Cooking outdoors in a Dutch oven is a great experience. You can cook in the wilds or the backyard. This dutch oven camping recipes are ideal for both choices.
What to cook in a Dutch oven? How to cook in a Dutch oven and enjoy many good meals? I promise you will really enjoy this way of cooking. Every dish tastes better if cooked outdoors in a Dutch oven. A Dutch oven is very versatile and helpful. Anything that can be fried, boiled or baked, can be cooked in a Dutch oven.
Dutch ovens are made of cast iron. Because they are so heavy, they heat evenly with little heat. When it is set on correctly, the heavy lid acts as a pressure cooker.
In pioneer days, the Dutch oven was a mainstay for the people across the plains. They could cook so many different foods in these versatile kettles that were a prized possession.
Dutch Oven Cooking Over Open Fire
For Dutch oven cooking over an open fire, you need to build places for fire.
It is two kinds of cooking fires for camping with a Dutch oven. Both are equally good for Dutch oven cooking, but which you use will depend on where you are.
WOOD FIRE – for use when camping
It’s important to have two separate fires when you use a wood fire. One is for the Dutch oven to cook on, the other is to produce new coals.
The fire for the coals has to be replenished with wood continually. The wood will burn down to coals, which are removed with a shovel and placed on the Dutch oven fire as needed.
- Place rocks around an area where you plan to make your large coal fire.
- Dig a shallow pit into which the coals will be allowed to fall. This makes it easier to shovel them out to use.
- Start this fire about 30 minutes before you plan to start cooking.
- Don’t use large logs. Your fire needs to burn down to coals quickly, and large logs take too long.
- When your fire burns down to where you have nice hot coals, you are ready to start your cooking. Remove what you need with a shovel.
- Keep replenishing the fire so you will have coals throughout your cooking time. These coals do not burn as long as briquets, so you must keep replacing them on your cooking fire throughout the cooking time.
- It takes a lot of wood to keep a Dutch oven going for any time, so unless you have a good supply of timber and are in an area where fires are allowed, we do not suggest you use this method.
CHARCOAL BRIQUETS — for backyard cooking and fire hazard area
I always use briquets when available because they are almost smokeless, more convenient, and the heat from them can be controlled better than with wood coals.
Don’t ever use them indoors as they give off toxic gas.
- As with the wood fire, you should have two fires going. One should be kept going so you can replenish the cooking fire. About 30 to 45 minutes before you cook, start your briquets.
- Use as hard a surface as possible because soft ground or sand will smother them.
- Stack your unlit briquets in a mound. Pour lighter fluid or charcoal fire starter fluid, not gas, over them. If you think they are going out, fan them. This will usually bring life back to them. If fanning them doesn’t help, pour more lighter fluid on and light again.
- When the briquets are red hot, they are usually an ashy grey and flare red when fanned. If you are still in doubt, hold your hand a few inches over the briquets. If they are burning, you’ll know by the heat they are giving out.
- As you take away the briquets for use, pile additional unlighted ones on one side of the pile. These will light from the starter pile, and you will always have briquets burning as you need them.
- If cooking for a large group, you’ll need a lot of briquets, so make a large pile. But only pour the lighter fluid over what you need to start cooking with. The other hot ones will start the briquets close by. You can remove them as needed. Keep adding more briquets to the pile.
- It takes 16 to 18 briquets for the bottom of a 14″ oven to keep it cooking well for frying or roasting. An additional 12 or so are needed on top.
- After they are burning well, put them in a checkerboard pattern, flat side up, to get the most heat from them. Don’t put them on edge — that provides a much smaller area of heat.
- When fixing a fire for baking of cobblers, upside-down cake, cake, cookies, pie, etc., most of the heat must be on top so that you will use a checkerboard pattern on the bottom of only 6 or 8 briquets and 18 to 24 on top in a circular way. The circle pattern is suitable for baking because sometimes a section of the item you’re baking won’t be cooking evenly, so you can push briquets to where they’re needed or remove some.
- Use the long-handled tongs and shovel to add the briquets or remove them.
What to Cook in a Dutch Oven – Camping Recipes
Dutch Oven Pot Roast is great for outdoor cooking. A hearty hot dish will delight you with its taste. Do not be afraid that cooking takes 3-5 hours. The time of your efforts is no more than 15 minutes.
Everything else is the work of fire and cast iron. You just have to watch that the fire does not flare up too much or that does not go out.
Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Dutch Oven is safe and environmentally friendly cookware. Natural organic coating enriches food with iron ions. Durable and wear-resistant Suitable for all types of stoves.
Here is the basic recipe. But you can change the recipe depending on the products and personal preferences. The last sentence gives some ideas on how to do this.
You can add to your Dutch Oven Pot Roast dried vegetables, green or red peppers, one or more garlic cloves, Worcestershire sauce, or additional seasonings for a personal taste.
Beef in Gravy in Dutch Oven
How to make beef in gravy in a Dutch oven? It is easy and very tasty!
Select any roast you want for Beef in Gravy. You don’t need a quality cut —just choose the roast that is the best buy. When you are through with it, it will taste like a choice cut.
Figure 1/2 pound for each adult and 1/4 pound for each child.
Place the Dutch oven over the heat. Make sure it is as level as possible.
Place your roast in the oven. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover with water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until tender (approximately 1 1/2 hours for a medium-sized roast).
When the roast is tender, transfer it to the cutting board. Remove fat and bones, then slice meat into serving pieces. Thicken the juice from the meat with flour (remove the oven from coals to do this— it will reduce the chance of lumps forming).
Return the oven to heat, bring to boil, and put cut pieces of roast in the gravy mixture. Let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Serve Beef in Gravy over rice, potatoes, or noodles.
Beef in Gravy in Dutch Oven
This is a very simple basic Beef in Gravy recipe. Try it for your lunch! The taste of this dish is simply amazing! You can experiment with spices and other ingredients.
- 2 pounds beef
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 3 tbsp flour
- Place the Dutch oven over the heat. Place your roast in the oven.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover with water.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer until tender (approximately 1 1/2 hours for a medium-sized roast).
- Transfer meat to the cutting board and remove fat and bones, then slice meat into serving pieces.
- Thicken the juice from the meat with flour. Return meat to the oven and let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Salisbury steak is a version of Hamburg steak. The history of the preparation of this steak goes back to the Middle Ages. Minced meat was a delicacy in medieval cuisine.
In a large German trading port Hamburg, minced meat steak has become a popular dish in city restaurants. When immigrants from Germany came to America, they brought this recipe with them. It was called Hamburg Style Steak.
This steak was most popular in New York. The oldest document that refers to the Hamburg steak is a Delmonico’s Restaurant menu from 1873 which offered customers an 11-cent plate of Hamburg steak that had been developed by American chef Charles Ranhofer. This price was high for the time, twice the price of a simple fillet of beef steak.
Coming from this history of Hamburg steak is the Salisbury steak, which today is usually served with a gravy similar in texture to brown sauce. James Salisbury was an American physician and chemist, advocated for a meat-centered diet. The term Salisbury steak has been used in the United States since 1897.
It is what he writes in his recipe:
The pulp should not be pressed too firmly together before broiling, or it will taste livery. Simply press it sufficiently to hold it together. Make the cakes from half an inch to an inch thick. Broil slowly and moderately well over a fire-free from blaze and smoke. When cooked, put it on a hot plate and season to taste with butter, pepper, salt. Also use either Worcestershire or Halford sauce, mustard, horseradish, or lemon juice on the meat if desired. Celery may be moderately used as a relish.
Cooking Salisbury steaks outdoors in the Dutch Oven has become a tradition a little bit later.
This dish is popular in the USA as one of the main dishes for outdoor cooking.
How to Cook Venison Roast
How to cook venison roast in a Dutch oven? Some people do not like venison (deer meat); but, if the meat is taken care of properly, then aged, and if cooked right it has a very good flavor. This is one way to make it tasty.
Level the Dutch oven and pour in the vegetable oil. While it is heating up, salt and pepper both roast.
When the oven is hot, put the roasts in with tongs and brown them on all sides. Keep the lid on to keep in the juice, and heat the oven after the meat is brown on all sides.
Add one cup of water to the Dutch oven and recover it, adding heat to the top. Remember to keep checking and turning the meat all the time so that all the sides have a chance to soak up the flavor and not dry out.
After it has simmered for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, test it by using a fork to see if it’s tender. If it’s not, let it cook another 10 to 20 minutes, or until the fork goes in easily.
It is the best answer to the question How to cook venison roast. It does make an excellent meat dish and one that you will remember. The pork will help flavor it and keep it from getting dry, and the venison will help flavor the pork roast.
Use the juice as a gravy over the meat. It will be good as is, or you can thicken it with flour to use on potatoes. You may want to add a little more salt and pepper for your own taste.
This is a recipe for venison combination roast for a Dutch oven.
- 1 pound venison roast (deer)
- 1 pound pork roast
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil or bacon grease
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup water
- Level the Dutch oven and pour in the vegetable oil.
- Salt and pepper both roast. When the oven is hot, put the roasts in with tongs and brown them on all sides. Keep the lid on to keep in the juice, and heat the oven after the meat is brown on all sides.
- Add water to the Dutch oven and recover it, adding heat to the top. Keep checking and turning the meat all the time.
- After it has simmered for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, test it by using a fork to see if it's tender. If it's not, let it cook another 10 to 20 minutes, or until the fork goes in easily.
- Use the juice as a gravy over the meat. It will be good as is, or you can thicken with flour.