Dutch Oven Stack




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By Tracy Williams  

The most impressive cooking I have ever demonstrated was a stacked Dutch Oven meal. You will need three Dutch Ovens. The bottom one is a 14" Dutch Oven, then you can use a 12" and a 10" oven. Have a good amount of charcoal going.

In the bottom oven, layer sliced thin skinned potatoes (skin and all), sliced onions, and raw bacon. When the oven is about 3/4 full, put the lid on and add a layer of charcoal to the lid. Cover the top with charcoal. Put the 12" oven on top of the bottom oven.

When the second oven is hot, put in about 2 pounds of hamburger meat (coarsely ground ok). Stir until no longer pink. Add a large can of tomatoes (we like the Rotel brand). Also add chili powder, salt, and pepper. Stir in a can of chili beans like Ranch Style beans. Put the lid on and add a layer of coals to the lid.

In the top oven, put one of the cake mix cobblers. A favorite is the apple pie filling, spice cake mix, and a Dr. Pepper or root beer. I prefer to line this Dutch Oven with foil. I don't like scrubbing off the crusty sugary remains. Add the lid and put some coals on top.

The following information is based solely on my own experience. Your mileage may vary.

Supplies Needed

bulletPotatoes Onion Bacon 12" Dutch Oven
bulletHamburger Canned Beans Chili Seasoning Canned Tomatoes
bulletTomato Sauce 12" Dutch Oven
bullet2 Cans Peaches in Heavy Syrup 2 Boxes Jiffy Cake Mix
bulletCan Sprite Cinnamon 8" Dutch Oven Aluminum Foil
bulletCharcoal Charcoal Chimney Newspaper Matches


1. Fill charcoal chimney with charcoal. Crumple newspaper and fill bottom of chimney with crumpled newspaper. Light newspaper with matches. Allow to burn for 10 minutes.

2. Prepare potatoes by washing and slicing the potatoes. I prefer to buy thin skinned potatoes and leave skins on. Slice onions. Layer potatoes, raw bacon, and onion in 12" Dutch Oven. You may salt and pepper potatoes or add other spices if desired.

3. Pour out about 1/3 of the charcoal into firepit. Place Dutch Oven filled with potatoes on top of coals. Pour remaining coals onto top of Dutch Oven. Refill chimney with charcoal and newspaper. Light and allow to burn for 10 minutes.

4. Place another 12" Dutch Oven on top of potatoes. Put hamburger meat into Dutch Oven. Stir as hamburger meat cooks. Dice onions and add to meat. When meat has browned, add tomatoes, sauce, cans of beans, and spices. While simmering without the lid, complete the following step.

5. Line 8" Dutch Oven with foil. Open cans of peaches. Drain one can and pour both into foil lined Dutch Oven. Sprinkle cake mix over the peaches. Open can of Sprite. Pour about half of the can over the cake mix. Sprinkle all with cinnamon. Put on lid.

6. Put the lid onto the chili. Pour about 1/3 of the charcoal onto the lid of the Dutch Oven filled with chili. Put the Dutch oven containing the peach cobbler on top of the chili. Pour the remaining coals on top.

7. Allow the cobbler to cook for about 30 minutes.

After the last Dutch Oven has been cooking for about 30 minutes, the entire stack will be done. Un-stack them. Serve the chili and potatoes (I know it is an odd combo, but it works) and leave the cobbler with the lid on. By the time they are done with the main dish, open the cobbler and it is ready to serve.

It is a great meal for about 6 people and is a great tasting amount for about 25 people. It really impresses leaders that don't do much DO cooking and astounds new leaders that haven't done any campfire cooking. You can cover a lot of Dutch Oven basics at the same time. There is a skill book available at the Scout shop that deals with just cooking. It is available as a hole punched set of papers and you put it in a notebook. Great basic resource. 

If you are lucky enough to have leftover potatoes, add eggs to them the next morning for the best breakfast tacos you have ever had.

 Outdoor Skills






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Last modified: October 15, 2016.