Dutchess said:The topic of building Dutch oven (DO) tables is discussed from time to time on other DO forums, but I've never seen anyone mention plans for them on line.
For $65 you can get a very nice DO table that's made by Camp Chef. Before we bought it, we cooked on tables we'd fashioned using a 55-gallon drum lid and a plow disk as the cooking surfaces. If you don't want to invest a lot of money on a table, you might look around to see what you already have that you can use. I've seen a lot of innovative cooking surfaces over the years.
Golfgar4 said:I'm sure there must be some plans somewhere, but I made my own.
I'm a full time RV'er, so space is at a premium for me. I already had 2 aluminum fold up saw horses that I carry with me to use on small projects. I also have a 4' X 2' piece of 1/2" plywood that fits in a slideout tray in our storage area that I clamp to these 2 saw horses. That makes a handy work table if I need one. I usually have this table set up at the end of a picnic table, so I can use it to set my grill on, or other things that we're using for a meal or a project.
I got to thinking about getting a DO table, because I'm getting tired of getting up and down on the ground. I found out that many of these Do tables are made out of 10 gauge steel. So I went out and bought a 4' X 2' piece of steel and had a piece of 1/2" angle iron welded to the long side of the sheet. This is keep the coals from slipping off the table, or even the DO. The beauty of this is that the 1/2" plywood fits inside of the angle iron so I still have a wooden platform/table. But when I'm ready to do a little DO cooking, I remove the plywood and there's the steel table. I do clamp the steel table to the saw horses with a couple of C clamps just to keep from knocking anything over. And it doesn't take up any more room in my storage bay than just the plywood did. The whole thing cost me $62.00.
I'll try to attach a couple of pictures that show this.
Golfgar4 said:Hi Greg,
First, I've fairly new to DO cooking myself. Actually, I've taken it up again after not having done any since I was involved in Scouting back in the mid '90's.
I've been very fortunate in that since I've started trying my hand at it, I've not had any failures. Knock on wood! But all the recipes that I've tried have been very straightforward and reasonably easy. Most of the ones I've done so far I got from Byron's Dutch Oven Recipes. Here's a link to the site: Byron's Dutch Oven Recipes.
I've also done a google search for "dutch oven recipes" and found a number of other sites. That's also how I found Byron's. Believe me, if you start doing a little surfing, you'll find recipes. And of course, this forum has some really great looking recipes. I've also purchased a few DO cooking books that have lots of recipes in them.
I tend to use recipes that clearly state what size DO it's for and how many briquettes to use on the top and the bottom. Now that I've done a few, I'm finding I'm starting to have a feel for how many are needed, even while the cooking is going on.
I think starting out with some simple dump cake recipes or cobblers is a good way to get your feet wet. Those recipes are very easy, and it's hard to mess them up. My very first cake was a pineapple upside down cake, and I've attached a picture of it for you. It turned out great, and it gave me a lot of confidence. My first "meal" was the Mountainman Breakfast, and it was really good. There's a thread in this forum about bthat very meal that you could check out.
And finally, I guess I'd say that you shouldn't worry about screwing up a recipe. I went in to this thing assuming I was going to have failures. And I always inform my family/guests when I'm doing a recipe for the first time that they will be guinea pigs, and I make them rate the success/failure of it for me. Trust me, they WILL be honest!
I hope this helps, and I hope you let us know what you do and you continue to post here so that we can compare successes!
Golfgar4 said:I guess you could say that I cook in the winter. I'm from Wisconsin! You know, The Frozen Tundra.
Seriously, I think outdoor cooking is the best in the winter time. There's nothing like standing around a warm fire (or bed of coals or whatever you're using) on a cold, crisp day and cooking something tasty. And whatever it is that you're cooking ALWAYS tastes that much better when you're eating outside. Just remember one thing about winter cooking. Once you get your fire or coals going, the very first thing you put on is the coffee!
nightjar said:Thank you for your kind reply. What kind of cooking do you do in your dutch oven? I've not started yet. I use mine for frying chicken on the stove (just to say I'm using it. And where do you get your recipes?
cajun_1 said:Just bought the 38" Cooking Table from Camp Chef, today. Mighty good looking table. Hopefully this will save my back and allow me more room for other dishes.