Dutch Oven Campfire Cooking

Dutch Oven Campfire Cooking
Sitting around a campfire at the end of the day is one of the rewards of camping out. Topping off the day is the evening meal. Camp cooking can be a pleasure instead of a chore, and the use of a Dutch oven not only opens up a variety of meals and deserts, it also is an experience in itself.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Cooking stand
  • Tripod
  • Charcoal
Step 1
Cure your Dutch oven before using it for cooking. Curing helps preserve it, keeps it from rusting, and it also keeps food from sticking. To cure it, heat it in a 400-degree Fahrenheit oven. While it is hot, wipe it with a light coat of vegetable oil. If you are curing it for the first time, oil both the interior and exterior. Return the oven to the heat for about another hour; it will smoke some at this point. After an hour, remove it from the heat, use another light coating of oil, and it is cured.
Step 2
Light your charcoal . Get enough charcoal going to put underneath the oven and on top. Use a Dutch oven cooking stand to for this method. Cooking stands are sheets of heavy metal with legs to lift the oven off the ground. Place charcoal on the stand to heat from underneath. Briquettes are also placed on top for heat, creating an oven effect.
Step 3
Build a good cooking fire, with a nice base of coals, and use a tripod for cooking with a Dutch oven. In this application, the oven is suspended from a tripod over the fire. Cooking this way is more similar to simmering. Meals prepared this way must be watched closely, and stirred more often. This method is great for stews and chili.
Step 4
Dig a pit about 20 inches deep, and 22 to 24 inches wide, and bury the oven for cooking. Once the pit is dug, line it with the flattest rocks you can find. Start a fire in the pit, adding to it until it is about half full of coals. Clear out enough coals to place the oven in and cover it with the rest of the coals. This is a great way to let an all-day meal slow-cook.

Tips & Warnings

Always use heavy gloves when handling your Dutch oven.
Clean the oven lightly after use, and re-oil it lightly after cleaning.

Article Written By Andy McVeigh

Andy McVeigh lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is an avid outdoors enthusiast who enjoys paddling, biking, hiking, backpacking, camping, scuba diving and photography. McVeigh is a graduate of Northern Arizona University and is currently working on his MBA.

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