A Dutch oven is a cooking tool that originated in Holland over a hundred years ago (hence the name, “Dutch oven.”). However, unlike other cooking traditions, the use of a Dutch oven is certainly not outdated. In fact, this fabulous invention is used by many people on camping trips across the world. Make no mistake, though. A Dutch oven has a lot of components and if you’re unfamiliar, it’s important to learn a little about it before actually using one. Once you get the hang of things, then you can try one of these awesome Dutch oven recipes:
Though there are many ways to cook up breakfast in the backcountry, you can make a bangin’ meal by using a Dutch oven. A popular breakfast is Scrambled Eggs and Biscuits, which utilizes the dutch oven in two ways.
What you need:
- 2 eggs per person
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- Other fillings, like ham, mushrooms, or whatever you prefer, diced
- Salt and pepper
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- A can of cinnamon biscuits (or any other flavor you like)
The first step is to beat the eggs. (If you haven’t made scrambled eggs before, then you probably shouldn’t be using a Dutch oven.) Then, add all the other ingredients. On your campfire, place the Dutch oven. Add the egg mixture, then put the lid on top. On top of the lid is where you heat up the biscuits. When those are just about done, take a peek inside and see if the eggs are almost finished. Then, add the cheese. Wait until the biscuits are brown on both sides, and then you’re good to go!
After a long morning in the outdoors fishing, running, playing, hiking, or whatever you may have been up to, your stomach will surely start to growl. I don’t know about you, but if there’s one thing that I’m always down for eating even in the wilderness, it’s pizza. This Dutch Oven Pizza is amazingly delicious, and a great lunch for the whole family.
What you need:
- 18 frozen dinner rolls, partially thawed
- A bag of pepperoni
- 1 cup of tomato sauce
- ⅛ tsp garlic powder
- ⅛ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp Italian seasoning
- ⅛ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp basil
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Any toppings you desire (peppers, mushrooms, olives, etc.)
This uses the “upside-down” method. Spray cooking spray inside the bottom of the Dutch oven. Cut the dinner rolls into fourths, and place in the oven. Spread over the tomato sauce, then sprinkle the spices all around. Add the pepperoni on top of the sauce, and let it heat covered for about 45 minutes, until the dough thickens. Cook an additional 25 minutes, checking often. When it’s ready, invert the lid and place it on top of the Dutch oven, then turn it over so the pizza falls onto the inside of the lid. Take off the lid, and slide the pizza right-side-up onto a rack. Lastly, add the cheese and other toppings.
Though you can eat steak, pork, or fish any time of the day, dinner is typically the prime time for eating something a little more heavy. Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you can’t have a home style meal. This simple and easy Dutch Oven Fish Bake will take you no time. The best part of this recipe is that you can try to fish for your own dinner instead of bringing it along. (Though it’s always good to have a backup.)
What you need:
- 1 fish fillet per person (salmon is a great choice)
- Breadcrumbs or crushed crackers (optional)
- Seasonings of your choice (garlic powder, salt, pepper, etc.)
If you choose to use breadcrumbs, coat the fish prior to cooking with beaten eggs, then dip into the breadcrumbs. If you don’t want breadcrumbs, season a little with the spices before cooking. Spray cooking spray in the Dutch oven. Lay down the fillets (however many you can fit), and cook for about 7 minutes on each side. This goes great with some veggies and instant mashed potatoes if you can manage it.
There are countless desserts you can make in a Dutch oven, that are just perfect for the outdoors. Most of these desserts go way beyond s’mores, and will keep everyone in your camping group happy. These Dutch Oven Baked Caramel Apples are probably one of the best things you can make in a Dutch oven.
What you need:
- 1 apple per person (unless people want seconds)
- 2 sticks of butter
- Brown sugar
Core the apples, and in the middle, place a decent slice of butter and brown sugar on top. Wait until the dutch oven heats up a bit, then place the apples in a pan. Place the lid on top, add some heat, and bake for about 20 minutes until the butter and brown sugar melts and mixes into a caramel sauce onto the apple. Remove from heat, and serve warm.
Car camping gives you a lot of options when it comes to cooking outdoors. Next time you go camping, bring along your Dutch oven to cook some of these delicious meals in the campfire.