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Dutch Oven Pot Roast for the Stove or Campfire Cooking

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My Dutch oven pot roast has to be our family favorite comfort food that is simple to make and full of flavor. It's the perfect pot roast meal that you can count on to be delicious every time with our easy to follow recipe and instructions. 

dutch oven pot roast recipe

Can I roast in a Dutch oven?

Cooking in a Dutch oven has become one of my favorite ways to cook in our off grid kitchen.

From cooking on a campfire to using my wood cook stove, my Dutch Oven cooks everything perfectly. You can cook anything from Pot Roast to your favorite bone broth. My Dutch oven is an invaluable, versatile addition to both my indoor and outdoor cooking. 

I use a 14″ Cast Iron Dutch oven for my pot roast, but you can use enameled cast iron, too. They both distribute heat well and have heavy lids which helps keep the juices and steam in.

I don't recommend stainless steel or ceramic pots for this recipe. They don't have heavy lids or distribute the heat as evenly. Cast iron works best.

You can use a smaller Dutch Oven than the 14″ I am using. I like to add a lot of root vegetables in my Pot Roast, so I appreciate the extra room the 14″ provides. 

What is the difference between a pot roast and a Yankee pot roast?

A Pot Roast is any roast cooked in a pot generally with some type of liquid. However, a Yankee Pot Roast takes the roast and turns it into a whole meal.

When you cook pot roast in a Dutch oven and add root vegetables, it turns your main dish into a meal.

pot roast in oven

Is Pot Roast Better in an Oven or a Crock Pot?

In my opinion, both a Dutch Oven and Crock Pot are wonderful for set-it and forget-it meals. The cast-iron lover in me says nothing beats a Dutch oven. Food just tastes better in cast iron, but I may be a little biased. 

As I mentioned above, cast iron distributes heat evenly when cooking. Once you season your cast iron properly, there is very little care you have to do.

Cast iron is heavy duty and can stand up to most cooking conditions. We use it inside cooking, outside cooking, in the oven, on a bed of coals, open fire, and camping. It even stands up to a family member who tends to break things when they visit.

Cooking Pot Roast in a Crock Pot

While I've cooked in a crock pot most of my life, we now live off grid and only have wood and solar. Using a crock pot for cooking isn't an option for me any longer.

I use a wood cook stove but don't worry, we've included temperature settings for gas and electric ovens.

If you want to go the crock pot route, load your ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Is a chuck roast the same thing as a pot roast? 

A roast cooked in a pot is a Pot Roast. The term does not refer to a specific type of roast.

When saying the words “Pot Roast,” most are thinking beef roast as in chuck, rump, round roast or brisket. I've used the aforementioned in my pot roast as well as venison, pork butt, and more.  

Best Cuts of Meat for Pot Roast

For this specific recipe I used a Chuck Pot Roast but I have made this same dish successfully with other roasts as well. 

  • Chuck Roast contains a lot of fat and marbling which make it tender and flavorful. 
  • Rump Roast has less marbling and fat and sometimes takes longer to cook to get that fork tender roast. 
  • Brisket is sometimes a more affordable alternative and has more fat than the chuck or rump roast. 
seasoned roast (raw)

We have a family of five so I typically use a roast that is about 2.5-3 lbs. I like to get a roast that is big enough for two dinners. Then I use the leftovers and make vegetable beef stew.

To make vegetable beef stew, I add a bag of frozen mixed vegetables, a can of stewed tomatoes and beef broth. This stretches my Dutch Oven Pot Roast Recipe out to 15-20 servings.

Pot Roast Recipe for the Dutch Oven

The best way to cook a fall apart tender pot roast is low and slow. 

  • Roast 2.5-3 lbs. 
  • Carrots ~ 1.5 carrots per person. Peeled and cut into 3″ slices. 
  • Potatoes ~ 1.5 per person. Peeled and cut into quarters. 
  • Onion(s) One Large. Sliced into quarters and separated.  
  • Water 8 oz.
  • Cream of Mushroom Soup (1.5 cups or one can condensed) 

Canned soup is okay, but I recommend this AMAZING cream of mushroom soup recipe that you can whip up in no time.

The cream of mushroom soup added to this recipe is the secret ingredient.

The flavors from the soup add to the roast while keeping it moist and tender while cooking. In addition to moisture and flavor, the soup doubles as a gravy when infused with the liquids during cooking.

Serve your vegetables, meat and mash your potatoes on the plate then spoon the pot liquid over everything!

Pot Roast Seasoning

You don't have to over season or add fancy ingredients to make food taste amazing. Good ingredients should speak for themselves, while making your taste-buds happy.

  • 4 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper (salt and pepper to taste. I use 1 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper in mine)
  • 4 cloves of Garlic, crushed
  • Beef broth, beef stock, or beef bullion
    If using beef broth or beef stock, use in place of water. If using beef bullion use one tsp of paste or two cubes.
  • 2 bay leaves (optional) I enjoy the flavor a bay leaf adds to my roast, however my husband does not.
meat and vegetables in Dutch oven

Dutch Oven Pot Roast Cooking Instructions

Cooking time 3-4 hours. 

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Add your roast to your Dutch Oven. 
  3. Season each side of your roast with 1 Tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. 
  4. Add your onions. 
  5. You can add your vegetables to the roast in the beginning of your cooking or after the roast has cooked for one hour. I like mine nice and tender so I add them at the beginning. If adding at the beginning, pour remaining Worcestershire sauce over vegetables, salt and pepper.
  6. Add garlic, bullion paste/cubes and water, broth or stock. 
  7.  Top everything with your cream of mushroom soup
  8. Place cover on Dutch Oven and place in the oven. 
  9. Roast in the oven for three hours, then check for doneness. You want to be able to stick a fork in the roast and twist it and have the roast fall apart. If the fork is hard to twist, continue cooking for one hour and test again. 
  10. Once the roast is done, remove from the oven and let rest for ten minutes. 
  11. Use the pot liquor in the bottom of the Dutch Oven for gravy or deglaze the pan to make gravy.
    How to Deglaze a Pan ~ BBC Good Food
looking under dutch oven lid to check pot roast

Dutch Oven Campfire Pot Roast Cooking Instructions

If you love cooking outdoors, this is the perfect Dutch Oven recipe to make. 

To cook a Campfire Dutch Oven Pot Roast, season and prep the roast as listed above.

  1. Prepare your coals, you can follow this guide here for preparing briquet coals. We use the coals when they are 3/4 gray and 1/4 black.
  2. To get a 325 temperature, we used 20 briquets on top and 10 briquets on the bottom. 
  3. If you have a smaller Dutch Oven, refer to this cooking chart for the correct briquet/coal count to use. Baking Temperature Chart for Camp Dutch Ovens ~ Cook'n
  4. Replace the briquets as needed to maintain the cooking temperature.
  5. Cooking time should remain the same. Check at 3 hours for a 2.5-3 lb. roast with vegetables. 
  6. The Pot Roast is done when a fork easily twists in the roast. 
dutch oven over campfire

This Dutch Oven Pot Roast recipe will be perfect every time, moist, tender, and amazing. 

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Dutch Oven Pot Roast for the Stove or Campfire Cooking

Dutch oven pot roast

The perfect Dutch oven pot roast meal that you can count on to be delicious every time with our easy to follow recipe and instructions.

  • Author: Amber Bradshaw
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Category: main dish

Ingredients

Scale
  • Roast 2.53 lbs. 
  • Carrots ~ 1.5 carrots per person. Peeled and cut into 3″ slices. 
  • Potatoes ~ 1.5 per person. Peeled and cut into quarters. 
  • Onion(s) One Large. Sliced into quarters and separated.  
  • Water 8 oz.
  • Cream of Mushroom Soup (1.5 cups or one can condensed)
  • 4 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 4 cloves of Garlic, crushed
  • Beef broth, beef stock, or beef bullion. If using beef broth or beef stock, use in place of water. If using beef bullion use one tsp of paste or two cubes.
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)

Instructions

Oven cooking instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  2. Add your roast to your Dutch Oven. 
  3. Season each side of your roast with 1 Tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. 
  4. Add your onions. 
  5. You can add your vegetables to the roast in the beginning of your cooking or after the roast has cooked for one hour. I like mine nice and tender so I add them at the beginning. If adding at the beginning, pour remaining Worcestershire sauce over vegetables, salt and pepper.
  6. Add garlic, bullion paste/cubes and water, broth or stock. 
  7.  Top everything with your cream of mushroom soup
  8. Place cover on Dutch Oven and place in the oven. 
  9. Cook for three hours then check for doneness. You want to be able to stick a fork in the roast and twist it and have the roast fall apart. If the fork is hard to twist, continue cooking for one hour and test again. 
  10. Once the roast is done, remove from the oven and let rest for ten minutes. 
  11. Use the pot liquor in the bottom of the Dutch Oven for gravy or you can deglaze the pan and make your own gravy.

Campfire cooking instructions

  1. Prepare your coals, you can follow this guide here for preparing briquet coals. We use the coals when they are 3/4 gray and 1/4 black.
  2. To get a 325F temperature, for our 14″ Cast Iron Dutch Oven, we used 20 briquets on top and 10 briquets on the bottom. 
  3. If you have a smaller Dutch Oven, refer to this cooking chart for the correct briquet/coal count to use.
  4. Replace the briquets as needed to maintain the cooking temperature.
  5. Cooking time should remain the same. Check at 3 hours for a 2.5-3 lb. roast with vegetables. 
  6. The Pot Roast is done when a fork easily twists in the roast.

Keywords: roast, Dutch oven, beef, one pot meal

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Dutch oven pot roast

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Amber Bradshaw

This post is by Amber Bradshaw of My Homestead Life.

Amber and her family live off grid on forty-six acres in the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee.

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