The Dutch Oven
A Dutch Oven is basically a cast iron pot that is heavy enough to put directly over hot coals. You can cook anything in it you would normally cook in a pot on the top of the stove AND you can cook anything in it you would normally cook in an oven. It is the perfect utensil. Well, maybe not perfect. It is easy to burn things in it.
Rather than trying to be an expert in Dutch Ovens, I will direct you to someone who apparently is. See Byron's Dutch Oven Cooking Page.
We have owned a Dutch Oven for at least 10 years, but just recently we learned how to use it without burning everything we cooked. We bought the Dutch Oven Cookbook by a guy, and that helped a lot. Then we met one of the members of the Bay Area Dutch Oven club and went to one of their potluck picnics.
The Bay Area Dutch Oven Group plans events throughout the year where group members meet to use their Dutch Ovens to make a dish that the whole group shares. It is the ultimate Pot Luck meal. They also meet spontaneously when someone grabs a campsite (not easy in California.) You can learn more about the club by emailing their list serve. By the way, this group has a strong showing of teenage boys who got interested via Boy Scouts.
The picture to the right is of two dutch oven's sitting on top of each other, sitting in an oil pan. In each of the oven's there is a trivet, and a cake pan with cake batter in it. Around the bottom there are potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil. If you didn't believe we made a cake while camping, I have included a picture of the final product.