What is dutch oven cooking?

Dutch oven cooking is a technique that uses, primarily, dutch ovens.

A dutch oven is a thick-walled cooking pot. Typical ovens are made of cast iron, clay, porcelain, or aluminum. Each has its advantages with some styles easier to find, purchase, or maintain.

Easy to clean aluminum ovens

Its called a Dutch oven because in the 1700s the Dutch created a method of casting their iron pots using dry sand that was better than methods used elsewhere. Over hundreds of years of use, the basic pot has changed to suit the needs of cooks. For instance, Americans are credited with adding legs and a lip to the lid for cooking with coals. Why? Well, think about it: the legs provide stability over coals, the lip keeps them from falling off into the food when moving the cover.

Netherlands perfected oven making

What can be cooked in a Dutch oven?

Really, just about anything. Favorites among Boy Scouts and Scouters include:

Breakfast Burritos




Ask a group of Boy Scouts their favorite food from a dutch oven. Their answer invariably leads to "dump cakes." Why? They are easy in that they don't require a lot of thought or ingredients, and they taste great!

Think about it. Combine apple pie filling with Sprite, pour yellow cake mix on top of that, butter on top of that, and bake. Boom! Dessert.

Dump cakes (desserts)


Why cook in a Dutch oven?

There are many reasons. Here are a few:

  • Get to cook over a fire or coals
  • Adult leaders will be jealous (careful, they may want to eat your meals!)
  • Facilitates cooking by patrols
  • Easier clean-up
  • Easier clean-up (repeated on purpose)
  • Easy to learn, by younger AND older Scouts
  • Almost endless recipes
  • Plenty of time to do other stuff while food cooks
  • Tastes great!

learn more about dutch oven cooking

Take a look at the Equipment and Recipes sections for more information about how and what to cook in a dutch oven. Check out these resources for more information too: