Even though we are a bit spoiled with the comforts of our RV, nothing makes us feel more outdoorsy than cooking over a campfire. Fall brings cooler temperatures, making it the perfect time to put away the grill, grab the Dutch oven out of storage, and whip up some tasty camp food creations.
If you are a Dutch oven novice, don’t fret. Anything you make at home in the crock-pot or on the stove can be recreated over the campfire. To start, make sure you have a good quality, well-seasoned Dutch oven. Get your fire nice and hot, letting the flames burn down to hot coals. Try soups and stews first, then work your way up to breads and pies.
Here are a couple of our favorite simple campground favorites to get you going.
Dutch Oven Breakfast Scramble
The great thing about this dish is that it can be easily adjusted to your family’s personal tastes, and it is just about impossible to mess up.
1. Start off by browning your favorite breakfast meat over the campfire coals. You can use sausage, bacon, or Canadian ham.
2. Add vegetables, if desired, and cook until tender. We like green peppers, onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes.
3. Scramble however many eggs it takes to feed your hungry campers and add the eggs to the meat and vegetable mixture.
4. Throw in a handful of grated cheddar, swiss, or pepper jack and cook until eggs are set.
You can serve this with toast or potatoes. Our kids like it best burrito style, served in soft tortillas with a dollop of sour cream and salsa.
Dutch Oven Pizza
A little prep work at home will make this one of the easiest–and most fun–campground dinners you will ever prepare. We do all of our vegetable chopping ahead of time, and also bring along some frozen homemade meatballs…a favorite topping in our family.
1. Roll out the pizza dough so that it fits snugly in the bottom of a well-greased Dutch oven. We keep it simple and use store-bought dough, but if you are feeling fancy, go ahead and make your own.
2. Spread a 14.5 ounce jar of your favorite pizza sauce on top of the dough.
3. Add any vegetable and meat toppings that you like.
4. Place the Dutch oven directly on the hot coals and close the lid. Many people like to place coals on the lid as well for more even cooking.
5. After about 15 minutes, open the lid and top with 2 cups of mozzarella cheese. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the crust is brown and the cheese is bubbly.
Dutch Oven Monkey Bread
Take a break from s’mores one night and make this for a campfire treat instead. The kids will love it. And let’s face it, adults will, too.
1. Line the Dutch oven with tin foil. Mix 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and 3 tablespoons of cinnamon in a large Ziploc bag.
2. Open two canisters of biscuits, ripping each biscuit into quarters, and dropping into cinnamon sugar mixture. Shake well to coat. Place the biscuit pieces in the Dutch oven.
3. Melt one stick of butter and drizzle over the biscuits. Top with chopped walnuts if desired.
4. Place the Dutch oven over hot coals, put on the lid, and cover the top with coals to evenly distribute the heat. Cook for about 30-40 minutes, rotating the pot and refreshing the coals halfway through.
The Monkey Bread is done when the dough is puffy and slightly browned. This dessert will disappear fast…and be a top requested menu item for future camping trips!
If you have been nervous about cooking over the campfire, try one of these three simple and classic Dutch oven dishes. Pretty soon you will be whipping up campground culinary masterpieces. Or maybe just your standard cowboy stew. Either way, it will be delicious.