There’s nothing more heartwarming than a classic stew or a soup. Throwing a bunch of tasty and fresh ingredients into one pot and then allowing them to simmer and cook to perfection is an easy way to create some of the best food, with minimal effort needed.
There’s a reason why such dishes prove to be so immensely popular across the world.
There are many ways to cook a stew or similar dishes, such as on top of your stovetop or within your oven. However, for some, nothing could ever quite compare to the simple glory of a Dutch Oven.
Dutch ovens are thick, heavy-duty pots that are built to take on intense cooking jobs for long periods.
They can be made from all sorts of materials, so long as those materials can stand up to intense temperatures for a long period, without buckling or losing their integrity.
One of the most popular materials to use in making Dutch ovens is Cast Iron, which is highly durable.
Picking up your own Dutch oven is a perfect idea, especially if planning a camping trip. However, finding the perfect Dutch oven can be fairly difficult.
Luckily, we’ve done the hard part for you and compiled this list of the top 5 best Dutch ovens that deserve your attention!
OUR TOP PICK
This is definitely one of the best Dutch ovens we’ve ever laid our eyes on.
It features a very simple but very deep, construction, which will allow you to cook masses of food all within the 8 Quart central basin.
This makes it easier to cook, whether you’re cooking for an entire family, or just for you and two other people.
Every inch of this Dutch oven was carefully considered during the design process, as the sturdy lid can even be flipped over whenever you like to create an extra griddle space.
The griddle uses the heat from deep inside of the pot to grill away at anything you place on top of it.
This allows you to create tasty extras, such as burgers, to enjoy alongside your delicious stew.
The Lodge Dutch Oven also has a strong wire handle, which allows you to hang it directly over your campfire, so that your food can cook without interrupting the view of your freshly built fire.
This handle is also perfect for carrying the Dutch oven around between uses. This makes this a recommended option for camping trips, as it's easy to move from your car to your campsite, or even a bit further.
However, it is still a heavy product, so you should not aim to take it on long-haul hiking trips!
The sturdy legs towards the bottom of the oven also make it easy to place it directly into your campfire, so that your stew can experience some truly intense heat to cook away to perfection.
The Lodge Deep Camp Dutch Oven is also the perfect beginner option, for those of you who may be new to Dutch ovens, and want to know how to make the best use of them.
Included within your package will be the Camp Cooking 101 booklet, which contains countless recipes, tips and tricks, and trivia so that you can explore the world of opportunities that this simple pot can open up.
- The Sturdy handle and legs make it easy to choose between hanging the pot above the fire or placing it directly in.
- Features an incredible reversible lid, which acts as an optional griddle, for more cooking space.
- Made, throughout, with cast iron, to be truly sturdy.
- A number of users have noted flaws that may have occurred during production, including faults in the design. These are rare cases, however.
- The wire handle could prove uncomfortable on your hands after a period, thanks to how thin it is.
For an even larger option, why not try out this traveling behemoth from Camp Chef?
With 12 quarts of cooking space, you can truly make impressive meals that will satisfy tons of hungry campers all night long!
Once again, the lid on this Dutch oven can also double as a griddle, so that you can grill up some steaks or other meats, to accompany the delicious chili or stew that you have boiling away.
Camp Chef Dutch ovens are made with fully seasoned cast iron, which means that they are completely non-stick throughout their entire lifespan, so you won’t have to spend countless hours scrubbing away at the pot after you finish cooking. This frees you up to just enjoy your camping trip!
Your cooking choices are also plentiful with this Dutch Oven, as you can choose to hang it over your fire or set it firmly right in the center.
Ease of use is the name of the game with The camp Chef 12 Quart Dutch Oven. You can simply throw in the food you want to cook, hang it over the fire, and get back to enjoying your camping trip.
If you need to check on the temperature of the oven during use, you can even make use of the thermometer notch, which is built into the oven.
- The reversible lid allows for optional grilling, to create even better food.
- The sturdy handle and legs increase cooking options.
- The thermometer notch makes it easy to monitor the temperature of the oven.
- We noted in our tests that the first use imparted the taste of vegetable oil into the food, though this only occurred in the first use.
- The oven itself is slightly smaller than 12 quartz, but only slightly.
One of the most difficult parts of using a Dutch oven is attempting to lift the lid as it is cooking.
Most Dutch ovens have lids with handles of the same material, so lifting the lid during the cooking process can be near impossible, as the handle will heat up alongside the rest of the pot.
To remedy this issue, this Dutch oven from Overmont also comes packaged with a lid lifter, which sits comfortably in your hand, and allows you to check on your food in safety, without risking burns.
This particular Dutch oven also comes in multiple quart sizes, such as the 4 quart and 6 quart sizes. This makes it easily the most portable Dutch oven we’ve seen so far.
Despite being made entirely of iron, it is easy to move about and store between uses.
The smaller space may mean that this oven is not suited for large meals or for feeding masses of people, but it does lend itself to more efficient cooking.
The Overmont oven traps in heat and circulates it around the cooking chamber, so that every drop of chili or every inch of chicken is cooked evenly, and to perfection so that you always end up with a perfect meal!
- Small and easily portable.
- Comes packaged with a sturdy lid lifter.
- Available in multiple sizes.
- Smaller size does mean that this Dutch oven cannot cater to many people in one go.
- Some users have noted that the non-stick coating has worn off, and needed to be reapplied with further oils.
The looped handles on the side of this Bruntmor Dutch oven make it much easier to carry about than its counterparts.
And with six quarts of cooking space it’s almost surprising how easy this Dutch oven is to carry around.
The Bruntmor oven is made throughout with cast iron, and is preseasoned with vegetable oils to create a safe and chemical-free non-stick layer.
The lid is also flanged, and has a slightly raised rim, this makes it perfect for lightly cooking anything on top, as the heat from the oven will naturally carry upwards, and into the lid.
You could choose to warm up breads or cakes on there, to create additional treats to accompany whatever you choose to cook within your oven.
Of course, as with any good Dutch oven worth its salt, you can also use this oven in countless ways, thanks to the strong handle, and the sturdy legs, which allow you to cook in any way you see fit.
- The looped handles make this Dutch oven very easy to move about, between uses.
- Flanged lid creates for additional cooking space
- Pre seasoned with vegetable oils, to create a safe non-stick layer.
- The preseasoning layer may degrade over time, and need to be replaced.
- Smaller than your average Dutch oven, so generally best for smaller groups.
This Dutch oven definitely means serious business. With 10 quarts of cooking space and incredibly sturdy handles, this Dutch oven is easily one of the best on this list of already-incredible products.
You can use it in so many ways, whether you’re frying up some delicious chicken, sauteing, roasting, or baking. This Dutch oven can handle anything.
And using it is simple, thanks to its uncomplicated design that is optimized for ease of use.
The handle, used to hold the oven above a roaring fire, can also be easily used by hand, to port the device around from place to place.
Towards the very center of the handle is a specially designed grip that makes the oven comfortable to hold for prolonged periods. This is great if you are planning to hike to a spot that is particularly hard to reach.
We simply cannot get over the perfect balance between powerful function and simplistic ease of use that this product has managed to strike. It’s truly out of this world. We could not recommend it any more strongly!
- Large cooking space, but still very lightweight.
- The grip on the handle makes it easy to port around.
- Fully constructed with cast iron.
- Heats up a little more slowly than competing models.
- Features a domed lid that is not recessed, so you cannot cook on top of the oven at the same time.
Best Cast Iron Dutch Oven For Camping Buying Guide
Now that we’ve taken a look at 5 of the best Dutch ovens out there, you’re probably ready to buy one for yourself.
Before you do, check out our buyer’s guide, so that you can ensure you are getting the best value for your money.
How much you are willing to pay for a Dutch oven will depend on your familiarity with them, and the number of features you need from one.
If a Dutch oven has lots of advanced features, its price will likely be reflective of it.
However, a person that doesn’t have a lot of experience with Dutch ovens may not need such features, and thus paying for a model with lots of exciting features would prove to be a waste of money.
Before you spend any amount of money on a Dutch oven, you should have a good think about how familiar you are with them.
How many people will you be cooking for? You should make sure to consider this strongly before you buy a Dutch oven.
If you are catering for just a small group, you may benefit from a lighter, and more cost-effective model with a smaller cooking space.
If you are cooking for a large number of people, then you should go for a larger model, which might cost more.
Ease Of Use
Once again, it all comes down to how familiar you are with Dutch ovens. If you are buying your first ever Dutch oven, then we strongly recommend that you opt for a simple model with fewer bells and whistles.
This not only saves you lots more money but also ensures that you have a perfect starting point to learn about Dutch ovens safely.
To Finish Up
Getting a Dutch oven is a perfect way to liven up a camping trip. They feel incredibly rustic and personal, and allow you to create amazing meals no matter where you end up.
As mentioned, finding the right one can be difficult, but we hope we’ve made your search a little easier!
Why not try picking up one of these ovens for yourself and seeing what you can concoct?