Learn how to bake with a Dutch oven, perfect for wilderness cooking that tastes like it’s from home.
After a long day of hunting, fishing, or just enjoying the woods, there’s nothing quite as wonderful as sitting around a burning campfire and biting into some delicious, freshly cooked food. You may grill trout or venison steaks, but some of the best campfire recipes are found in dessert.
With the benefit of a Dutch oven, you can enjoy the comforts of a home-cooked dish in the great outdoors.
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What is a Dutch oven?
A Dutch oven is, essentially, a large cast-iron pot with a lid, and it could be the most useful pot you ever take camping. They can be a little on the heavy side, but are worth saving space for in your pack.
How do you use it?
The Dutch oven is particularly useful because it’s so easy to use. Lay a baking tin or foil inside the oven (technically you can dump your ingredients directly inside, but this will make for a tedious clean-up later. Unless you’re making a stew, a tin is well advised. If you are not going to use tin, rub the inside with oil). Pour the ingredients in. Set your Dutch oven over a bed of hot coals. Not burning coals, mind you, but still too hot to touch. Cover up your oven and dump the remaining coals over the lid, then let it sit and bake. It’s as easy as that!
Fun fact: If you’re cooking for a big group, you can stack multiple Dutch ovens atop of one another!
What do you need for a Dutch oven?
Given that you’re going to be dealing with hot coals, a Dutch oven calls for more supplies than just the oven itself. In order to effectively use your Dutch oven, you will want:
- Tongs: to add or remove coals.
- Lid-lifter: That lid is hot. You want to use a special tool so you aren’t burned either by the oven itself or the steam it releases.
- Heat-resistant gloves: If your Dutch oven is working properly, it’s going to be hot! Be sure to invest in a good pair of heat-resistant gloves to spare your hands.
- Wood and metal cooking utensils: Plastic or rubber will melt.
- Stand: Some Dutch ovens have handy legs at the bottom. If yours does not, invest in a stand to prevent the oven from crushing the coals underneath.
- Time: Like any oven, Dutch ovens do take time to cook. Allow yourself plenty of time to prepare your dish, and plenty of time to let your oven cool off. NEVER splash the oven with cool water to cool it faster. This can damage the oven.
What’s the most popular Dutch oven recipe?
Why, Peach Cobbler, of course! In order to make this perfect Dutch oven treat, you will need:
- 1 large can of sliced peaches
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup self rising flour or yellow cake mix (if you have a serious sweet tooth)
The steps are easier than pie! Simply mix your dry ingredients first, then add in your peaches. Combine the whole mixture, pour it into the oven, and sprinkle as much cinnamon as you like over the top.
In 45 minutes, you should have a hot, delicious desert dish that didn’t take a lot of work or ingredients. The perfect end to a perfect day in the great outdoors!