If you love to camp, you must be familiar with a Dutch oven, as it is something you can’t do without! Dutch ovens are one of the most trusted camping gears that allow you to cook various foods over any flame. These are large pots made of cast iron, having tight lids and legs to be placed on the ground over a campfire. However, cooking in a Dutch oven can be a little intimidating, especially if you haven’t tried it before. This article shares with you some simple tips on how to use Dutch oven camping with the right tools.
Dutch ovens are iron cast, which is why they’re heavy and respond well to several heat sources, including campfires, fireplaces and camp stoves. You can roast, fry and bake in them. However, these multipurpose pots do need a little loving care now and then.
Let’s start our discussion with the tools you need to cook in a Dutch oven camping.
Things You’ll Need
Cooking and baking in the Dutch oven at camp is not as simple as it sounds, but you can easily do it with the right tools and accessories. You’ll need:
A Dutch oven
The quality of the material used in your Dutch oven is critical. It must be cast iron, and make sure it has a uniform thickness throughout the entire pot area. This shows you high-quality workmanship, and you are right to choose such a model.
You can find models in various sizes in stores and online. Your personal needs and the number of people you want to cook for are decisive. You can use the following guide:
- Approximately 3 liters of capacity for two or three people
- 4 liters for two to four people
- 5 liters for four or five people
- 5 liters for six to eight people
- 8 liters for seven to nine people
A shovel with a longer handle is suitable for Dutch oven cooking so that you can easily move the hot coals around.
Lid lift tool
The lid lifter allows you to remove the lid from the Dutch oven while it is full of coals without pouring the coals into the food. This tool has tiny legs to stabilize the lid from side to side.
Tongs are a versatile item for cooking at camp. They are essential for turning meats and vegetables on the grill and for grabbing anything that is hot.
A clean rack is essential for placing the Dutch oven lid to keep it clean. In addition, you can place the hot pot on it if you want the food to cool down.
Baking trays keep the Dutch oven clean. The 3-inch deep round baking pans are best for Dutch oven baking, so you get the optimal volume from your oven. You can select the size according to your needs.
2 Pairs of Leather gloves
Keep a clean pair of leather gloves for handling hot foods like baked potatoes or for shelling grilled corn. The second pair is for dirty and sooty jobs, like holding the exterior of the Dutch oven and other Dutch oven tools.
Oven mitts are great for many camping cooking needs but are also essential for Dutch oven bail and for removing oven racks.
The flexible spatula is used to scrape the bottom of the oven without scratching the griddle. A 3-inch wide putty knife is recommended. Food should not stick badly if the oven is well seasoned, but use the spatula if you need to scrape the oven. Do not use a stiff wire brush as it will scratch your Dutch oven.
One way to clean is to heat the Dutch oven over a fire until the food begins to bubble and lifts off the griddle. At this point, scrape the oven with a spatula, discard the burned food, and wipe with a greased paper towel. Paper towels are nice to have around camp for many reasons and can be easily thrown around the campfire.
Wooden handle vegetable brush
A vegetable brush is also an essential tool for cleaning your oven. The best way to clean is by boiling water in the oven and then scrubbing it with a vegetable brush. Pour the water out with an oven mitt and the dirty leather glove on one of the oven legs and tilt the oven to pour out the water.
Every time the oven dries (usually after cleaning) and while it is hot, give it a shot of vegetable spray and wipe with a paper towel to maintain its Teflon appearance. The vegetable spray will keep your oven well- seasoned.
Firewood and coal
Make sure you have plenty of firewood. If you want to bring coals, you should ensure they are enough (count each charcoal for specific recipes).
These are the things you need to safe cooking with a Dutch oven. Whether you want to cook on a campfire, hot coals, or over a camping stove, a cast-iron Dutch oven can take the heat! They’re sturdy and heavier, and you can’t go wrong with them if you have the right tools.
When a Dutch oven is placed on a camping stove, heat emanates from the bottom, suitable for frying, poaching and roasting. In principle, using a camping stove with a Dutch oven is the same as using a stove. Still, the variables inherent in outdoor cooking, such as altitude and weather conditions, may require a longer cooking time.
Now let’s discuss some dishes you can prepare in a Dutch oven camping using these tools.
What Foods Can I Prepare In A Dutch Oven?
A Dutch oven can be an indispensable companion of a camper. You can create all kinds of culinary A Dutch oven can be an indispensable companion of a camper. Below is a small selection of dishes that you can try in your Dutch oven:
- Pulled pork or poultry
- Different types of goulash
- Duck breast
- Spare ribs
- Roast ham with cabbage
- Layered meat
- Pasta casserole
- Pasta in a pot with salmon
- Curry noodles
- Cheese noodles
- Lasagna variants
- Poppy cheesecake
- Pizza rolls
- Blueberry snails
These are just a few options, but you can prepare much more culinary delights with this universal pot, mainly fish and seafood dishes, varieties of bread, and of course, all kinds of stews.
Our Final Thoughts
Now you know how to use a Dutch oven camping with the right tools. Hot meals cooked in the campfire surrounded by trees and nature is an irreplaceable experience. Share this information with your camping partners and make the most of this portable oven.