This Dutch Oven Temperature Chart and Guide should help you if you’re trying to guesstimate how many briquettes you need to cook a certain dish or get to your oven to the desired temperature.
You’ll find that most foods in a dutch oven cook at around 350F/180C. This is fairly easy to achieve, and the chart gives you an idea of the number of coals depending on the size of your oven.
You will need to factor in the size of the coals you’re using, the weather and strength of the wind, quality of your oven, etc, but it becomes easy to judge after a little experimenting.
Dutch Oven Temperature Chart and Guide
|#Briquettes on Top||10||11||11||12||13||14
|#Briquettes on Bottom||5||5||6||6||6||6
|#Briquettes on Top||13||14||16||17||18||19
|#Briquettes on Bottom||6||7||7||8||9||10
|#Briquettes on Top||16||17||18||19||21||22
|#Briquettes on Bottom||7||8||9||10||10||11
|#Briquettes on Top||20||21||22||24||25||26
|#Briquettes on Bottom||10||11||12||12||13||14
How Many Charcoal Briquettes to Use for Dutch Oven?
You can see from the above chart how many briquettes you need to use when cooking in a dutch oven.
I’ve given you the amount for both the top and the bottom. If you’re new to using a dutch oven, you place coals on both the top lid and the beneath the oven.
You also need to take into account the weather conditions when cooking. Strong winds will obviously mean more coals and vice versa.
It may take a little trial and error to get right. You can use a thermometer to get an accurate reading, but in all honesty, it’s more fun to get a feel of how many coals work in different conditions.
What Is a Dutch Oven?
Dutch ovens are items of cookware, they are often used as a camping item because they are easy to carry, easy to use, and just require some coals to get started with.
They are made from thick iron and have a lid that fits tight to lock in moisture. The lid holds coals to keep the temperature inside even, as you also place some underneath.
There is almost no limit as to what you can cook in a dutch oven too, you’re only limited by your own imagination and culinary skills.
I recommend owning one as a backup if nothing else. But after you start cooking with one I’m sure you’ll keep using it or find reasons to cook at home or while camping.
Video – Dutch Oven Cooking for Beginners
Here is a video taking you through the basics of dutch oven cooking if you’re new to the scene.
How to Control the Temperature When Cooking with a Dutch Oven
Dutch ovens are actually very good at maintaining a temperature once you’ve got it where you want it.
If you’ve used the correct number of briquettes as per the chart above and you’re getting the right heat, the first thing you need to do it keep a close eye on the coals.
Using high-quality coals will make a difference. I’ve burned through a wide range of brands and types of coals and I can say without any doubt that some brands are better than others.
I won’t commit here to saying which. I recommend reading up user reviews before buying any, and generally speaking, you’re better off paying a little extra.
You also need to be aware what type of heat the food you’re cooking needs. Soups for example need most of the heat coming from the base of the oven, while roasting meat needs an equal amount from top and bottom.
Dutch Oven Temperature Limit
You might have noticed that a lot of dutch ovens do not recommend going over 400-450F. This is because a lot of the ovens become dangerous at this point as the materials in the handle, lid, etc can start to melt.
Iron is capable of handling a higher temperature of course. But with most, if not all the foods you want to cook not requiring temperatures over 350F there isn’t the need to start trying for temperatures in the 400F + range.
Should You Use a Dutch Oven?
Sure, why not! They are fun and easy to use as I’ve covered above. It’s kind of like hot pot cooking, it’s low maintenance and doesn’t require you flipping or watching the food too closely.
It’s a welcome change from gas canisters and other bits of equipment too I find. Even at home, a patio cook off is fun with a dutch oven.
If you have any suggestions or additional information for the Dutch Oven Temperature Chart just shoot me a message below and I’ll update it. Thanks.