2015 Dutch Oven Cook-Off, Saturday, June 27th



Doug Thorton, President Arkansas Dutch Oven Society


The black cast iron pot with a flanged lid to hold coals and three legs to set over coals, commonly called a camp style Dutch oven, figured prominently in the exploration, settlement, and development of the West. From early explorers, Lewis and Clark, to pioneers crossing the plains in covered wagons, to cowboys driving cattle to market, the Dutch oven provided nourishing meals and was one of the most utilized and treasured vessels they possessed. Because of its durability and versatility, it eliminated the necessity of taking assorted pots and pans when space was so limited. Cooks could bake, steam, stew and fry in the oven and cook eggs and griddle cakes on the inverted lid. Its use was so widespread on cattle drives that Charles Goodnight designed a special compartment, called a boot, on his chuckwagon to transport the Dutch oven.

The popularity of the Dutch oven has increased in recent years and will be the inspiration for the Dutch Oven Cook Off, Saturday, June 27th from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on the property of Harp Real Estate, 2 blocks south of the square on Hwy 7 in Jasper, Arkansas as part of the celebration during the Buffalo River Elk Festival on June 26th & 27th. This event is sponsored by the Newton County Chamber of Commerce with assistance from the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

When the head wrangler hollers, ďStart your fires!Ē, teams will unpack their Dutch ovens and recreate history wearing authentic period costumes and preparing wonderful concoctions in their Dutch ovens over open fires with some teams preparing their entries from the chuckwagon.

Each team will enter three pots for judging: Main Dish, Bread (must be yeast or sour dough) and Dessert. When the cookie sounds the triangle at 1:00 pm, judging begins.

If you see a suspicious hombre peering at the cooks and their pots, donít call the sheriff. Itís probably the Showmanship Judge who evaluates teams on camp set up, team dress, interaction with public (so ask lots of questions), technical skills in handling ovens and utensils, and safe food handling practices.

Prizes will be awarded in each food category and for Showmanship. There will also be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes for overall winners and cash prizes of $200, $100, and $50. There are, however, no losers in Dutch oven cooking. All teams enjoy cooking good food, meeting new people, and doing their part to promote and preserve Dutch oven cooking for future generations.

Step back in time and join us at the Buffalo River Elk Festival. If you would like to enter the cook off, call Sandy Swayne at 870-434-5316. If you would like information about the Buffalo River Elk Festival, call Nancy Atkinson at 870-446-2693.

If you would like to enter the competition, click here for an application and rules.


The Buffalo River Elk Festival is sponsored by the Newton County Chamber of Commerce with assistance from the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.


Nelms Gallery

Circle M Construction Management, Inc.

Low Gap International Airport

Deer Lodge Cabin Rentals

Red Rock Retreat

Little Switzerland Cabins

Malm Law Firm

Mill Creek Tís

Failing Acres

Buffalo River Basin Cabin & Cottage

Mountain Garden Getaway

Connie Cole

Shady Oaks Campground

Beyond Reality Ozarks Cabin



Corporate sponsors for the 18th annual Elk Fest are:

Anstaff Bank of Jasper

Ritter Communications

Cabins In The Ozarks.net

Kubota Center of Harrison 

Ozark Mountain Trading Company

Harps Food Stores Ö.. where the difference is the quality


Contact Information

Newton County Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 250
Jasper, Ar. 72641
Phone 1-870-446-2455 or 1-870-446-2693
Email chamber@ritternet.com


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