How to Make a Dutch Oven for Camping
One of the most enjoyable elements of camping is eating a meal prepared and cooked outdoors. Cooking gear is sold by many camping supply companies, but fashioning your own is a treat. One of the items that campers can make is a dutch oven. A dutch oven is not difficult to make and with it you can bake biscuits, cakes, cupcakes, rolls and other dishes.
As the first meal of the day, breakfast is important nutritionally. When camping, breakfast becomes even more special. Waking up to the smell of a fresh pot of coffee and eggs with bacon, ham or steak is a royal feast for the senses. With a dutch oven, you can cook all those items plus rolls, biscuits or even muffins.
Fashioning a dutch oven is simple and can be done with a large tin can or with tin foil, sticks and twine or vines.
• Using a tin can, it should be the large size; if you have a square five gallon size, all the better.
• Using a can opener or camper's knife with an opener, cut open one end of the can a full 180 degrees, half the circumference of one end. If it's a square can, cut it so you can open up a flap large enough to fit your hand and the food items in.
• Poke a hole at the top on each end so you can insert a long stick through the can from front to back. When you need to remove the oven, poke the stick through from front to back as a handle to pick up the can. Be careful, of course, to avoid the sharp edges.
That's your dutch oven!
Using large rocks, create an area in the fire where you can place the oven over the fire without actually lying in the fire. Place the rolls, pie or cake to be baked inside the oven. Carefully close the flap and place your oven on the rocks.
The more creative way is to make a square oven with tin foil, sticks and twine or vines.
• Using stiff sticks that are at least 1/2 inch thick, make a three dimensional box, lashing the sticks together with twine, string or strong, green vines. That is, a six-sided square box wide enough to hold whatever you're going to bake with a little extra room. Make the top front and top rear sticks longer so you have handles to pick up the oven without burning your hands.
• Take heavy duty tin foil and wrap it around the box on all sides. Wrap it several times to prevent flames from reaching the twine on the inside. It should be a snug fit all around.
• When you've wrapped it completely, making sure the handle sticks are on top, pick one of the two ends to be the front side. Cut three sides of that front panel of the box open to make a flap that opens like a garage door. That will be your oven door.
• With five sides tightly sealed and the front side having the garage door panel that can be folded up and then down to fully enclose the inner space, you have your oven!
Cooking times may vary from the recipe, so be sure to check on your breakfast rolls often. Once you make your first oven, you'll never enjoy a camp breakfast again without it.