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April 29, 2012

Using Trivets in Dutch Ovens

The word “trivet”, in the CampingCakes sense, refers to a metal platform that is placed inside of a Dutch oven. The trivet rests on the bottom of the Dutch oven and raises the food up off of the hot cast iron surface.

By lifting up the baking foods, the bottom is evenly cooked. This prevents the dessert’s bottom from browning too quickly, scorching, or burning. Plus, there is no need to rotate your Dutch oven because the food is unaffected by hot spots that occur from charcoal sitting directly below cast iron.

What Can be Used as a Trivet?

cake rack Dutch oven trivetCake Racks

Our favorite Dutch oven trivets are round cake racks. It is best to find one that does not raise up more than a 1/2 inch to ensure there is still plenty of room for food. The cake rack should have a diameter that is slightly less than the diameter of the bottom of the Dutch oven. If the trivet’s diameter is too small, baker’s cups will fall off the edges of the trivet.

Canning Jar Lids

If you cannot find a cake rack that fits in your Dutch oven, as a good alternative you can use canning jar lids. This is great for small Dutch ovens, such as the Lodge 1 Quart in the picture. Multiple lids can also be used in the larger sized Dutch ovens. Canning jar lids will work well when using cake pans, however baker’s cups do not sit too well on them.

aluminum foil dutch oven trivetAluminum Foil

Aluminum foil can be rolled into coils or balls to act as a makeshift trivet. Aluminum foil is always handy when camping, so you will likely already have some with you. Tear off small sheets of the foil and roll them into small coils or balls. Keep the height of the rolled foil below 1/2 inch. Take into account that the aluminum foil will get crushed down a little when food is placed on top.

tent stakes dutch oven trivetMetal Tent Stakes

If you don’t have access to the above methods, metal tent stakes can be used as a trivet. Place a few stakes in the bottom of your Dutch oven, then rest the baker’s cups or cake pan on top. These make a good impromptu trivet if you are camping, because you will likely have tent stakes with you. Most are made of galvanized steel which contains zinc, so try to avoid direct contact with food.

Watch the Top

Try to find the lowest (cake rack) trivet possible that still fits your Dutch oven. Using a trivet lifts the food up, and this means it will be closer to the lid where charcoal is sitting. Watch closely to ensure that the dessert’s top does not burn. If you notice that it is browning too quickly, it is a good idea to remove some charcoal briquettes off the lid.

Sometimes the dessert’s batter will actually reach the lid. Placing a piece of parchment paper on the top of the dessert will prevent it from sticking to the actual lid.

Recipes that Use Trivets

Trivets are used in a variety of CampingCakes recipes. Any time there is dough being baked on the bottom of the oven, a trivet is used to lift it up. This prevents the dough from burning. Some of these recipes are baked in cake pans, and some are baked in baker’s cups. Both the cake pans and the baker’s cups are placed on top of the trivet.

There are a few CampingCakes recipes that do not use a trivet. This is the case when there is fruit or juice on the bottom of the oven, for example in cobblers, crisps, and upside down cakes. As the Dutch oven heats up, you want the fruits and juices to bubble upwards. This helps the fruit mix with the batter that is on top.

cake panbaker's cups

Cake Pan with Trivet:

Baker’s Cups with Trivet:

Get the CampingCakes Recipe Book!

The CampingCakes recipe book comes complete with all of our delicious Dutch oven desserts. There are over 15 recipes to try! These camping treats include apple crisp, peach cobbler, chocolate cupcakes, peanut butter cookies, and much more!

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