I've long been a big fan of Lodge Cast Iron, a Tennessee-based company that's been making stellar cookware since 1910. So, I was super excited when I received a sample of the Cook-It-All -- its newest product -- to try. I took it as sign of good things to come when it arrived just moments before we left Seattle for our grand tour.
In the more than 8,000+ miles we've traveled since, I've put this product to the test plenty of times, and found it offers up the perfect excuse to get out of the vehicle and do what I love doing best: making dinner over a campfire. On that front, huge high fives to John, also known as the master of the flame. He's had a lot of practice building fires on this trip, especially when we stay at national parks.
The key to using the Cook-It-All is getting the fire roaring and then letting it calm down and create some red hot coals. Of course, it depends on what you're making, but the aim is to get the cast iron hot, but not too hot. Most of the time, we start by having it off to the side, on top of the heavy duty grills that are typically found at park fire pits. There is also a stand that allows cooks to set the whole Dutch oven setup into the fire, but I've yet to try that.
One of our favorite meals so far involved making breakfast for dinner. Yes, bacon and eggs and pancakes tasted pretty amazing when it was dipping down into the 30s at Dinosaur National Monument last fall.
I've had good results with grilled steak and pork chops, slices of sweet potato on the side. The top piece keeps the heat even, providing that oven effect. Still on my must-try list: biscuits and pizza.
The only downside is clean-up, as some fires seem to cause some serious soot to form on the bottom of the pans. I've come up with a work-around, placing a piece of foil on the bottom of the pans when cooking.
Watch this short video on breakfast for dinner to see the Cook-It-All in action: