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Cast iron and Dutch oven cooking

Try these three fantastic Dutch oven venison recipes for campfire cooking

Try these three fantastic Dutch oven venison recipes for campfire cooking


Venison and Dutch ovens go together like peas and carrots. These recipes are delicious, easy to prepare and virtually foolproof. And, they’re delicious!  

by Leon Pantenburg

Cooking venison outdoors in a Dutch oven just seems so natural. After all, you’re celebrating a successful wild game harvest in the great outdoors, and what’s not to enjoy?

chicken fried steak

Chicken fried steak is a good way to cook a tougher piece of venison

Great venison taste starts as soon as the animal is down. The more quickly the carcass can be gutted, skinned and cooled, the best tasting the  meat will be. (Click here to read about keeping your venison from tasting gamey.)

But once the meat is taken care of, how do you cook it? Cookbooks abound, but here are three proven, go-to venison recipes I have cooked many times.

High Speed Venison is probably my favorite go-to recipe. The ingredients go on every hunting trip, and many camping outings. It’s quick and easy to make

Chicken Fried Steak is another go-to recipe if you have a cut of tougher meat. The “chicken fried” part, I assume, comes from cooking the seasoned, tenderized meat like you would fry chicken. Serve with mashed potatoes, gravy, steamed broccoli and sourdough biscuits and you have serious comfort food!

Venison stew is one of those dishes that works best when it cooks slowly for a while. In hunting camp, a simmering Dutch oven of stew will be appreciated by hungry hunters who might be coming back to camp at different times. Have hot biscuits ready, and you’ll have happy campers.

Making stew is simple: Start with a good base, add favorite vegetables and whatever else might be needed to make a good mixture. Stew is the traditional dish to use tougher cuts of meat in, since the long, slow cooking will tenderize just about anything, Add biscuits or some sort of quick bread, and you’ll soon convert tired, hungry hunters into happy campers.

Leon Pantenburg is an avid Dutch oven cook, judge, teacher and a charter member of the Central Oregon Dutch Oven Society. Along with team mates Linda Stephenson and Michael Pantenburg, he has been a two-time finalist in the International Dutch Oven Society’s World Championships.

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Cast iron and Dutch oven cooking

Leon Pantenburg is a wilderness enthusiast, and doesn't claim to be a survival expert or expertise as a survivalist. As a newspaperman and journalist for three decades, covering search and rescue, sheriff's departments, floods, forest fires and other natural disasters and outdoor emergencies, Leon learned many people died unnecessarily or escaped miraculously from outdoor emergency situations when simple, common sense might have changed the outcome. Leon now teaches common sense techniques to the average person in order to avert potential disasters. His emphasis is on tried and tested, simple techniques of wilderness survival. Every technique, piece of equipment or skill recommended on this website has been thoroughly tested and researched. After graduating from Iowa State University, Leon completed a six-month, 2,552-mile solo Mississippi River canoe trip from the headwaters at Lake Itasca, Minn., to the Gulf of Mexico. His wilderness backpacking experience includes extended solos through Yellowstone’s backcountry; hiking the John Muir Trail in California, and numerous shorter trips along the Pacific Crest Trail. Other mountain backpacking trips include hikes through the Uintas in Utah; the Beartooths in Montana; the Sawtooths in Idaho; the Pryors, the Wind River Range, Tetons and Bighorns in Wyoming; Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, the Catskills in New York and Death Valley National Monument in southern California. Some of Leon's canoe trips include sojourns through the Okefenokee Swamp and National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia, the Big Black River swamp in Mississippi and the Boundary Waters canoe area in northern Minnesota and numerous small river trips in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. Leon is also an avid fisherman and an elk, deer, upland game and waterfowl hunter. Since 1991, Leon has been an assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 18 in Bend, and is a scoutmaster wilderness skills trainer for the Boy Scouts’ Fremont District. Leon earned a second degree black belt in Taekwondo, and competed in his last tournament (sparring and form) at age 49. He is an enthusiastic Bluegrass mandolin picker and fiddler and two-time finalist in the International Dutch Oven Society’s World Championships.

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