The right number of briquettes for your Dutch Oven

Table of distribution, rule of thumb regarding the number of coals, briquettes, and much more

How many briquettes do I need for my Dutch Oven? This might be the most frequently asked question amongst Dutch Oven newbies. At home, the temperature regulation is no great challenge – when cooking outdoors with briquettes, however, the right number is decisive for the heat in the pot.

An important guideline for the right number of briquettes

There is an important guideline in order to regulate the temperature of a Dutch Oven: Better start with only a few briquettes and add some more if needed. However, if the pot becomes too hot, usually the food is burnt. At the beginning of your career as an outdoor chef, cautiously find out the right temperature and always start with only a low number of briquettes.

Petromax Feuertopf im Atago
Brötchen Backen im Feuertopf von Petromax mit Cabix Plus Briketts

The right number of briquettes for the different preparation types

The Dutch Oven provides for cooking, baking, and roasting.
Depending on the preparation type, the distribution of briquettes on top and under the Dutch Oven varies. Follow some thumb rules:

  • When cooking, the heat mainly comes from the base: a third of the briquettes is on top of the lid, two-thirds are under the Dutch Oven.
  • When baking, the heat mainly comes from the top: two-thirds of the briquettes are on top of the lid, one third is under the Dutch Oven.
  • When braising, the heat should be distributed evenly: each half of the briquettes is on top of the lid as well as under the pot.
  • For roasting, you only need bottom heat.

The right number of briquettes for the different sizes of Dutch Ovens

Depending on the Dutch Oven size, the number of briquettes varies.
Important note: not only the size of the Dutch Oven but also the briquettes quality, the wind, and the ambient air temperature have an impact on the temperature in the Dutch Oven. Thus, the table serves as a point of reference. Your know-how grows with each outdoor adventure!

How many briquettes do I need for my Dutch Oven Petromax

Petromax Cabix Plus Briquettes – saving coals and money

Square briquettes are especially suitable for the Dutch Oven and each cast-iron form: Thanks to the large surface area and excellent ventilation due to ridge profile, the heat is more constant compared to round briquettes with a small surface area.
Especially for that Petromax developed Cabix Plus – coconut briquettes with a burning time of up to four hours. Thanks to Cabix Plus, the number of briquettes is approx. 15-20% lower!

Energiesparende Briketts von Petromax
The right number of briquettes for the different
Umluftkuppel zum Kohlesparen und Backen für den Atago

The right number of briquettes for the Petromax Atago

The Atago is a powerful mate of our Dutch Ovens. Every Dutch Oven up to size ft9 fits perfectly into the Atago. Thanks to the double-walled construction, cooking at optimal heat is possible. Compared to other fireplaces, you need approx. 20% less conventional briquettes in order to achieve the desired temperature.

If you combine the Atago with the convection lid, the saving will be even greater: The aramid fibres shield the heat under the cover, so that you don’t need any briquettes on the lid. Simply cover the Atago and Dutch Oven with the convection lid for cooking, baking and braising – without briquettes on the lid!


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