Matt Johnson

Camping with a Dutch Oven

Author: Matt JohnsonPhotos/Graphics: Mike HawthornePublished: Jun 30, 2022Updated: Dec 11, 2023

Camping is a great way to get back to nature and enjoy all that the outdoors has to offer. But camping can also be a lot of work, especially if you cook your meals over an open fire. This is where the Dutch oven comes in handy.

If you’ve never used a Dutch oven before, they are large pots with thick walls and a tight-fitting lid that can be used for cooking and baking. Dutch ovens are perfect for camping because they can be placed directly on hot coals to cook food evenly.

What is a Dutch oven? 

A Dutch oven is a heavy pot often used for baking or cooking over an open fire.

While they come in various sizes, Dutch ovens are typically large enough to feed a group of people.

One of the reasons why Dutch ovens are so famous for camping is that they can be used for cooking and baking. With a Dutch oven, you can easily make various dishes, from stews and casseroles to pies and bread.

Plus, Dutch ovens are built to withstand high temperatures, so you don’t have to worry about them breaking or cracking over an open fire.

If you’re looking for a versatile and durable cooking option for your next camping trip, consider bringing a Dutch oven.

How to choose the right Dutch oven for you.

When choosing the right Dutch oven, there are a few things you need to take into account.

First, consider what size will best suit your needs. You’ll need a larger pot if you’re cooking for a large family or entertaining guests. But a smaller pot will do just fine if you’re cooking for two or three people.

Second, consider what material you want your Dutch oven to be made from. Cast iron is the most common choice, but it can be heavy and difficult to clean. So if you’re looking for something a little lighter and easier to care for, consider an enameled cast iron pot.

Finally, consider what kind of features you might want in your Dutch oven, such as a self-basting lid or an oven-safe design.

Once you’ve considered all of these factors, you’ll be able to choose the perfect Dutch oven for your needs.

How to set up your campsite for cooking with a Dutch oven.

Starting a fire is one of the essential skills for any camper. After all, what’s a campout without s’mores? But if you’re planning on doing some serious cooking, you’ll need to pay attention to your fire-building technique.

When using a Dutch oven, creating even size and shape coals is crucial. The best way to do this is to build a teepee out of smaller sticks and place your larger logs on top.

Once you have a good bed of coals, use a Poker to spread them out evenly. Then, carefully place your Dutch oven atop the coals and wait for your food to cook. Some people will place some coals on top of the dutch oven to allow it to cook more evenly.

You’ll be an expert at campfire cuisine with a bit of practice. Bon appétit!

Recipes for delicious camping food cooked in a Dutch oven.

Dutch ovens are the perfect tool for cooking delicious, hearty camping meals. With a bit of planning, you can enjoy gourmet-quality dishes that will leave your camping companions begging for more.

Dutch oven chicken and dumplings.

One excellent option is Dutch oven chicken and dumplings. Start by browning chicken breasts in the Dutch oven, then add chopped vegetables and a can of creamy soup. Once everything is heated, drop in some premade dumplings and let the dish simmer until the dough is cooked through.

Dutch oven lasagna.

Another favorite is Dutch oven lasagna. Simply layer uncooked lasagna noodles with your favorite meat sauce and cheese, then cover the pot and bake it over hot coals until the pasta is tender and the cheese is melted.

Dutch oven peach cobbler.

For a sweet treat, try Dutch oven peach cobbler. Start by placing canned peach pie filling into the bottom of the pot, then top with a mix of flour, sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Drop spoonfuls of batter over the top, then bake until the biscuit-like topping is golden brown.

Making Peach Cobbler with a Dutch Oven Over a Campfire

These recipes are just a few possibilities that can be created with a Dutch oven. So next time you’re planning a camping trip, make sure to pack your Dutch oven along with all of your other camping gear. With a little imagination, you’ll be able to enjoy gourmet-quality meals even in the great outdoors.

Tips for using your dutch oven.

If you’re an avid camper, you know there’s nothing quite like cooking over a campfire. The smell of wood smoke, the crackling flames, and the sense of adventure adds to the experience. And if you want to take your campfire cooking to the next level, you need a dutch oven.

Dutch ovens are perfect for making hearty stews, flavorful soups, and even desserts. But if you’ve never used one before, then they can seem a bit daunting. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Choose the right size dutch oven for your needs. If you’re cooking for a large group, you’ll need a larger oven. But a smaller oven will do just fine if you’re just cooking for two or three people.
  • Preheat your dutch oven before adding any food. This will help to prevent sticking and ensure that your food cooks evenly.
  • When adding coals to your dutch oven, use enough to heat the bottom and sides of the pot evenly. Too few coals will result in uneven cooking, while too many will cause your food to burn.
  • Invest in a good quality dutch oven. Cheap models are often thin metal that will warp and buckle when heated. A good quality dutch oven, on the other hand, will last for many years and will make campfire cooking a breeze.

Camping with a dutch oven is a great way to experience nature while cooking your food. Using coals’ power, you can cook almost anything in a Dutch oven. If you’re new to camping with a Dutch oven, we hope this guide has given you some ideas on what to try. The possibilities are endless, so get cooking!


Matt Johnson

Senior Content Writer

Matt is an experienced camper and glamping enthusiast with a Master's degree in Wildlife Science from Texas A&M University. Authoring posts for GlamperGear, he shares his wealth of knowledge on picturesque campsites, luxurious accommodations, and the best gear for outdoor adventures. His passion for nature and knack for comfort in the wilderness make him an expert guide for your next camping endeavor.

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