Baking - Dutch Oven Cooking - The Frugal Homestead

Dutch Oven Baking on a Wood Burning Stove

Dutch Oven Baking On A Wood Burning Stove
Dutch Oven Baking On A Wood Burning Stove

Dutch Oven Baking on Your Wood Stove

Baking in a Dutch Oven on your wood-burning stove is a great way to use your ‘free’ source of heat and make some delicious food while you are at it! You can use a Dutch oven to make a wide range of baked goods in your oven, on a wood stove, or on a campfire. It does take a little getting used to, so try this when you have some time to experiment.

If you have an old-fashioned wood cook stove with an oven you can use it to bake bread, cakes, and pies a bit more easily than in a Dutch oven on the stovetop. There is still a learning curve and you may wish to invest in an oven thermometer.

Read more about it in my post on How to Cook with a Wood Stove.

If you don’t have an oven in your woodstove, you can use a Dutch oven on the stovetop as long as it is flat and large enough for the oven.

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Cooking in a Dutch Oven

I like cooking in a Dutch oven when we have a campfire in our backyard. A nice bed of coals is necessary to get the best results. If you try this, place the food in the Dutch oven, place it on the coals, and pile hot coals on top to cook everything evenly.

There are oven boxes you can set on top of your woodstove for more even heat distribution for baking. You can also use a Dutch oven, like the one in the top center of this photo.

cast iron
An assortment of cast iron, including Dutch ovens, on display at the Autumn Pioneer Festival in Belvidere, Illinois.

Baking in the Dutch Oven

I enjoy using my Dutch oven for baking on the woodstove, but it has been a learning experience. Here are some things that are helpful if you try this.

Tips For Baking In A Dutch Oven On The Wood Stove

  • Preheat the Dutch oven on top of the woodstove
  • Set the lid next to the Dutch oven on the woodstove to preheat
  • Use a trivet or air bake cookie sheet under footless Dutch ovens
  • Make sure your pan will fit inside the oven if you are using one
  • Keep the wood stove burning evenly
  • Use an oven thermometer to test the temp before adding food
  • Stay close to the stove in case food starts to burn
  • Keep oven mitts handy
  • For moist foods, leave the lid slightly ajar to allow moisture to escape

Preheat the Dutch oven and lid separately. Set the lid on the top of the wood stove, next to the Dutch oven so that it heats up as much as the bottom. Place an oven thermometer inside the Dutch oven prior to adding the food to check the temperature. Place the preheated lid on top and wait a few minutes, then check the thermometer to make sure the temp is about right.

Granola in my Dutch oven

Start Out With An Easy Recipe

For your first attempt at baking in a Dutch oven on your wood stove, try something fairly easy. Make a batch of Maple Walnut Granola and leave the lid of the oven off to allow moisture to evaporate. Stir occasionally to prevent it from burning.

More easy projects to learn with… Dutch Oven Popcorn and Dutch Oven French Bread!

Cornbread in the Dutch oven, cooling on my range.

Next, Try An Intermediate Recipe

Once you’ve got the hang of it with a few simple baking projects, try something a bit harder like a batch of cornbread, a cut-up chicken or a loaf of quick bread.

Use a pan placed inside the Dutch oven after it has been preheated. Place a trivet or air-bake cookie sheet under the Dutch oven as an added measure to prevent scorching.

If the food you are baking is quite moist and you would like a crusty loaf, for example, you’ll need to leave the lid slightly ajar to allow the moisture to evaporate.

Random Acts of Kindness from the Homestead
Try baking bread in your Dutch oven!

More Advanced Baking Adventures

Before you know it, you’ll be ready to try baking a loaf of whole wheat bread, a pie, or other foods that can be a bit trickier. I’m still experimenting with these advanced baking projects and I’ll update this post when I have more info to share.

Remember to follow the tips I shared at the beginning of the post to increase your successful baking adventures with your Dutch oven!

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Dutch Oven Baking On A Wood Burning Stove

31 Comments on “Dutch Oven Baking on a Wood Burning Stove

    1. Hi Sharon,
      I have not tried this with an enamel Dutch oven so I can’t say from experience. However, it seems likely that you would use the same instructions. My only concern would be whether this could cause any problems with the enamel coating. Please check the manufacturer’s instructions before trying it! And if you do, please stop back and share your experience. 🙂
      I hope this is helpful… Lisa

  1. I lived in Idaho for years and we always cooked on top of the wood stove. But I now live in Texas and we recently had an “Idaho” cold front come in (12°). I was in the middle of moving and luckily the house i was staying in had a wood stove. I made a Shepards pie and was going to put it in my toaster oven (that I forgot to pack and bring to the house). Thought for sure I was going to have to just throw it away…but came across your post about the Dutch oven. I didn’t have one of them but your post got my mind to thinking. My Shepard pie was in a glass cake pan, I put it on a trivot on top of the wood stove and found another metal pan large enough to put over top of the glass pan and sit directly on the stove top. INSTANT OVEN!
    It worked great and was something in the 20+ years in Idaho I had never tried. Thanks for your inspiration to get my mind going and figure this out. I will be doing this a lot more in the future.

    1. That’s great, Sherrilyn! I’m glad this was helpful! In the future, I would try a metal cake pan on a trivet… just in case the glass pan could break from a quick change in temperature.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing a link to my article, Laurie! I’m looking forward to reading your post. 🙂

  2. This is great!
    We’ve always cooked with wood, but never cooked on it.

    Two yrs ago we bought our first cast iron Dutch oven, and use it regularly over the fire. We love what comes out of it! It’s our Friday evening family tradition.

    This…we will need to try.

    Currently, we don’t have a wood stove, because we are RVing it for awhile, but when our cabin gets finished, this would be a perfect way to get to use our Dutch oven when it’s too cold/wet to sit around a fire outside!

    We have don’t Dutch oven cooking on our rv gad stove. Works. But you don’t get that wood stove/fire taste. Maybe it’s the smoke, LOL!

    1. Hi Laurie,
      Best wishes with builing your cabin! I bet it is fun and challenging to live in an RV and homestead…I look forward to reading more about your adventures!

      I think you might be right about the wood smoke. 🙂 I love cooking in my Dutch oven!

  3. Instead of an engagement ring, my husband bought me a small wood stove with a cook top.

    To fry eggs in (enamelled) cast iron, heat the skillet first, then add butter until it sizzles ….. & then break the eggs into the skillet ….. so that they don’t stick! After initial heating, placing the skillet up on egg rings (Australia)/trivet prevents overheating. Also, using a lid/enamel plate helps create the steam that cooks so well!

    I also have a spun steel camp oven. If I use round cake tins as extra high trivets, I can then bake round breads or small loaves of banana cake – by sitting this camp oven on top of the coals IN THE FIREBOX! One can tell when the baking is ready by walking outside & smelling the aroma that comes out of the flu!! Ha ha!!

    For simple cooking in French ovens on an outdoor fire, I can refer you to strangers and pilgrims on earth blogspot.

    There is nothing quite like the comfort that a wood fire gives!!


    1. Hi Rachel,
      What a guy! I didn’t want an engagement ring…hubby bought a camera for me instead. 🙂
      Thank you so much for the information! I don’t have an enameled cast iron skillet…but it would make a great birthday present. 🙂

      I want to try some of these ideas, but they may have to wait until fall when we have the wood stove fired up again. Now that spring is warming things up, I don’t need the wood fire so much. Not that I’m complaining!
      Thanks for sharing!

  4. This is something I want to start doing this year, so I’m so excited you wrote this post! It’s perfect! I will be trying my own dutch oven/wood stove baking soon!

  5. I adore cast iron. I have pans of my grandma’s.. they’re true heirlooms and useful. I don’t have a wood stove though it’s on my wishlist!!

    1. How wonderful that you have some of your Grandma’s cast iron! Enjoy using it! It took a long time for us to get a wood stove…patience is a virtue, righ?!

  6. Great post, Lisa! I’ve never attempted to cook on a wood stove, going to have to give it a try sometime! I love my dutch ovens but don’t use it nearly enough and need to re-season them too.

    1. Thanks, Shawna 🙂 Usually I can just wipe my cast iron down with some vegetable oil and they’re good to go. I hope you get a chance to try cooking on your wood stove!

  7. Great post! I have a dutch oven I found in an old barn. Of course it is rusty, so it needs to be seasoned. I have never even thought of trying to cook in it. Though I do use my iron skillets all the time. Thanks for the information, I will add this list of things to try. You’ve encouraged me.

    1. Hi Dianne,
      I’m glad to share! Candy has a great article about seasoning cast iron. Best wishes with cleaning up your rusty gold. 🙂

  8. We have a wood burning stove inside of our home (in addition to a regular kitchen). What a cool idea to use that heat for cooking as well! I have never done that, but I’m super excited to try now!

    1. Hi Kristi,
      It is super easy to put a pot of soup or stew on the wood stove…try that first and work your way up. 🙂

  9. I love cooking with my cast iron, hubby has a hard time with eggs, but they are so lovely when done right.. I use cast iron when it comes to cooking over wood heat.. its just perfect that way..

    1. So true, Farm Gal! Eggs can be a little tricky. You have to grease up that cast iron really well and heat it up so they don’t stick. 🙂

  10. I grew up in a house that when I was a small child all we had were a wood cook stove. Sometimes it can be hard to control the temperature in them depending on the stove so your advice with starting with something simple is a good idea. Thanks for the great guidelines and helpful tips on how to use a cookstove.

    1. Yes, controlling the temperature is a fine art. Glad to share, Marla…thanks for stopping by and sharing your memories!

  11. Dutch oven cooking is something we totally enjoy during especially during the summer and fall weather. Make so many great meals cooking outside.

  12. I can’t wait until we move into a new home that has a wood stove! i miss our wood stove and the wood heat and the ability to cook on it! Great advice, list I have a great collection of cast iron!

    1. Best wishes with the house hunt, Nancy! I bet you are having fun looking 🙂

      When you move in, you will be so excited to unpack all that cast iron!

  13. Cooking is one of the reasons we heat with wood. It doesn’t matter how long the power is out in winter, we’ll have hot meals, fresh coffee, and warmth. I love cooking in the wood stove on warmer days when I don’t have to have the fire blazing, or when I’m letting the fire die down so I can clean ashes. You can’t beat the flavor when you cook this way.

    1. So true, Robin…I bet you make some amazing meals on your wood stove! I love your blog and all the wonderful recipes you share. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  14. Thank you, Julie! I had to wait for quite a few years to realize this dream! Growing up we had a wood stove that allowed us to cook on top, but I always admired the old fashioned kind with the oven. Maybe someday. 🙂

    I love cast iron too…If I had more room, my cast iron collection would expand to fill the available space…lol!

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