An absolute “must have” for campfire cooking is an old-fashioned Dutch Oven. You know — the heavy cast iron, lipped lid, three-legged pan. The history of this cooking wonder goes back hundreds of years in various forms. In 1704, an Englishman by the name of Andrew Darby, taking what he learned by observing the Dutch system of making these cooking vessels, patented a process similar to them, and produced cast-metal cooking vessels for Britain and the new American colonies. The term “Dutch Oven” has been used since about 1710.
American’s changed the design over time, including making a shallower pot, putting legs on it, flanging the lid, something that has been credited to famous colonist Paul Revere.
You can use a Dutch oven on a wood stove or open fire cooking. Dutch Ovens come in all shapes and sizes but the most usable size is a 12-inch diameter with legs, a bale handle on the body of the pan, a small loop handle on the lid, and a lipped lid — the heavier the better. Twelve inches may seem like a large pan, but not so large that a meal for four would be lost and versatile enough for a crowd of 8-10.