Getting Started with Dutch Oven Cooking

Dutch Oven Cowboy StewRecently I was at a conference where we were discussing outdoor cooking.  I was surprised at how many people had never heard of Dutch oven cooking, let alone actually cooked with a dutch oven.  After some discussion, I realized that most of the people I was talking with were from the Eastern United States.

I'm from the west, and Dutch oven cooking is big out here.  Maybe even more than big!  It seems like it isn't as popular back east.  I have a neighbor that has 8 or 9 Dutch ovens, and I've heard of someone else  that had 18 and even heard of one person that owned 100 Dutch ovens!  They must cook for some awfully large groups!

So it got me thinking about writing a series of articles to help someone get started with Dutch oven cooking.  The questions that I wanted to answer were those that someone who had never cooked with a Dutch oven might want to know.  So I sent an email out to my newsletter group (go here to subscribe) and asked a series of questions, and will be summarizing their answers, along with my own ideas, research, and experience, into this series of posts.

So, why would you want to cook in with a Dutch oven?  Quite simply, you can cook fabulous dishes of a large variety in a Dutch oven.  Just about anything you can cook in your kitchen on your stove or in your oven, you can cook outdoors in a Dutch oven.  You can cook soups and stews, meats, vegetables, casseroles, breads, desserts, breakfasts, and much more.  You can bake, boil, simmer, slow cook, fry, roast, deep fry, and more.  You can cook the simplest of dishes, or gourmet.  There is a reason that our pioneer ancestors brought this cookware across the plains.  Taken care of properly, a good cast iron Dutch oven will last 100 years or longer.

Here are the articles that will be part of this series:

I'll update these with links to the articles as they become available.  And I may even add in some other articles if I think of something else that would be helpful.  If you have other Dutch oven questions that you would like to see answered, please let me know if the comments below.


P.S., Be sure to sign up for the Outdoor Cooking Magic newsletter to be notified when each of these articles are available.

Getting Started with Dutch Oven Cooking - Buying a Dutch Oven


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    • sue on March 24, 2011 at 9:52 pm
    • Reply

    Great to find your website!!! Our local vacation Ranch is having a cook-off and glad to see your site to check out what I need to know to enter!! It is there 1st cook-off, thanks for the tips!!

    • Patty on January 22, 2012 at 9:25 am
    • Reply

    I have been dutch oven cooking for years, even cook competatively (and award winning!) with dutch ovens and my own chuckwagon. I’m so happy to see some one promoting a great hobby! Love to share tips and recipes too!

      • on January 23, 2012 at 4:03 am
      • Reply

      Thanks for the comments, Patty!

    • Joseph Werner on October 8, 2012 at 12:01 pm
    • Reply


    Your e-mails are great and this year I finally decided to take dutch ovens camping. Out here in Idaho it’s great to camp at Atlanta where you are secluded and the scenery is just beautiful! We cooked cjicken one meal and my one daughter who doesn’t like chicken had 2 helpings and asked me to cook it at home that way. The next trip we cooked Pork Shoulder with carrotts, potatoes and onions with garlic and she loved that meal too. So from now on it’s Dutch or nothing!

    1. Joseph, glad to hear you had a great time cooking! Dutch oven cooking is a delicious way to cook. Glad your daughter liked it as well!

    • deward roy on August 18, 2013 at 1:22 pm
    • Reply

    I am from what you may call the “east”, however I rather prefer the term “deep south”.
    Perhaps D/O cooking is more popular out west but, since being bitten by the cast iron “bug”, I have made a rather impressive collection of camp D/O’s and an even greater collection of wonderful friends by virtue of the very fine meals made possible by the humble black iron pot.
    I never tire of the amazement shown by folks who awake in camp to the smell of fresh baked bisquits or who learn that the sweet potato pie they are enjoying was cooked in a charcoal fire.
    Over the past two decades, I have done my best to be a good ambassador for D/O cooking and have gifted more iron than I currently own (and that’s a lot!). So you see, Sir, we Southrons may appear somewhat averse to D/O cooking but perhaps that is because many of us prefer to camp in the more temperate fall and winter months. Please do come by and visit between Labor Day and Easter, we’ll be cooking and y’all will be smiling, I guarantee it.
    D.L.Roy, Hueytown, Alabama

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