Baked Potatoes in a Dutch Oven

 

Baking potatoes in a Dutch Oven is frugal, easy and fun.  Recently, Rob had one of his 4H outdoor classes make them.  He had them light up some charcoal briquets in a chimney.  The easiest way to get them to light is to squirt them with barbecue lighter fluid and light them with a match.   If you wanted to use a fire instead, you should build one and let it burn down to coals.

The kids wrapped the washed potatoes in tin foil and put them into the kettle.  They did about 10 medium potatoes, so the kettle wasn’t full.  The other kettle is full of a recipe of Western Beans, which also turned out great.

Rob helped them put a layer of coals on the Dutch Oven table, then the Dutch Oven with legs (a spider), and then a bunch of coals on top.  One source said to put 27 coals on top, but they just dumped a bunch on.

The potatoes took about 1 hour to cook, the same as it would in a 350 degree oven.  Rob did remove the lid very carefully and check them a couple of times.   In the meanwhile, the kids made the bean recipe, and grated cheese and chopped green onions for when the potatoes were served to the entire group.

This would be a good skill to know in case of a prolonged power outage.  As I mentioned before, this can be done using wood coals and a fire, if needed.  If you were really desperate due to a natural disaster or such, or way out in the woods camping without your kettle, you could throw the wrapped potatoes into the fire.  We’ve done it many times.  However, the potatoes do come out much more unevenly, and often burn on one side or the other.  This way, they are even, and very much like they were done in a regular oven.  If you had no tin foil, you could still throw the potatoes into a bed of coals, but the outside skins get really burnt when you do that–you would have to eat the insides.

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This photo is blue because of smoke, but it gives you an idea of how the potatoes looked in the pot.

When they were done, Rob washed the kettles with warm water, only, and then coated them with a thin layer of coconut oil.  He then popped one treated kettle into the barbecue to re-warm and continue seasoning for 1/2 hour-1 hour.  The other kettle was washed and oiled as well, but ended up in the kitchen oven because it was not emptied until much later.  The oven was on 350 degrees.  Rob put the pot in and turned the oven off and let it cool.  That did the job as well.

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