The Gift of Cast Iron

When it comes to gift-giving, I tend to error on the side of practicality. I don’t want to give you another piece of junk to clutter up your precious, limited space so I try to get something that will see a lot of use and hopefully become something worth treasuring. With that in mind, I got my mom (and furthermore my hungry family) the Lodge Logic Double Play Grill and Griddle and the Lodge Logic Grill Press for Christmas. My parents do a lot of home cooking and I knew this would come in handy in so many situations.

The Double Play is great because you can use it for more than you’d probably think at first glance. With a flat griddle surface on one side and a ridged grill on the other, you’ll find a lot of excuses to use this. Its primary use in my parents house will be over two burners on their gas stove, but it can also be used on electric or glass stoves, in the oven to make biscuits, on the BBQ with meat and veggies, or any heat source except the microwave! The morning after Christmas we decided to make pancakes and they came out perfectly cooked and with the exception of the first couple, none of them stuck to the griddle though. One of the great things about Lodge is that their products come pre-seasoned and will get better and better the more you use them. I have no doubt these products will last a lifetime if properly maintained and well-loved, so these might end up coming back around to me one day.

The Grill Press can be used with the Double Play and worked wonders on the Canadian bacon we cooked alongside the pancakes. It browned the meat more evenly and pressed out unwanted fats but still retained flavor. I think I may have to buy one for myself because this reformed vegetarian eats a lot of bacon these days and I’m absolutely positive this would help make it exceptional. It would also work wonders on the grill side with sandwiches to get those nice grill marks on the bread and distribute heat evenly on both sides. Like all Lodge cook wear, it’s pre-seasoned but the more you use it, the better it gets. I cannot speak highly enough of these products and you can trust this Southern gent because if its good enough for mom, its good enough for you too.

– Trent @ ACK

Camp Cooking the Way of the Lodge

Nothing compares…Dutch oven biscuits. Oh soooo good!

I love Lodge — akin to actor Steve Carell’s quote “I love lamp” in the 2004 comedy Anchor Man. Seriously though, not just saying it, I really do mean it and when fall arrives Dutch oven cooking is almost synonymous with the season. Now, I do realize that most of our customers are kayak or canoe paddlers and may be wondering what Lodge Cast Iron skillets and ovens have to do with just that. Well, at ACK we believe that paddling and camping activities tend to merge well together resulting in weekends full of fun and adventure. How so?

Close your eyes for a minute and picture a majestic horizon where a mirrored-like lake reflects a range of hills topped with a setting sun that is firing up the twilight sky with a mix of colors ranging from oranges, purples, reds and pinks. You stand proud of your well organized basecamp highlighted with a couple of kayaks along the shoreline waiting in anticipation for tomorrow morning’s paddle. Right by your feet you feel the comfort of a hot bed of coals stacked with a set of Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Ovens slowly cooking up a large pot of beef and vegetable stew, buttermilk biscuits and peach cobbler. Take a deep breath and smell the aroma. That’s what it’s all about!

Last year, I decided to get my hands on a new set of Dutch ovens and to my delight came across some easy recipes directly from Lodge that I figured would be a hit with my family and friends — they were. So much was the case that I thought this would be a great opportunity to share a few with our readers (see below).

A couple of quick tips: in most cases, especially when cooking stews, it’s easy to modify it to make it your own but I found that when baking, it’s best to follow recipes as close as possible! Additionally, it’s always best to prepare and organize your ingredients prior to arrival.

Don’t have a Dutch oven? Click here to see our entire selection of Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Ovens and our beginners guide to Dutch oven cooking Lodge Camp Dutch Oven Cooking 101. Also, check out this blog I published back in January offering some tips on getting started. Happy cooking!

Roland @ACK

As seen in the Lodge Camp Dutch Oven Cooking 101 book which comes with all Lodge Camp Dutch Ovens.

Good Old-Fashioned Family Stew (12-Inch Camp Dutch Oven)

  • 1 pound of stew meat, or chuck cut to l” cubes
  • 2 large, yellow onions, diced
  • 4 potatoes, peeled, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 cup of baby carrots
  • 1/2 cup of celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup each of your choice of parsnips, mushroom, other veggies, diced
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 cans of mushroom soup or some cornstarch thickener
  • Browning sauce
  • Seasonings, salt and pepper

Use full pattern of briquettes on bottom to heat 12-inch Lodge Camp Dutch Oven and 1/4 inch of cooking oil. Cook other veggies you may wish to add (This didn’t make sense to me so I added all the veggies at the same time below). Brown onions and meat together. Drain off excess oil. Add potatoes, carrots, and all bouillon cubes, mushroom soup (if used), salt, pepper and seasonings, which may include a seasoning salt, curry, oregano, cloves, bay leaf, etc. Add enough hot water to cover veggies. When recipe reaches a simmer, pull enough briquettes to maintain the simmer, stir occasionally and cook until the meat and carrots are fork tender. Add cornstarch thickener (if used), and browning sauce as desired.

Lazy Cobbler (12-Inch Camp Dutch Oven)

  • 2 cans sliced peaches, in syrup (29-30 Oz. cans)
  • 1 package White or yellow cake mix
  • Ground cinnamon to taste
  • 1/3 stick butter or margarine

Place Camp Dutch Oven over 15 hot charcoal briquettes. Pour contents of peach cans into oven. Spread dry cake mix evenly over peaches. Sprinkle cinnamon over all to taste. Cut butter or margarine into equal slices and arrange on top. Put lid on top of oven and place 10 hot Charcoal briquettes in a checkerboard pattern on top. Bake for about 45 minutes or until done. Spoon into bowls and add cream, ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Best Buttermilk Biscuits (12-Inch Camp Dutch Oven)

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup club soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups Bisquick™ biscuit mix
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (for tops of biscuits)

Grease and heat a 12-inch Lodge Camp Dutch Oven with 8 coals on the bottom and 17 coals on the top. Combine all ingredients. Knead the dough by hand until smooth. Flour your hands. Pat the dough flat to ¾ inch thickness on waxed paper and punch out biscuits with biscuit cutter. Place biscuits on the bottom of the hot Camp Cutch Oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Rotate the Camp Dutch Oven and lid often to prevent burn spots. Remember, these will bake form the top down. Brush golden biscuits with ¼ cup melted butter.