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I am lokoing at buying my first dutch oven and could use some tips about selecting one.


The biggest question I have is about size. Any good rules or guidelines in what whould be a good size to start with?





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I will second the 12" & Deep, Dutch oven by Lodge. It appears to be the Standard barer(sp) of Dutch Ovens. Nealy all recipes are based on this size. Bigger isn't worth it unless you know exactly what you will cooking. I think you would be better off to get two Dutch Ovens than one giant Dutch Oven. Two dutch oven will cook faster and allow for different meals.


I bought mine on-line from Cabelas and even with shipping it was still cheaper than any one else.



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-Lodge is now sell already seasoned D.O.s sweet!




-BSA D.O. tool is the best thing the scout shops sell!


-get set of welders gloves (or Lodge DO gloves- more $$$)


-small shovel or long tongs for manipulating coals


-USE THE HIGHEST QUALITY CHARCOAL YOU CAN GET! It is soooo much better to work with.


-three nice tent stakes driven in the ground next to fire area make a great lid stand.


-Nylon scrubbies, REI 'UTE' wooden backpacking spatula and hot water are great for cleaning.


-natural bristle wisk broom helps clean ash off top for serving


-and watch the yard sales...look for a couple of good old heavy biscuit pans or cake/pie pans for baking- makes clean up REAL easy.


- start your sourdough culture...now... takes a couple of batches of bread to get 'real' good. and tangy.


- fix a mountain man breakfast this weekend for breakfast and a cobbler for dessert!


BTW- don't have a fire ring at home?...Discounters sell CHEAP round "spring promotion" charcoal grills this time of year...$6-8. get an old cinder block or two as a base (throw the legs away)

set the grill on the blocks, put in 20 -25 briquets light up, move hot coals to the sides place the proper number in the middle area, set your newly seasoned D.O. over the 'middle' coals, put the food 'on', then the lid and the appropriate # of coals on top...have a sip or two... and... anticipate!


Adult camp motto- "eat well, make the others drool!"


get my PM?(This message has been edited by anarchist)

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It hasn't been said yet, but ... make sure to buy cast iron, as opposed to cast aluminum.


1. Cast Aluminum can melt if heated to hot

2. Cast Aluminum can be hard to hold temperature on a windy cool day

3. Cast Iron, if taken care of, will last generations.


I've read somewhere that the best way to store the dutch oven is to clean it (no soap) and store it in a brown paper bag (to allow it to breath and to keep dust/dirt out. Don't store it in a plastic bag.

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Lodge 12 inch either size is great. Pay a little more to get better quality. Keep it seasoned. Oil it well after every use. I cooked for a non-scouting service project a year ago. It was raining cats and dogs. We were under a dinning fly. I used my two and had borrowed one from a scouting friend. I got home late and wasn't able to clean them up. I awoke the next morning and as I was heading out to church I saw a bright red Dutch oven sitting on my kitchen floor. I thought I was in for it, having to reseason three Dutch ovens. I got back from church and discovered it was only my buddy's oven, mine were beautiful black. It took me most of the afternoon to derust and season properly his oven. Just a tale to tell you do right and keep it and you won't have to work too hard and your oven will last forever.

Great food and amazing scouts are in your future.

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My $0.02


I've always used cast iron, but have been advised by friends in this forum that cast aluminum is a viable alternative. They won't melt when using coals for cooking - just don't set them on the fire to burn out old crusty stuff. That said, I'm sticking with cast iron.


After smoking up the house seasoning my DOs a few times, I've started using gas grill outside. Just wipe it down with cooking oil, turn upside down on the grill, close grill top, set flames on high for 20-30 minutes, then off to cool in place.



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As to date, I own about 5 Dutch Ovens, 6 cast iron kettles, and 8 or more cast iron frying pans depending on where the Boss has them hidden....however, the most that I've paid for any of these things was about 5 bucks.....so check out the thrift stores, and yard sales before you commit to spending big yankee dollars on the new stuff...

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Don't waste your money on anything but Lodge.

Growing up as a GS we had lodge. My dad passed away in 1984. All the camp gear was stored in the trailer. Mom passed in 93. I was going through everything and found all the dutch ovens still in the trailer. All had been cleaned, and wrapped in brown paper bags that had been oiled. They had been there for 10 years. Not one had any rust.

Never use soap to clean them.

Dad always washed them out with hot water, scrubbed them with a wad of aluminum foil and fire ashed. then rinsed them again and rubbed them down with some oil and put them in the bags. I donated them to the GS council in Ark. in 93 and they are still using them.


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Academy? What, pray tell is Academy? (almost added a "hon" in there...is 'hon' still aceptable in Texas?...Its been a while) Why shucks, I probably paid $3.99 for my two D.O. tools (they are almost older than my scouts (sons) Used to use cressent offset plyers but I like the bail hook on the BSA tool.


My oldest D.O. is about 25 years young...and a couple of my yard sale frying 'irons' are even older...

thanks for the heads up though...

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A good place to look is www.majorsurplusandsurvival.com for dutch ovens. They are cheaply priced and delivery is good. They seem to be a little thinner walled than lodge but good just the same. They are not seasoned but no biggee. A trivet is great for inside baking or underneath to keep the oven from crushing burning coals. Replacement of coals under a trivet is easier too. After owning 4 D.O. for years and using them every chance, my suggestion is to start small with the basics and play with ideas. Then determine your plans for increased or discontinued use.

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