Chilli cookingin the dutch oven

Cheats Campfire Chilli

Cheats Campfire Chilli

Posted by Gav Grayston.
First Published Oct 2013; updated May 2023.

Here's a cheat guide to campfire chilli—a quick, minimal prep over the campfire and in a Dutch Oven. You could even get away with minimal washing up too.

Picture a nice hot chilli bubbling over the campfire.  Now what if I told you that it only takes a minute of preparation (if that) at the campsite?

Cheats campfire chilli

So the clue to this is in the title: CHEATS campfire chilli.

We've done this a few times, especially when staying at a campsite for a few nights.

The chilli cooks in our Dutch Oven. This can either cook with the lid on, with the pot down in the fire embers or over charcoal, or it can hang from our tripod over the campfire (see here fore more details on our tripod).

The chilli also works well at helping our coolbox stay cooler for a few days.

Yep, I bet you've guessed it.

The chilli is cooked at home, frozen, and brought to camp.  Well, I did say it's 'Cheats' campfire chilli.

Why Cheat?

We like cooking at camp, but sometimes there's too much to see and do.

This solution not only saves time at camp but it also provides an extra-large ice block for the coolbox. This is why we often do this when staying for more than one night at a campsite.

By the second night, the chilli has just started to thaw - though we've found with our big Coleman Xtreme coolbox, the chilli is still frozen and only getting damp around the edges.

We've also found that chilli freezes and re-heats well.

Heating the Cheats Campfire Chilli

So as mentioned, we use the Dutch Oven.

If you reheat your chilli in something like the Dutch Oven, put the frozen/semi-frozen chilli in the pot when the pot is still cold. Don't put cold things into a hot cast-iron pot as you could cause the iron to split, shatter, or even explode.

It's not no-cooking

So you could sit back in your chair, open a beer/cider/wine/whatever-you-fancy, and serve with nachos, tacos, or tortilla wraps for a night off.....but where's the fun in that?

For a bit of simple cooking, try campfire baked potatoes. These go well with the chilli.

If the kids are restless, why not get them to cook some bread twists over the fire. These are easy to do. See details here.

How about no washing up too?

If you really must take it easy, then how about this for a suggestion: tacos in a bag...No Washing Up! 😀

So there you have it.

You can sit back and enjoy a campfire meal, the kids can have fun, and you have little to do.

Sounds good to me 😉