Nontraditional Dutch Oven Cooking

by / Tuesday, 18 February 2014 / Published in Blog

2567537_s-200x300We all know about the traditional Dutch oven recipes that are fantastic favorites at any campsite – peach cobbler, chili and egg bakes are perfect examples of easy recipes that should be on the menu for any Dutch oven chef. Although those are delicious, there are so many more uses for a Dutch oven that go far beyond just those favorites. Take a look at the following recipes for your Dutch oven and you may just become the newest gourmet Dutch oven chef!

A Dutch oven provides a perfect way to create camp site snacks. These snacks not only provide a fun way to enjoy camping but they also will certainly become a new tradition every time the camp site is set up. Popcorn is a fun snack that everyone loves. A Dutch oven is a perfect way to create popcorn treats with different flavors and is a great way to spend some time around the campfire. Throw some coconut oil in a Dutch oven over low heat and wait until it melts. Once it is fully melted, add a few kernels of popcorn and wait for them to pop – this indicates that the oil is hot enough for the remaining popcorn. Add in enough popcorn so that there is enough to fully cover the bottom of the Dutch oven. Once the popcorn starts popping, remove the Dutch oven from the heat (carefully!) and stir. You now have a perfect snack that can be dressed up anyway you’d like. You can take 3 tablespoons of hot sauce and mix it with 3 tablespoons of melted butter. Pour the mixture evenly over the popcorn and sprinkle (lightly) with powdered ranch dressing – Buffalo Wing Popcorn! Create a sweet treat by melting a cup of butter and mix in 2 cups of brown sugar and ½ cup corn syrup. Heat the mixture until bubbly and pour it into the popcorn while stirring. Mix in pieces of chopped up Snickers candy bars and you’ll have a snack that disappears in the blink of an eye!

Along with snacks, Dutch ovens can be used to make fresh bread that is just as good (if not better) as a loaf from the bakery. The easiest type of Dutch oven bread is a crusty load that is quite simple to make. Although it’s easy to do, it produces an amazing loaf of bread. Mix together 3 cups of all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon yeast. Mix in 1 ½ cups warm water and mix (by hand) until the dough is thoroughly mixed and sticky. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let sit for 8 -12 hours (it is usually best to mix this up in the evening so that it is ready to bake in the morning). Get the Dutch oven ready by heating it for 30 – 45 minutes over medium to high heat. Once it is ready, flour the outside of the dough and shape it into a round loaf before adding it to the Dutch oven. Cover the Dutch oven and place it back on medium heat for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes of baking, remove the lid and cook for 5 – 10 more minutes. Remove the loaf and let cool before slicing up some of the best campfire bread you will ever taste. You can make variations of this bread by adding 1 cup of shredded cheese to the dough for delicious cheese bread or 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 1/3 cup of sugar to the dough for amazing and easy cinnamon sugar bread (sprinkle the top of the loaf heavily with additional cinnamon and sugar prior to baking).

A Dutch oven has so many uses other than the traditional meals that are prepared at the camp site. These examples are only a few ways that a camp chef can start a new tradition and create fantastic new food. We’d love to hear from our readers about fun and unique ways that you have used your Dutch oven to deliver nontraditional Dutch oven food!

Image credit: undy / 123RF Stock Photo