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Old 05-02-2010, 06:54 AM   #1
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Cast Iron Collection & Fire Cooking

I didn't set out to collect this group, it just happened. The Cast Iron prides of the fleet are the Lodge 20" skillet and 11 Qt Camp Oven. The 20" is discontinued and it is a pancake making machine, both were purchased from Lehman Hdwe. in Kidron OH. The coffee boiler on the pot crane (homemade crane) is an 11 Qt Wear-Ever coffee boiler, no basket. You get it boiling, reduce to an easy rolling boil and add grounds, 6-7 minutes of boiling and then let it rest for a few to settle the grounds, then ENJOY! The 2nd largest skillet does double duty for a pizza pan in the house. The Dutch Oven fleet has done stews, chilis, beef roasts (big favorite) deserts and the 11 Qt make a great chicken frier. I purchased the hand made tripod from the Black Smith at Mountain Craft Days, Somerset PA a couple of years ago. Plans are to remake the fire box, larger and using proper materials, but it has seen MANY backyard campfires and cookouts. Missing from the pic's is my cardboard box oven, forgot to get it out. No, all of this is not used every time or even carried each time in the AS.

This is in my backyard camp, the haze just visible in the right side of the group shot is from a smoker with a pork butt in it, today ribs. Got on a smoker kick this weekend.

If you have wanted to try campfire cooking but didn't want to mess up a cast iron skillet, don't worry about the outside, if it starts smoking before the food is in, that's telling you it's getting a bit too hot, it doesn't take as much fire to use cast iron as you might think. Aluminum pots can be kept clean, look at the big boiler, shines like a vintage Stream, before you put it over the fire coat the OUTSIDE of the pot with dish soap up to just below the "food area" cook and them cleanup is an easy task not a big chore, tune up every so often with a Brillo pad

Campfires and outdoor cooking are an intergal part of camping, let me give credit to BSA Troop 186 and the Scout Leaders that planted this life long enjoyment of fire cooking.

Now, how about your campfire cooking stories and hardware.
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:35 AM   #2
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as i recall there are some good dutch oven reciped floating around in the forum somewhere. you might search. we still use cast iron as well!
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:44 PM   #3
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Mmmmmmmmmmm. Love it all. Cast iron is the best for outdoor (or indoor) cooking. I have seen that 20", two-handled skillet in a catalogue---someone is still making them. I'm sure you've seen the Dutch Oven cooking thread in Stella's kitchen.

We are heading home from a lovely long weekend of boondocking in southern Illinois, where we did a lot of cooking in Dutch Ovens and on a griddle over the fire. Lovely, and just nothing like it. Good times, good friends, good food.....Life is good.

Hope to meet you at a rally sometime.

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Old 05-02-2010, 04:24 PM   #4
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Cast Iron is good stuff. I knew I was in with my future bride's family when I got one of "grandma's" cast iron skillets from them as a birthday present.

I have a fair sized collection of cast iron, but not as extensive as GCinSC2's

People that have never cooked with a well seasoned cast iron skillet don't know what they are missing!

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Old 05-02-2010, 05:46 PM   #5
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When my fiance and I got the chance to check out each others cooking stock, we both knew we had found the right person. I think between us we own, oh, that is just too many to count! Dutch ovens in all sizes, frying pans, cornbread pans, etc. Rarely cook in anything else!

You ought to join us for the dutchoven rally near Pigeon Forge. We'll be the 1st weekend in October. Prefect time of year for cooking with cast iron. But then, every time of the year is a good time for cooking with cast iron! Information on the rally is at the bottom of this post.
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:08 PM   #6
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kposey, Piegon Forge ain't too far away, I'll speak to the better half. I bet it's nice in the fall.

wahoonc, I didn't get any heirlooms sorry to say, I think they all just disappeared and weren't considered important.

maggie, Lots to learn still, but that is the fun part. I saw a BSA Troop making pies in the Dutch just using it as the oven baking each pie in its own tin. I spent the weekend cooking in the backyard and doing chores.

kstampa, I still take pride in a one match fire, but in my backyard using pine straw and a pine cone or two, almost a sure thing.

One thing that I would like to have a shot at is making some bread in one, I think that might be next.

If you are wondering how to manage this stuff at varying locations, when we were tent campers (that's right went from tents to 30' S/O) I towed a 5X8 trailer sorta set up as a chuck wagon, carried gear, firewood and a kitchen cabinet. But the trailer tounge was an A frame and it held a 24" truck rim as a fire ring, the rim plus a heavy grate made a great pair still use them both.

A 20" might still be had, but I think Lodge discontinued it, saw it on their Youtube here on AS.

That 11 Qt boiler is a keeper, we don't need it often, but it's a hoot.

Thanks to all.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:12 AM   #7
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Now I feel compelled to take a picture of my cast iron collection, which would actually take a couple of pictures. I have pieces on the wall, filling a pot rack and lining the soffits over the kitchen cabinets. It is the first place my eyes go at any flea market or antique shop. Makes me happy.

I'm loving this thread.

Maggie
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:02 AM   #8
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Maybe a silly question, but do you all pack the iron in the TV.. would be a lot of added weight in the AS? :-)
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverfoxrae View Post
Maybe a silly question, but do you all pack the iron in the TV.. would be a lot of added weight in the AS? :-)
I carry a few pieces with me in the AS as regular cookware. They heavy stuff goes in a Chuck Box in the back of the truck. I have a couple of different chuck boxes depending on the time of year and where I am camping.

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Old 05-03-2010, 12:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverfoxrae View Post
Maybe a silly question, but do you all pack the iron in the TV.. would be a lot of added weight in the AS? :-)
We are carrying an 8" and a 12" Dutch Oven, have had a nifty trivet for cooking on made and will add that and a grill pan to that collection---grill pan and trivet in lieu of another grill of any kind, which we just don't need and use often enough while traveling to justify the huge amount of space even a small one takes up. The trivet and grill pan will take up about 1/4 of what a small hibachi is taking up. Space is always an issue for us on extended trips, but these items are so incredibly versatile and worthwhile. You gotta eat, and sometimes you just gotta bake.

You have to pick your poison, in terms of what you are going to carry. We have perhaps 20lbs of cast iron, much less than our youngest grandbaby weighs, and we don't hesitate to haul as many as 6 grandchildren around at a time.

Maggie
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:40 PM   #11
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No, I will not carry all of that around, don't need it when the plan is just the two of us. Also menu dependant. Kids are getting older, we did a lot of family camping and carried a good part of it. Now it's biggest use is backyard get togethers and now the AS.

wahoonc, I like the idea of a Chuck Box, got a picture?

The pic is from the late 80's at Mohican State Park, near Loudenville OH. Thats me tending the skillet. Kids are in the background above my head. One of our favorite spots, need to go again with the kids as adults. I didn't find a great pic of the trailer, but his is an overview of camping with the kids and the trailer. Sometimes 3 tents.
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:00 AM   #12
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Has anyone built an outside fireplace/oven, within which to use all this lovely cast iron? A dream of mine is to have one for use in hospitable weather.

GC, bread in a Dutch Oven is just plain fun, and there is nothing that smells better outside than fresh bread a-bakin'. The frozen loaves and rolls are easy, versatile and do very well, if you are not up to putting together your own. Just take a deep breath, and try it.

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Old 07-03-2010, 06:18 AM   #13
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Yeah, I am a bit lazy to want to mess up with a cast iron skillet, but I might as well give it a go. I thought that new skillets, griddles and such can smoke on the first uses because of the industrial coating, but thanks for the tip.
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:02 AM   #14
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That monster skillet is a thing of beauty. I can almost smell the pancakes cooking.
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