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Thread: dutch oven briquette guide for temperature control

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    "sorry backside" rebel's Avatar
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    Default dutch oven briquette guide for temperature control

    Found this in the October issue of the Outdoor Life magazine. [URL="http://Guests can not see images in the messages. Please register in the forum.[/URL]


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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Good stuff. Thanks.
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    That's a pretty handy guide. Thanks.

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    When the weather cools down a bit I want to fine tune controlling temperature using wood on my dutch oven. When I do, I'll post the results.
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    "sorry backside" rebel's Avatar
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    As you can see it's an easy formula and, I like easy. For 325f. you double the size of your oven for the number of briquettes. Then, 2/3rds go on top.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    I have seen this before, I think from Woody Woodruff's Duch Oven cooking book.........And works pretty well.

    I'm a wood fire guy for my dutch oven cooking, but this is a good find for a lot of people....Thanks.
    Survival isn't a game...it's what you do when the game goes sideways.

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    "sorry backside" rebel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter63 View Post
    I'm a wood fire guy for my dutch oven cooking,
    Me too. I didn't know there was a formula. I was thinking about visualizing the wood coal volume in comparison to the number of briquettes required. For myself, it could only help.
    Last edited by rebel; 09-21-2011 at 02:22 PM.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel View Post
    Me too. I didn't know there was a formula. I was thinking about visualizing the wood coal volume in comparison to the number of briquettes required. For me, it could only help.
    I guess that's kinda the way I do it as well.....The important thing I found out the hard way....and was kinda verified by this table, is that you need more coals on top than bottom. Hard leasson to learn, not logical to most people.
    Survival isn't a game...it's what you do when the game goes sideways.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    If you're a wood fire guy (I am) then you judge the temp of your fire by holding you hand above just above it. Count the number of seconds you can hold your hand there.

    4 or 5 seconds and you have a low heat. About 300F
    3 or 4 second and you have a medium heat. About 350F
    If you have to remove your hand before you can count to 3 seconds then you have a hot fire. 400F or above.

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    Senior Member Sparky93's Avatar
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    My dad has perfected the art of camp biscuits and gravy in cast iron cookware over an open fire. It doesn't get any better than waking up in the mountains on a cool fall morning to the smell of wood smoke, and biscuits and gravy. What he does to make the biscuits is he make a little donut out of aluminum foil, puts that inside the dutch oven and uses that as a stand to place a pan on and he bakes the biscuits in the pan inside the dutch oven. Mom makes pancakes and scrambled eggs to add to the breakfast, it doesn't get any better than that.
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    "sorry backside" rebel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    If you're a wood fire guy (I am) then you judge the temp of your fire by holding you hand above just above it. Count the number of seconds you can hold your hand there.

    4 or 5 seconds and you have a low heat. About 300F
    3 or 4 second and you have a medium heat. About 350F
    If you have to remove your hand before you can count to 3 seconds then you have a hot fire. 400F or above.
    Until now, I went for the burn or get lucky method. Great tip. Thanks.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    That's the other secret....something to keep the pan from touching the bottom of the oven when backing.
    Have seen cast iron, trivets, seems that the alum foil donut is used that way as well....cool.

    I use a hand full of gravel, put in by an old farmer, that was watching me getting pies ready to bake....and noticed that I didn't have anything to keep the pan up off the bottom.
    Same gravel is still in there for maybe 30 years......LOL ...It's magic!

    Rick, I guess I never really tested the temps, but that a real good rule of hand (thumb).
    Survival isn't a game...it's what you do when the game goes sideways.

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    "sorry backside" rebel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky93 View Post
    My dad has perfected the art of camp biscuits and gravy in cast iron cookware over an open fire. It doesn't get any better than waking up in the mountains on a cool fall morning to the smell of wood smoke, and biscuits and gravy. What he does to make the biscuits is he make a little donut out of aluminum foil, puts that inside the dutch oven and uses that as a stand to place a pan on and he bakes the biscuits in the pan inside the dutch oven. Mom makes pancakes and scrambled eggs to add to the breakfast, it doesn't get any better than that.
    Sounds like a slice of heaven.

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    "sorry backside" rebel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter63 View Post
    I guess that's kinda the way I do it as well.....The important thing I found out the hard way....and was kinda verified by this table, is that you need more coals on top than bottom. Hard leasson to learn, not logical to most people.
    I didn't know there were more coals placed on top. I'm learning a lot today. If this wind would die down I could see giving this a try today.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    They actually made (may still do for all I know) small pie pans the fit inside the dutch oven. You invert the first one and then sit the second pan you are baking on top of it. It keeps the bottom of the pie from scorching.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Another epiphany when baking time is here......Don't pot the oven in or over the fire it self.

    I actually use my large cast iron frying pan (16-18"?) on a trivet......
    Preheat the dutch oven in the fire, .....fill the frying pan with coals off to the side...set dutch oven in the coals in the pan...shovel coals on top of the Duch oven lid.
    This really helps control to heat.

    You can hang the oven over the fire for stews, chili and such, but you really can't control the heat as well.

    Yeah, I know, you see the dutch oven hanging over the fire a lot in camping pic's...I have better luck off to the side.
    Last edited by hunter63; 09-21-2011 at 03:48 PM. Reason: splin
    Survival isn't a game...it's what you do when the game goes sideways.

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    I set my dutch oven on coals in a large brake drum,and use the inverted pie pan in the oven.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I'm with you, Hunter. I have a trivet as well. I pull the coals off to one side, though, then set the trivet on the coals and the oven on the trivet. I can add coals or remove coals from underneath to adjust the temp if I need to.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Stole your picture for reference, Rebel, hope you don't mind.
    Survival isn't a game...it's what you do when the game goes sideways.

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    Borrowed. Not stole. He can have it back after you're done with it.

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