There’s nothing better than ending the night around a campfire with some gooey warm chocolate right? You can’t go wrong with the traditional toasted marshmallow s’more when camping, but when you’re ready to take it up a notch, surprise your crew with these dutch oven brownies. They’re super easy to make using just 4 ingredients (including a box mix) and require very little work for a ton of delicious payoff.
I love using the boxed brownie mix because it’s so easy, but also honestly because it’s delicious. Homemade is great, but there’s nothing wrong with working smarter, not harder.
What you’ll need:
- Boxed Brownie Mix – I used the Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge, but there are a bunch of options that would be delicious.
- Vegetable Oil – It helps to coat the bottom and sides of the cast iron with some oil before you begin. I use a couple tablespoons and rub it around with a paper towel to cover evenly. You’ll also need some for the brownie mix.
- Water – Amount indicated on boxed mix
- Eggs – 2 large eggs – I stash them in an empty peanut butter jar in the cooler so they don’t get crushed or crack them ahead of time and use a small mason jar that seals water-tight
- Dutch Oven – I use the 10-inch cast iron Lodge Camp Dutch Oven
- Charcoal – Whatever type you prefer, about 20-25 briquettes
Add the dry mix to the dutch oven that you’ve oiled, then add in the eggs, oil and water to a well in the middle.
Then just mix it all together! So easy!! Sure, you could mix this in a bowl then dump it in, but I’ve found that it’s totally unnecessary and just makes more mess to clean up. Stir all of the ingredients together using a rubber spoon or scraper so you get all of the dry bits off the bottom and sides.
From here you have options – if your charcoal is already ready, put the lid on and start baking. You’ll end up with more fudgy chewy brownies.
If you haven’t started the charcoal yet, or if you like more cakey brownies, let it sit like this for about 20-30 minutes before you start baking. The batter will rise just a little and the end result is more like a chocolate cake texture with the joyous brownie crispy edges. Eat as-is or if you want to go all-out spread on some icing!
Once your charcoal is grey and hot, add 6-7 coals under the dutch oven, then spread about 15 coals on the lid. This should give you roughly a 350-375 degree “oven”. If it’s super cold or windy, try adding 1-2 more to the lid.
I’ve found that I do tend to get hot spots with the bottom coals, so rotate the dutch oven every 5 minutes or so to avoid burning.
Pro Tip: Most of the time if we haven’t started the fire yet I’ll use the fire pit at campgrounds for the charcoal and dutch oven, but this last trip all we had was a grill. Fortunately, this one had a metal plate on one side so it worked really well.
If you aren’t so lucky and the grate doesn’t go low enough, try laying down a few layers of aluminum foil on the grate to hold the charcoal and balance the dutch oven legs as best you can.
I used the more cake-like plan and these took about 20 minutes of baking to come out nice and crispy on the edges and soft and gooey in the middle. Start checking on it around 15 minutes but try to not open the lid too often as that’s what keeps you’re “oven” hot.
Let the brownies rest for a couple of minutes when they’re done, then enjoy next to a cozy campfire with some good friends… just make sure you get up for seconds before they’re gone!