The International Dutch Oven Society began in the Rocky Mountains, but is now the largest and most productive group of black-pot enthusiasts in the world — with a mettle-testing cook-off to show for it.
OK, there’s not really a place called Dutch Oven, Utah, but it would be fitting if there were. The iconic three-legged cast-iron lidded pot was the favored utensil of Mormon pioneers, and it is the official state cooking pot. Home to more Dutch ovens per capita than any other state, Utah is also home to the International Dutch Oven Society. It must be doing a good job of advancing its goal of preserving and promoting the skills and art of Dutch oven cooking, because the society describes its growth from humble beginnings in the Rocky Mountains to “the largest and most productive group of black-pot enthusiasts in the world.”
You can experience the group’s motto — “Good Friends, Good Food, and Good Fun” — firsthand at the society’s annual World Championship Dutch Oven Cook-Off at Utah State Fair Park in Salt Lake City during the Utah State Fair held September 8 – 9. If you’re thinking of entering, heed this: “Over the years, the bar has been raised higher and higher,” according to Cyndi Boyer, a past World Championship cook-off winner and wife of society president Rod Boyer. “Backyard cookout favorites like chili, stew, or dump cake will not get you a berth in the finals. Instead, you’ll find filet mignon with lobster, crown rib roast, duck breast, or glazed Cornish game hens.”
4 bratwurst, cut into 1-inch slices
1 head cabbage, shredded
3 large carrots, shredded
Spray 12-inch Dutch oven with nonstick spray and then cook bratwurst using 14 coals on bottom. Add cabbage and carrots. Cover and add 10 coals on top. Bake 5 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked but still firm.
Teriyaki Barbecue Chicken
(Serves 6 – 8)
1 18-ounce bottle barbecue sauce
1 18-ounce bottle teriyaki sauce
6 – 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 12-ounce can lemon-lime soda
Pour sauces into 14-inch Dutch oven and add chicken. Pour soda over top. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees using 12 coals on bottom and 16 on top. Chicken is done when internal temperature is 170 degrees, or when pierced with a fork, the juices run clear.
1 teaspoon olive oil
1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided in 10 equal groups
10 medium flour tortillas
1 16-ounce package mini marshmallows, divided in 10 equal groups
Using a paper towel, spread oil over boom of 12-inch Dutch oven. Heat Dutch oven using 10 – 14 coals on bottom. Place a tortilla in bottom of heated oven and layer one group chocolate chips and then one group marshmallows over top. Cover with lid for 1 minute. Remove lid and using a pair of tongs, fold the tortillas in half, making a taco shape. Cover for another minute. Remove lid and then use tongs to place on a paper plate and cool. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Serve when cooled enough to handle.
Peachy Dump Cake
2 19-ounce cans peaches, drained
2 white cake mixes
2 12-ounce cans lemon-lime soda
1 8-ounce package Red Hot candies
Place peaches evenly on bottom of 12-inch Dutch oven. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over top. Pour soda over cake mix, trying to completely cover. Sprinkle Red Hots over top. Bake at 350 degrees.
For more information on the International Dutch Oven Society, visit idos.com. Recipes edited and reprinted with permission from 101 Things to Do With a Dutch Oven by Vernon Winterton © 2006. Used by permission from Gibbs Smith publisher, Salt Lake City. The book is available online, through your favorite bookstore, or at gibbs-smith.com.
From the October 2017 Taste of the West issue.