolts and Wing Nuts. No tools are required during set up.
While an electric hacksaw, drill press, and drill press vise, makes for an easy job of it. A simple hacksaw and hand drill will do just fine. Since the DIY clamps are soft aluminum, any required drilling is fairly easy. Do practice tool safety to protect body parts during fabrication. Eye protection is mandatory.
My initial build was a Windscreen for my Partner 4 burner stove. Made with three 18X25 cookie sheets. I later bought the 13X18’s for use when Dutch Oven cooking on a metal Dutch Oven Cooking Table.
For the Dutch Oven Cook Tables that are wide and rather narrow front to back. Two sets of an “L” Shape configuration can be arranged to adapt to most Dutch Oven Cook Tables. They can slide to adjust for whatever width table you may have. The two longer rear cookie sheets can be clamped together with a C-Clamp or Spring clamp.
In a good wind you might have to use small bungee cords to hold the shield down to the table. (Bungee attached at points away from high heat of course)
*Something simple with minimum amount of complex fabrication.
*Free standing without the use of supports.
*Large enough to surround on 3 sides.
*When not in use, something that stores flat for storage and transport.
*Easy to setup without the use of any tools.
All objectives were met. I am sure a good scrounger or person that has usable used material can beat what they cost me. For this article, all parts were purchased new, at full retail prices.
Additional benefits are this Windscreen is also easy to clean, and if not being used as a shield, the trays can be used for other purposes such as food prep, as serving trays, or perhaps other functions I am not even thinking of.
MATERIAL (3) 18X25 Cookie Sheets ($6.75 each) (For a 25X25X25 setup)
or (1) 18X25 Cookie Sheet ($6.75) + (2) 13X25 Cookie Sheets (2 Pack $10.25) (For 13X25X13 Setup)
(2) Aluminum Angle 1/16 inch 1×36
Both cut in half to make (4) 18 long pieces of angle ($5.37 each)
(4) Thumb Bolts 1/4inch, 20 thread, 1 ½ inches long ($1.18 each)
(4) Wing Nuts ¼ inch, 20 thread ($0.55 each)
These are local all new material prices. Cookie Sheets from Costco or Sams Club. Or a local restaurant supply retailer. Hardware was obtained from Home Depot. A good scrounger might be able to find this material at a thrift store or garage sale for much less.
FABRICATION (Read through this before starting)
Cut the two 36 inch Aluminum angles both in half to create (4) 18 inch angles. Make sure all pieces are of equal length. Trim if necessary.
Mark the 18 inch angle aluminum at 2 inches in from both ends. Keep these pretty exact so pieces will be interchangeable with each other during set-up. Meaning the holes will line up with one another. Its critical, that the distance measurement between the drilled holes on one piece of aluminum angle, is that same measurement on all pieces of aluminum angle.
If you decide to make additional wind screen parts in the future be sure to use one of your existing parts as a pattern. That way they will be interchangeable.
Stack 4 of your 18 inch aluminum angles together. Clamp in a vise if available to avoid having the stack twirling around and hitting you during drilling. If no vice is available use another method and proceed with caution. Drill a hole at your 2 inch marks, and drill down through all 4 angles stacked together. You start the hole on the inside of the V of the the angle. Use a 5/16 inch diameter drill bit.
Make sure the drilled holes on the first end of the stack do not become misaligned. Then Drill the other end at your mark using the same method.
The idea is to create 4 identical parts that can be interchanged even if flipped around or used with any other piece. Identical meaning the measurement distance between the drill holes are equal on all angle parts you fabricate.
Clean up any drill burrs and sharp edges with a wire bush, wire wheel, file, sandpaper, etc.
Insert your Thumb Bolt through a stack of two angles. The Flattened Thumb end of the bolt should be on the inside of the V of the angle aluminum. When held in place with a finger the angle aluminum prevents the bolts flattened thumb head from spinning. (No wrench required)
Loosely thread the wing nut on the threaded end of the bolt.
Repeat the bolt insertion and wing nut on the other end of the two aluminum angles.
Hold 2 of the cookie sheets up in a vertical position, with the top cooking surface side facing each other in an “L” shape.
Slip the clamp over the joint of the cookie sheets. One angle of the clamp with be on the inside of the cookie sheet joint. The other angle of the clamp will be on the outside of the cookie sheet joint.
Tighten the clamps wing nuts when correctly positioned. Repeat for the other corner to create a three side wind screen. (No tools required)
The whole set-up pretty much stores flat when not in use.