The camp dutch oven is the  campfire cooking utensil that does it all, from frying bacon to cooking stew to baking a pie.  For those new to dutch oven cooking, the camp dutch oven is basically a cast iron pot with legs and a dished out lid that will hold hot coals or charcoal.  The legs allow you to put hot coals underneath.  The dished lid allows you to put hot coals on top to

Dutch oven cooking by an open fire

Campsite Cooking in a Dutch Oven

provide all-around heat for baking.  Heat is provided by coals from a wood fire, or with a slight nod to modern technology, by charcoal brickets.  You can place the oven over an open blazing fire, but the use of coals or charcoal near the fire gives much better temperature control and more comfort and freedom from smoke for the cook.

Many websites are available where you can learn more about dutch oven campfire cooking.  Here are a couple to get started:

The recipes for dutch oven cooking are endless.  Almost any dish that could be cooked in a regular oven, in a frying pan or in a kettle, can be cooked in a dutch oven.  We will provide a few that are proven to work well in a dutch oven.  You may come up with many more on your own.

The following recipes were contributed by campers at the popular Camp-Land Campouts a few years ago.   Where the recipe calls for a certain number of hot coals, it is referring to charcoal brickets on or under the dutch oven..

CHERRY ALMOND COBBLER      (Eugene Brown, Sr.)

1 C. Packaged Bisquick Mix                                                     2 T. Sugar

2 T. Cold Margarine or Butter, shredded                           3-4 T. Water

2 (16 oz.) Cans Pitted Red Tart Cherries                            3/4 C. Sugar

3 T. Cornstarch                                                                             2 C. Toasted Slivered Almonds

1 T. Margarine or Butter (Optional)                                       Coarse Sugar

Combine package bisquick mix with 2 T. sugar, stir in 2 T. cold shredded margarine until coated with flour.  Add enough water to form dough.  Knead on lightly floured surface 20 seconds, roll into 10″ circle.  Cut in 3/4 inch wide strips, cut strips diagonally into 2″ long strips.  Set aside.

Drain cherries, reserve juice.  If necessary add water to make 1 2 cups.  Combine 3/4 cup sugar and cornstarch in Dutch oven, stir in reserved juice.

Arrange about 12 HOT coals around Dutch oven.  Cook and stir cornstarch mixture until it comes to a boil.  Stir in cherries, almonds and 1 T. margarine.  Return to boiling.  Place pastry strips randomly atop filling.  Sprinkle with coarse sugar.  Add coals around edge if necessary.  Place 20 HOT coals on lid.

Cook for 50 minutes or until it tests done.


DUTCH OVEN BLACK FOREST COBBLER      (Eugene & Melany Brown)

Chocolate Cake Mix

21 oz. Can Cherry Pie Filling

6 oz. Milk Chocolate Chips

Prepare cake mix as per instructions on box using only half the required water.  Blend in cherry pie filling and chocolate chips.  Pour into greased/preheated 12″ round aluminum Dutch oven (for cast iron, reduce charcoal by 3 each).  Place 9 glowing charcoals under and 14 on top of Dutch oven.  Cook for 30 minutes.  Check for doneness by sticking a butter knife in near center. When done, knife should pull clean (except a little melted chocolate).  Allow to cool awhile before cutting and serving.


LAZY-DAZY COBBLER (Dutch Oven)                (Larry & Paulene Stifle)

campfire cooking dutch oven

Charcoal Brickets give controlled heat

2 C. Apple Pie Filling

1 Box White Jiffy Cake Mix

1 Stick Margarine

Use an outdoor cooking Dutch oven.  Pour apple pie filling into greased Dutch oven.  Spread cake mix (dry) over filling.  Dot with margarine.  Bake covered with hot charcoals 30 minutes.


MULLIGAN STEW (DUTCH OVEN)       (Ron & Corrine DeYoung)

1 Dutch Oven (10″)

1 lb. Bacon (cubed)

1 lb . Onions (cubed)

1 lb. Potatoes OR to fill pot (cubed)

1 lb. Carrots (cubed)

Heat Dutch Oven over coals – put in bacon; fry for 5 minutes.  Add onions, carrots & potatoes.  Cover with lid.  Stir every minutes until it turns to mush. (Do not drain out bacon grease)


PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE       (Eugene Brown, Sr.)

1 (20 oz.) Can Pineapple Slices

1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar

12 Maraschino Cherries, drained and halved

1 Pkg. (2-layer size) Yellow Cake Mix

1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

Lightly grease the sides of your Dutch oven.  Drain pineapple, reserving liquid. Stir together pineapple liquid and brown sugar in Dutch oven.  Arrange 6 or 7 pineapple rings atop the liquid, cutting 3 rings in half.  Arrange halves around outer edge of oven, cut side up.

Prepare the cake mix according to package directions, adding cinnamon to the dry mix.  Spoon butter over the fruit and syrup.

Place 15 hot coals around bottom.  Cover and place 20 hot coals on lid.  Bake for 40-45 minutes.  Check for doneness with tooth pick.  Continue baking at 10 minutes intervals until baked completely.