Camping Recipes

Dutch Oven Cooking Workshop With Escapees Duo

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We had the pleasure of meeting fellow Escapees, Lori & Mike on Sunday when we hosted a Dutch Oven cooking workshop at our campsite.

About 12 of us gathered for a potluck dinner and everyone got to participate in the dutch oven cooking under the guidance of our experts who have conducted small workshops as well as huge rally events for years – giving of themselves and their talents.

On the menu was lasagna, chicken & rice, bbq ribs, sourdough bread, apple dumplings and berry cobbler – all cooked in the dutch ovens assembled between the group in what is called a camp dutch oven (pictured here).

Unlike it’s traditional oven counterpart, a camping, cowboy, or chuckwagon Dutch oven has three legs, a wire bail handle, and a slightly concave, rimmed lid so that coals from the cooking fire can be placed on top as well as below. This provides more uniform internal heat and lets the inside act as an oven.

When cooking over a campfire, it is possible to use old-style lipped cast iron Dutch ovens as true baking ovens, to prepare biscuits, cakes, breads, pizzas, and even pies. A smaller baking pan can be placed inside the ovens, used and replaced with another as the first batch is completed.

It is also possible to stack Dutch ovens on top of each other, conserving the heat that would normally rise from the hot coals on the top. These stacks can be as high as 5 or 6 pots although with our high desert winds, we kept the stack to two.

Lodge Manufacturing Company which makes the majority of Dutch Ovens being sold today, distinguished the two types of ovens by calling the rounded top, flat bottom oven with no legs, a Dutch Oven. The oven with a flat lid with a lip around the edge and a flat bottom with three legs they call a “Camp Oven”.

No matter what you call it and where you get it – everyone agreed that the food was out of this world!

Portable Induction Cooktop Perfect For Full-Time RV Living

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I have fallen in love with magnetic induction technology and what it’s done for the efficiency in our RV kitchen and outdoor cooking. And if you’ve never seen an induction cooktop in action, be prepared to be blown away.

During the gem & craft show earlier this year at the AVI Casino in Laughlin, NV, I happened by a cooking demonstration booth. What caught my attention was NOT the $6,000 worth of a zillion pots and pans that the vendor wanted to sell me (can we say “snow to an eskimo?”), but rather the cooktop that he was doing his demonstrations on. Now THAT was worth spending a few moments hearing his spiel.

I had heard about magnetic induction about a year earlier, but never got to see it up close and personal and within a few minutes, I knew this cool little gem was going to find its way into our motorhome kitchen as a permanent tool.

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Camp Dutch Oven Pineapple Upside Down Cake A Hit At Potluck Gatherings

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I love my camp dutch oven and get even greater enjoyment sharing the lost art of camp dutch oven cooking with friends and fellow campers. So anytime I get the opportunity, I volunteer to bring dessert to a campground potluck dinner. And when I get really lucky, there’s enough time and space to setup my wares and show others how it’s done.

Today I want to pass on a recipe given to me by my Uncle for an unbelievably easy Pineapple Upside Down Cake that is a hit at every gathering!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Topping :
4 Tbs. butter
1 cup brown sugar
8 pineapple rings
8 maraschino cherries

Cake Batter:
1 yellow cake mix
1 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup water
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil

Prepare Cake Topping: Melt butter in bottom of a 12″ Dutch oven. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over butter being careful not to touch the sugar once it has begun to dissolve into the butter. Carefully place pineapple rings on top of the brown sugar, 7 around the outside and 1 in the center. Place a maraschino cherry in the center of each pineapple ring.

Prepare Cake Batter: In a mixing bowl combine cake mix, pineapple juice, water, eggs and oil; mix well. Spoon cake batter carefully over the top of pineapple rings. Spread batter evenly to edges.

Bake: Cover Dutch oven and bake using 10-12 briquettes bottom and 14-16 briquettes top for 45 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched.

Let the cake cool for 10 minutes or so in the oven with the lid cracked. Next run a rubber spatula around the inside edge of the oven to loosen the cake. To turn the cake out, first lay a piece of parchment paper across the top of the oven so it lays flat and replace the lid so that it holds the paper in place. Make sure you have an available lid stand resting on your table for the next step. Using gloved hands place one hand on the lid and the other hand under the oven and carefully lift and flip the oven over so the cake falls onto the lid. Rest the oven upside down on the lid stand and tap the bottom and sides of the oven lightly with your hand to make sure the cake didn’t stick. Then lift the oven off the lid. The cake will be resting on the parchment lined lid and can be cooled this way or slid off the lid using the parchment paper. Allow cake to cool slightly before service.

Do you have a favorite dutch oven recipe to share? Please feel free to leave a comment below…

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About Us:

We went full-time in 2008 in a 37ft Itasca Suncruiser and in April 2010, we upgraded to a 42ft Safari Continental which Greg drives and I now follow behind in an Excursion, towing a 20ft cargo trailer with our ATV & golf cart tucked inside. (More About Us...)

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