Are you shopping for the best cast iron camping Dutch ovens? Look no further!
A Brief History
Dutch ovens have been around for centuries and have a rich history in North America, having been used by settlers and pioneers. They are an essential and yet simple tool when cooking at camp. It is a means of allowing you to cook pretty much anything when outdoors that you would normally prepare back home. Dutch pots were originally conceived to cook meals such as large roasts, stews and soups over an open fire, making this type of cooking method ideal for camping, especially when cooking for large groups of people.
Camp cooking dutch ovens are made from cast iron and feature a flat bottom and three short legs which allow the oven to sit above ground, allowing for proper air circulation to the coals below it. In addition, it usually has a flat lid with a 1 to 2 inch outer ridge allowing for placement of hot coals on top of the cast iron pot.
Since these types of dutch ovens consist of thick cast iron metal, they are able to soak up the heat and evenly distribute it evenly across the cast iron cookware surface. It also tends to retain heat very well, minimizing the amount of hot spots,due to the thickness of the cast iron which eliminates temperature variations. This enables even cooking on the bottom surface of the dutch pot and less chances of burnt food. In my opinion, cast iron dutch ovens are a great tool to have when spending time in the outdoors, whether it be camping with the family or a canoe portage trip with a group of friends.
In order to assist in your search, I’ve narrowed down a few of the most popular choices of outdoor/camping cast iron dutch ovens which I have listed below.
Take a look at our “Buyer’s Guide for Dutch Ovens” for more information on how to select a Dutch oven.
The Texsport Dutch oven has a 4 quart capacity. It’s ridged lid allows for placement of hot coals on top of it and has a tight fit which does a great job at containing the moisture and heat. Both legs and handles have proven to be quite sturdy making it easy to move the cast iron Dutch poven around from the campfire. It should be noted that when seasoning for the first time, it is recommended to use an oil with a relatively high smoke point (i.e extra light olive oil).
The Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven is a multi-purpose cookware and works especially well for slow cooking. It features a tight-fitting lid that does a great job at keeping in the heat and loop handles for convenient handling. This cast iron dutch oven measures 12 inches in diameter by 5 inches tall and has a capacity of 8 quarts. It comes pre-seasoned, eliminating the need for seasoning upon it’s initial use while also providing a non-stick surface making it relatively easy to clean (hand washed).
Note: It is important to re-season the bottom of the cast iron by applying a thin coat of oil after each cleaning.
The Lodge Dutch oven really does a great job with regards to heat distribution, channeling it from the bottom surface through to the sidewalls and also retains it very well, allowing for meals to be kept warm for extended periods of time. Due to the fact it is made of cast iron, this Dutch oven can really take a beating and will last for decades if well maintained.
The Winterial Camping Dutch oven has a capacity of 6 quarts and was designed for multiple purposes. It’s lid can function as a griddle for frying eggs or heating up meals. It also feature heavy duty handles that can be used to hang the cast iron pot over a campfire from a tripod stand and comes pre-seasoned out of the box. From personal experience, this is a classic Dutch oven that will last a lifetime. Not only do I use it when camping but I also tend to use it at home. The fact that it is relatively easy to clean certainly makes this a must when outdoors with limited resources.
The Camp Chef Deluxe Dutch has a capacity of 12 quarts, features a seasoned finished allowing to start cooking right “out of the box” and is easy to maintain. It’s deep dish lid can also double as a skillet making it a great choice for cooking omelettes and casseroles.It also has a built in thermometer notch allowing for quick insertion to verify internal temperatures.
At the end of the day, there are an infinite amount of great campfire cooking Dutch ovens out there. They are mostly made from cast iron and most sport similar style handles. Some have a deep lid that can double as a skillet, others have deeper pots allowing for bigger cuts of meat or deep frying. In order to make YOUR selection, you must determine what your needs are. Will you be moving it around a lot? Do you plan on cooking for large groups?
Quality is a key factor when purchasing cookware and will ultimately determine the lifetime of the cookware. The above mentioned Dutch pots are just a few suggestions of quality cookware that I would recommend to anyone interested in purchasing a Dutch oven. Personally, I have been using Lodge cast iron cookware for years and have found that they wear/chip much less than your generic cast iron pots and pans.