Dutch ovens are durable, versatile and easy to use. They are good for both indoor and camping (outdoor). It is possible to cook multiple dishes while using Dutch ovens if you know the correct technique to stack them. Cooking multiple dishes at once reduces your stress level, maximises your time, allows you to have a variety of edibles on your food table and gives you the freedom to do some other important things. It is easy to regulate
As you may know, Dutch ovens come in different sizes and shapes to be able to cook different quantities of food. Some ovens are designed with feet to make them more stable on the ground and when stacking which might be very difficult to use in a conventional oven or stove. They can be used on charcoal, stove or wood stove which means that, unlike electronic ovens, you need to have some expertise for measuring the temperature and the cooking time, while cooking.
Cooking outdoor with a Dutch oven will be ideal and more productive if your Dutch oven is at about 325 degrees. You need to maintain 24 coals to keep the temperature at 325 degrees. For adjusting the temperature, just adjust the ratio of the coals i.e. to increase or decrease every 10 – 15 degrees, just add or remove a single coal, respectively. Raise your palm (opened), like 8 inches above the dutch oven, to feel the temperature. The longer you can keep your hand (i.e. endure the heat), the lower the temperature and vice versa.
Stacking Dutch Ovens
Stacking the Dutch ovens is required for cooking multiple dishes simultaneously. The stacking uses the principle of heat rising in the atmosphere when the coal is burning. To stack, the coal on the initial lid will be considered as the heating source for the second oven on top. The coal on the lid of the second oven will be used to heat the third oven on top. You can stack as many as 3-5 dutch ovens. Note that the lower ovens will see lesser heat than the ones on top. You can place stew on top, meat in the middle and dessert or cake at the bottom. To maintain a good heat distribution, you have to rotate your dutch oven and replace coals by removing each oven from the top, one after the other.
Steps in Stacking Dutch Oven
- Make sure the largest oven is at the bottom. For instance, if you want to cook 3 dishes and you have ovens of size 14, 12 and 10 inches, you put the 14 inches one first, then the 12 inches one and then the 10 inches one.
- Put the largest amount of charcoal under the bottom-most (14 inches) Dutch oven.
- Put the oven’s (14 inches) lid and pour another set of charcoal on the lid. This will serve as base for the next oven (12 inches).
- Then put the 12 inches (filled with second meal) on the initial lid and cover the dutch oven with its lid to, layering with charcoal to serve as base for the next one.
- Put the 10 inches oven and pour charcoal on its lid as well.
- Put your charcoal in a circular form and not just at the middle.
- Wind is one of the factors that affect coal and fire. Your coal burns faster with more wind.