A Dutch oven is a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid mostly made of cast iron or enameled cast iron or even aluminum if they are designed for camping. They are among the most versatile pieces of cooking equipment that every camp chef should have in their arsenal. The unique design of Dutch ovens allows them to be used either on the stovetop or in the oven or a coal bed or on any open fire!
Whether you're cooking for a large group or just a few people, a dutch oven can help you create hearty, delicious meals over the campfire. Not sure what to cook in your dutch oven? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
So, What Actually Can You Cook?
When it comes to cooking, a Dutch oven has been a true all-rounder for a long time. This heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid is perfect for braising, simmering, roasting, and baking. Whether you’re looking to make a hearty stew or a fruit pie, a Dutch oven can do the job. Here are some of the best dishes to make in a Dutch oven:
A Dutch oven is perfect for baking bread and pies. The pot’s heaviness ensures even heat distribution, yielding perfectly cooked crusts and fillings every time. This will include but is not limited to:
There's nothing quite like freshly baked bread straight from the roaring campfire! While there are many different types of bread you can make in a dutch oven, some of our favorites include:
- Banana bread
- Cinnamon rolls
- Pizza dough
- Focaccia bread
Dutch ovens are also perfect for baking pies. No more worries about your pie getting burnt on the bottom since the pot will evenly distribute heat. Some of our favorite pies to make in a dutch oven include:
- Apple pie
- Cherry pie
- Pumpkin pie
- Pecan pie
You can also use your dutch oven to bake cakes! The pot's heaviness ensures that the cake will cook evenly, resulting in a perfectly moist and fluffy cake every time. Some of our favorite cakes to make in a dutch oven include:
- Chocolate cake
- Pound cake
- Coffee cake
- Jelly roll cake
- Dutch oven cobbler
Another great way to use your dutch oven is to bake cookies! The pot ensures that the cookies will cook evenly, resulting in perfectly crisp and chewy cookies every time without the cookies drying out. Some of our favorite cookies to make in a dutch oven include:
- Chocolate chip cookies
- Oatmeal cookies
- Peanut butter cookies
- Gingerbread cookies
Stews and soups
Dutch ovens are ideal for making stews and soups. The pot’s heavy lid helps to trap moisture, resulting in tender, succulent meats and vegetables. Some of our favorite stews and soups to make in a dutch oven include:
- Beef stew
- Chicken stew
- Vegetable soup
- Tomato soup
- Potato soup
Slow cooking and Braised Dishes
Dutch ovens are also excellent for braising tough cuts of meat. The slow, moist cooking method breaks down the fibers in the meat, making it fork-tender. Plus, the pot’s heaviness ensures even heat distribution, resulting in perfectly cooked meat every time. Some of the best dishes in a Dutch oven include:
- Pot roast
- Beef brisket
- Pork shoulder
- Chicken thighs
- Pot roast
- Pulled pork
- Beef brisket
- Chicken adobo
Whether roasting chicken or pork, a Dutch oven will give you beautifully crisp skin and juicy meat. The high sides of the pot also prevent juices from splattering all over your oven. Some of the best dishes to roast in a Dutch oven include:
- Roasted chicken
- Roasted beef
- Roasted vegetables
Dutch ovens are perfect for baking casseroles. Some of the best casseroles to make in a Dutch oven include:
- Chicken and rice
- Green bean casserole
- Potato casserole
A Dutch oven is also great for making breakfast dishes. Some of the best breakfast dishes to make in a Dutch oven include:
Last but not least, don't forget about dessert! A dutch oven is perfect for making all sorts of sweet treats, including:
- Cobbler: Apple cobbler, peach cobbler, cherry cobbler, etc.
- Bread pudding
- Fruit crisp
- S'mores dip
You can also use the Dutch Oven lid as a skillet or griddle and prepare several other dishes. A Dutch oven is truly the most versatile equipment you can buy when it comes to cooking and there are limitless possibilities, where you are limited only by your own imagination.
Here's how you can pizza in a Dutch Oven:
Also, check out our article on the best campfire starter.
As you can see, you can cook many different things in a dutch oven. So next time you're planning a camping trip or outdoor adventure, be sure to bring along your dutch oven and give some of these recipes a try!
And when you are looking for the best camping Dutch oven, be sure to check out our article on the best available options you can buy right now! Just tap the button below and check out our top picks. Whatever you choose, you won't be disappointed. Get out there, get creative and cook up a storm!
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