Travel and trips for most everyone this summer are canceled, and I don’t know about everyone else but our summer plans (or lack thereof) kind of have me down in the dumps.
Don’t get me wrong, we are pretty much homebodies in my family and are not totally minding all the staying at home.
One exception is that we basically live for our family road trip in the summer. We love to rent a small cabin on a lake or river or even do some camping.
And you know what is not canceled right now? Camping, that’s what!
If you are looking at doing some camping this summer (like we are), then you need these dutch oven roasted potatoes in your life. There is really nothing like sitting by the campfire at night and star gazing.
And add to that these scrumptious dutch oven potatoes that go so well alongside any other camping food and you truly have heaven.
Let’s start with a few basics.
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What is a dutch oven?
The dutch oven is a really versatile outdoor cooking tool used for making pretty much anything you can make in a regular oven. They come in all sizes but the one we are using for this post is this one. You can really use any size you want but the key is that the dutch oven is footed and has a flanged lid (fancy way of saying the lid has a lip around the top allowing coals to be placed there).
How do you cook outside with a dutch oven?
There are many different ways to cook with a dutch oven outside. I have a couple favorite methods and one of them uses just simple foil on the ground with coals placed on it and it is outlined in this post.
For these potatoes, I use a simple grate placed over the campfire and then we put hot coals on top of the lid. We used a mixture of hot coals from the wood in the fire and actual heated charcoal.
You can also just apply heat from the bottom and not put coals on the top but doing both allows for more even distribution of heat and thus, more even cooking of whatever you have inside the dutch oven.
What materials do you need for campfire cooking with a dutch oven?
For the method described in this post (again, you can go here to see another really simple method), you need:
- dutch oven
- simple metal grate
- campfire or grill
- small shovel for moving hot coals
- dutch oven lid lifter or sturdy pliers
- dutch oven liners or parchment paper (optional)
I did not use parchment paper or dutch oven liners for this dutch oven roasted potato recipe, but I frequently do and they do make for much easier cleanup.
A Word About the Ingredients
I like using small assorted whole potatoes for this because the skin helps keep them from sticking. You could also use large potatoes (diced into about 1-inch pieces) but then I would definitely use parchment paper or liners in your dutch oven.
I used boiling onions for this recipe and they worked really great, but you could use chopped white or yellow onion. I would make the pieces big (about 1 inch) so they don’t cook too fast.
I used thick-cut bacon, cut in half and layered at the bottom which provides some of the fat. I also used avocado oil because it is a works great at high-temperatures and is healthy. You could omit the bacon and use a few tablespoons of bacon grease or additional oil (or other high-temp fat like canola oil or vegetable oil).
I love the combination of fresh rosemary and potatoes. However, you could use dried rosemary or really any fresh (or dried) herbs you like! For fresh rosemary, it is best to add it at the end so it does not burn (which can make it bitter).
How to make Dutch Oven Roasted Potatoes
First, prepare your campfire and place simple grate over the top. (You could also do this on a grill.)
While you are waiting for the fire to get good and hot, assemble the ingredients in the dutch oven.
First, layer the bacon on along the bottom of the dutch oven.
Next, mix the potatoes, onions, oil, salt, garlic powder, and pepper in a large bowl until they are evenly coated and pour into dutch oven on top of the bacon.
Then, place the lid on the dutch oven and sit the whole thing on the grate over the campfire. Using your small shovel, retrieve a few hot coals from the fire and place on the dutch oven lid.
They will need to cook for about 45 minutes. Be sure to hang out by the fire (it’s the best spot anyway), lifting the lid about every 10 minutes to turn the potatoes and ensure they are cooking evenly. If they are cooking too fast, you can move away from the heat or remove coals from the lid.
Also, you might need to add a little water towards the end to ensure the potatoes do not burn. (Adding about 1/4 cup water at a time starting after potatoes have been cooking about 30 minutes is recommended)
Add the chopped rosemary in the last 10 minutes of cooking. This ensures it does not burn which can make it bitter.
Serve warm alongside burgers, hotdogs, steaks or any other camping food!
Here’s the recipe! Happy campfire cooking!
Dutch Oven Potatoes
- traditional campfire dutch oven (footed on the bottom with a flanged lid, allowing coals to sit on top)
- campfire or grill
- simple metal grate for placing over fire
- Dutch Oven lifter (or tool pliers)
- tongs or small shovel for moving hot coals
- Dutch oven liners or parchment paper (optional but makes clean up easier)
- 4 cups small whole potatoes
- 1 cup boiling onions or pearl onions
- 5 pieces bacon, thick-cut; sliced in half
- 3 tbsp avocado oil, or any oil with high smoke point
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp rosemary, chopped
- Prepare campfire (or grill) and place grate over the top.
- While campfire is getting good and hot, assemble the potatoes in the dutch oven.
- First, line the bacon slices in the bottom of the dutch oven.
- In a large bowl, mix the potatoes, onions, oil, salt and garlic powder until incorporated.
- Pour potato mixture into dutch oven on top of bacon.
- Put the lid on the dutch oven.
- Place the dutch oven on the grate over the campfire (or grill).
- Using tongs or a small shovel, add 5-10 hot coals on top of the dutch oven lid.
- Cook for approximately 45 minutes, lifting the lid (with lifter) about every 10 minutes to turn potatoes.
- You might need to add about a 1/4 cup water towards the end to ensure they continue to cook without burning.
- Add chopped rosemary in the last 10 minutes and turn to incorporate.
- Remove lid and serve warm or room temperature alongside steaks, burgers or anything!
- Can use dried rosemary or any fresh herbs you like (add rosemary at the end so it does not burn and get bitter).
- Can use any oil/fat you like but be sure it is a high-temperature friendly oil.
- Can use diced potatoes and diced onions in place of small, whole ones but be sure to cut into large pieces (at least an inch).
- Can use a grill instead of campfire, just set the dutch oven on the grill grate and place a few coals from the fire on top.
- We used a mixture of heated charcoal and wood coals from the fire, but you could use one or the other – the key is applying consistent heat from the top and bottom.