I want to thank Outdoor Cooking for sending me equipment and for working with me on this new series all about cooking outdoors with cast iron. While all of the posts may not always be about outdoor cooking all of the time, they will always feature cast iron as the cooking vessel of choice. It’s almost all I use to cook and bake with, and I’m excited to be learning an essential skill: Cooking over charcoal or wood fire. It’s going to be a great series and I can’t wait to see how I progress and what I learn along the way. Are you ready for some good grub? Let’s go ring the dinner bell!!
Something that has always fascinated me was cooking outdoors. I’m not really sure why, maybe it was my absolute need to live like a pioneer or maybe it’s just one of those things that you get into your brain and can’t let go of, but no matter how it started the fact is that I’ve always wanted to learn. I love cast iron and while I know it’s an immensely versatile cooking medium, I’ve still never taken the plunge and cooked much outside.
Today, I summoned up some pioneer spirit and built myself a little fire. Then, I heated up a whole bunch of charcoal briquettes and got to cookin’! I wanted my first recipe to be simple, something I’d made in my oven in the comfort of my kitchen a million times so I would know the process of the recipe and was just learning a new cooking technique. I decided to make good old Biscuits and Pepper Gravy for our Sunday morning breakfast.
To start, I used my Charcoal Lighter Basket to heat up some charcoal. I loved the heck out of this particular lighter basket. We have another one, that is much smaller, but this one really works a lot better. I so enjoy cooking with charcoal and NOT having to use lighter fluid to start the briquettes off.
Once I got those started, I stepped back into the house to make my biscuits. Once the biscuits were mixed, rolled, and cut out, I placed them into my 12 Inch Camp Chef Dutch Oven.
Back outside we went! I found a handy little chart online that told me that to get a 12 inch dutch oven to 450 degrees, I would need 33 hot briquettes- 11 on the bottom and 22 on the top. Now, today my little house in the Pacific Northwest is experiencing some blustery weather, so I made a little pile of hot briquettes that I added some new ones to every once in a while just in case I needed to add some more heat along the way. I’m glad I did, because we had a rain shower come along and without those HOT charcoal lumps ready to go, we would have had a serious rain delay. Because I had some in reserve, I didn’t have to wait for more to get hot. It was SUPER nice and something I’ll be doing from now on.
So, we set up the dutch oven and left it to do it’s thing. I checked my biscuit progress every 10 minutes or so, and about 30 minutes later…..we had biscuits ready to go! I had to add a few more hot briquettes here and there, but it was really so much more simple that I thought the whole process would be.
I didn’t have to fuss around and babysit the dutch oven the whole time, which was nice. I did keep an eye on things and checked to see how it was going quite a bit but I have a feeling with a little more practice, I’m going to get pretty comfortable with the whole situation. It’s new! I’m learning! It’s also very fun and extremely satisfying to produce food from flames. Awesome!
I had planned on making my pepper gravy outside over my fire as well, but it was drizzling at this point, so I made it on the stovetop instead. And you know what? That’s ok! Today I proved to myself that I can bake one pretty gosh darn good biscuit outside and it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be. Not too shabby for this green first timer 🙂
Lessons learned: PREHEAT your dutch oven when you’re going to be baking! Oh my lordy, I don’t know why I didn’t think to do that. Next time! If you had a properly preheated oven, your biscuits will only take about a 12-15 minutes to bake. Learn from me 🙂
I was provided product to use and to feature in this blog series. I was not compensated in any other way, nor was I given product in trade for a favorable review. All of the opinions and views you read here are completely honest and all mine.
More Posts In This Series:
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