I enjoy cooking.
It is a large and important part of how I grew up.
Many of my strongest and fondest memories were sitting around our grandparents’ kitchen table and having a leisurely Sunday. Wonderful food that was cooked, savored and enjoyed.
Cooking is often a way for me to relax and a way of sharing something with others.
When I go car camping, we typically take good food. No reason to take backpacking style food when fresh produce, meat and other items can easily be taken.
And part of that taking of good food is having good cooking gear.
Over the past year, I have re-discovered what many people have known for a long time with cast iron cookware:
- Once heated, there is even distribution of heat as it retains the heat more versus other cookware.
- Easy to take care of in many ways.
- Cooks well.
I’ve had limited use of it in the past on hut trips…but for some reason I never thought of using it for own cooking at home or when camping.
Then this past year, I bought a Dutch oven for some dishes I’ve been making. And two skillets as I liked the cast iron Dutch oven so much.
I not only use it in camp, but also at home. They are so versatile be it for baking, frying or roasting. I know prefer cooking with the cast iron cookware when I can.
And cast iron cookware is not that expensive esp for something that lasts so long.
I’ve been buying the Lodge brand. Pre-seasoned, made in the USA for the past 100 years , and not terribly expensive. A basic five-piece cookset can be purchased for $140. Don’t want to commit that much? The Dutch oven and the 10.25″ skillet will cover a lot of basic cooking in a versatile package for $50. (I’ve been buying piecemeal over the past year; Frankly, I wish I knew of the five piece set before..but that is me). Considering this cookware may be used for both at home or in camp, money may be saved that way, too.
You can read more about the advantages of cast iron and the care for it on other websites.
I’ll just say I wish I switched over a long time ago both for at home and in camp.
Enough so, I can’t wait to try out some more Dutch oven recipes this coming year.
If Grandma camped, I suspect she would approve.
Keep an eye out for cast iron at thrift stores and yard sales. I’ve been able to pick up some pieces for a buck or two. I’ve been using a cast iron dutch oven for chili and stews for years, but acidic foods are rough on the seasoning. I have a gas grill that I don’t use very much, but it is the perfect way to season cast iron. With the lid down, it’s easy to maintain a 350 F temperature and the smoke doesn’t get in the house. Just lately, I’ve started using enameled cast iron dutch ovens for… Read more »
For more on dutch oven cooking, google Cee Dub. C. W. Welch is the one who got me started on dutch oven cooking outdoors. One of the interesting things that you can do with a traditional cast iron dutch and charcoal briquettes is to cook from the bottom and brown from the top.
Mags, you have mentioned going car camping more than ever. Pick up a camp Dutch oven with legs and the lip on the lid. That and a small bit of charcoal (or wood coals) work wonders for bread, Mac n cheese, lasagna and just about anything you make at home. We have an old pillowcase we use to transport it (them) and eat like royalty.