Glamping Essentials | The Dutch Oven

Glamping Essentials | The Dutch Oven

When we’re camp cooking, it seems that we are always looking forward to our next meal!

Having a dutch oven in camp is like bringing your kitchen stove along. You can create virtually any food at camp that you could make at home.  Using dutch ovens while camping helps to keep alive the spirit of  adventure and the can-do way of living. Besides, making food in a dutch oven is not difficult and adds fun and excitement to a camping trip

The dutch oven is a simple, yet invaluable, tool for campfire cooking. It is a heavy, flat bottomed kettle with a lid, legs, and a bail wire to lift and hang. It was designed to cook complete one-pot meals on an open fire - perfect for camping!

You can stew, bake, roast, or fry food by controlling the Dutch oven temperature. Savoury meals can range from breakfasts to full dinners to hot and tasty desserts. See below for a camp pizza recipe.

Since dutch ovens are made of thick cast metal, they absorb heat, retain it, and distribute it evenly over the inside surface. This means even cooking and less chance of burned food. You probably won’t be taking a dutch oven on a backpacking trip, but you'll  be very happy with the results on your next camping trip if you make room for your portable kitchen stove. The dutch oven is the ultimate camp cooking utensil - all you need is a campfire!

Camp or outdoor Dutch ovens have the following features:

  • The camp or outdoor cast iron Dutch oven is the preferred oven for outdoor and campfire cooking.
  • Flat bottom
  • Three short legs which allows the oven to be above the ground to allow the circulation of air onto the coals
  • Strong wire handle which may have the option to stand up at a 45 degree angle. By having the handle stand up it will give better access when positioning or removing the oven from the fire
  • Flat lid with a lip of 1 to 2 inches; the lip allows you to place hot coals on top of the oven1 or can be used as a frying pan
  • Small loop handle on lid, make sure it is attached at both ends to make it easier to lift off with a hook.
  • Skillet type handle attached to the lid which helps when using the lid as a griddle or fry pan.
  • Size of ovens range from 5 to 22 inches in diameter for the rim.  Depth is around 3 inches but some can be as deep as 9½ inches with the larger diameters.  Remember that the larger the oven the heavier it will be when it is full of food.

Dutch Oven Pizza.

400° for 30-40 minutes
29 charcoal briquettes (19 on top, 10 on bottom)
Note: Dutch oven sizes vary, number of briquettes is approximate based on 12” oven.  Bigger ovens require more briquettes, smaller require less.

Topping.

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds ground meat (we like hot Italian sausage)
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 small can sliced black olives (optional)
  • 1 cup grated part-skim mozzarella cheese (reserved)
  1. Heat oil in bottom of dutch oven, add meat and brown thoroughly
  2. Add the onion, garlic and green pepper.  Cook until the onion is translucent
  3. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, oregano and pepper
  4. Remove mixture from dutch oven to hold for use later
  5. HINT: If the charcoal briquettes are not ready but we have a campfire going, we brown the meat over the fire but switch to the charcoal for baking the pizza in order to maintain a steady baking temperature for the perfect crust and melted cheese

Topped ready to bake

Topped ready to bake

Crust.

  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup skim milk
  1. Mix the dry ingredients together.  Add the oil, egg whites and milk stirring lightly
  2. Spread the batter in the bottom of a lightly sprayed dutch oven (oven will be pre-heated from browning the meat)
  3. Spoon the topping over the pizza crust (batter) and sprinkle with cheese
  4. Bake until the crust around the sides is well browned (begin checking at 30 minutes)

Sliced and ready to serve pizza