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Old 04-04-2007, 02:15 AM   #1
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Downsizing Dutch Oven Recipes

Hello,

I'm new to the forum, and am looking forward to learning from all of the experienced folks that participate.

I'm a retired fellow who, along with my wife, are full time RV'ers traveling this great country. I've taken up dutch oven cooking and am really getting into it. The last time I was involved in dutch oven cooking was when I was a Scoutmaster back in the late 80's. and even then, I didn't too much of it. Other than eating the product!

But now I've got myself a 12" - 6qt. Lodge dutch and a 10" Lodge skillet. I made a simple 4' X 2' table out of 10 gauge steel that I clamp to 2 aluminum saw horses so that I don't have to get down on the ground. I welded a piece of 1" angle iron on each long side to keep the coals or the dutch from getting knocked off. All of this stuff has to be able to be broken so that I can store in the storage bay of my motorhome.

So far it's working great. But I've discovered that a 12" dutch is bit large for the two of us. I'm fortunate that we usually have a few friends around so that when I want to cook something, I won't have to worry about wasting anything. But I definitely want to pick up some smaller cast iron pieces.

This leads me to my question. The vast majority of the recipes that I've been finding and saving in my recipe file are for 12" dutch ovens. What would be the proper way to reduce the ingredients to be used in a 10" dutch or even smaller? I've searched all over but have not been able to find anything that tells how to do this.

Thanks for any assistance that might be provided.

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Old 04-04-2007, 06:38 AM   #2
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Hi, Garry, welcome to DC.

The volume of a 10" is about 70% of the volume of a 12" DO, assuming the sides are the same height. So I'd reduce a recipe to 70% of it original size to get it to fit. You could reduce it more, by half for example, if that suited your needs.
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Old 04-04-2007, 07:44 AM   #3
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Welcome Garry!! We are not full timers, but are able to take long trips in our 5th wheel and I can just imagine how much fun you and your wife are having!!

One thing to be careful of when reducing recipes for the two of you is the seasonings. You don't want to automatically ever cut in half or double seasonings/herbs (if you were to double a recipe) in dishes. Instead, start low and season as you go - I would start with 1/3 of what's called for and then season to taste as a dish cooks.

Have fun with your cooking and be safe on the roads!! We may even run into you here and there... :)
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Old 04-04-2007, 11:15 AM   #4
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Thanks for the tips. I had a feeling it would be something like these ideas, but it's nice to get it confirmed.

CJS - We weren't too far away from where you are last year. We spent 3 months camphosting in Belfair State Park, just south of Bremerton. We LOVED being in that part of the country. We even had the chance to get up to Port Angeles a couple of times.
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Old 04-04-2007, 11:21 AM   #5
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Hi Garry,

The reason there are so many recipes for the 12" Dutch oven is because it holds roughly the same volume as a 13 x 9 baking dish. To go from a 12" (6 quart) oven to a 10" (4 quart) oven, I usually just use 2/3 of the recipe. For just the two of you, you might also want to consider an 8" (2 quart) oven. It's a great size for doing side dishes and small desserts.

There's a group on Yahoo called "dutchovencooking" and in their files section they have a recipe converter that's an excel spreadsheet. I've never used it, but others say it works well, so you may want to check it out. You do have to join the group first in order to access the files, but if you're really into DO cooking, I think you would enjoy it.
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Old 04-04-2007, 11:25 AM   #6
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Dutchess,

Great tip. Thanks. I'll check that out.
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Old 04-04-2007, 11:50 AM   #7
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At home I always make the full recipe for 4 or 6 and freeze portions for another meal, but that may not be practicable for the motor home. Cutting in half is usually the easiest way to reduce a recipe.
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Old 04-04-2007, 01:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo410
At home I always make the full recipe for 4 or 6 and freeze portions for another meal, but that may not be practicable for the motor home. Cutting in half is usually the easiest way to reduce a recipe.
Boy, do you have that right! We don't exactly have the kind of freezer space that would allow us to do that. We do have a side by side refrigerator/freezer, but as you realized, it isn't all that big.

Thanks for the idea though.
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