Remember working on your cooking Merit Badge . . . planning a menu for two days of camping. Preparing a camp dinner with soup, meat, fish or poultry or cooking a one-pot meal that would use foods other than just canned goods. What fun it was testing your culinary abilities and learning the fine art of Dutch oven cooking. And, discovering . . . yes I can make a great meal in a Dutch oven.

Dutch ovens go back to the old days of campfire cooking. A camping Dutch oven has three legs, a wire bail handle and a slightly concave, rimmed lid so that coals can be placed on top as well as below. This provides more uniform heat and lets the inside act as an oven. And although it may seem like a cooking method of the past, cooking with Dutch ovens is absolutely incredible! You can easily cook just about anything in a Dutch oven and all the meals are simply delicious. Why not cook your Thanksgiving turkey in a Dutch oven . . . or what about turkey leftovers? Check out the following recipes for simple and delicious Dutch oven meals. Happy Turkey Day and Bon Appetit from the Boy Scouts!

Herb Roasted Turkey


1 15 lb. turkey
1 onion quartered
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic; sliced
6 cloves garlic; pressed
1 cup water

Basting Sauce
½ cup melted butter
1 tsp. dried mint leaves
½ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. dried sage
½ tsp. dried marjoram
½ tsp. basil
1 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Rinse turkey, making sure it is thawed completely. Pat dry. Twist wings in behind. Place quartered onion, bay leaf, and sliced garlic in the cavity of turkey. Rub pressed garlic all over the outside skin of turkey. Pace the turkey in a 15” deep Dutch oven. Pour 1 cup of warm water into bottom of Dutch oven. Cover and cook using 15-18 charcoal briquettes on bottom and 24-28 charcoal briquettes on top.

Prepare basting sauce in a small dish by adding melted butter and herbs. Stir until well blended.  Brush turkey with basting sauce often while the turkey cooks. Replace coals every 50-60 minutes until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast meat reaches 170° F.

Place potatoes in bottom of Dutch oven around the turkey about one hour before turkey is to be done. When potatoes are cooked, remove them from the dutch oven and mash them with butter and milk. Season with salt and pepper.

When turkey is done remove it from the Dutch oven. Increase briquettes on bottom of Dutch oven to 28. Add 2 Tbs. cornstarch to 1/2 cup water and stir until dissolved. Whisk cornstarch mixture into drippings in Dutch oven. Stir until mixture comes to a boil. Season gravy with salt and pepper. Enjoy! Serves: 12+

Any Turkey Leftovers? What about a delicious casserole?

Dutch Oven Turkey and Rice Casserole
1/2 lb. bacon; cut into ½” pieces
2 cups long grain white rice or wild rice
4 cups diced cooked turkey
1 large yellow onion; diced
1 ½ cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
4 cloves garlic; minced
2 -10 oz cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups water
2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
¾ tsp.poultry seasoning
½ tsp. paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Fry bacon in a 12" Dutch oven using 22-24 briquettes bottom heat until crisp. Add white or wild rice and continue cooking until rice is slightly toasted. Add turkey, onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, garlic, cream of chicken soup, water, and seasonings. Stir to mix completely. Bring contents to a boil then cover and bake for 60-90 minutes using 10-12 briquettes bottom and 14-16 briquettes top heat. When rice is tender sprinkle cheese over the top then replace lid and let stand for 5 minutes until cheese is melted. Enjoy! Serves: 10-12

Do you like Dutch oven cooking? Would you enjoy getting more Dutch oven recipes and cooking tips? Let us know – we want to year from you.

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