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December 21, 2020 5 min read

Our Dutch oven chili con carne is a deliciously meaty recipe packed with tasty kidney beans and spicy chipotle peppers!

This is classic chili con carne, and cooking your spicy chili in a Dutch oven allows you to slowly simmer and stew the ingredients to bring out the bold chili flavors ultimately. And when we say slowly, we mean super slow because this is a Dutch oven chili recipe that needs at least 3 hours of cooking time to get the desired chili temperature and flavor!

Prepare this recipe in the kitchen using an enameled dutch oven, or you can turn this into a campfire chili con carne by cooking this recipe up in a camping dutch oven.

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Dutch oven chili con carne recipe FAQ

Dutch oven chili con carne takes a long time to cook in the oven, but this is one recipe that’s always worth the extra time to get just right. It’s also worth reading our FAQ below to find out a few tips and tricks that will help you perfect your chili con carne cooking skills!

Keep reading for the answers to the most commonly asked questions about Dutch oven chili con carne!

How can I make Dutch oven chili con carne on the campfire?

Dutch oven chili con carne is one of the best recipes to prepare over the campfire. In fact, we’d say camping chili is unbeatable! There’s just something so peaceful about sitting around the campfire and enjoying nature that sets the perfect tune for chili!

Before you start planning your campfire cooking, though, make sure you have a camping dutch oven rather than an enameled Dutch oven. While enameled Dutch ovens are perfect for cooking up chili con carne when you’re at home, they are a little more delicate than camping Dutch ovens. In the campsite, the enamel can chip off, so it’s best to use more traditional cast iron! 

You’ll need to make sure you have plenty of hot embers and coals for cooking the chili over too. Set up a campfire and heat up charcoals for the quickest results. Make sure you have plenty of red hot coals, so you can bury your Dutch oven in the embers and surround it with an even heat. 

To make things easier for you at the campsite, here are a few of our top campfire chili preparation tips: 

  • Keep your meat in a resealable container, and better yet, in a cool box, for the freshest chili con carne.
  • Keep your spices and herbs all mixed together in a resealable bag, rather than carrying lots of different spice jars to the campsite with you. 
  • Prepare your vegetables before you leave to save time and space. Keep them in a coolbox, too.
  • If you don’t have much time, you can brown your beef and soften your vegetables at home before adding them to the Dutch oven when you’re at the campsite. 
  • Ensure your campfire charcoals or embers are red hot before cooking (we aren’t going to be cooking over open flames, but rather, we use the embers for heat). 
  • Bring firelights to get the fire started!
  • Try to use existing fire pits or scorched ground, rather than burning up new ground at the campsite. 
  • If you’re collecting firewood locally, check that you’re allowed because specific campsites might have restrictions if you’re in protected areas. 

And how long to simmer chili in the campfire? Just like at home, you’re going to want to simmer your chili in the campfire for at least 3 hours for the tastiest results!

What to serve with chili con carne?

Chili con carne is excellent to eat on its own with a few green onions to garnish, but it’s a lot better (and a lot more filling) if you’ve got a few sides to go with it.

One of the best side dishes is cornbread. Dutch oven chili and cornbread is a southern staple, and even if you’re out camping, you can bake cornbread up over the campfire too. 

And what to serve with chili and cornbread? Well, Dutch oven chili and cornbread goes great with a little green and leafy salad! Add cheese for a melted finish. 

Serve with rice, yogurt, or sour cream. 

Here are a few of our top serving suggestions:

  • Dutch oven chili cornbread with melted cheese and brown rice
  • Dutch oven chili cornbread with extra jalapenos, guacamole, and a side salad
  • Dutch oven chili con carne with oven (or campfire) baked potatoes and melted cheese
  • Chili con carne burritos, fajitas, or enchiladas
  • Chili con carne over baked tortilla chips, with melted cheese and salsa
  • Chili con carne served with roasted vegetables

Do I have to cook ground beef?

Any classic chili recipe (Dutch oven cooked, of course) will call for ground beef as the prime, meaty ingredient. You can, however, easily vary the recipe by adding in different types of meat too. Just make sure you’re using ground meat for the best results.

Here are a few meaty suggestions:

  • Dutch oven chicken chili
  • Dutch oven turkey chili
  • Dutch oven chili with Italian sausage
  • Dutch oven chili with venison
  • Dutch oven chili with Quorn mince (vegetarian option)

How spicy is chili con carne? 

In terms of spice, this chili heat can be as hot as you like! Dutch oven chili recipes (beef or chicken or veggie etc.) can all be made as hot and spicy as you want with the addition of chipotle peppers.

You can also add spice by mixing in chili powder or cayenne pepper powder to the recipe. Fresh jalapenos to serve are a great addition, too!

How long to cook chili con carne? 

Remember that this chili is best simmered in the oven or over the campfire. This recipe takes time, but the longer you simmer it, the more flavor and taste you’re going to bring to the table. 

You need a minimum of 3 hours simmering time in a good chili temperature, but if you want a thicker chili, consider leaving it to cook for an extra 30 minutes to an hour.

How do you like our Dutch oven chili con carne recipe?

This is a super easy recipe to put together, but it does take a long time to bring out the best flavors and thicken the sauce when you’re cooking chili in a Dutch oven. But it’s well worth the wait!

While your chili is cooking, though, you can prepare a few sides to go with it or just relax in your living room. Campfire Dutch oven chili is just as easy to prepare too, and it gives you a deliciously filling meal to fuel your backwoods adventures!

Will you be making Dutch oven chili con carne? Why not bookmark our baked chili recipe to help you satisfy your next chili cravings? 



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