Taking Your Dutch Oven to the Max, Part 2

Gary House from Cooking-Outdoors.com is back with part two of his 3 part series entitled, “Taking Your Dutch Oven to the Max”. Sit back and enjoy more awesome Dutch oven cooking ideas from Gary.  Thanks Gary!

Taking Your Dutch Oven to the Max, Part 2

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My love for BBQ, Grilling, Dutch oven cooking and Open fire cooking has allowed me to try many different styles of cooking. Recipes galore have been available to explore, compare, deviate from and blend with my outdoor cooking arsenal. However, when I get the desire for some down home comfort food, I usually go to my Camp Chef Dutch ovens for inspiration and fulfillment. Creativity has inspired countless dishes while inspiration has created a few clever tricks to do what cannot be done, (So they say).

In this, three part series, “Taking Your Dutch oven to the Max” I am sharing with you some of my “aha” moments of creation while Dutch oven cooking. Part one explored transforming your Dutch oven into a Kabob Grill (Taking your Dutch oven to the Max part 1).

Part two is a takeoff from my love of BBQ – Smoke!

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Yes, you can smoke food in a Dutch oven!

Not like BBQ or even close to traditional BBQ, though I have eaten some mighty tasty BBQ recipes cooked in a Dutch oven, you can and should try adding a little bit of smoke to your next Salmon, Chicken or Pork chop recipe. Now, do not get me wrong, I am not saying add smoke sauce or bottled smoke flavor. I am saying smoke, as in real wood chip smoke!

No fear here and no splinters in your food either!

You have probably seen those smoker boxes they sell next to the BBQ’s and Grills at your favorite outdoor cooking store. They come in several sizes and materials. The one that caught my eye was the cast iron one. Cast iron smoker box = Cast iron Dutch oven = smoking in Cast iron = smoking in my Dutch oven and so the thought process went.

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After sharing this new discovery with a few friends one mentioned that they knew someone else that did something like this also. Oh well! Dashed my dreams of patenting this concept and hanging around on the beach watching those big checks roll in!

Dutch oven smoked Salmon

This technique will work with almost any type of food you choose but keep in mind you do have a short smoking window of about 30 – 45 minutes depending how many wood chips you use. I choose Alder chips for my recipe, it blend very well with Salmon. You could use Apple, Mesquite, Hickory, Cedar or many of the other flavors of wood out there. Just take the time to match it up with your food.

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For Dutch oven smoking, I do not soak my chips, they go in dry.

This was also the first time that I used “Coconut” Briquettes from www.Coshellcharcoal.com and they are fabulous!


  1. Place a hand full or two of wood smoker chips onto the bottom of your Dutch oven
  2. Place a wire trivet over the smoker chips
  3. Line the inside bottom and sides of your Dutch oven with aluminum foil
  4. Poke several holes in the bottom of the foil. I used a sharp knife for this
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    Pre-heat your Dutch oven with coals (12″ = 12 coals, 14″ = 14 coals, etc) on the bottom for 10 – 15 minutes to get the chips smoking

  6. Place your food on the foil
  7. Cover and add coals to the top (12″ = 8, 14″ = 10, etc depending on what you are cooking)

The cooking process will vary depending on what you are cooking and how long till it’s done. I can’t help you there, but for my Salmon and Pear slices, I cooked them for 20 minutes.

That’s it! Really!

Just follow these simple steps to add a unique flavor to your next Dutch oven meal.

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One final pointer: If you are cooking some thing with a lot of juices, then place an insert over the foil or just poke some holes on the sides instead of the bottom. You don’t want those chips to get wet!

Give this a try and let me know what you smoked in your Dutch oven!

For more pictures visit my Flicker page: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvergVs


“Taking your Dutch oven to the Max part 3″ coming up next.