You want to relax after a hard day camping. The camping Dutch oven is the best pot for cooking in camp. You can quickly make a variety of dishes, from bread to stew.
However, not all Dutch ovens can be described as being the same. Camping Dutch ovens have special features that are better suited for the campfire.
Do you need a dutch oven to camp in a hurry? The Lodge Deep Camp Dutch Oven is my choice. The Lodge Dutch oven is durable, affordable, and made in the USA. It’s ideal for camping.
Check out my selection of the top Dutch ovens for camping.
What is a Dutch Oven?
A Dutch oven, a heavy-built cooking pot with tight-fitting lid, is an extremely well-constructed one. These pots are great for baking, braising, roasting and making homemade soups.
Cast iron Dutch ovens last a long time and are the best.
There are several things to consider when looking for a camping Dutch oven
The camping Dutch oven can be used over or in a campfire. This Dutch oven may not be suitable if you plan to use a regular camp stove. You might consider another type of iron pot.
Cast iron has been the choice of Dutch ovens for centuries. Cast iron is extremely durable and heat resistant. It also has excellent nonstick properties when properly seasoned.
Cast iron is heavy and requires a lot of maintenance. Dutch ovens are also available in other materials for those who want them.
While they are beautiful and great for indoor cooking, enameled Dutch ovens don’t work well outdoors. The enamel can chip and crack easily, especially when it is exposed to high temperatures like open flame heat.
Aluminum is an excellent alternative. Aluminum conducts heat well and is light. It also retains heat well.
The main problem with such Dutch ovens for aluminum is the possibility of the hard-anodized layer getting scratched over time. This exposes the aluminum.
Which Dutch oven is best for camping? It all depends on how many people you are cooking for.
Do not think that the bigger, the better! Some of these monsters require two people to manage!
The Dutch oven sizes are measured by quart capacity. They range from 1 quart (9 liters) up to 20 quarts (19 Liters).
You can theoretically fill your Dutch oven up to the brim. To ensure that you have enough space to stir the food without spilting it, I recommend only using 2/3 of the Dutch oven’s capacity.
As a guideline, I would say:
- 1 quart (0.9 Liters) to 1.5 Quarts (1.4 Liters) per person
- For up to 2 people, you can use 2-quarts (1.9-liters)
- A family-sized dutch oven that can hold three to five people in a 5-quart (4.7 liters), is available in a 5-quart (4.7 liters).
- For a group of six or more, 8-quarts (7.6 Liters) is sufficient.
Weight is an important factor when choosing what camping gear to include in your bag. Cast iron Dutch ovens of small size will weigh around 8 to 15 pounds, while large Dutch ovens can weigh up to 45 pounds.
A number of smaller Dutch ovens can be used to cook large groups. However, this will make cooking difficult with all the pots.
Another way to avoid the heavy weight is with aluminum Dutch ovens
Dutch ovens are heavy. To avoid dropping the pot or worse, burning yourself, you will need a sturdy, riveted handle.
These should be longer as you will likely be camping on an open fire.
The handle is long and looping (wire) in the middle makes it easy to transport and hang over a campfire to cook slow-cooked meals.
It’s possible that the entire pot, including the handles, is too hot to touch. The looping handle , which is the coolest, can be dangerous. Do not touch the surface. Instead, use heat-resistant gloves and a lid lifter.
You can use some camping devices such as the Dutch oven camping tool to lift the lid or the entire Dutch oven (if it is equipped with a looping handle).
My “burn saver” is mine. You can’t go camping without your camping Dutch oven!
The majority of Dutch ovens for camping have three legs. This gives you more flexibility when cooking.
A Dutch oven that has legs means you don’t need to rely on cooking stands or tripods. It can be placed in a campfire using embers underneath, and the legs provide a little extra distance to ensure heat distribution.
You can place a flat Dutch oven on top of coals without legs, but you’ll be exposing your Dutch oven to dangerous hot spots. It can be difficult to balance a flat Dutch oven on top of coals.
Flat lids are a common feature on camp Dutch ovens. They can be used to pile coals on top. Even if you don’t plan on stacking coals on top of the cover, it is a good idea to have this option.
If you’re baking, it helps to place coals on the lid to cook evenly.
Griddles that are reversible can be used as lids, which is a benefit since it’s difficult to pan fry foods such as eggs with a large deep-pot. This saves you from having to bring another piece of cookware.
Manufacturers add depth to lids that have the legs on top. This allows you to flip the lid over and place it on the legs. You now have two pieces of cookware: a Dutch oven and a grill. It’s pretty cool.
A lid lifter is an optional piece of kit not all manufacturers offer. The most basic lid lifter is a rod made of metal with a hook attached to it and a handle. To lift the lid, you simply need to hook it and not burn yourself. Amazon has one if your Dutch oven does not have one. You could also use heat-resistant gloves. You could also pack both gloves to ensure safety.
Many brands have unique engravings on their lids. These markings are neat and attractive, but they can make it more difficult to clean. Although I don’t think this is a dealbreaker, you should consider it before purchasing.
How to Care For An Outdoor Dutch Oven
Cast iron needs to be maintained and cared for. This is true for all Dutch ovens. Cast iron Dutch ovens should be stored dry to prevent rusting.
Before storing it, I recommend that you coat it with a thin layer of long-lasting refined vegetable oil. It protects it. It’s important to make sure that the oil doesn’t go rancid quickly!
There is still hope if everything goes wrong with your cast iron Dutch oven. To remove the rust, you can use a 50/50 vinegar/water solution and then reseason.
This video will provide more details:
Camping’s Best Dutch Oven
There are many options for the best Dutch ovens to use for camping. Take a look at the reviews and choose the one that suits you best.
Lodge L12DCO3 Deep Camp Dutch Oven, 8 Quart (7.5 liters) (Best Camping Dutch oven)
Lodge cast iron cookware has been a reliable and high-quality product for over 100 years. This Lodge Dutch oven is no exception. This Lodge Dutch oven has all the features of an outdoor Dutch oven: a flanged lid which can double as a grill, three well-fitted legs and a loop handle that makes it easy to carry.
The Lodge camp Dutch oven is available in a variety of sizes, from 2 quarts (1.9 Liters) to 10 Quarts (9.5 Liters); there’s something for everybody. Two families (7 to 10 people) can be fed by the 10 quart model.
The Dutch oven, which is 8 quarts (7.6 liters) deep, can be used to cook 6-8 people.
The 6 quart (5.7-liter) version will serve 3-6 people. There are Liners that you can use to make cleanup more efficient or to cook acidic food.
The Lodge camp Dutch oven is made in America, is high-quality, and affordable. This Dutch oven is ideal for camping, and it’s easy to use.
- Ready to use, pre-seasoned
- Perfect for cooking on an open flame: Strong legs
- Doubles as a griddle lid with flanged lid
- For easy handling, loop handles are available
- Simple to maintain
- The Dutch oven cookbook is included!
- Cast iron of high quality
- Some complaints about scratched models from the inside
Overmont Camp Dutch Oven 6 Quart (6.56 liters). (Runner-up Best Camp Dutch Oven)
This 6 quart (5.7 Liters) cast iron Dutch Oven from Overmont is best known for its lifetime pot. It’s perfect for outdoor cooking and can be used to cook. The lid is a great idea. It can be used as a skillet or a spoon for frying thanks to its three small legs.
The lid’s legs are small enough to be placed over a camp stove, or your kitchen stove. This lid is a great choice for cooking at home or camping.
The Dutch oven lid lifter for the Overmont camp Dutch oven is included to help you lift the entire Dutch oven when it’s hot. This tool is invaluable. You’ll be amazed at how important it is to rig something like this using branches.
Overmont also makes an 8-qt version that should serve 6-8 people. This is suitable for large families or group camping.
The pots are smaller than the size listed. I recommend ordering one size larger if you purchase an Overmont camp Dutch oven.
Overmont’s Dutch ovens are still great, and the lid lifter is a nice touch.
- To ensure the pot sits perfectly above the campfire, put sturdy legs on it.
- Integral legs for the lid
- Doubles as a skillet lid with flanged lid
- Hot pot can be lifted by a lid lifter
- Cast iron of high quality
- Made in China, if that matters
- Pots have less capacity than specified
Camp chef Cast Iron Dutch Oven 12 Qt (11.3 Liters) (Best-Designed Camp Dutch Oven)
The Camp Chef pot is a great cast iron Dutch oven for camping. The pot’s size (8-14 people) is perfect for roasting chickens or cooking large batches of stew for large families. Because the pot can be placed directly on your campfire or oven floor, its legs make it easy to transport.
The lid is built-in and can be used as a skillet. It’s almost all you need for camping.
The Camp Chef Dutch oven comes with a thermometer notch that allows you to control the temperature without having to lift the lid. A Dutch oven starter book with tips for seasoning is included.
Camp Chef offers a lid lifter to lift the lid and bail due to the Dutch oven’s heavy weight. This is great for fishing out the pot from the campfire.
The Dutch oven can be purchased in a smaller 6-qt (65.7 l) version, which is great for families with 4 to 5.
Many users have reported quality control issues with this pot. Cast iron for this pot doesn’t seem to be consistent.
This Dutch oven is cleverly designed, which is a shame. It’s a great Dutch oven. It would be a little risky for me to order it. Another example of a brilliant idea being ruined by poor execution.
- It is easier to use the lid as a skillet because it has legs.
- Legs to support the pot over coals
- Built-in thermometer
- Includes a lid lifter, starter booklet and seasoning tips.
- Ideal size for large families or groups
- Quality Control issues reported
Texsport Cast Iron Dutch Oven, Legs, 4 Quart (3.7 liters). (Best Affordable Dutch Oven For Camping)
This Dutch oven is a great choice for camping because it offers long-lasting durability and a low price. The pot’s three legs help it stand on a campfire and provide enough distance to ensure heat distribution evenly.
The Dutch oven has a tight-fitting lid to keep food warm and a bail with a hook at the center that can be used for hanging.
This 4-qt small Dutch oven weighs in at 13 pounds (5.9kg) and is lighter than larger models. This Dutch oven is perfect for small families (2-3 persons).
The Dutch oven is coated with a waxy layer that you’ll need to remove before your iron can be seasoned. This film protects the Dutch oven against rusting. It can be easily removed by heating the pot and wiping it clean.
Cast iron is usually pre-seasoned so this is an unusual approach. This pot is all about saving money.
The Dutch oven’s surface is somewhat rough. Cast iron surfaces can be rough but not excessively.
Although this pot is usable, it is not at the top of the price range.
- Very affordable
- The legs on the pot make it more stable in a campfire.
- A sturdy bail with a central hook that is suitable for hanging
- It is coated with wax
- Cast iron can have a rough finish, even if it is made of cast iron
- Not pre-seasoned
This Dutch oven is a great deal if you’re looking for an affordable option.
GSI Outdoors 4 Quarts Hard Anodized Dutch Oven (3.7 liters). (Best Aluminum Camp Dutch Oven).
The GSI Outdoors Dutch Oven is a great option for anyone looking for a lightweight outdoor Dutch oven. It is well-constructed and provides good heat distribution.
There are three sizes of the Dutch oven: 10 in (4 quarts),12 in (8 quarts) and 14 in (15-16 quarts).
The 12 and 14-inch versions have legs. However, the 10 inch (25cm) version does not. You may need to use a stand to raise the item off the ground.
Although I love that the handle can be turned one way, it can sometimes cause problems. You can spill your dinner if the pot is full and you hold it by the bail.
Aluminum heats very quickly so be careful when placing the coals.
Aluminum is not the best material for cooking. This pot is hard-anodized so that it seals out the aluminum from your food. This pot is safe in theory. But what happens if the pot is smashed?
This is an alternative if you don’t need cast iron. However, I prefer my cast iron camping dutch ovens.
- It is very lightweight
- Seasoning is not necessary
- It is easy to clean
- The 10″ model has no legs
- There have been reports of the pot tipping when it was lifted by the wire handle
- It can be dangerous to scratch hard-anodized aluminium
King Kooker Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 20 Quarts (28.9 Liters) (Best Large Camp Dutch Oven).
This Dutch oven in cast iron is large enough to cook for a king and his entire court.
This pot can be used to make chili, stew, or soup for small groups.
It fits well and can also be used as a large fry pan. This oven weighs in at 30 pounds (13.6kg) and is almost impossible to transport by itself. This is the kind of thing I’d expect from a large camping Dutch oven.
Although the steel handle is strong, it’s not stable due to the movement of the coiling system, which makes it unsafe to use. This Dutch oven is great for group camping and is a true workhorse.
- Ideal for group camping
- Lid doubles up as a skillet
- A jumbo version is a great deal at a great price
- No legs
- Handling unstable
Best Camping Dutch Ovens
Camping’s Best Dutch Oven
The Lodge l12DCO3 Deep Camp Dutch Oven is my choice for the best cast-iron Dutch oven for camping. It has legs that can be used for camping and a lid with a flanged design for easy frying. The model is available in various sizes, from 2-qt up to 10-qt. This makes it ideal for both individuals and groups.
It is amazing that Lodge continues to make cast iron cookware in America for more than 120 years.
Dutch Oven Camp for the Best Price
The Texsport Cast iron Dutch Oven with Legs is a good option if you are on a tight budget. This is fine and should work. You will need to season your own food from scratch. It’s also necessary that you are a little more careful than usual.
This camping dutch oven is for people who have more time and money.
You can check Canadian Best Seller to see if the Dutch oven is at the lowest price. It ships all across North America.
Best Camping Dutch Oven Non Cast Iron
This hard-anodized Dutch Oven is a great choice if you are looking for something different. It’s my favorite non-cast iron camping Dutch oven.
Cast Iron Camping Cookware Sets
The Dutch oven is versatile, particularly if it doubles as a pan. However, that’s not always the case. You might also be interested in a complete set of cast iron cookware to use at camp.
What is great for cooking on a campfire or in the kitchen?
Cast iron Dutch ovens are a great alternative to pots and stews. However, there are some delicious camp foodincludes.
Cast iron poutine
Can I use my Dutch oven at home for camping?
You can still use your regular Dutch oven to camp, but there are Dutch ovens that are better suited to camping. These ovens can be equipped with additional legs to allow for flexible cooking and long handles for open flame operation. They also have deep-legged lids that can function as griddles.
They can also be made from sturdy materials like cast iron and are better suited for a campfire.
Do you think a Dutch oven is too hard?
It doesn’t need to be. Cast iron must be properly treated, which also applies to Dutch ovens.
A little seasoning, gentleness in cleaning the Dutch oven and some care when storage will make a big difference. You can find my cast Iron guide if you have any questions. It covers cleaning, seasoning, and restoring cast iron.
Pre-seasoned cookware does not require as much seasoning, but it is worth adding layers.
Which Dutch oven is best for camping?
For your camp Dutch oven, I suggest allowing 1.5 quarts per individual. A 6 quart Dutch oven would be ideal for a family with four members.
You might consider a smaller Dutch oven if you have very small children. A bigger Dutch oven is better for teenagers who are hungry.
Cast iron can I be used directly on coals?
Cast iron can be used directly on hot coals. It should be “bare” cast iron and not enameled.
Camp Dutch ovens have a flat lid with an rim that is ideal for this purpose. To promote heating, this lid can be used to place hot coals on top.
Is enamel cast iron possible on an open flame?
You should not use enamel casting iron on an open flame. Enameled cast iron is heat sensitive and you need to keep it within the manufacturer-specified heating range (normally 400 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit).
I have never seen a camp Dutch oven made from enameled cast metal. Even if the Dutch oven was not damaged in any way, the soot from the fire and coals would likely cause damage to the surface.
Does fire damage cast iron?
Yes. Cast iron is extremely durable, but extreme heat can cause damage. Cast iron Dutch ovens cannot be repaired once they are damaged.
Stick to low flames or coals. As you would for a barbecue.
What’s the point of a cast iron Dutch-oven for camping?
Cast iron Dutch ovens are the only true Dutch ovens. You might have heard of non-cast iron Dutch ovens. However, anyone can technically label their cookware as they wish.
A Dutch oven that isn’t cast iron to me, however, is just a pot.
Pots can be used when cooking on a campfire. Nonstick is not something I recommend, but stainless steel can be used. It can be coated with detergent.
However, a cast iron Dutch oven is more durable than a regular one. These Dutch ovens were made for fire.
What are some recipes that I can cook in a Dutch oven
There are many Dutch oven recipe options. A Dutch oven can make a delicious stew or bread. Check out my vegetable soup recipe. Dutch oven cooking does not have to be difficult.
Cast iron Dutch ovens can be used in a variety of cooking techniques. It’s a way to allow for the slower heating and cooling of the cast iron Dutch oven. It will continue to radiate heat even after it is removed from the stove or fire.