My new Dutch Oven Heat Shield

mkitchen

Explorer
My set up for the dutch ovens is ever changing (and I hope improving). After using an MSR backpacking stove for many, many years, I have grown to value the light weight aluminum heat shield that came with it. That little bit of foil did wonders in directing the heat to the pot above. So if the concept works good for MSR it should do well for a dutch oven as well.
I originally just used the dutch oven with wood coals that were shoveled off to the side of the fire. I then moved up to using briquettes. This was an improvement but the briquettes would cook down into the dirt. I have seen some pretty neat stands that folks use but I wanted to keep my outfit small and simple. Hence the idea of using a cheap pizza cooking pan to hold the briquettes. My first step proved to be an improvement and still be easlily transportable.
My new step forward is developing a simple heat shield that works like the MSR heat shield. It had to be something portable, cheap and functional. So the idea of hinged licence plates came about. I'm sure this is not a new idea but it is new to me. All of my DO gear still fits in a box.

Here is a shot of 10 license plates hooked together with hog rings and folded up.



Here is a shot of my 10" oven with the pizza pan sheet under it. This pan works great and my 12" fits on it fine.



And here is a shot of the whole outfit.



Now I need to get out and give it all a try. I thought about heading out to camp this weekend but the temps are dropping down to the the low 20's over the weekend. In fact it started sleeting out as I was finishing up the heat shield and adjusting the spot lights on the Tacoma. My hands are still cold.
Mikey
 

Black Dog

Makin' Beer.
License plates are your best friend! I made a little pot stand like the one that is used with the Trangia stove out of a license plate, I used it with my own little beer can alcohol stove.

Thats another little trick that is useful for dutch ovens or anyone else who cooks with charcoal briquettes-a cat food can or something similar with a little bit of HEET from the yellow bottle underneath your charcoal starter works awesome. I used a red bull can that I cut the bottom off of for years cooking like this then it got stepped on on my patio and I had to make a new one. :(
 

mkitchen

Explorer
Never tried that

How much heet does it take to get charcoal going in a starter? Also, is buring heat going to create any harmful issues?
Mikey
 

Black Dog

Makin' Beer.
It doesn't take much HEET, maybe 2 tablespoons or less, one bottle will last you a while. If there is no wind and your bag of charcoal hasn't had a chance to absorb much moisture it will use even less. I'm not sure about the chemical part, I've never worried about it. Most charcoal briquettes are loaded with chemicals any way and you won't get much of it inside a dutch oven if you leave the lid on. No peeking! I think the lit coals are probably hot enough to burn off most chemicals that might be harmful, and HEET is actually one of the recommended fuels for use in homemade alcohol stoves, check out the website called Zen Stoves.

If you are worried about toxins from the HEET though you could use Alton Browns method and drizzle some vegetable oil on news paper and light that. I've tried and it works pretty well, just a little bit more messy is all.
 

dblosch

Adventurer
Nice idea with the pizza pan! i use an aluminum cake pan for the same purpose. The edge keeps the wind of the coals to a small extent, but not nearly as much as your license plates. I have one of THESE that I keep the dutch oven, the pan, and a set of gloves in... The pan also keeps the feet of the oven from poking through the nylon.

It seems like the last picture only shows 9 license plates, am I right? Nine plates won't fold flat, so (I am just guessing) is that why you went to ten? Would eight plates make a big enough ring?


:wavey:
Dan
 

Joanne

Adventurer
Mikey,

Those wind screens make all the difference in the world when there is a bit of wind blowing. A friend and I were teaching a Dutch Oven class and he was explaining about making the shield. "The nice thing is that the parts are cheap and easy to find. Almost every vehicle in your neighborhood has one!" Good for a laugh, but it's a GREAT do-it-yourself project that is really useful. I sometimes use mine when I'm trying to grill on my little BBQ and the wind is blowing. I usually keep a metal binder clip that I can use to clip together the two loose ends of the shield so a gust of wind won't blow it open.

Here he is cooking with some of his license plate wind screens.



If you can find a plow disk, this works well too. The legs screw off and the windscreen is held on with wingnuts.







Joanne
 

mkitchen

Explorer
Some neat ideas, thanks.

Thanks for the ideas, all of you. I will give the heet a try, I will throw an empty tuna can in the kit as well as a bottle of heet.

Dan, there are 10 license plates but the last one is overlapping the first. I am going to include a binder clip in with the kit, what a neat idea. I failed to mention that I drilled holes closer to the edges of the license plates in order to make the hog rings work correctly and allow the plates to fold flat. Mo has promised me that she will make me bags for the ovens but I think that I am on the bottom of an ever growing to-do list for her. We shall see.

Joanne, that is a very nice stand you have there and it would not be too difficult to build. I have also seen a fellow use old satalite dishes that snapped on to an aluminum walker. It would be nice but I am trying to keep my kit a bit smaller.

Another question on the side, are you a part of a dutch oven group (DOG) in Las Vegas? The reason I ask is that Mo and I met a couple out of Vegas that were in a DOG and I am guessing that would be small group?
One thing for sure, Mo and I are sure enjoying cooking in a DO.
Mikey
 

Joanne

Adventurer
Mikey, yeah I was a member but I'm not currently. Nice group of folks though.

There are two primary reasons to use a table like this; first is to protect the ground from heat damage and the second is so you don't have to lean over as far to tend to your cooking. A lot of parks and campgrounds will not allow you to cook directly on the ground (unless it's in the fire ring) so a table like this keeps them happy.

I did this satellite cooking table as a demonstration project. Pretty light and simple to make.

An old satellite dish I found on the roof of my neighbor's house.



Angled leg bracket from Ace Hardware. You can use either rivets or little bolts to mount it to the dish.



I put oak dowels into 1/2 conduit. The holes in the conduit are for small screws to hold the dowel in place.



Screwing the threaded screw into the dowel. The end with the nuts screw into the leg bracket.



I added some plastic feet so the conduit wouldn't sink into the dirt once it was loaded up with a oven or two.



Couldn't be easier! It's light and breaks down in just seconds.


Joanne
 

Black Dog

Makin' Beer.
There are two primary reasons to use a table like this; first is to protect the ground from heat damage and the second is so you don't have to lean over as far to tend to your cooking. A lot of parks and campgrounds will not allow you to cook directly on the ground (unless it's in the fire ring) so a table like this keeps them happy.
I had a situation like this once. My aunt and uncle have a cabin north of the Sangre de Christos near Trinidad CO and the were under fire restrictions while we were staying there once. Someone called the fire Marshall on us when they smelled the smoke and when he came to check it out he gave us the green light because we were using these tables and had buckets of water and sand in case of accidents.
 

taugust

Adventurer
The heet is an interesting idea. I found that alot of DO cooks at these gatherings use their camp stove (Coleman or propane) to light the charcoal, and now so do I. Two minutes over the flame, and 10 minutes later your coals are ready. They need just a touch of gray ash. Not completely ashed over like for grilling. If they get that far, the won't last long enough to finish cooking most dishes.

I also like the plow disk table, and the license plate wind screen.
 

6x6pinz

Adventurer
I don't know how I came to have a box of "fake" fireplace logs, that burnable kind, but a small piece of them works great for lighting the charcoal. Also makes a good campfire lighter as well even if the wood is damp.
 

6x6pinz

Adventurer
I know some of you worry about weight and space when traveling but for me the Pit-2-Go has been a DO blessing. Can stack 2 twelve inch ovens and keep the wind at bay.
 
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