The American Dutch oven has changed over time during the colonial era.  Changes included a shallower pot, legs to hold the oven above the coals, and a lid flange to keep the coals on the lid and out of the food.

Many articles have been written about the origin, development, and use of the Dutch oven in past years, and these provide many interesting moments of reading. For our purpose we want to recognize that the Dutch oven came to this country in its early years of development, and it was an item of great use in preparing pleasant, nourishing meals for thousands of people. As settlers moved across our land, this cooking utensil was probably the most important one on the wagon or pack animal.  Colonists and settlers valued the Dutch oven because of its versatility and durability.

Through the years, many hunters, fishermen, ranchers, trappers, Scouts and campers of all styles have found the Dutch oven a most useful utensil. Probably your most versatile cooking tool, it can be used for frying, browning, steaming, stewing and baking. Most anything that can be cooked in or on your kitchen stove at home can be cooked in the Dutch oven in your camp.  It is also possible to stack Dutch ovens, helping to conserve heat that would normally rise from the hot coals on top.  These stacks can be as high as 5 or 6 pots.

Photo by Ed Gage: Scouts at Ben Delatour Scout Ranch enjoying dutch oven treats from the Chuck Wagon program.

Most Scouts and Scouters have enjoyed meals from Dutch ovens.  Cooking in a Dutch oven around a campfire is a typical scene at a Boy Scout camp out.  From breakfast, lunch and dinner to dessert, you can’t go wrong when cooking in a Dutch oven.

To pay homage to this great American legacy, the Longs Peak Council has The Chuck Wagon program at the Ben Delatour Scout Ranch designed to share the art of cooking from a Dutch Oven.  Check it out on the camp’s Facebook page at

Buffalo Red
Red works at Pelican Lakes Country Club Golf Course for the Greater Denver Area Recreational Facilities and Services. For more than 30 years he has been a volunteer Scouter in Longs Peak Council, BSA working as Camps Commissioner. If you like his cooking, he has assembled 13 cookbooks printed by Morris Press Cook Books out of Kearney, NE. An annual project, each year is different, with 95 percent new recipes. Cost is $15.00 each and covers postage and the cost of the cookbooks plus a few dollars for our food budget. Contact him if you want a copy

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