Forget the burgers and dogs on your next camping trip. Make dinner and dessert special with these Dutch Oven Recipes that are perfect for the great outdoors, including this Campfire Dutch Oven Berry Cobbler. Find more of my cast iron campfire Dutch oven recipes.
We are a scouting family. I have two boys in
Cub Scouts Boy Scouts, and my husband as the Cub Master Scout Master. Sometimes I wonder who is more excited to be a scout, my sons or my husband? Either way, it’s a win-win situation for us.
As a family, we have learned so much through scouting, and we are blessed with an AMAZING pack filled with wonderful families. In fact, today we just returned from our adventures with the pack and our camping trip to Anza Borrego State Park in Southern California.
When we camp with the scout families, the pack usually provides the Saturday night dinner. We have had fun with foil cooking and the standard burger and dogs on a grill. But this was a special night.
I decided to take over the cooking this weekend and came up with a very gourmet menu. And our special night, an evening under the desert stars, we were going to have a heck of a feast!
Because this was a Cub Scout camping trip, absolutely no alcohol was allowed. Even in cooking. Scratch the Beef Bourguignon. Second, there was a budget. The meal couldn’t exceed $5/head. Scratch the exotic meats. No lamb. No venison.
Third, no pork. Some families, for religious reasons, didn’t eat pork. Bye-bye pulled pork, and so long bacon. YIKES!
I knew I didn’t want a standard meal that you would eat at a camp out. I could easily do another Dutch Oven Chili with Cornbread or even a beef stew. But, that was too predictable. It was time to think outside of the box.
That’s when I settled on Dutch Oven Chicken Cacciatore and Vegetable Lasagna (which is now featured as my Hungry Man’s Lasagna in my camp cookbook) for dinner. I made chicken cacciatore at home and I knew it would convert well over the campfire.
Why you should try this recipe
Once the main meals were decided, the fun part was the dessert. Most of the time, the scouts enjoy roasting marshmallows and making s’mores. But this trip didn’t have just scouts camping out. And this meal wasn’t just for the scouts.
Cooking with Dutch Ovens is rather simple once you figure out how they work and how to use them. You are basically applying heat underneath the cast iron pot, as well as on top of the lid, making a small portable oven.
I have made a Dutch oven pineapple upside down cake with the boys before, but for this weekend, I decided to try something differrent.
Fruit cobblers are super easy to make. And this one I created is even easier to make because you use refrigerated biscuit dough for the topping. It seriously doesn’t get any easier or delicious than this!
Stash a few cans of Reddi Whip in your cooler and you have one fabulous dessert.
We were also celebrating one boy’s birthday. His mom told me that he loved chocolate chip cookies, so we baked him a big cookie in another Dutch oven. Again, another very easy dessert to enjoy on a campout.
S’mores are fun, but these desserts are how I party in the dessert.
Ingredients you need
- Berries: You can use one type of berry or a variety. I used strawberries, blueberries and blackberries.
- Refrigerated biscuit dough: This is the buttery, flaky topping for the cobbler.
- Lemon juice: The acid keeps the berry colors bright and keeps them from browning and oxidizing.
- Lemon zest: I love the touch of lemon flavor you get from zest.
- Pantry staples: Granulated sugar, all purpose flour and brown sugar.
1. Using a Chimney Charcoal Starter, light up 23 coals. Keep coals in chimney until coals are glowing orange.
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir the berries, granulated sugar, flour, lemon juice and zest with your hands until combined.
3. In a fire pit or fire safe grill, place your 10-inch cast iron Dutch oven with 7 of the hot coals underneath it.
4. Pour fruit mixture into Dutch oven and spread evenly. Open and separate refrigerated biscuit dough and cut into quarters. Place biscuit pieces in a bowl and coat evenly with brown sugar.
Top berry mixture evenly with sugared biscuit pieces and cover with Dutch oven lid.
5. Scatter the remaining 16 hot coals evenly onto of Dutch Oven lid. Bake until biscuit topping is golden and fruit is bubbling. Serve warm.
Recipe tips and FAQs
When you are feeding a massive group of 30+ people, you need several volunteers to help you and you need to stay organized. I had different stations set up for those who did the chopping and prep work.
I had several ovens on hand, from small 10-inch versions to larger 14-inchers. I also had plenty of charcoal and a couple of coal chimneys. You also need to stay on your toes.
It was windy when I was cooking so we did our best trying to keep the wind from blowing ash into our food!
A huge thank you to the dads who cheered me on and gobbled down all the food that I prepared. No chore was turned away, from managing the coals to holding lanterns when it got dark. Luckily, since I did all the cooking, I did not have to do the clean up!
Anza Borrego was a fabulous back drop for our campfire meal! The wildflowers were starting to bloom and the sun was shining all day. The rain clouds from San Diego were halted right at the mountain ridge, and the Cub Scouts had a blast hiking and learning how to be Junior Rangers at the Visitor Center.
Rocks beaconed the boys to climb them and trails were followed and hiked for hours. Everyone passed out with tired muscles and full tummies last night. Sure, we were woken up at 3am with 50-mph gusts of wind that shook and rattled our tent, but those are the adventures we have with camping.
Need more campfire or Dutch oven recipes? Then I have a new book for you: The Camp & Cabin Cookbook (Countryman Press 2018). I have 100 recipes that are all prepared outdoors and over fire using multiple techniques, including the beloved Dutch oven. Learn more about my camp cookbook!
Think of a Dutch oven as a smaller version of the oven you have in your kitchen. The cast iron is a great retainer of heat, allowing the food inside to be surrounded with heat. You cook most anything in a Dutch oven and even bake cookies and cakes over the campfire!
If you are an avid camper and you are cooking for more than 2 people, a cast iron Dutch oven is an essential piece of equipment for your camp kitchen. Start with a smaller 10-inch oven as it can be used for soups, stews, quiche and even bread and cakes.
When choosing a Dutch oven for camping, make sure your pot has little feet underneath it. This allows for hot coals to be placed below the pot without burning the food. It also allows air to flow underneath the pot. Also make sure that the lid is flat and has a rim around the edges to keep the ash from spilling in your food inside.
PS If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback.
You can also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram. Sign up for my eMail list, too!
- 2 lb strawberries, quartered
- 1 lb blueberries
- 1 lb blackberries
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 TBS lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 refrigerated package of biscuit dough
- ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
- Using a Chimney Charcoal Starter, light up 23 coals. Keep coals in chimney until coals are glowing orange.
- In a fire pit or fire safe grill, place your 10-inch cast iron Dutch oven with 7 of the hot coals underneath it.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir the berries, granulated sugar, flour, lemon juice and zest with your hands until combined.
- Pour fruit mixture into Dutch oven and spread evenly.
- Open and separate refrigerated biscuit dough and cut into quarters.
- Place biscuit pieces in a bowl and coat evenly with brown sugar.
- Top berry mixture evenly with sugared biscuit pieces and cover with Dutch oven lid.
- Scatter the remaining 16 hot coals evenly onto of Dutch Oven lid.
- Bake until biscuit topping is golden and fruit is bubbling. Serve warm.
You can also mix in peaches, plums, apples or pears.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 169Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 59mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 6gSugar: 26gProtein: 3g