Camp Dutch Oven Beef Stew Recipe | The Perfect Campfire Comfort Food

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  January 5, 2021

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When it comes to camping, beef stew is a comforting recipe that makes the perfect end to a day out in nature.

The hearty beef, the nutritious vegetables, and the warm broth make for a meal that is both filling and nurturing.

With a Dutch oven being one of the most common pieces of equipment used to cook foods on camping trips, you want to make sure the recipe you are using works well when prepared in this tool.

Camp Dutch Oven beef stew

With this in mind, here is a camp Dutch oven beef stew recipe your whole crew is sure to enjoy.

What is a Dutch Oven and How Do You Use It?

Since you will be making this recipe with a Dutch oven, it’s imperative that you understand what a Dutch oven is and how to use one.

The kicker is, a Dutch oven isn’t an oven at all.

Rather, it’s a heavy cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid. It’s good for braising, making stews and soups and it’s ideal for slow cooking.

Dutch ovens are typically made of cast iron. Therefore, they can take a long time to get hot.

But once they get hot, they retain heat for a long time.

A Dutch oven can be placed on a stovetop to fry or heat food or it can be put in an oven for heating and baking.

If you are using it for camping, you will be heating the food in it over charcoal or fire.

If this is the case, you will want to take a tripod with you. The tripod will hold the pot over the fire so it’s not directly on top of it.

This Stansport Cast Iron Camping Tripod is a good choice if you’re still in the market for one.

Tripod for camp dutch oven cooking

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You can adjust the tripod to raise and lower the pot so it’s closer or further away from the heat. This will help your meal achieve the perfect temperature.

When cooking with a Dutch oven, it’s a good idea to wear gloves for heat protection. This will prevent burns when you are raising and lowering the pot and adding food.

I like these durable Leather Outdoor Cooking Gloves for Dutch Oven cooking adventures.

Tips for Making Fire for the Dutch Oven

You can cook your food over coals or firewood.

If you are planning on using firewood you find at the site, make sure the wood you are using is food-safe. It should not contain any chemicals.

Also, the wood should not be wet or it won’t burn.

It’s ideal if your camping site has firewood available that is safe for cooking.

Also read: How do you store wood for smoking? Guide to proper wood storage.

When lighting the fire, don’t use a lighter that has lighter fluid. The fluid will have chemicals that can get into food and contaminate it.

Stack your logs in a place where they will stay dry and position them in a teepee pattern. This will be best for heating food evenly without producing any cold spots.

While cooking food, be sure to keep moving wood around and adding pieces to ensure the fire keeps burning hot.

This may sound like a no-brainer but when you’re involved with cooking, it can be easy to neglect the fire and allow it to go out.

Now, without further ado, here’s the recipe.

Dutch oven beef stew recipe

Camp Dutch Oven Beef Stew

Joost Nusselder
When it comes to camping, beef stew is a comforting recipe that makes the perfect end to a day out in nature. The hearty beef, the nutritious vegetables, and the warm broth make for a meal that is both filling and nurturing.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people


  • Camp Dutch Oven


  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 2 lbs. beef stew meat cut into chunks
  • 1 onion cut into chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 10 0z cans condensed beef broth
  • Water as needed
  • 6 small potatoes cut into chunks
  • 3 carrots cut into chunks


  • Heat oil in Dutch oven. Then add beef and heat for 10 -15 minutes until it’s brown on all sides.
  • Add onion and garlic. Heat about five minutes until they begin to soften. Add salt and pepper. Stir in tomato sauce so ingredients are coated.
  • Sprinkle flour over the mixture tossing to ensure ingredients are coated. Make sure flour is absorbed. Then add beef broth and water as needed until the liquid level is one inch above the meat.
  • Cover and cook until beef is tender, about one hour.
  • Stir in carrots and potatoes and cook until tender, approximately an additional 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

It will take a while to prepare the stew and get the pot to the appropriate temperature. Therefore, it’s best to start the stew before you set up camp.

This recipe features vegetables that are pretty standard for beef stew.

However, you can add any vegetables or additional ingredients you desire. Root vegetables like rutabaga and parsnips or greens like peas and green beans will make great alternatives.

The flour is an optional ingredient. It will make the broth rich and thick but the stew will taste great without it as well.

So if you are looking for a gluten-free option for the stew, simply leave out the flour, or replace it with rice flour.

Now that you know how to make a tasty beef stew, you are ready for your next camping adventure.

What are your favorite dishes to prepare when you’re out in nature?

Craving dessert? Go for this Delicious & Easy Camp Dutch Oven Apple Crisp Recipe

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.