Byron's Dutch Oven Cooking Page

Byron's Dutch Oven Cooking Page

 A Little About Myself

My name is Byron Bills and I live in Salt Lake City, UT with my beautiful wife, Tina, and three wonderful children. I currently work for the State of Utah as an information technology analyst for the Division of Information Technology Services where I have been employed since 1985. I have many interests and hobbies some of which are building and playing with my PCs, bowling, cooking, shooting skeet, archery, gardening, and reading. None of these interests compare, however, to my love of Dutch oven cooking.

I was first introduced to the world of Dutch ovens in 1996 by a coworker, Dick Hill, who has been cooking in them for most of his life. At first it sounded like to much work and I was resistant to make the investment in an oven. Dick was patient though and kept at me until I finally broke down and bought a 12" Lodge oven. He taught me how to properly season it so it wouldn't rust, and shared a lot of tips he had picked up throughout the years to make cooking a little easier. He then gave me some recipes to try and set me to it. The first dish I tried was barbecued pork spare ribs which turned out pretty good. Next I tried my hand at Dutch oven potatoes and from then on I was hooked. Within 2 months I had purchased four additional ovens and was doing some experimenting with some of my own recipes.

In the fall of 1996 Dick persuaded me to try my hand at competition cooking. He shared pages and pages worth of tips on what makes a good competition dish, and how best to present it. I knew I couldn't do it all on my own, and it took some work, but I finally was able to talk Tina into competing with me. Our first competition was in the amateur division at the Utah State Fair that fall. We served a pepper stuffed beef tenderloin and apple-cinnamon pull apart bread. We must have impressed the judges because we were awarded a first place ribbon, along with a $300 check, a silver plated bread basket engraved with our names, 2 Utah State Fair aprons, 40 lbs. of Kingsford Charcoal, a 12" Lodge Dutch oven, and a fire extinguisher. (Much to our enjoyment they really went overboard on the prizes that year!)

From 1997 to 1999 Tina and I competed on fifteen different occasions winning ten events and finishing no lower than third place in the other five events. In 1998 we were invited to compete at the World Championship Dutch Oven cook-off held in conjunction with the Festival Of The American West in Logan, Utah. We showed up very nervously and served a wild mushroom stuffed beef tenderloin with mustard horseradish cream, garlic herb dinner rolls, and old home apple pie with buttered rum sauce. The meal scored 1120 points which finished us in third place just one point behind my mentor, Dick Hill, who finished second. In 1999 Tina and I were invited back to the World Championship Dutch Oven cook-off and we returned with an islands theme this time, serving pineapple glazed standing rib roast with harvest pilaf, Hawaiian braided bread, and piña colada cake. Our meal scored 1149 points and was good enough for second place just 8 points out of first.

I have since given up competitive cooking and now do more exhibitions and cooking for fund-raisers and charity. I have done many demos and taught Dutch oven cooking classes for scouting organizations in our area to teach scout leaders a little about Dutch ovens and how to properly care for them.

I feel that learning to cook food in a Dutch oven is a living skill that every individual can and should learn. My goal is to try and educate as many people as possible about the use of these marvelous cooking implements.

If you don't find what you are looking for on my site, or have any questions, comments or recommendations for my site please contact me.

I hope to hear from you soon.


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This page last updated May 26, 2005

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