I like to think of Dutch Oven cooking in two different categories, now, they all produce excellent food, one is just a simpler version “Scouting Style” vs. a more gourmet version, which I will refer to as “Competition Style”. The cooking methods are the same, same briquettes, same equipment; the only difference is the food. Unless you have tons of money to burn, I doubt you will be serving Scouts, Beef Wellington, and Filet Mignon.
Most people when they think of Dutch Oven they think about BBQ Ribs or Chicken and Dutch oven potatoes (usually a cheesy, oniony, bacony, ooey gooey goodness). Here are a couple of basic Dutch Oven recipes- When people ask me if have any easy Dutch Oven Recipes, I start with this cobbler, this recipe was shared by one of my neighbors (Kevin Hansen) - I made this at girls camp and it was a huge hit and was super easy because the girls could help, no matter their cooking skills.
In a 12” Dutch oven dump all 3 cans of pie filling. Open cinnamon roll and separate them into the cinnamon rolls, then quarter them and sprinkle over the apples. Bake at 350° (17 coals on top 8 on bottom) till cinnamon rolls are golden brown, drizzle icing on top.
A variation of this that we have tried is with Berry pie filling and Orange Rolls - also very good.
Another easy recipe is Dutch Oven Potatoes.
Dutch Oven Potatoes
1 lb. bacon, diced
1 onion, diced Salt and pepper
12 med potatoes, peeled and sliced dollar size or cubed
1 lb. Colby Jack Shredded
Fry bacon in 12” Dutch Oven. Add onions, and sauté. Pour part of the bacon grease off and add potatoes. Add salt, pepper and seasoning to taste. Mix together, but don't stir while cooking. Put 8 briquettes under the oven and 14 on the lid (350°). This will allow all the potatoes to cook uniformly without stirring. Cook approx. 45 minutes. Check with fork - when done, sprinkle Cheese evenly over the top of the potatoes and replace the hot lid. The cheese will melt down through the potatoes and they are ready to eat.
These are dishes that I would consider as "Scouting Style" dishes, simple and low cost. The things I look for when I am cooking for large groups, such as Scouts. Give 'em a try and let me know what you think.
Now if you don't own a Dutch Oven and want to try these recipes - anything you see that is prepared in a 12" Dutch Oven can be prepared in a 9 X 13 pan and cooked in the oven at the temperature listed.