What’s Cookin’?: Ponca State Park’s Not-So-Secret Apple Pie Dutch Oven Cobbler

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  • Cinnamon
  • 2 cans of apple pie filling (roughly 1 lb each)
  • 1 box of yellow or white cake mix
  • 1 stick of butter – unsalted, slightly thawed
  • Optional: ice cream or whipped cream


  • 12″ Dutch oven
  • Dutch oven liner
  • Tongs
  • Dutch oven lid/handle grabbers
  • Dutch oven stands
  • 1 large bag Briquettes/Coals
  • Coal chimney starter
  • Spoon


  1. Heat the briquettes/coals for at least 30 minutes or until you achieve a light ashy coating for optimum heat before you plan to start cooking.
  2. Place a dutch oven liner in the dutch oven you are using.
  3. Open the pie filling of your choice, place on top of the dutch oven liner and spread evenly.
  4. Sprinkle with the desired amount of cinnamon.
  5. Open the cake mix and spread evenly on the top of the pie filling.
  6. Cut one tablespoon thick butter slices and place one half inch apart over the cake mix. This will create a nice crispy, golden crust.
  7. Using 13 coals, make a circle on the ground, placing extras in the middle of the circle then put the dutch oven over top; Using 17 coals, make a circle on the outer rim of the lid, placing extras in a circle around the handle. This will create an internal temperature of 450 degrees.
  8. Let cook for approximately 30 minutes. Rotate every 10 minutes by moving the bottom clockwise 1/3 rotation and the lid counterclockwise 1/3 rotation.
  9. Give yourself a great big scoop, top with ice cream or whip cream (optional), and enjoy – it’ll be hot!

Formula for dutch oven temperature control:

  • 350 degrees=diameter of dutch oven, plus two pieces of coal on top of the lid and minus two pieces of coal on the bottom.
    • Ex: For a 12″ dutch oven you will need 14 coals on the top lid and 10 coals on the bottom to reach 350 degrees.
  • Add 2 coals for every 25 degrees you want to go up in temperature.
    • Ex: To raise a 12″ dutch oven from 350 degrees to 400 degrees you will have to add 2 coals to the top lid and 2 coals to the bottom. For a total of 16 on the top and 12 on the bottom.


  • Try not to open the lid a lot, it releases the temperature.
  • Knock off excess ash build up on the coals to maintain the desired temperature.
  • If removed from heat, remember it will still cook since the iron is retaining the heat.


Dean Welte

Dean Welte

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