Dutch Oven Chili


4 cups soaked pinto beans

1/4 cup mild chili powder

1 teaspoon of salt, add more if needed to season to taste

2 teaspoons ground pepper

1 pound ground beef

5 stalks celery, chopped

2 medium onions, diced

1 quart of canned tomatoes (ours are home-canned, but you could buy a 28 ounce can)

1 quart water

Brown the hamburger until no pink remains.  Add the chili powder, pepper, salt, celery and onions and salute until vegetables are tender.  Add the soaked beans, tomatoes, and water.


There are several ways to cook the chili.

One way is to set the barbecue to 250 degrees and set the entire pot, including the Dutch oven lid,  inside of the barbecue with the lid of the barbecue closed.  This takes about 3-1/2 – 4 hours, or until the beans are soft.  You could also put the Dutch oven in the oven in the house at 250 degrees.

Another way to cook this chili is to simmer it over a fire in the Dutch oven for 1-3 hours, or until the beans are soft and the flavors are blended.  After the chili comes to a boil, you need to make sure it is not directly over a hot part of the fire, so it can simmer.  So, pull it out a little bit from the hottest coals and to the edge of the fire where it still gets to cook, but not over such hot coals.   You can cook it longer, but you need to add additional water if the chili becomes dried out so it doesn’t burn.  Of course, you could use a camp stove, or a stove in your house to cook it, as well.


The chili can be served with cheese, onions, or any other toppings that are desired, or served plain.  Leftovers can be frozen for a quick dinner another day.  While camping, people are usually so hungry that leftovers are no problem!  This makes 10-12 hearty servings.



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