The Best Camping Dutch Oven Recipes

You always want to prepare something delectable while camping, and a Dutch oven is one of the best tools for this job. But which recipes are the best? Check out these dutch oven recipes if you want a quick dinner or a gourmet meal for two. They are easy to make, delicious, and keep you and your family warm on a chilly night.

The Best Camping Dutch Oven Recipes

The best camping dutch oven recipes are incredibly easy to prepare, and you’ll be glad you brought one! A ham and creamy cheese mashed potato is a great lunch or dinner meal. The ingredients are easy to find, and they are healthy. You can even make a batch of popcorn while you’re cooking! A camping trip is an excellent time to try out these recipes! They are also great for kids’ meals and can even be baked in a dutch oven!

The Best Camping Dutch Oven Recipes

Here are the Ten Dutch Oven recipes:

1. Chili Mac

Chili mac combines the best parts of both worlds: the smoky, spicy flavor of chili with the rich, creamy texture of mac & cheese. It’s a classic camping game that both kids and adults love.

2. Steamed Clams

Try these clams steamed over a campfire if you want to dress up your camping menu. When we go camping near the coast, we love to make them, and you can dip grilled bread into the garlic and white wine sauce.

3. Dutch Oven Chili + Cornbread

One-pot for dinner and a side dish. Make a quick bean chili, top it with an easy cornbread batter, and put your Dutch oven over the coals. Relax, because dinner will be ready in just over half an hour.

4. Apple Pie

This is one of our more complicated Dutch oven recipes, but nothing beats a freshly baked pie in the woods for making a big impression.

5. Banana Bread

Part of the fun of having a Dutch oven is that you can use it for baking things at your campsite. This banana bread is a fun breakfast treat that goes well with a cup of camp coffee.

6. Baked Mac and Cheese

This Dutch oven mac and cheese is so easy to make that it only takes 15 minutes. We love to put crumbled chips on top for a crunchy finish.

7. Dutch Oven Enchiladas

These enchiladas are pretty easy to make and are a great way to learn how to use a Dutch oven. Beans and vegetables are wrapped in tortillas and covered with enchilada sauce and cheese.

8. Dutch Oven French Toast

This Dutch Oven French Toast Bake is a great way to feed many people for breakfast. It’s everything you love about French toast: crispy edges and a soft center.

9. Dutch Oven Pizza

Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza at supper time. When you know how to make pizza in a Dutch oven, you can have pizza anytime – and anywhere!

10. Pull-Apart Garlic Bread

This pull-apart bread is the garlic bread version of a Bloomin’ Onion. It is full of minced garlic, parsley, and shredded cheese. When it comes to camping snacks, this is about as good as it gets.

How to Cook with a Dutch Oven?

You can sauté, simmer, braise, sear, fry, and bake with a Dutch oven. If you can think of it, you can make it!

Simmer, boil, steam: A Dutch oven is a heavy-duty pot with a lid. So, any way to cook that can be done in a regular pot can also be done in a Dutch oven. Think of soups simmering, rice steaming, pasta water boiling, etc.

Sear, pan-fry, sautee: You can also use a Dutch oven while camping instead of a cast-iron skillet. You can cook anything in a Dutch oven that you can cook in a cast-iron skillet, such as searing steaks, browning chicken thighs, sautéing vegetables, etc. We like how the high sides keep grease from getting everywhere.

Baking: The best thing about a Dutch oven is that it can be used like… an oven. By putting hot coals on the lid and under the body of the Dutch oven, the whole inside gets the same amount of heat. You can make things like biscuits, scones, and pies with this.

Braising: Like baking, braising needs heat coming from both directions. The lid of the Dutch oven traps a small amount of liquid used to cook the food, making for a moist, “low and slow” cooking environment.

Tips for Cooking

  • To keep the pot from getting too full, brown a lot of meat in small amounts at a time. This will help keep the meat from getting tough from too much steam. Drain away any extra grease.
  • When browning meat and vegetables, use kosher salt to season them lightly. Salt helps remove water, making the color come out better and making the final product taste better.
  • When searing meat and vegetables, sear the meat first, move it to a plate, turn down the heat, and add the vegetables. This will give the vegetables the meat flavor and let them cook at their own, slower pace.
  • Put the oil in the pot and heat it over medium or medium-low heat. Then add the onions and other vegetables and cook them slowly.
  • Cut meats and vegetables into pieces of the same size so that no one will bite into a piece that is still raw.
  • Don’t add seasoning to the whole pot until the food is done cooking and you’ve tried it. When food simmers or braises, its flavors get very strong, and it can taste like it has too much salt.
  • If you are using tomato paste, add it to the pot before adding the liquid and let it cook for a few minutes. This will give the finished dish a sweeter taste.
  • After browning the ingredients and before adding the last liquid, deglaze the pot with wine, vinegar, lemon juice, or a small amount of broth or water. This will get the brown bits off the bottom of the pot and add even more flavor to the food.
  • Add some flavor to a beef or veal stew by simmering a strip of orange peel. Use a vegetable peeler to cut a piece of rind off.
  • A handful of chopped fresh herbs will liven up a hearty site, and they will lose their flavor if you cook them for too long. Don’t stop with parsley. Basil, tarragon, or even cilantro can be used to add a unique touch.
  • To infuse the oil, add garlic or other aromatics to the pot with the oil (also over medium or medium-low heat) and keep a close eye on it, so it doesn’t burn.

Dutch Oven Heating Methods

Camping Dutch ovens were made so hot coals, or wood embers could be put on the lid and under the pot. The only way to bake or braise in a Dutch oven is to heat it in both directions. Dutch ovens can also be hung from a tripod over a campfire, on a cooking grate over a fire, or the embers. Depending on the stove, a Dutch oven can also be used on a camp stove. The legs of our Dutch oven fit between the grates that cover the range of our camp stove. This is a useful feature for camping in places where you can’t have a fire sometimes.

Baking and braising need heat from below, and above, so you’ll need to put hot coals on top and below the Dutch oven to make the right environment for cooking. You can put your Dutch oven right on top of hot coals or wood embers in your campfire, set it on a campfire cooking grate (which you can find on some campfire rings), or hang it from a campfire tripod.

Tip: Depending on your camp stove, you may also be able to put your Dutch camping oven on one of the burners if the legs of the Dutch oven can fit between the burner grates.

How to Use a Campfire Dutch Oven?

Now that you know what makes a Dutch oven for camping special let’s talk about how to use one over a campfire. A Dutch oven is great for camping because it lets you cook in many different ways.

Simmer and boil: Use your Dutch oven as a heavy-bottomed pot to make a big pot of your favorite soup, stew, or chili. You can boil pasta in your hammock and eat a hearty Italian meal outside.

Sear: A Dutch oven can be used as a skillet to sear steaks, chops, and chicken. It is made of cast iron, which is great for high-heat cooking because it transfers heat evenly.

Steam: A Dutch oven is great for steaming rice, vegetables, or even lobster tails because the lid fits tightly. All you need is a bit of water and a simple steaming basket that fits inside.

Saute and pan-fry:  Make a stir-fry, saute some onions o, and fry up your fresh catch of the day in a bit of cooking if you’re a fisherman.

Braise:  When things are slow at the campsite, use a Dutch oven for cooking something low and slow. Short ribs, chicken thighs, or pot roast braised in a Dutch oven need to be heated from above and below, and this means that coals need to be placed on both the top and bottom of the Dutch oven.

Bake:  You can bake in a Dutch oven by putting coals on top and under it to make it like an oven. You can bake almost anything in a Dutch oven, from artisanal no-knead bread to coffee cake, cinnamon rolls, apple pie, biscuits, and more.

Dutch Oven Temperature Chart

Finding the right temperature for your Dutch oven may be the hardest to learning about cooking over a campfire. Most recipes for a Dutch oven over a campfire, especially ones for baking, call for a temperature of 350°F. If you don’t have an oven thermometer, it can be hard to tell when your Dutch oven is at this temperature.

You can use a simple formula to figure out how many charcoal briquettes or wood embers you’ll need to get close to this ideal temperature. Just make your Dutch oven twice as wide and add 1 inch. So, for 350°, an 8-inch Dutch oven will need 17 briquettes. When baking or braising, you should put one-third of the briquettes under the Dutch oven and two-thirds on the lid.

8″ oven

10″ oven

12″ oven

14″ oven


15 (10 Top / 5 Under)

19 (13 Top / 6 Under)

23 (16 Top / 7 Under)

30 (20 Top / 10 Under)


16 (11 Top / 5 Under)

21 (14 Top / 7 Under)

25 (17 Top / 8 Under)

32 (21 Top / 11 Under)


17 (11 Top / 6 Under)

23 (16 Top / 7 Under)

27 (18 Top / 9 Under)

34 (22 Top / 12 Under)


18 (12 Top / 6 Under)

25 (17 Top / 8 Under)

29 (19 Top / 10 Under)

36 (24 Top / 12 Under)


19 (13 Top / 6 Under)

27 (18 Top / 9 Under)

31 (21 Top / 10 Under)

38 (25 Top / 13 Under)


20 (14 Top / 6 Under)

29 (19 Top / 10 Under)

33 (22 Top / 11 Under)

40 (26 Top / 14 Under)

This method doesn’t always work perfectly, but it’s a good place to start for most recipes. The amount of food you’re cooking, the temperature of the air outside, and the source of heat (briquettes or wood embers) will all affect the temperature at which you cook. For the best results, you should bring along an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature inside any meat or poultry you’re cooking.

What are the Dutch Oven Sizes?

Camping There is many different sizes of Dutch ovens. There are two main shapes: shallow and dee, and the diameters, usually measured in inches, are also different.

Shallow: Because the lid is closer to the food on the inside, shallow Dutch ovens, sometimes called “bread” ovens, are best for baking. We think shallow Dutch ovens are the most useful because you can cook any recipe.

Deep: Large amounts of soups, stews, and braises work best in these deep Dutch ovens. The top of baked goods doesn’t get as brown because the lid is farther away from the food inside. But the larger amount is great for feeding many people at once.

Diameter: The most common diameters we’ve seen are 10″ and 12″. Occasionally we see small 8″ inches or big 14″ inches.

How to Clean and Maintain a Dutch Oven?

Cleaning a Dutch oven is the same as cleaning any other cast iron pot or pan. We’ve found that the best way to clean cast iron is with a plastic scraper and a bit of warm water. This one comes from Lodge. Scrape the inside of the Dutch oven with force to get rid of any rough spots where food might be stuck. A plastic scraper is better than a sponge or brush’s scouring side because it lets you cleanly remove hardened food debris without damaging the seasoning.

Rinse the inside with warm water and let it dry completely once there are no more rough spots. We like to put it back over the heat to ensure it’s dry all through. Then, we add a drop of grapeseed oil about the size of a dime and rub the inside with a paper towel until it is completely covered.


A Dutch oven camping recipe can make a complex meal simple while keeping it healthy and easy to clean. Camping Dutch ovens are made of heavy cast iron, which is why they’re great for camping. They can be heated on a camp stove or grill grate, and the lid will likely have a small hole to let steam and heat escape. You can also make desserts with a Dutch oven!