Have you ever noticed that there are two types of dutch oven lids? There is your basic dome shaped dutch oven lid which can be used for cooking over a campfire or even in your household oven. The other type of dutch oven lid is a flanged lid, which has more of a flatter lid with raised sides. It is these raised sides that makes the difference of what you cook in your oven.
Even though you can cook just about the same type of foods with a dutch oven with a dome shaped lid and a flanged lid, how you cook with it is the difference. A dutch oven with a dome shaped lid is best used for cooking inside an oven or on top of a stove. But a flanged lid is best used for cooking in or over a campfire. It is because of this flanged lid which allows you to cook so many different things in a dutch oven when camping.
The purpose of the raised sides is to hold hot coals on top of the lid to help cook what ever it is you are cooking inside the oven. When camping you will need to bring a bag of charcoal. Once you start your campfire you will want to place the charcoal in the campfire within reaching distance, of course not hand reaching distance, you will want a good pair of tongs or another tool you can use to remove the charcoal from the fire to place on top of the lid.
By placing the hot charcoal briquettes on top of the lid you will be able to cook everything from rolls for dinner to delicious apple crisp for dessert. Now, when it comes to how many hot coals you should place on top of the lid all depends on what you are cooking and the size of the dutch oven. Typically, the number of coals depends on the size of your oven. What ever the size of your oven, you will want to double that to get the amount of coals you will need to properly cook the food inside your oven. So, if your oven is 12” in radius, you will need to 24 coals on top of the lid to properly cook the food inside.
When I first started camping, a dutch oven was not on my list of things to bring. But once I started using dutch ovens when camping it has become a “need to bring” item on my list. Camping meals have now gone from hot dogs and burgers for lunch and dinner, and sometimes breakfast, to pizza for lunch, delicious beef stew for dinner and once cleaned out, an irresistible apple pie for dessert.
The growing popularity of gas grills is not hard to understand. They offer a safe and convenient way to cook food, and the variety of models available means that just about everyone will be able to find a unit that fulfills their needs.
Even those on a budget won’t find it hard to get a good gas grill. Despite the myth that no good gas grills can be bought for under $200, there are actually some excellent models available in that price range. Of course, there are a number of factors that will decide what you end up getting. Here are a few of them:
If you have a large family, or you like to entertain a lot of people, you’ll need a decent sized grill. These can cost upward of $300, although there are some cheaper brands available. Just be careful, as you still want something that is sturdy and can last a while.
Check before buying whether the cooking surface is big enough to comfortably suit your needs. A decent sized cooking area can reduce cooking time considerably, since you can grill all your food at once.
If you enjoy not only getting out of your house, but also out of the yard, then a portable gas grill is a sound choice. Usually, they have a fairly small cooking surface, which means that they may not be suitable for large families. However, they do offer you the opportunity to conveniently prepare great food on any outing, regardless of where you go. Since you won’t need electricity, portable gas grills give you the freedom to go as far from civilization as you want.
Again, you will have various sizes and brands to choose from. Weber is a popular brand, and they have some excellent portable units in their product line, like the Q120 model. This product even features foldable side tables, providing that little bit of extra, very useful work space that you’ll need when you’re away from the conveniences of home.
Quality is an important consideration here. Grills constantly operate under intense heat. Anything less than the best and most durable parts, especially where the grill area itself is concerned, can considerably shorten the life span of the product.
Cast aluminum is generally considered more durable than stainless steel. Also carefully inspect the product before buying to make sure it is of sturdy construction. Always remember too that the better you care for your grill, the longer it will last.
These are three of the most important factors to consider before buying a gas grill. Always check out a unit in person if you can. Otherwise, if you buy online, be sure to read user reviews about the product before making a purchase decision.
Every year a lot of of people pull the grill out of the garage, fire it up, toss a huge slab of ribs on top, load it with sauce and call it good. Is there a right and wrong way to BBQ ribs, or is it more about what tastes good to each unique person? I spent some time asking some professional BBQ rib grill men this question in an attempt to learn the correct way to BBQ ribs. The answers I got left me with more questions. I truly wanted to walk away feeling as if I knew something more about grilling ribs. I wanted the solutions to the age old questions of grilling. Sauce or no sauce? How much rub is too much? How long should I cook my ribs for? As it turns out, almost every one I talked to had very passionate opinions as to what exactly should be done to their ribs, and felt their was the only way to go. I tasted some amazing ribs from almost every class, all of which had their own unique characteristics. None of which I could honestly say were “wrong” or “right”. They were all just good. My personal favorite was a group of BBQ champs from the Chicago area that put sauce on top of their ribs while they were grilling over the coals. They loaded so much sauce on top of their ribs that the sauce itself began to cook and harden on top of the ribs, almost to a toffee like consistency. I also tasted some that had very little sauce and just a heavy helping of the grill masters unique spice rub mixed with the smokey flavors of the cherry wood they were being slow roasted over. Very good and very different from the sauce loaded variety. If I learned one thing it was that ribs should cook low and slow. Everyone seemed to agree on this. At least a couple hours over the medium heat to let the meat get nice and tender yet not too tender that the flavor gets cooked out of the meat. All and all, I learned that there was no “right” or “wrong” way to cook ribs. As long as you don’t burn them or under-cook them you will be good. Although some would swear blasphemy at those who use rubs, wood or sauce. To each their own, and to all happy eating! Tony Brueski runs one of the nations best food blogs known as NewTasteToday.com and is also a contributor to the Travel Channel. He is also passionate about all things food including searching for the best barbecue sauce.