One last thing you WILL need for your Dutch Oven cooking is actually VERY important...
You are going to need an ash bucket and scoop! While shopping at Sportsman's Warehouse, I found a metal scoop, or shovel (small sized) but didn't find a metal ash bucket. Both MUST be metal! The "spent" charcoal you take away from your oven (replacing it with fresh hot charcoal) will still be hot and will melt right through plastic.
OK so... here's the first recipe I made. It's from a book called 101 things to do with a Dutch Oven. I have added a couple of personal notes at the end of the recipe)
Dutch Oven size: 12-inch
1 pound dry white beans
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 medium onion, diced
4 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
2 tablespoons salt
8 to 10 cups water (plus enough to cover the beans)
2 cans (6.5 oz each) chunk chicken
2 cans (4 oz each) diced green chiles
1 container (16oz) sour cream
Rinse beans, cover with water and set aside. Melt butter in dutch oven using 10 coals on the bottom. Add onion and cook until translucent. Drain beans and add to onion with bouillon, salt and 8 cups water. Cover and cook 2-3 hours, or until beans are tender, using 30-40 coals on the bottom only. Add chicken and chiles and cook 30 minutes more. Add sour cream and simmer until serving time. Check water level often and add more water as needed. Remove enough coals to achieve simmer. Makes 12-14 servings.
NOTES: I was a bit intimidated to use dry beans, and I actually put them to soak a couple of hours before cooking time. They could have been a bit more tender, but for my first time it turned out pretty good! I also found it odd that coals were only used on the bottom, but the recipe only needed to simmer, and coals aren't needed on the top for that. I put too much water in, so mine was more of a soup than a chile. I think next time I'll start with 7-8 cups and keep an eye on the water level.
Next time... I'll post a new recipe I'm cooking this week!
If you want to join other Dutch Oven cookers, look for a group in your area! Mine is called
Central Oregon Dutch Oven Society. There may be a small yearly cost for you to join in your area. The CODOS fee is minimal, and it covers all the charcoal needed for our monthly D.O.G. That stands for Dutch Oven Gathering. DOGS are fun to attend, as you get to socialize with other enthusiasts, as well as eat wonderful foods prepared the "old fashioned" way! I encourage you to find a group, club, or what ever it's called in your area! Many members are very willing to share their recipes. The recipe I'm making this week is from a CODOS member and it sounds perfect for our Church summer camp fire night!