A while back I received, an item off my prepping wish list for Christmas, a Volcano Stove. I’d been wanting one for some time and was delighted to finally have one. According to what I researched, the Volcano Stove was the perfect emergency stove for our place. What I didn’t expect was how quickly we would incorporate it into our regular camping supplies and backyard life. It’s amazingly useful even in non-emergency times!
One of my favorite things to do with my Volcano Stove is to use it for dutch oven cooking. While I can use my dutch ovens in any fire pit, the Volcano Stove gives me an option to cook with it during times when I may not want to start a fire, or when the ideal cooking surface is not available. Because of the Volcano Stove design it is also ideal for use when conserving fuel is of the utmost importance.
The Volcano Stove II is a tri-fuel stove, meaning you can use propane, charcoal, or bio-fuel to cook your meal. This versatility is ideal for emergency preparedness and it has allowed us to replace 3 camping grills with one. Since my hubby and I both enjoy outdoor cooking we would frequently pack a little propane grill, a little charcoal grill, and an additional propane stove to take with us camping. The Volcano Stove has replaced all three of those stoves/grills on our camping outings.
As a nice bonus since the Volcano Stove is considered an approved cooking device in most recreational areas. This wonderful perk and the dutch oven cooking capabilities can also be had with the Volcano Stove without propane (click here to see it). Even without the third fuel it is still one of the best buys on the market at $100.
For your money, using a Volcano Stove with a dutch oven really is as easy as it looks. During my last camping trip I took the opportunity to cook up some BBQ ribs in my dutch oven, below is a quick “how to” along with some tips to help everything run smoothly and a review of the stove’s performance.
Dutch Oven Spare Ribs
– Full rack of Spare Ribs trimmed to St. Louis Ribs (video)
– One 2 Liter bottle of Coke or Pepsi
– Dry Seasonings (Seasoning Salt, Garlic Powder, etc)
– One whole onion halved and quartered
– Dash or two of liquid smoke
– 1 Bottle of BBQ Sauce
Start with a rack of spare ribs, I prefer spare ribs trimmed to St. Louis ribs over baby back ribs for dutch oven cooking. A full rack of spare ribs can be purchased for less than half of what a rack of baby back ribs cost, the meat you trim has many other uses, and besides baby back ribs are best in a smoker and/or on the grill.
Once the ribs are trimmed marinate them in the soda for overnight. The next day an hour or so before cooking get them out of the marinade and apply a dry rub of your favorite seasons.
Next get out a 12 inch dutch oven, this size fits the Volcano Stove perfectly. If you have a smaller oven that’s still ok you just need to move the heat defuser (aka deflector) plate in place up top so that the smaller dutch oven will rest on that instead of sinking below the rim of the stove.
Get 20-30 charcoal briquettes out, each dutch oven temperature chart will say something a little different on how many is needed on top and on the bottom to achieve an exact temperature, however, keep in mind that you are cooking in a Volcano Stove so will it cook much more efficiently and evenly than if you were cooking in an open fire pit. The ideal temperature is a nice 250 degree F for 2-3 hours, but this recipe is very forgiving so it doesn’t have to be exact.
With the volcano stove you don’t need use a charcoal chimney to light the charcoal (but you can use one if you want, personally if I can save the space I leave the chimney at home when camping). The Volcano Stove itself acts as a big charcoal chimney.
Line the very bottom of the Volcano Stove with a handful of paper then add the bottom grate. Pile the briquettes on top, of the grate over the paper. Make sure the damper at the base of the Volcano stove is open because charcoal needs lots of air in order to burn, then use a long lighter or match to light the paper. Give the charcoal 15 minutes or so to fully ignite.
Equipment to Have on Hand
– More Charcoal Briquettes
– Two Dutch Oven Lid Stands (one to set the hot oven on, and one to set the lid on)
– Extra Long Tongs (for moving charcoal around)
– Long Oven Mitt (because it gets hot)
As the charcoal is heating up assemble dinner. Add a trivet to the bottom of the dutch oven so the ribs do not cook to the bottom. Add the seasoned ribs, chunks of onion, and the entire bottle of BBQ sauce plus a dash or two of liquid smoke. Next, put the lid on the dutch oven and arrange the pieces of now very hot charcoal for cooking.
Line a ring around the base of the Volcano Stove as pictured above to maximize the cooking ability of the stove. Next then add the remaining briquettes to the top of the dutch oven. If you have a Volcanic Lid (made by Volcano Stove) you can skip adding charcoal to the top and just cover it with the lid turning the whole thing into a convection oven. Personally I prefer the more traditional method of adding charcoal directly to the dutch oven lid.
Next place the dutch oven in the Volcano Stove on top of the charcoal. The nice thing about the Volcano Stove is that it virtually eliminates the need to pick up and turn the dutch oven and lid every 20-30 minutes which is a part of traditional dutch oven cooking in a fire pit to ensure even cooking (although you still can do that if you want to). All you really need to do is add more briquettes as the old ones go out and keep track of the cooking time.
Some people keep a separate stash of freshly lit and hot charcoal briquettes ready for this purpose, however, I have found it very easy just to sit a new briquette next to an old briquette that is still burning in order to light the new one. By time the new one is hot the old one is out.
One of the most amazing things about the Volcano Stove is it’s safety while cooking with any one of those three fuels. As you can see, during the entire time of cooking the side of the Volcano Stove remained only warm to the touch never hot. The picnic table on which the stove sat remained cool the entire time. This level of cooking surface safety is fairly unique in the market and one of the many things that makes it an ideal emergency stove.
After several hours passed I removed the lid to check on dinner. It was a perfect meal after getting firewood all day!
I am so impressed with this stove, when using wood there is very little to no smoke, it’s safe to use almost anywhere, you can cook anything with it, it’s easy to clean, it’s collapsible and super mobile. I only wish I had purchased this sooner!
Discloser: This stove was a gift from my husband, I have received no money or compensation for this article.
Where to find a Volcano Stove?
– At The Home Front General Store (bundle kit)
– On Amazon (bundle kit)