A Dutch oven is perfect for camp cooking when you're enjoying the great outdoors but still want a warm meal! This guide offers recipe ideas and tips for best use.
On my first camping trip a few years ago, I felt like I'd entered a whole new world of vacations.
It was all unfamiliar, but I was ready to give it a try. And the rest is history!
We've been having outdoor adventures ever since. Like hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Backpacking in Yosemite. Conquering a scary rung and ladder trail at Acadia. And seeing the sun rise at Delicate Arch.
But at the time, on that first trip, my main worry was the food.
Well-fed travelers are happy travelers. At least, that's always been my experience. And I wanted it to be no different on the trail.
Over the course of multiple trips, I started to hone my list of must-haves for being a happy glamper.
Top of my list? A Dutch oven.
This handy pot is ideal for campfire cooking. Its heavy weight ensures consistent temperature, making it easy to turn out great meals.
Here are some tips on what to buy, as well as some of my all-time favorite recipes for camp cooking with a Dutch oven!
Camp Cooking with a Dutch Oven: The Gear
You may have a type of Dutch oven pot in your kitchen at home, but campfire cooking requires some specific features.
First, the Dutch oven needs to be cast-iron.
Second, it needs to be non-enameled (no point in getting your pretty, shiny pot messed up!).
And, third, it's really helpful if you can actually buy a campfire Dutch oven, which has little feet to raise it slightly off the coals. It will also have a flat lid, so that if you want to bake something you can pile hot coals on top.
If you'll be using the lid, this Lodge lid lifter can help you keep a safe distance from the heat.
Long-handled cooking utensils are also a good idea, as are leather heat-resistant gloves.
Most campsites will have a grate for cooking, but occasionally you might need your own portable campfire grate.
Want more ideas for what to bring? Read up on my favorite camping kitchen gear.
Before you head out, you'll need to decide if you want to bring a cooler or not.
Having a way to refrigerate cheese and meat adds to the variety of your menu, but you can also manage just fine on canned and shelf-stable ingredients.
Want to see only recipes meant for camping without a cooler? See my post on that topic!
Let's get into some recipes for camp cooking with a Dutch oven.
Chili + Stew
Soups and stews are a great option because they're a one-pot meal.
Baking + Boiling
This second set of recipes is a mix of pasta, casseroles, and fish-and-veggie entrées. Oh – and pizza!
A couple of these recipes work with either a Dutch oven or a cast-iron skillet! (In fact, you probably need both for the fajitas.)
Got some of your own favorite recipes and ideas for Dutch oven camp cooking? Let me know in the comments below!