I am new to Cast Iron and while I have been picking up a couple Cast Iron skillets here and there as part of my Survival Preps (cooking over campfire, or Coleman stoves) I have spent a little too much time on Youtube and I got really curious about buying a camp style Dutch Oven. By camp style Dutch Oven, for the 1% of those in the dark like I was, is a dutch oven that has three short legs and a lid that is designed so you can add coals to the lid to heat your meal from both the top and bottom.
Well, I started searching a couple weeks ago for a Lodge Outdoor Dutch Oven and I hit places like Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Sears, and a number of small camping type stores and while most had Lodge cast iron cookware including the Dutch Oven you use in a stove I was not able to find one of these with the feet and lid to use with coals. Well, stupid me finally turned to the internet and discovered Dicks Sporting Goods was reported to have them in store and last night I went and got one. It was the only size they had but it is the 12-inch 6-Quart model.
So, I had already spent way too much time on Youtube picking what I thought would be a safe first dish and one that I was sure my whole family would like and we followed the directions from the following video to make a meat Lasagna!
The only real question we had was "Do we need to precook the Lasagna noodles" and the answer is kinda mixed. From a couple videos we saw online they clearly did not cook the noodles so we decided to try it that way. After letting the Lasagna cook for 50-minutes the noodles were cooked but not fully and they were not as swollen and tender as they would have been if they were boiled before hand. Of course, that is just our opinion as my wife normally boils them and we could tell the difference.
We cooked them using charcoal to help make it easier for me to figure out the temperature (later I will try a wood fire but didn't want to mess up this dish).
I figured out as well that with a Dutch Oven the Lasagna is impossible to dish out slices so next time we will use the mini lasagna noodles as then we can scoop out a serving spoon and not have quite the fun getting the layers done. Other then the slightly less then perfect noodles and the tricky serving it was simply an AWESOME dish to make in the dutch oven!
Now I am anxious to try it again! The Pineapple Upside Down cake in a dutch oven looks tasty and really quite easy! Then I really want to try something like Chicken Pot Pie but my wife isn't liking the fatty meal choices I want to cook so we may end up with Chicken and Rice instead! Either way, I need to start putting away extra bags of charcoal with my preps at least until I am comfortable cooking over a fire's coals.
Oh yea, the pic above looks a little funny as we had a little extra sauce and I decided to pour extra around the edge of the dutch oven to make sure none of the Lasagna Noodles would be exposed to dry out. That sure was not an issue as this was a very nice lasagna and the extra sauce could have been poured on the layers below the cheese top to make it look better. Like I said, this was the first time we tried this and we were worried about the heat from the lid drying things out. We know better now