Best Dutch Oven For Camping

Dutch Oven For Camping - Reviews & Guides For 2020

Our Top Dutch Oven For Camping

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Dutch Ovens For Camping Buying guide

Are you planning on cooking on your hiking expedition? Don't sweat. Dutch Ovens are there to the rescue.

These tough containers present a simple and efficient way for easy cooking on your journey. Dutch Ovens for camping are fabricated, especially to serve this purpose. However, selecting a suitable oven requires complete knowledge about its different aspects.

Gathering all the information on its characteristics can take a long time, and you may even end with false facts and details. Referring to a comprehensive guide saves your time as you get detailed information under one roof.

Moreover, you will get answers to your different queries and questions too.

Before starting with the guide, let us get familiarized with the product.

What is a Dutch Oven For Camping? Why do you need it?

A dutch oven is a pot like a utensil used for cooking, usually for when you go camping and enjoy hot meals. It is generally made of iron or aluminum and sometimes even ceramic. The campfire cooking, surrounded by coals and the likes, are the basic means of cooking in a dutch oven. The ones designed especially for camping have three legs to stand on, so there is space for the coals.

They are covered in brightly colored enamel, which gives them a vibrant look. They are often very heavy because of the thick material used so that heat is distributed evenly. Dutch ovens for camping, thus, make for a wholesome cooking experience. Besides, if you invest in one, they can be helping hands at home as well!

They are very versatile in terms of what you can cook in dutch ovens. From baking to roasting, and even stewing, you can prepare savory dishes of several kinds in Dutch ovens.

Dutch Ovens Vs. Crock Pots

The never-ending debate between whether to choose a dutch oven or a crockpot has continued for a long time now. Campers are often confused as to which option is better for them. You only need one of the two, but the million-dollar question is, "Which one?"

Many consider them the same thing, but that is not accurate. The subtle differences lie in their sizes, designs, and a slight difference in what each can cook perfectly. Crockpots are larger. They have a deeper space, which makes them ideal for soups and stews. They can mainly be used for liquids only, thus their lightweight.

On the other hand, Dutch ovens for camping offer you the capacity to prepare full-fledged meals for one or two. The trade-off may be a heavier weight for you to carry, but you can cook anything the stockpot can and so much more too! They are also more expensive than stockpots, so you need to decide what type of cooking you plan to do before making a choice.

Need to read a buying guide before selecting the suitable cooking equipment

With so many factors to think about, it can be confusing to select an appropriate oven for camping. You need to make sure that it is durable enough to handle high temperatures and harsh environments.

To select the best option, you need proper knowledge of all its characteristics. A comprehensive buying guide provides in-depth detailed information under one roof. Referring to a guide will allow you to evaluate the minute details of all the options and strike out the best one.

Now without any further delay, let us begin with the guide.

Things to Consider When Selecting the Appropriate Dutch Ovens for Camping

Size

Outdoor activities like camping mean it's best that you carry light. This is especially important if you plan to move around and even go hiking or trekking while you're at it. Thus, the size of the dutch ovens for camping must be appropriate for you to carry.

Buying bulky products is asking for trouble. So you must ensure that the dutch oven you choose should be light enough for convenient portability. The smaller the dutch oven is, the easier it will be for packing and carrying.

Dutch ovens for camping must be lightweight and compact, then. But this should not compromise on their cooking capabilities. For a product that you are satisfied with, ensure that you check the dimensions as well as how much it weighs. This will severely affect the space you will require for packing it and the convenience of transportation.

Heat Conductive

When you are camping, you do not want to waste precious time waiting for your meal to cook. This is the time you could spend exploring the camping site and enjoying the close connection with nature. The conductive heat capacity of the Dutch ovens for camping will determine how fast your food is cooked.

If your dutch oven is adequately heat conductive, which most of them are, you will enjoy faster cooking. This speed, however, should not compromise on taste and quality of food. For a product to be an excellent heat conductor, it should be able to spread heat evenly. This means that the dutch oven of your choice must ensure that the heat it captures is holistically distributed for faster cooking.

The material used in the housing of Dutch ovens for camping contributes to this factor the maximum. Make sure to check out the 'materials' section that will come later in this guide for an in-depth purview of different types of materials and their heat conductivity and retention.

Capacity

The capacity of different Dutch ovens for camping varies from one manufacturer to another. Depending on your cooking needs – what you plan to cook and how many people choose the appropriate capacity. You can select the adequate capacity product by looking into the specifications provided by the manufacturer.

If you are a solo traveler, you may want to look for the smallest oven available. This is because you only require to cook for one, so this will allow you to shed off weight. A 5-quart pot will have enough capacity for you to prepare and enjoy a meal while not burdening your back with extra weight.

If you plan to go camping with friends or family, the capacity of the oven should increase accordingly. Depending on the usual number of people you will have to cook for, the quart size will keep rising. A 12-quart dutch oven for camping serves as appropriate for several campers.

Versatile

In general, the Dutch ovens for camping are quite widely known for holding the capability of cooking several types of meals. One of the main reasons for choosing one over other camping utensils is the versatility of this product. But still, some products provide more space and heating capacity than others, which makes them slightly different in what they can cook.

If you do not want to limit your options of what you can enjoy when you go camping, look for products that offer facilities to prepare several kinds of food – soup, meat, vegetables, etc. Look for products that can be used for different cooking styles as well – roasting, stewing, baking, frying, boiling.

The oven you choose will severely affect your cooking capacity, so make sure to do your research and purchase the product for catering to your need for variety. Several options allow for cooking both solids and liquids while also providing you with heat retention and capacity for even cooking a whole chicken!

Ease of Maintenance

Camping is an exciting outdoor activity where you look forward to reconnecting with nature, exploring the site and even go trekking. You do not want the fun to be disrupted because the oven pot needs rigorous cleaning. Also, especially if you are not camping near a water body, it is likely that you do not have running water to clean the Dutch oven.

For your convenience and necessity more than a perk, you need your Dutch ovens for camping to be easily maintainable and manageable. You need to look for a pot that does not stain and can be cleaned easily after use. For this, you must examine what the interior of the post is made of.

Several Dutch ovens for camping come with non-stick coating on their interior so that whatever you cooked does not leave a residue that is difficult to wipe with nothing more than a wet cloth. Some come with features like pre-seasoning, which require only warm water for thorough cleaning.

Durability

It is known that Dutch ovens for camping are high-end products that are not easy on the pocket. Having made a hefty investment, you do not want to be stuck with a product that gives up on you by breaking or having hampered functioning after some use. Thus, you want to look for a sturdy utensil that can survive wear and tear damage.

Durability depends a lot on the pot's material, the type of maintenance, and whether it is regular and thorough, etc. You must look for a product that is not easy to chip away since camping bags are likely to be in rough spots and positions. It should also have a sturdy exterior housing to outlast after being in close contact with direct heat for cooking.

Type of Material

The material made for housing and interior of Dutch ovens for camping is an essential consideration for choosing the appropriate product. You must look into the array of available options and their pros and cons to decide which suits you best.

  1. Cast Iron

Most Dutch ovens for camping are made of cast iron. This is the most traditional material and is found to be quite useful in cooking under open fire. Since times immemorial, this material has proved to be quite useful for campfire cooking as it is thick and has excellent heat conduction.

The plain cast iron is known to be relatively inexpensive but is extremely bulky. But they are known for durability and are sturdy enough to resist damage and wear and tear. Maintenance can prove to be difficult if it is not seasoned. You can, however, easily season and re-season it for proper use.

They have good quality, tightly sealed lids so that moisture does not escape while cooking. If you opt for raw cast iron, it will last you a lifetime. If cleaning becomes a problem, seasoning is easy and can be redone time and again.

  1. Aluminum or Steel

These metals are known to be lighter than iron, and so, the one big downside of iron cast ovens is rectified. They are often made of stainless steel or cast aluminum, so maintenance is also effortless. They do not require rigorous scrubbing, even if they are not seasoned.

These types of Dutch ovens for camping are also inexpensive, along with being quite lightweight and portable. However, heat retention and conduction are sub-par. So you can cook only certain foods, and the taste will be mediocre, as opposed to the delicious food of cast iron.

  1. Enamelled Cast Iron

This type of oven is a modification of the traditional raw iron ones with improvement in cleaning convenience. The enamel coating makes maintenance and upkeeps very easy, while the iron cast material continues to be a great heat conductor and retainer.

The rich taste of iron oven-made food is restored while also no need to re-season the pot again and again. This has made enameled cast iron dutch ovens for camping quite sought after.

Heat Source

You must factor in the type of heat source you will be using for cooking in order to end up with the best Dutch oven for camping that suits all your needs. The shape, material, and other requirements will vary depending on if you will use a stove or a campfire or coals for cooking your meals.

  1. Stove

Portable burners act like stoves. They are often used by campers, and if you are one of them, you will have to choose an oven that is compatible with this type of heat source. You will have to look for specific shapes and features in the oven, which can be paired with a portable burner.

If you have a big burner, look for an oven that has a broader base. But if your burner is small, make sure that the oven you choose has a smaller diameter. This will enable even heat distribution and better cooking.

  1. Open fire

If your heat source is an open fire that you will set up using firewood or charcoal, you will need to look for appropriate features in your oven. It will require stable legs so that it is not directly resting on the source. Apart from this, the lid should be flat.

Handles

When you are camping, and your food is prepared, you need to transfer the pot from the heat as soon as possible. You do not want your food to get overcooked or the oven to be exposed to extreme heat. In order to do so, you require excellent quality handles.

It is best if the handles are made of a material that does not get heated with the rest of the vessel so that it is convenient to hold. The transferring of food will become a hassle if the handle is of poor quality. Ensure that the handles can manage the weight of the heavy utensil, or else it will be useless as it will break-off easily.

Charcoal

If you use charcoal as your medium of heat while cooking, you need to be cautious of how you place the coals and the oven on it. These are essential considerations to ensure that the oven distributes heat evenly, and the food is well-cooked. You will need to spread the charcoals evenly under the surface area of the oven.

Lids

Good quality lids for Dutch ovens for camping are usually inverted so that they can serve multiple purposes as lids of skillets and griddles. They should be tight fitting to ensure that moisture does not escape while cooking. This will enhance the taste of the food.

Legs

An essential feature in Dutch ovens for camping is stable legs. They make sure that the oven is steady over the fire and that heat is distributed evenly.

Dutch Oven Accessories

  1. Lid Lifter

When the oven is atop the heat source, the lid is likely to be extremely hot. Since you would not want to carry oven mitts, a lid lifter will come quite handy. You can use it to ensure that the food is prepared or check up on the food while it's cooking. Sometimes, you may need to add spices, and so, this accessory is quite useful. It allows you to lift the lid while being away from the fire.

  1. Lid Stand

After having removed the lid, you will have to place it somewhere clean. You cannot put it on the filthy ground and then re-use it to put over the food. A lid-stand is the perfect accessory to use in such a case. You can place the lid safely on it while you add spices or stir and then just as easily replace it.

  1. Tripod

If your dutch oven does not come with long enough or steady enough legs, this accessory will be quite useful for you. You can use it to place the oven over the fire. It makes it convenient for you to check on the food while it is being prepared, rather than doing so while the oven is right over coals.

  1. Fireproof Gloves

You can never be too cautious around the fire. These gloves will allow you to safely handle the oven without harming your hands in the process. You can transfer food from the oven, remove and replace the lid from the oven and do so with safety ensured.

Cooking in a Dutch Oven For Camping

Now, having bought the Dutch oven for camping, you should understand how to use it properly for cooking a delicious meal. Cooking while camping is quite simple and you will need a few other things to ensure that your meal is well-cooked and you do not harm yourself while cooking.

Apart from the dutch oven, you will require the heat source, tongs which are preferable long so that moving coal pieces is easy, mittens or fireproof gloves for safety, and a lid lifter.

  1. The first step is lighting up the charcoal so that the heat source is ready. You can use a fire pit or a grill for this. Tend to the charcoal in the fire pit to ensure they are well-heated.
  2. Place the food in the oven. Put in the other ingredients that you would want in the initial phase of cooking (oil, veggies, meat piece, rice).
  3. Place the oven over the heat source. For this, you will have to ensure that the coal is placed in the right manner. It should be arranged so that each inch of the pot makes use of two coals.
  4. Let the food stew for the required time. Do not continue to check on it by moving the lid as the seal will break, and moisture will be lost. If you do lift the cover for a, peek or add other ingredients like herbs, make sure to do so with caution.
  5. After the food is ready to be served, remove the coals from the lid, and make sure to clean off any ashes that might fall in the food.
  6. Remove the cover, serve the food, and enjoy it!

FAQs

1. What are the do's and don'ts of using dutch ovens?

Do's:

  1. Use wooden utensils for cooking and using water & sponge for cleaning out.
  2. Keep the lid close to stop heat from escaping
  3. Always keep your dutch oven over a heat-proof surface

Don'ts:

  1. Put cold water on the oven
  2. Use plastic/silicone utensils for cooking and leaving in water after using utensils
2. What is a seasoning?

Seasoning is the addition of oil or any other substance that helps in making the surface of the dutch oven smoother to cook. Not only this, but it will also aid in keeping the oven rust-free.

3. What is the best material for dutch ovens?

Cast iron is considered the ultimate material owing to its tough surface and ideal heat retaining properties.

4. Which is the right shape of the dutch oven to buy?

Dutch ovens have either round or oval shape, and it is perfect for cooking food in that.

Final Verdict

Pack a suitable oven with yourself before going on a journey and enjoy delicious meals whenever you want them. All you need is to sort the best product from the available option.

Go through the presented guide and make an informed decision while making a purchase.

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