Welcome to the wonderful world of Dutch oven cooking. For those of you who are experienced with black pot cooking I hope you find this page informative and enjoyable. For the beginner my hope is that this short article will help you on your way to enjoy the world of Dutch ovens. Once you have a bit of experience I am sure we can all agree that there is nothing you can’t cook in the campsite or your backyard that you can cook at home.
The Dutch oven is a complete kitchen on its own. The Dutch oven can be used with wood fires, charcoal and propane stoves. The heat source is not as important as how much you use for what you are cooking. The placement of the heat is also vitally important as to what type of dish you are preparing. For frying or stewing you need all or most of the heat on the bottom and for baking the majority of the heat is on the top.
Question may be is how much heat do I need? Most Dutch oven recipes call for 350* . One easy way is to use a 3-2 method. This is based on the size of the oven for example when using a 12" oven add 3 to the diamater for the amount of coals on top and subtract 2 from the diamater for coals on the bottom. This totals to 25 coals to reach 350* on 12" Dutch oven . Should you need more or less heat than 350* then add or reduce your charcoal based on 15* per briquette.
Please refer to the chart below for more information on temperature and number of briquettes per size of your oven.