Verticulture: Cast Iron Cooking

posted in Happenings

Verticulture: Cast Iron Cooking

In honor of Thanksgiving — and all of my adventurous friends who are celebrating the holiday abroad, under the stars in a campground, or at the crag — I wrote a post for Verticulture (the Outdoor Research blog) about how to bake in cast iron. Here’s an excerpt:

Frying [in cast iron] is easy, but baking takes a little more finesse. The concept is simple: frying, scrambling, and grilling use high-intensity heat sources focused on the bottom of the pan, but baking uses lower temperatures that are more evenly distributed throughout the dish. This has classically been done with a cast iron Dutch oven in a campfire, where you can easily stack ingredients into the pot, close the lid, and scoop coals over the whole container. But it can also be done on a grill or over a camp stove: just turn the heat source to low, cover the dish (ideally with a well-fitting cast iron lid, but anything —included a double-layer of aluminum foil — will do), and do your best to diffuse the heat. It’ll take longer than you think, but be patient. It’s difficult to overcook casseroles in a Dutch oven.

I shared some of my favorite recipes, too, like this one:

Pot Pies

Ingredients: Sausage (meat or vegetarian), potato cubes (fresh or frozen), chopped vegetables (also fresh or frozen), Bisquick (you know, the powdered biscuit mix you can buy in most grocery stores).

Prep work: Chop all ingredients into bite-sized pieces. If the meat and/or potatoes aren’t pre-cooked, fry them in the cast iron pan until they’re cooked through and tender. Add chopped vegetables, then stir the veggie-potato-meat concoction together. In a separate bowl, mix the Bisquick according to the recipe on the back of the box — it should look like a lumpy biscuit batter. Pour the batter over the veggie-potato-meat concoction, then cover. Bake—in a campfire, over a camping stove, or on a grill—until the Bisquick no longer looks raw. Serve and enjoy.

Read the full post here. These photo above is courtesy of Bryan Aulick, who took it at Doe Bay Village on Orcas Island in Washington State. The pint-sized dutch oven in this photo was made by Snow Peak.