Teardrop camping and Dutch oven cooking go together like peanut butter and jelly. I had never cooked with a Dutch oven before getting a teardrop and seeing the pros at the various gatherings tackle the heavy cast iron pots. The cooking method was clinched for me while on a trip to Zion National Park. A nice couple with a vintage canned ham trailer were in the process of making a divine beef stew over the fire and as I watched them top the stew with homemade biscuits, I was hooked.
I'm still a Dutch oven novice and have not done any cooking using briquettes. When we go camping with our other teardrop friends, we only use coals from the fire to keep from having to bring all the briquette cooking accoutrements. We make the process easier and safer by placing both the coals and the Dutch oven in a galvanized steel pan. Other Dutch oven necessities are aluminum foil, a shovel for digging out coals, a pair of welding gloves to lift up hot, heavy pots and of course, a lid lifter.
While we do some experimenting with Dutch oven cooking, we do tend to gravitate toward the same couple of recipes. These are my five personal favorites:
Dutch Oven Quiche
This is a super simple dish for both breakfast and dinner. You will need a Dutch oven large enough to fit your pie crust, but you can just leave it in its original tin. You can also make the quiche in aluminum foil right in the oven (see photo above). I got this recipe from the Texas Park & Wildlife video on Dutch oven cooking.
Dutch Oven Pizza
This is my all-time favorite teardrop dinner. I got the recipe from fellow teardroppers, Dean and Joannie's YouTube channel, Outdoor Cast Iron Cooking. They have a ton of great recipes and videos on how to make some really tasty cast iron dishes. We use their pizza recipe over and over again. The parchment paper and corn meal are essential.
Dutch Oven Lasagna
This is another Dean and Joannie recipe that takes a little longer to make, but is so tasty and filling, especially when you are camping in the cold. It creates a lot of liquid, so I tend to use less cheese and drain out the meat.
Another recipe by Outdoor Cast Iron Cook is Dean's Mountain Man breakfast, which I've had with him on the California coast and it was the perfect breakfast for a chilly, foggy morning. We've done several variations of this recipe with different meats and veggies.
Dutch Oven Chuck Wagon Casserole
Can you tell I lean toward classic Western cowboy dishes? The Chuck Wagon Casserole with corn, chilis and cornbread is the quintessential Dutch oven dish and is quick to make. I got the recipe from Dutch Oven Dude. In fact, any kind of casserole does well in a Dutch oven. Experiment.
We've learned a few things while teardropping and Dutch oven cooking: this type of cooking takes longer than you think it will, especially when it's cold out, so be sure to have some appetizers while waiting. Also, when you start smelling your dish, it's ready. Remove it from the coals and check it to make sure it doesn't get burned.
There's a learning curve that comes with Dutch oven cooking, and it takes some practice with different recipes to get the hang of it.