Baking in Dutch oven : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread

Did anyone else like the article about living without electricity in BWH? I had never seen the chimney oven before and am intrigued. I looked around on the net tonight and found they cost about $265 or so....Now my question is if anyone has regularly used a cast iron dutch oven with a temp monitor on the outside on the top of a regular woodstove for baking? I've not tried it, but think it would do alright. Any ideas or experiences you can share with me?

-- Doreen (, December 08, 2001


I don't get BWH so I am not sure what you are talking about, but I do have a lifetime of experience in dutch oven, cast iron and open fire cooking cooking.

I guess if you need to have exact temperatures and you are not sure of your stove, you can put one of those oven thermometers on top of your stove. Preheat both your pot and your lid.

I've been known to stick my lid inside the firebox to get it hotter than the stovetop temp for a more even cooking. I remember my Grandma turning her big kettle upside down over the dutch ovens on her stovetop to help hold the heat evenly. Bread needs kind of a low temperature so you may need to use an iron trivet to keep it from burning on the bottom.

It just takes lots of practice to learn what works with what you have to work with. The worst you will do is make chicken food.

-- Laura (, December 09, 2001.

Hi Doreen, I have a cast iron dutch oven but not much experience using it. I have seen shows where people use them in a cook fire and just bury them in coals as the fire dies down. Do not know what the temps would be.

Let us know how things go if you experiment!!

-- notnow (, December 10, 2001.

Depends on whether you have a dutch oven with or without legs. (The legged kind are the ones notnow saw being used in an open fire.) With legs, I think you would need the trick of turning a larger kettle upside down over it to keep the temps up enough to bake anything. (Unless your wood stove is running so hot that you are probably cooking everyone in the room out! LOL!!) The kettle with legs would do the trick, but do heat the lid first or else bake something that you can turn over half way through (pancakes? ;).

If you do use the legged dutch ovens with an open fire (fireplaces work well) you want only a few coals underneath and perhaps twice as many on top of the oven (the lid should have a pretty good lip on it to hold the coals on). The first few times you cook this way, keep a close on on the proceedings. We've overcooked or downright scorched more things than we've had come out underdone -- the kettles get HOT!

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, December 10, 2001.

I meant to say, the kettle *withOUT* legs would do the trick -- sorry!

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, December 10, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ