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  • How to Use Your Outdoor Pizza Oven Like a Pro

    So you’ve just unpacked your Italia Artisan Pizza Oven or Outdoor Oven Accessory, and you’re ready to get cooking. First of all, congratulations on your new purchase. You’re in for plenty of goodies like backyard pizzas (here’s a dough recipe), skillet brownies (we’ve made those too), plank salmon (yummmm), and more. But before you fire up the oven and toss some food onto the stone, we wanted to share a few pro tips with you. These will help you get the most out of your new outdoor oven, no matter what meal you’re cooking. Ready? Here we go.


    Pro Tip #1

    Your stove’s Low and Medium settings will give you all the heat you need for your Outdoor Oven Accessory.


    Pro Tip #2

    Just like a true brick oven or your home oven, preheating your outdoor oven is essential. Always allow 10 minutes or more for your oven to get to the right temperature.


    Pro Tip #3

    Temperatures and cooking times will vary depending on outside temperatures, weather conditions, and what type of food you’re cooking. For example, frozen pizza will cook differently than a pizza made from scratch or store-bought dough.


    Pro Tip #4

    Keep an eye on the internal air temperature by looking at the built-in temperature gauge on the top of the pizza oven. Internal air heat will help melt cheese, soften toppings, and bake the top of your pizza crust. This temperature will react quickly when you change your heat setting or remove the metal oven cover.


    Pro Tip #5

    The pizza stone temperature will rise more slowly than the internal air temperature, but it will eventually become the hottest part of the oven. This is where most of the cooking happens (and how you get a crispy pizza crust).

      pizzas in the camp oven

    Pro Tip #6

    Use an infrared or cooking surface thermometer to monitor your pizza stone’s temperature.


    Pro Tip #7

    The ideal baking temperature for artisan pizza is 500° F to 550° F. Other kinds of pizza are best at 400° F.


    Pro Tip #8

    To melt cheese or other toppings as you remove your pizza, lift toward the top of the oven and hold for a few seconds before taking it out.


    Pro Tip #9

    Cast iron is perfect for baking breads or desserts in an outdoor oven.


    Pro Tip #10

    We have a few accessories just for cooking pizza in your new outdoor oven. Check out our pizza peel, pizza spatula, and rocking cutter to complete your pizza chef collection.

  • How to Clean Cast Iron

    Cast iron is the darling of the culinary world. It's versatile, timeless, high quality, and tough as nails. It will last you a lifetime if you give it a little TLC from time to time in the form of cleaning and seasoning. "But," you might be thinking, "I've always heard that cast iron is a pain to maintain." We're here to prove that wrong. Taking care of your cast iron doesn't have to be a chore. With the tips below, it will become a habit in no time.

    How to clean cast iron pin

    For Light Cleaning:

    If there isn't any baked-on food particles or sticky residue, then follow these instructions for cleaning your cast iron.

    1. While cookware is still warm (not hot) rinse with hot water.

    2. Use a stiff-bristled brush (without soap) to scrub the inside, removing any remaining food bits.

    3. Pat dry with a towel and let sit in an open air rack.

    4. If the the finish looks black and shiny, you're all done! If the finish is starting to look marbled, dull, or gray, then you can spritz the surface a few times with our Cast Iron Conditioner. Dab the conditioner into the cast iron with a paper towel or lint-free cloth.


    For Heavy-Duty Cleaning:

    1. Remove all food particles from your cast iron cookware using a Dutch oven scraper or a plastic pan scraper. It's best to do this while the pan is still warm, if possible.

    2. Fill the dish with hot water and add about 2 teaspoons of Cast Iron Cleaner. Rub the cleaner in with a plastic brush or clean rag. If you're dealing with stubborn or burnt food, let the pan sit with the water and cleaner for about 10 minutes, then scrub. You can also try boiling the water to loosen any residue.

    3. With a stiff-bristled brush, scrub the remaining food bits away and off the iron. Rinse well and pat dry with a towel.

    4. While the dish is still warm, spritz all surfaces a few times with our Cast Iron Conditioner (mentioned above) and dab it around with a clean paper towel or lint-free cloth. Congratulations, you've just cleaned and seasoned your cast iron cookware.

    restoring cast iron

    See how easy it is? Check out our walkthrough video if you want to see the methods in action. And if you have any other pro tips for cast iron cookers, let us know in the comments below!

  • Our Favorite Halloween Bites Roundup

    Our favorite part of Halloween is by far the food. What else could you expect from the Camp Chef team? But when it comes to adorable whipped cream ghosts or carefully designed chocolate spiderweb, we like to turn to a few of our friends in the food community. Here we've created a roundup for you of the creepiest, cutest, and most importantly, tastiest Halloween bites we could find. Try these recipes on your pellet grill, in your outdoor oven, or with your cast iron dishes. Camp Chef is ready for your Halloween menu.


    For Dinner

    Dinner in a Pumpkin

    This is a fun way to bring pumpkin into your meal in a savory way. If you want to take the meal outside, you can just as easily roast the pumpkin inside your pellet grill set at 350° F.

    Mini Mummy Pizzas

    You can't go wrong with cheese and sauce on a pizza crust. Have a make-your-own-mummy night with all the ingredients and bake them in your outdoor pizza oven.

    Meaty Eyeballs & Breadstick Bones

    Another perfect recipe for your outdoor oven. It's a spooky combination of meatball eyes and bone breadsticks that your kids will love.

    Shepard's Pie Stuffed Peppers

    Half the fun of this recipe is figuring out which face to carve into your jack-o-lantern bell pepper.


    For Dessert:

    Ghost Pretzels

    Boo! Try these spooky chocolate pretzels at your Halloween party this year. They're equal parts funny and adorable.

    Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse Cups

    The picture speaks for itself. Light, fluffy, and oh so delicious.

    Spiderweb Cheesecake

    Impress your kids with your cake decorating skills with this cheesecake. We swear it tastes better with the webbing design.

    Ghosts in the Graveyard Pudding Cups

    This recipes is a Halloween twist on a "cup of dirt" dessert. Pudding and cookies make up the base, while the fluffy ghoul is a swirl of whipped cream.


    For Drinks:

    Homemade Root Beer

    Not only is this root beer delicious, it also only takes 15 minutes to make. Add some dry ice for a spooky touch.

    Mad Scientist Potions

    Dry ice also brings these drinks to life. Really, you can use whatever you like as the beverage (although this recipe calls for Kool-Aid). Just choose some crazy colors and add the dry ice.

    Caramel Apple Spice Cider

    This Starbucks copycat recipe is a fall staple. Except now you don't have to go through the drive-thru anytime you want it.

    Candy Corn Punch

    If you're not a big fan of candy corn itself, try this punch instead. The ingredients layer to create the candy corn stripes, but the beverage itself tastes fresh and citrusy.


    Do you have any other Halloween recipes you love to use? Have you tried one of these before? Let us know in the comments!

  • Make the Most of Your Hunt Harvest

    You came. You shot. You conquered. Congratulations on a successful hunting trip this year. Whether you’re bringing home some big game, a few waterfowls, or a variety of upland game birds, you should celebrate over the dinner table. We have a few recipe ideas for you to make the most of your harvest. Give these meals a shot and let us know what your favorite harvest recipes are.  

    How to Cook Elk: Stuffed Venison Backstrap


    This is the perfect recipe for bringing home some big game like elk or whitetail deer. You probably already know how delicious fresh venison is; what you might not know is how much more delicious it is when you pair it with cream cheese, bacon, mushrooms, and garlic. YES. PLEASE. Check out the recipe here.


    Stuffed venison backstrap on a grill  

    How to Cook Duck: Duck & Pickled Onion Tacos

    Okay, so this recipe might not have the most appetizing title, but it is worth a taste. The duck rub, made from Camp Chef's Mango Chipotle seasoning, is packed with flavor, and the pickled red onions add an incredible tang to the taco. Trust us, you won't regret testing this recipe out for yourself.

      You'll need...

    • -2-4 duck breasts
    • -Corn tortillas
    • -1/4 cup Camp Chef Mango Chipotle Rub
    • -1 T fresh coffee grounds
    • -1 T tequila
    • -1 lime (juiced)
    • -1 T fresh cilantro
    • -1 red onion, thinly sliced
    • -1 cup water
    • -1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
    • -Salt
    • -Jalapeños (optional)
    • -Queso blanco (optional)

      Duck tacos with jalapeno and pickled red onions

    In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together to make a paste. Score the skin on each duck breast every ½ inch and add to paste. Be sure to completely cover each breast. Let marinade for 30-45 minutes.

    Add red onion, water, apple cider vinegar and salt to 10- or 12-inch cast iron skillet. Simmer over low heat for 20-30 minutes.

    Grill duck breasts skin side down over high heat. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until medium rare. Be sure not to overcook.

    When done, thinly slice breasts, place on corn tortilla, and top with onions. Add jalapeños and queso blanco if desired.

    Watch the video below for a walkthrough of the recipe:


    How to Cook Pheasant: Herb Roasted Pheasant Breasts tastes like chicken, only better. This recipe will keep your bird tender and tasty. After all, it's hard to go wrong with a classic combination of fresh herbs like basil, rosemary, oregano, and more. Try cooking it on the pellet grill for even more flavor.   You'll need...

    • -4-6 pheasant breasts
    • -2 minced garlic cloves
    • -1 cup fresh herbs (basil, sage, rosemary, oregano, etc.)
    • -1/2 cup cooked bacon, diced
    • -1 whole lemon, diced, including skin
    • -Salt
    • -Pepper

      Herb roasted pheasant

    Preheat pellet grill to 400°.

    In a small bowl combine garlic, herbs, bacon and lemon. Rub each pheasant breast with mixture and place in a lightly oiled Square Dutch Oven.

    Bake in pellet grill with lid off for 15 to 20 minutes or until breasts are just cooked. Time and temperature will vary depending size of pheasant breast.

    Serve with wild rice or potatoes and mix of veggies.

  • Camp Chef Goes Glamping

    Last week, Camp Chef teamed up with Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, Favorite Family Recipes, Natasha’s Kitchen, and Dessert Now Dinner Later for a few days of crazy good food and the plushest glamping in northern Utah. Tucked away in Garden City, Utah, you’ll find the teepee-style canvas tents and covered wagons of Conestoga Ranch. The “tents”—if that’s what you want to call them—feature king-size beds, fluffy pillows, pristine white sheets, hardwood flooring, and a full bathroom. You read that right: a clean, private, beautiful bathroom. We were far from roughing it, but that didn’t stop us from feeding our outside.


    Conestoga Ranch and Minnetonka Cave

    From the hills of Conestoga Ranch, we had the perfect view of Bear Lake with its tropical-blue water—an unreal color for a lake in the middle of the mountains. We ventured from the camp up to Minnetonka Cave, named with a Native American word for “running water.” Huddled together in the cool 40º F cave, we listened to an earnest young tour guide point out stalactites, stalagmites, and other formations. The dim lighting, alien structures, and damp cold felt like another planet in the middle of a Utah summer.

    Afterward, we headed to the lake for some oven-baked pizzas on the beach. Cassidy, the head pizza chef of Conestoga Ranch, taught (or tried to teach) us how to toss pizza dough like a pro. We managed to keep all the dough off the sand, and some even made it into the oven.




    fun times at Conestoga Ranch

    While the setting was gorgeous, what made the trip such a treat was the company. Vince, the executive chef of Conestoga Ranch, showed us how to whip up restaurant-worthy dishes on the fly (Literally—he made up the first recipe as he was cooking it). Inge took charge of the hospitality side of things, from grabbing extra utensils to cleaning up our messy cooking experiments. And of course, our food blogger guests were nothing short of delightful. We sincerely want to thank all of you!



    delicious food cooked on Camp Chef products

    As a group of Camp Chef employees, food bloggers, and chefs, we all had one thing in common: a deep passion for good food. With an armada of Camp Chef stoves, grills, ovens, griddles, cast iron, utensils, and more we cooked some of the best food we’ve ever had. Homemade toast with avocado, plain Greek yogurt, and paprika; Wagyu beef sliders on flat bread with goat cheese and corn salsa; green eggs and ham pizza; cast iron cinnamon rolls; smoked tri-tip—the list goes on. When you combine great products with genius cooking skills, the results are incredible. We couldn’t eat it all, but we couldn’t resist tasting everything.

    And that’s really the kind of Camp Chef experience we wanted to create. Good food, good people, good setting. The formula for feeding your outside isn’t rocket science by any means. But it’s one that we could all practice a little more in our lives, don’t you think?

  • World Championship Dutch Oven Cook-Off

    Three days. 11 teams. Nearly 100 recipes. Hundreds of pounds of cast iron. And only one champion.

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