3 Best Dutch Ovens For Camping

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Hey there campers and welcome to my post where we check out my three best Dutch ovens for camping this year. Cooking outdoors is one of the most enjoyable things we do every time we camp and in my humble opinion, there is not much finer than letting a good camp stew simmer over the coals all day.

Like our other camping gear choices however, the best Dutch ovens have specific qualities that make them stand out so let’s check out some options I have come up with below…

My three recommended Dutch ovens for camping

I will review these in more detail below, but if you just want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience:

 Dutch OvenPriceGet it
best dutch ovens for camping - Lodge Deep Camp Dutch OvenLodge 8 Quart Deep Camp Dutch Oven$CURRENT PRICE
best dutch ovens for camping - Lodge 9 Quart Cast Iron Dutch OvenLodge 9 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven$$CURRENT PRICE
best dutch ovens for camping - Lodge 9 Quart Cast Iron Dutch OvenGSI Outdoors Hard Anodized Dutch Oven$$$CURRENT PRICE

What are Dutch ovens?

A Dutch oven is a large, heavy cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid ideal for braising. It’s excellent for roasts, soups, stews, and one-pot meals. What separates camping Dutch ovens is that they are usually made of more durable materials or have been ‘pre-seasoned’ to withstand higher temperatures.

In most cases they are used for cooking on an open fire or fire pit.

best dutch ovens for camping - dutch oven

What should you be looking for?

Below are some factors to consider as you look for a good dutch oven for camping.

  1. Construction material
  2. Size
  3. Shape
  4. Additions

Construction material

Camping Dutch ovens are usually made from either cast iron or aluminum

  • Cast iron Dutch ovens are extremely tough and long-lasting, can withstand high temperatures and if properly seasoned, can have an incredibly functional nonstick surface for years. Another noteworthy characteristic of a cast iron oven is its ability to retain heat where the food stays warm for quite a while after removal from the fire. One downside of cast iron dutch oven is that it is relatively heavy, affecting your mobility.

Aluminum Dutch ovens conduct heat exceptionally well, resulting in equally distributed heating. A good advantage is that aluminum Dutch ovens are lightweight (by comparison) and do not rust. However aluminum Dutch ovens do not have great nonstick properties and due to a slight coating, you are very likely to scratch its surface.

best dutch ovens for camping - dutch oven

Size

For this feature, you must first determine how many people you wish to feed which, of course, affects the size needed. Here is a straightforward guide of Dutch oven sizes and the capacity of people each can feed:

Size in InchSize in QuartsPeople Served
8-inch oven2 Quarts2 – 4 campers
10-inch oven4 Quarts4 – 8 campers
12-inch oven6 Quarts8 – 12 campers
14-inch oven8 Quarts14 – 18 campers
16-inch oven12 Quarts20 – 24 campers

Shape

This quality is dependent on the type of dish you will prepare. Suppose your camping menu includes stews and soups, choose deep dutch ovens. If you decide to use the oven for baking purposes, then the shallow ones are the best way to go.

Additions

Other potential additions include:

  1. Handle: Aside from using it in holding the Dutch oven, carrying it from one place to another, the handle is also used in hanging the product over campfires.
  2. Lid lifter: Since the material used to construct the Dutch oven is an excellent heat conductor, touching the lid with your bare hands will lead to burns and scalds. To avoid such injury, you should use a lid lifter.
  3. Thermometer: This add-on is handy for it gives you an idea of how high the temperature is inside the Dutch oven.

My three recommendations broken down

So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:

1. Lodge 8 Quart Deep Camp Dutch Oven

My first option combines versatility and durability thanks to its sturdy build. It can be cooked atop campfires or by placing hot coals on its flanged lid. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Lodge
  • Construction material: Cast iron
  • Size: 8-Quart oven
  • Weight: 19.35 pounds
  • Dimensions: 13.2 x 13.4 x 8.6 inches

Other inclusions:

  • Flanged lid
  • Integral legs
  • Seasoned with vegetable oil

Why have I chosen it?

The Dutch oven is an 8-Quart type which means it can feed 14 to 18 hungry campers. It has pot legs, wire for hanging, and a tight-fitting lid that helps achieve even heat distribution. The product’s tight lid fit keeps your food fresh. A great option for all camping needs.


2. Lodge 9 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven

The second Dutch oven I have listed is very durable because it is made from top-quality cast iron and designed specifically for camping, it is tough enough to withstand any type of punishment brought by rough conditions, extreme temperatures, and a variety of heating sources. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Lodge
  • Construction material: Cast iron
  • Size: 9-Quart oven
  • Weight: 21pounds
  • Dimensions: 15.8 x 14.95 x 5.7 inches

Other inclusions:

  • Seasoned with oil
  • Easy to clean
  • Non-stick

Why have I chosen it?

Although this product might be heavy, the fact that it is durable and long-lasting suggests that you can enjoy using it in the years to come. Its cast-iron material has excellent heat retention properties and is also seasoned, which gives it a non-stick characteristic.


3. GSI Outdoors Hard Anodized Dutch Oven

My final option is an aluminum Dutch oven with a capacity of 5 Quarts. Made to last, this oven is adaptive to any outdoor cooking situation and despite being made from aluminum, it is non-stick as well. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: GSI
  • Construction material: Aluminum
  • Size: 5-Quart oven
  • Weight: 8.80 pounds
  • Dimensions: 13.1 x 13 x 7.4 inches

Other inclusions:

  • Sturdy legs
  • Durable construction
  • Non-stick feature
  • Easy cleanup

Why have I chosen it?

The aluminum material provides nonstick performance without the need for seasoning and its lightweight design is roughly one-third the weight of its cast-iron competitor. This dutch oven is raised for better heat dispersion when used on a stove with charcoal briquettes, or in a campfire due to its sturdy legs. A great option for those looking to travel a bit on the lighter side.

Conclusion

There you have it, my three best Dutch ovens for camping. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual, let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections, or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time

Have fun

Paul

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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Paul