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Lodge Camp Dutch Oven – 6 qt.
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Best Dutch Ovens for Camping

There comes a time when those freeze-dried food packets can’t cut it, and that’s when a hearty dish prepared in a dutch oven comes into play! 

Make the rest of the campground jealous with your hearty stews and luscious desserts, all made possible by finding the best dutch oven for camping.

We’re here to help you find that perfect dutch oven. But before we dive into our list, let’s take a moment to talk about what a dutch oven is, and why it can be such a gamechanger for your next camping trip.  

What are Dutch Ovens?

A dutch oven is essentially a pot with a tight-fitting lid. This tight lid traps in heat and moisture and therefore makes dutch ovens ideal for braising, stewing, or baking. The most common material is cast iron, which evenly distributes the temperature and makes the dutch oven virtually indestructible – so you can use it for years and years of camping.

Benefits of a Dutch Oven

Where do we even start? 

Well, first off, it adds near-infinite possibilities to your camp cooking. You can cook hearty stews over a fire or braise chicken for absolutely delightful camp dinners. Alternatively, you can bake delicious pies, biscuits, or even a massive camp cookie! 

As we mentioned earlier, dutch ovens are typically cast iron and very durable. Never worry about denting or dinging your pot, and rest assured that it will last as long as you want.

Lastly, you don’t have to burn any gas as you would with a standard camp cooking stove. Instead, just use your campfire. The best cast iron dutch oven for camping is designed to be used with coals and open fires. 

Now that we’ve covered the basics of dutch ovens, let’s dive into our list of the best dutch ovens for camping! 

Best Dutch Ovens for Camping

Lodge Dutch Oven Combo Cooker

best dutch oven for camping
  • Capacity (L): 3.02 
  • Material: Cast Iron 
  • Non-stick surface: No 
  • Dimensions: 16.5 x 10.38 x 4.63 inches

Let’s start our list with this phenomenal dutch oven from Lodge. While on the smaller side of what Lodge offers – we’ll cover their larger offerings shortly – we have a handy combo cooker design that sets this option apart. 

The cooker lid traps in heat and moisture for optimal and savory food preparation – but also functions on its own as a skillet or griddle. So, you can cook perfect stews in the pot in the evenings, and then serve up pancakes or eggs in the lid when morning comes around!

PROS

CONS

Lodge Camp Dutch Oven – 6 qt./12 in.

  • Capacity (L): 5.70 
  • Material: Cast Iron
  • Non-stick surface: No 
  • Dimensions: 14.0 x 12.13 x 7.75 inches

Next up is a medium-sized option from Lodge. In this case, we have a very functional design that boasts both legs and sturdy wire handle – making this dutch oven very versatile for any number of culinary delights. 

The legs boost the oven off the ground somewhat, allowing you to manage embers or coals precisely to get optimal heat. Alternatively, you have the option to suspend the oven over a fire with the wire handle – and cackle like a witch while stirring your cauldron. 

I love almost everything about this particular dutch oven, but it’s noticeably more expensive than other options on the market. Therefore, if you’re willing to make the extra investment, then this is for you! But if you’re more concerned about budget, there are other options on our list. 

PROS

CONS

Lodge Deep Camp Dutch Oven, 8 Quart

best dutch oven for camping
  • Capacity (L): 7.57
  • Material: Cast Iron 
  • Non-stick surface: Pre-seasoned w/ Vegetable Oil 
  • Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 5.50 inches

The beefiest of the Lodge dutch ovens on our list is this 7.57-liter capacity beast. This is the largest dutch on our list, and best suited for big groups heading out for a camping trip. 

Like it’s smaller 6-Quart cousin above, the 8-Quart cast iron pot includes both legs and a sturdy wire handle. Additionally, it’s pre-seasoned with vegetable oil that significantly assists in stick-free cooking – but doesn’t make the pot 100% non-stick. 

I love this particular dutch oven’s capacity, and you can truly make a meal to feed an army. However, this item weighs a whopping 20 pounds! So make sure you can park near your campsite so you don’t have to lug it too far!

PROS

CONS

Texsport Cast Iron Dutch Oven

texsport dutch oven
  • Capacity (L): 3.78
  • Material: Cast Iron
  • Non-stick surface: No 
  • Dimensions: 11.50 x 10.60 x 7.00

One of the smaller dutch ovens on our list is this option from Texsport. Its slightly reduced footprint and size makes it ideal for smaller groups, and the lower price is hard to beat. 

While the lid on this particular dutch oven isn’t multi-functional, it’s still very tight-fitting and does a great job of holding in moisture and heat. However, keep in mind that the lower price is indicative of slightly lower quality than other options, and the coating may flake here and there over time.

PROS

CONS

AmazonBasics Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven

  • Capacity (L): 5.67
  • Material: Cast Iron 
  • Non-stick surface: NoPre-seasoned w/ Vegetable Oil 
  • Dimensions: 14.00 (from handle to handle)  x 13.20 x 7.99 inches **12-inch diameter

Amazon has produced a compelling entry on our list with their camp dutch oven. It’s simple, medium-sized, and gets the job done. Off the bat, note that this is a 12-inch diameter pot, and the advertised 14-inch number is the total footprint, including the handles. 

We have the usual refinements that we’ve come to expect from cast iron dutch ovens. These include legs so you can place coals under the oven, and a robust wire handle so you can hang the pot over a fire if you wish. 

This dutch oven is also pre-seasoned with vegetable oil, so it’s ready to use as soon as you get it.

PROS

CONS

PIT BOSS 10″ Cast Iron Dutch Oven

best cast iron dutch oven
  • Capacity (L): 3.78
  • Material: Cast Iron
  • Non-stick surface: Pre-seasoned w/ vegetable oil
  • Dimensions: 11.50 x 10.00 x 6.25 inches

Last on our list is this 10-inch dutch oven from Pit Boss. It appears that Pit Boss took a long hard look at all the dutch ovens on the market, and picked the very best features to incorporate into this item. 

First off, we have the handy thermometer slot for easy temperature monitoring – especially when baking. The pre-seasoning is very useful, and the dutch oven is ready for use as soon as it arrives. However, the only feature missing is an independent handle for the lid so that it can be used as a griddle.

PROS

CONS

Camp Chef 6 Qt Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven

camp chef dutch oven
  • Capacity (L): 5.67
  • Material: Cast Iron
  • Non-stick surface: Pre-seasoned w/ Vegetable Oil 
  • Dimensions: 12.60 x 12.60 x 6.75 inches

It’s time to move away from the Lodge brand for a minute, and take a look at this compelling 5.67-liter capacity option from Camp Chef. It’s a decent size for cooking for several people, is available at a very compelling price, and also has a multi-use lid. 

In this case, the lid includes little cast iron legs/pegs on the top, allowing you to use it as a serving platter or griddle. However, the lid lacks a griddle-sized handle, so be sure to bring hot pads along! 

I’m also a big fan of the built-in thermometer slot, so you can have a thermometer in your pot without having to leave the lid off or significantly askew (which would release heat). Lastly, this dutch oven is pre-seasoned to help cut down on food sticking to the cast iron.

PROS

CONS

How to Choose a Dutch Oven for Camping

We’ve mentioned several features and considerations that are common across our list of dutch ovens for camping. Let’s take a moment to examine these features so you can pick out the best dutch oven for your next camping trip.

Material

As you no doubt noticed, cast iron is the material of choice for camping dutch ovens. This is due to its excellent temperature distribution properties, along with being incredibly robust. For camp cooking, this means that case iron will resist forming hotspots – where one specific area in the pot is much hotter than the rest – and not char the food at the bottom of the pot. 

In terms of longevity, there’s nothing better than cast iron. It will last for decades and just needs occasional re-seasoning to keep it ready for use. 

Capacity

Dutch ovens for camping come in many different sizes. The most common options we see are 4, 6, and 8-quart pots – which equate to 3.78, 5.67, and 7.57 liters respectively. But what does that mean in terms of how many people you can cook for? 

Well, the smaller-sized 3.78-liter options can typically serve 2-5 people. Medium-sized options around 5.67 liters can handle groups up to 8 or 10. If you’re heading out to camp with a large group of 10 or more people, then the large 7.57-liter option is for you! 

Additional Features

Non-Stick Coating and Pre-Seasoning

Many dutch ovens feature pre-seasoning, but what is this exactly? Oil – typically vegetable – is baked directly into the pores of the cast iron at the foundry. The benefits of this are twofold. First, the oil prevents the iron from rusting over time. Second, the oiled/seasoned cooking surface is much less sticky and cuts down on hard to remove food bits clinging to the surface. 

It’s important to note that pre-seasoning does not make the dutch oven surface entirely non-stick. Indeed, it significantly cuts down on sticking food, but certainly does not eliminate it entirely. 

Synthetic non-stick coatings will wear off over time, and they’re therefore not used with most dutch ovens as we’re aiming for years and years of use – and you can re-season with oil at any time. 

Legs & Handles

As we’ve established, camping dutch ovens are intended for hot coals, embers, and fires. Therefore, most designs include legs to bump the pot off the ground so you can manage the coals directly underneath to maintain optimal cooking temperatures. 

Many camping dutch ovens also feature a stiff wire handle. Apart from simply removing the pot from the fire or coals, this wire handle can also be used to hang the oven over a fire – from a sturdy tripod or other structure. 

Additionally, keep an eye open for lids with their own handles so you can use them as a fry pan or skillet. 

Final Thoughts

And there we go campers. It’s time to take your adventure cuisine to the next level with the best dutch oven for camping. 

Learn just how versatile a dutch oven is as you simmer your favorite hearty stew or braise meet for the entire gang – or simply go straight for the ‘wow’ factor by baking an apple crumble. 

We’ve covered the top dutch ovens on the market along with essential information about features and materials. So go ahead, pick out your new cooking friend for camp and start cranking out the best meals you’ve ever had outdoors! 

Have fun and stay safe, eh? 

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