This is a favorite cooking method of almost anyone who has ever eaten something cooked outdoors. A Dutch oven is actually cast-iron or cast aluminum pot that is designed to bake anything that can be baked in an oven.
Dutch ovens get their heat from hot wood or charcoal coals. They come in various sizes and often have a number imprinted on the lid that indicates the diameter of that particular oven. The most common sizes are 1o inches and 12 inches in diameter.
The cooking techniques that is most common are baking. For best control of the heat, it is a good idea to cook with the oven beside the fire rather than right in it. Another part of controlling the heat is by putting coals on the lid instead of under the pot.
Some people say the coals should be in a 1-to-3 ratio bottom to top while others say it should be a 1 –to-2 ratio. The ratio is easy to control with traditional charcoal but is more difficult with coal from fire wood.
It is important to keep the coals pilled on top and the ash blown away. Too much ash will act as an insulator. Also, do not be tempted to pick up the lid. This will cause heat to escape and delay cooking by several minutes.
There are many recipes that could be used with the Dutch Oven. Upside down cakes, Cookies, Pizza and Lasagna to name a few.
Anything that can be baked in your oven at home can be baked in a Dutch oven.