How to Cook With Cast Iron Over a Camp Fire
- 1). Dig a main fire pit with the long-handled shovel. The pit should be eight to 10 inches deep, and approximately 2.5 feet square. Pile the dirt you remove to the side. You can use it later to cover the fire pit when you are through cooking.
- 2). Dig a keyhole pit in which to place your dutch oven. This is a side chamber that is located approximately two feet upwind from the main pit. Dig with the long-handled shovel, and make the pit a foot wide and four inches deep.
- 3). Build a fire in the main pit by using one of the following dense hardwoods: oak, cedar, mesquite, pecan or hickory. The goal is to build up approximately two inches of live coals and allow the fire to die down. Build your fire at least one hour before cooking time so the hardwood will have plenty of time to turn into coals.
- 4). Use the long-handled shovel to move the live coals into the keyhole section of the fire pit. Do not heap the coals. Make an even layer.
- 5). Place a grill, or some flat rocks, on top of the coals to make an even surface on which to place the cast iron Dutch oven.
- 6). The heat that will cook the food in the Dutch oven needs to be distributed according to the type of cooking you are practicing.
If you are roasting the food, coals should be placed under the oven and on top of the lid, at a 1:1 ratio.
If you are baking, the coals should be placed on top of the lid and under the oven at a 3:1 ratio. There should be more coals on top than on bottom.
For frying and boiling food, all of the coals should be placed under the oven.
For simmering or stewing, the coals should be place under the oven, and on top of the lid at a 4:1 ratio, with more coals underneath than on top.
Replenish the coals on a regular basis to achieve even cooking.