15 Dutch Oven Camping Recipes – Campfire One Pot Wonders

Dutch oven camping recipes are all the rage now because they’re simply delicious and cleanup is a breeze. Plus, campfire cooking is a fairly easy way to prepare meals without having to pack a whole bunch of other pots and pans. All you need is a large cast iron dutch oven pot, recipe ingredients and a hot bed of coals to cook these one pot wonders over. These dutch oven recipes for camping are sure to please even the pickiest of camper appetites!

Cooking over the campfire is a huge part of camping. One of the best campfire cookware pieces you’ll love is your cast iron dutch oven. 

Dutch Oven Camping Recipes - Always On Liberty


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What is a Dutch Oven?

Cast Iron Dutch Oven for Camping

The Dutch Oven actually dates back to the Middle Ages.  Iron was mined and forged into cooking vessels and kettles to withstand the rigors of high heat and hardened nomadic lifestyles.

And even centuries later, they were a necessary cooking item in the pioneer days.

There’s one tool that you’ll want to bring RVing, camping or glamping; a campfire dutch oven! Be aware though, campfire dutch ovens are different than an enameled dutch oven that you use in your home or RV kitchen.

A cast iron dutch oven can simmer, stew, and braise! With the lid off, it sautés and sears any meat like a cast-iron skillet. These high heat cooking vessels are perfect for cooking soups and stews, breakfast, lunch, dinner and even desserts!


✰ READ MORE ✰  Why Cast Iron Cooking on Campfires is a GOOD thing! *Myth Buster*


What is the best Dutch oven for campfire cooking?

Before thinking you’re going to use one of those colorful enamel-finish dutch ovens for campfire cooking, think again. While they’re perfectly fine for cooking over even a gas burner or hot oven, they aren’t really intended for cooking over a campfire. They’re going to get very sooty.

Instead, you want to invest in a sturdy cast iron dutch oven made to withstand extreme high heat as well as the rigors of camping.

Today, there are several different cast iron dutch oven brands out on the market. Honestly, we believe Lodge cast iron products are best because they are proven winners everywhere we cook with them.

We prefer the Lodge brand 8 quart cast iron dutch oven and lid set with lifter. The dutch oven’s large size allows us to make plenty for crowds or enough for leftovers.

The cast iron lid is recessed to allow stacking charcoal briquettes without them falling off. And the iron lifter is essential in lifting the lid carefully without reaching your hand so close to the flames or hot coals.

Cooking in your Dutch oven using a campfire

Cast Iron Dutch Oven in Campfire with Coals

If you think you can just throw your dutch oven over your campfire, be prepared for disappointment. While using firewood is great for cooking, you will still need some long-lasting charcoal briquettes to produce even consistent heat.

A helpful guide for coal placement with your dutch oven over a campfire:

Simmering – Place most of coals underneath your dutch oven.

Baking – Place most of the coals on the the lid of your dutch oven.

Boiling or Frying – Place all hot coals on under your dutch oven.

Roasting – Put equal numbers of coals on the lid and underneath your dutch oven.

That said, it does take a bit of skill of how and where to place the hot coals in conjunction with your cast iron. A good rule of thumb is to multiply the diameter (inches across) of your dutch oven by 2. That’s how many charcoal briquettes you’re going to need.

In other words, if your cast iron dutch oven is 12″ in diameter, you’re going to need 24 charcoal briquettes.

You’re only going to place 12 of those coal-ready briquettes in a layer for your dutch oven to sit on. Then, you’re going to place the remaining 12 hot coal briquettes on top of the recessed lid. This will then, equate to that of a 350° oven.

Now, if you’re going to be cooking all day, you’re going to need to replenish your charcoal coals to sustain the regulated heat for cooking.

So, while you’re preparing your dutch oven recipe, get your campfire started along with those charcoal briquettes.


✰ READ MORE   Check out our awesome fire pit suggestions in our Top 10 Portable Fire Pits for RVs and Camping.


Dutch oven cooking isn’t just for campfires

Dutch Oven Chicken Dinner Recipe for Camping

Although these types of one pot recipes are cooked over a hot campfire, you don’t actually need a campfire to make them! They can easily be made on your camp stove, on the grill, or even at home on your kitchen stove and in your oven. Just a steady source of heat and a little patience and VOILA!

In this article, we’re going to show you a delicious collection of dutch oven recipes compiled from some of our camping food bloggers worldwide.

Each of these one pot wonders is as easy to make as they are to eat. We hope these one pot wonders will inspire you to plan your next camping meals

So, start that campfire and let’s do some dutch oven campfire cooking!


✰ READ MORE   Check out our great camping grill selections in our Top 10 PORTABLE GRILLS for RVs & Camping.


15 Dutch Oven Camping Recipes

New England Boiled Dinner

New England Boiled Dinner Camping Recipe - Always On Liberty
Photo by Always On Liberty©

If you’ve been following us for some time, you’d know that we’ve spent many years stationed up in New England. Which is why our New England Boiled Dinner dutch oven recipe is one of our family favorites!

What makes this easy one-pot recipe an ultimate camping favorite is because it takes as few or as many ingredients as you want. Even better, because it’s a one pot meal, that means cleanup is quick and easy!

New England Boiled Dinner Recipe Button


Dutch Oven No Boil Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs

Dutch Oven No Boil Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs - OutsideNomad
Photo courtesy of OutsideNomad

This is the definition of comfort food! OutsideIsNomad nailed it with this easy one-pot Dutch Oven spaghetti and meatball dish where you don’t even have to boil the noodles. Pair with some hot garlic bread and this simple classic will be a favorite of the entire family.

Dutch Oven No Boil Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe Button


Campfire Steamed Clams

Dutch Oven Steamed Clams - FreshOffTheGrid
Photo courtesy of FreshOffTheGrid

Embrace the coastal vibes and eat some local seafood prepared right at your campsite! This garlic-butter steamed clams dutch oven recipe is one of the easiest and foolproof ways to do it. We love this steamed clam recipe because it is super versatile. All you need are a couple of basic ingredients to pull it off. And it will work with just about any type of clam or mussel.

Campfire Steamed Clams Recipe Button


Best Dutch Oven Barbecue Ribs

Best Dutch Oven Barbecue Ribs Camping Recipe
Photo courtesy of cooking-outdoors

Don’t these dutch oven barbecue ribs look Ooolalalicious! The are super juicy and the meat falls right off the bone with ease.  Cook them in your dutch oven with your favorite peppers, onions, bbq sauce and beer!  You and your dinner mates won’t need napkins because they truly are finger licking good!

Best Dutch Oven Barbecue Ribs Recipe Button


Dutch Oven Mac & Cheese

Dutch Oven Mac and Cheese
Photo courtesy of Fresh Off the Grid

If you’ve got kiddie campers, then you can’t ever go wrong with serving up some good ole fashion dutch oven macaroni and cheese! But, there’s sort of a hidden secret about what kind of cheese to use in this palate pleaser!

Dutch Oven Mac & Cheese Recipe Button


Dutch Oven Pizza

Dutch Oven Pizza for Camping
Photo courtesy of Fresh Off the Grid

On your next camping trip, step up your camp chef skills to the next level by making dutch oven pizza. Make it with your own variation of toppings. And look Ma! No pot to scrub! But you’re surely going to want to find out how this camping food blogger made it. Something about using metal skewers?

Dutch Oven Pizza Recipe Button


Campfire Dutch Oven Roast Chicken

Campfire Dutch Oven Roast Chicken
Photo courtesy of The Hedgecombers

Even a caveman can do it! Cooking this amazing dutch oven roasted chicken over the hot embers of your campfire will make your friends very happy! Word of caution, you’re going to want to cook two! One for dinner and the other for chicken salad the day after.

Campfire Dutch Oven Roast Chicken Recipe Button


Sausage and Bean Dutch-Oven Stew

Sausage and Bean Dutch Oven Camping Stew
Photo courtesy of sunset.com

This amazing sausage and bean dutch oven stew is a perfect belly warmer for those cold campouts. It’s super easy to throw together! This hearty dish uses cooked sausages, cannellini beans and garbanzos.

Sausage and Bean Dutch-Oven Stew Recipe Button


Dutch Oven Jambalaya

Easy Dutch Oven Jambalaya
Photo courtesy of outdoors.com

Spring and Fall are by far some of the best times to camp. That means there’s going to be some chilly days and nights. So, what better to serve your hungry campers something delicious and rib-sticking that will warm their tummies! This super-easy Dutch Oven Jambalaya is always a big-time, go to choice for all.

Dutch Oven Jambalaya Recipe Button


Dutch Oven Campfire Nachos

Dutch Oven Camping Nachos
Photo courtesy of Amanda Outside

Seriously, who doesn’t love nachos! These are one of the most simple campfire snacks any camp chef can make in a cast iron dutch oven. Bring lots of chips, cheese and your favorite toppings! They’ll surely be a hit during those campfire storytelling hours.

Dutch Oven Campfire Nachos Recipe Button


✰ READ MORE  Check out How to Become a Great Campfire Storyteller!


Camping Dutch Oven Cinnamon Buns

Camping Dutch Oven Cinnamon Buns
Photo courtesy of Campfire Foodie

These dutch oven cinnamon buns are sure to become a camping breakfast favorite not only for your waking campers but the camp chef too! Why? Because you literally need only 1 ingredient! And cleanup is as simple as wadding up a piece of parchment!

Camping Dutch Oven Cinnamon Buns Recipe Button


Campfire Dutch Oven Berry Cobbler

Photo courtesy of Family Spice

Camping isn’t just about having s’mores for dessert. This Campfire Dutch Oven Berry Cobbler is the perfect closer for an excellent camping meal! You can also substitute or even mix in peaches, plums, apples or pears.

Campfire Dutch Oven Berry Cobbler Recipe Button


Chocolate Cherry Lava Cake

Cherry Chocolate Lava Cake Dutch Oven Camping Recipe
Photo courtesy of letscampgsmore

Only 4 ingredients is all it takes to make his sinful pleasure of a dutch oven dessert. The best part is this cast iron camping dish requires very little preparation and cleanup leaving you more time to actually enjoy camping than cleaning!

Chocolate Cherry Lava Cake Recipe Button


Dutch Oven S’mores Cake

Dutch Oven Smores
Photo courtesy of Polka Dot Chair

Your hungry campers don’t want to wait hours for their dessert. So, this super appetizing dutch oven s’mores cake is just the ticket to keep them gathered around the campfire! It only takes 10 minutes to make using, you guessed it, 3 simple ingredients!

Dutch Oven S'mores Cake Recipe Button


✰ READ MORE   Learn what it takes to Make the Perfect S’mores on Your Camping Trip!


Gluten Free Camp Brownies

Dutch Oven Gluten Free Seven Layer Brownies
Photo courtesy of The Touring Camper

Oooey gooey delicious!! Just because one or more of your campers requires a gluten-free diet doesn’t mean they have to sit out dessert because these scrumptious gluten free dutch oven brownies will fill that void. And your regular eaters won’t even be able to tell! Yep! They’re that good!

Gluten Free Camp Brownies Recipe Button


Must Have Dutch Oven Campfire Cooking Accessories

Anytime you cook over a campfire using any cast iron cookware, including your dutch oven, you’re also going to need a few necessary campfire cooking accessories. 

Grill Gloves – Protect your hands when working around the campfire; whether it’s displacing your charcoal briquettes, lifting the lid to stir your dutch oven masterpiece or throwing another log on the fire. A good pair of grill gloves that can withstand extreme heat are what we recommend.

Long Metal Tongs – You’ll need long handle metal tongs to move your charcoal briquettes around.

Long Metal Skewers – Not only are these great for making shish kabobs on the grill, long metal skewers are also wonderful for placing between the top of your dutch oven and the lid. This allows airflow to get inside or for steam to escape.

Parchment Paper – For some dutch oven recipes, parchment paper liners are time savers for cleanup! Or you can use white parchment paper cut down to size if you’d like. Personally, I prefer unbleached, chlorine-free parchment paper.

Charcoal Chimney Starter – Lighting charcoal using a charcoal chimney starter is incredibly faster.

Lid Lifter – A Lodge Lid Lifter allows you to safely lift hot lids full of coals and move dutch ovens from the fire to the table.

Lid Stand – A cast iron folding lid stand can be used in three ways. It can hold the lid while you’re stirring or adding contents to your dutch oven. You can turn your dutch oven lid upside-down to use as a griddle! Or, you can use it as your dutch oven trivet to protect the table surface. It can withstand high temperatures, heat-resistant trivet to set your cast iron cookware.

Campfire Tripod – Some campfire pits may not have grates or you may have to set up your own fire pit. A tripod allows you to hang your cast iron dutch oven from its’ handle over the campfire. An adjustable tripod also allows you to choose the height between your pot and heat source for optimal cooking temperature.

Pan Scrapers – Durable polycarbonate cast iron cookware pan scrapers make cleaning the stuck on food from cast iron cookware a breeze. They are designed to safely scrape without scratching.

Cast Iron Scrubber – A Lodge chainmail scrubber is how you’ll clean your cast iron cookware. It, along with plain water removes tough, cooked on food without removing seasoning.


✰ READ MORE   For more campfire and grilling supply ideas for your next camping adventure or BBQ, check out our Ultimate Campfire Cooking Gear and Grilling Tools.


Final thoughts on dutch oven recipes for camping

Don’t those dutch oven camping recipes look amazing!? Whether your RVing, vanlifing or glamping, these simple campfire recipes are just as easy as throwing everything into a crock pot. Making these in a dutch oven over a hot bed of coals or campfire makes them taste so much better!


✰ READ MORE  Don’t forget to check out these 15 Best Pie Iron Recipes to Make on Your Next Camping Trip


Dutch Oven Camping Recipes - Always On Liberty-2


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