Re: Dutch Oven Cooking
ralph romig (rwromig@PPCO.COM)
Wed, 19 Apr 1995 10:09:42 -0500
Reference Bob Haar's comments on aluminum Dutch Ovens:
>I strongly recommend using *cast iron* Dutch ovens. Aluminum ones
>are lighter, but not as durable. We have managed to burn(melt?)
>holes in some just using the coals from a burned down campfire.
Melting point of aluminum is (cast alloy 43 is 1065 to 1170 deg F Ref Perry's
Handbook of Chemical Engineering 6th ed p 23-40 Table 23-6). Other alloys are
higher melting point up to 1200 deg F.
Melting point of cast iron is 2100 deg F to 2200 deg F (same reference)
It is possible to generate that kind of temperature if the oven is in direct
contact with the coals below it or if there are too many coals below the
Aluminum if shiny and not anodized it is highly reactive with air at high
temperatures. It is possible that the aluminum was indeed burned (oxidized)
Also scouring the aluminum to be bright and shiny on the outside will
oxidized (anodized) coating making it suceptable to attack.
>Cast iron holds heat much better than aluminum, thus leveling out
>any temperature fluctuations and giving a more oven-like effect.
>In the long run, cast iron is easier to care for. You do have to
>season them properly at first, but then they are very easy to
>clean and maintain as long as you keep them well oiled. If the
>scouts do manage to burn something onto the cast iron, just fill
>with water, bring it to a boil and scrape out the grunge. Then
>oil again and you are back in business.
Agreed. I prefer cast iron myself. But aluminum is ok if properly used.
Keep coals from contact with the bottom of the dutch oven. Only use the
number of coals needed to prepare the meal. Spread the coals below the
oven out to evenly distribute the heat. Train the boys in the proper method
of using an aluminum dutch oven.
BTW my personal dutch oven is cast iron.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City