Dutch ovens have become one of my favourite things to bring on camping trips. They unlock so many awesome recipes – freshly baked bread, cakes and pies, chilli and enchiladas, and so many more classic Dutch oven camping recipes.
And if you have read my backcountry cookbook, you already know that I take my meals while camping very seriously. It’s precisely why I recommend regular campers invest in a good Dutch oven for camping.
There’s a lot of different options though, so it can be a little overwhelming identifying the best Dutch ovens. I have tried several Dutch ovens on my outings and know exactly which Dutch ovens meet camping requirements.
Since I am in the market for a new Dutch oven myself, I’m going to take you through exactly what I went over when finding the best Dutch ovens for camping.
Therefore, in this super handy guide, I will recommend the best Dutch oven for camping, review my top picks, and answer all your questions about buying camping Dutch ovens.
My Top Pick – The Best Camping Dutch Oven
In my opinion, the best camping Dutch oven is the Overmont Camp Dutch Oven. It uses extremely high quality cast-iron and is referred to as the Lifetime Pot. With a volume of 6 quarts, this oven is suitable for small groups. It’s 13 lbs, so not the best weight-for-volume, but still manageable.
And it also comes with all the features I deem essential for cooking in a Dutch oven while camping – notably, legs and a flat top.
You can check out the detailed review of this Dutch oven in the review section below.
Quick Overview – Top Dutch Ovens for camping
If you want to skip the details and jump straight to the answer, here is a quick overview of what I think are the best Dutch ovens for camping –
Best Dutch Oven (Overall) – Overmont Camp Dutch Oven
Best Dutch Deep Dutch Oven (good for stews) – Lodge Deep Camp Dutch Oven
Best Shallow Dutch Oven (good for baking) – Lodge Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven
Best Budget Dutch Oven – Utopia Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Best Mini Dutch Oven – Lodge 2 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Best Large Dutch Oven – Camp Chef Deluxe Dutch Oven
Comparison Chart – Best Dutch Ovens Camping 2020
Below is a comparison chart with details about the best camp Dutch ovens. Before reading the Dutch oven reviews, go through this chart to better understand which is the best Dutch oven camping for your needs.
Think about how many the capacity you need (skip down to the next section if you don’t know) and consider what a reasonable weight is for you.
|Brand / Name||Capacity (quarts)||Dimensions||Weight||Price||Overall Rating|
|Lodge Deep Camp Dutch Oven||8 qt||12.00 x 12.00 x 5.50 inches||20 lbs||$$$||4.5|
|Bruntmor Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven||5 qt||12.63 x 12 x 5.5 inches||14 lbs||$$||4|
|Camp Chef Deluxe Dutch Oven||12 qt||15.15 x 15.15 x 7.75 inches||24 lbs||$$||4.5|
|Overmont Camp Dutch Oven||6 qt||11.02 x 11.02 x 7.48 inches||13 lbs||$$||5|
|CampMaid Dutch Oven Without Legs||7 qt||13.5 x 13.5 x 7 inches||17 lbs||$$||4|
|Lodge Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven||6 qt||13.20 x 13.10 x 7.20 inches||19 lbs||$$$||4.5|
|Texsport Dutch Ovens||4 qt||7 x 10.6 x 11.5 inches||13 lbs||$||4|
|Bruntmor Dutch Oven||8.5 qt||12.7 x 10.9 x 9.2 inches||21 lbs||$$$||4|
|Lodge 2 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven||2 qt||9.84 x 8.66 x 3.54 inches||2 lbs||$||4.5|
|Utopia Cast Iron Dutch Oven||5 qt||14 x 12 x 7 inches||7 lbs||$||4.5|
FAQs – All about the Best Dutch Ovens for Camping
Before we review the best Dutch ovens for camping, let’s go over the basics and what to look for in a Dutch oven.
What is a Dutch oven?
A Dutch oven is a cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid. It is mostly made using cast iron, but you will also find aluminum and ceramic variants. A Dutch oven can be used to cook almost everything that you cook in a regular oven. It can also be used for roasts, soups, stews, and pot meals.
A Dutch oven is incredibly useful because its construction facilitates excellent retention of heat in the pot. The pot also distributes the heat evenly all across. A Dutch oven is versatile and requires hardly any maintenance.
What is the difference between a regular Dutch oven and a camping Dutch oven?
Technically, a camp Dutch oven is a type of Dutch oven that is preferred for camping use. Thus, while every camping Dutch oven can be used at home, every dutch-oven ideal for home use can’t withstand the outdoors.
However, here are a few key differences to watch out for when looking for a Dutch oven for camping.
|Dutch Oven for Home Use||Dutch Oven for Camping|
|Can be lighter in weight. Mini Dutch ovens and smaller-sized Dutch ovens are more popular for home use.||Must be sturdy (which sometimes means heavy). Usually made in larger sizes.|
|Usually made from cast iron, but aluminium Dutch ovens and ceramic Dutch ovens are also available in the market for home use.||Made using a cast iron.|
|Most Dutch ovens for home use are sealed in enamel for use on a stovetop, burner or an oven.||Enamel cast iron Dutch ovens are not suitable for use on a campfire.|
|Come in a flat bottom suitable for placing over stove tops and inside ovens||Often come with legs on the bottom for placing over charcoal and wood. These Dutch ovens also come with a raised rim on the lid ideal for placing the charcoal on top.|
What are some of the popular brands of Dutch ovens?
The popular brands of Dutch ovens for camping are Lodge, Overmont, Camp Chef, and Bruntmore. You can often find Lodge Dutch ovens and Camp Chef Dutch ovens in many camping stores.
On the other hand, Staub Dutch ovens and Creuset Dutch ovens are popular brands of Dutch ovens, but are suitable for home use, not camp use.
What are Dutch ovens used for?
Dutch ovens support a variety of cooking techniques. You will find Dutch oven recipes for camping that apply various methods like boiling, simmering, sauté, pan-frying, baking as well as braising.
I most often use a Dutch oven for baking bread on long camping trips. You can also use it for recipes like Shepherd’s Pie, frittatas, baked desserts and more.
There are a couple of cooking rules that you must keep in mind when using a Dutch oven:
- Baking and braising require you to place coal on the lid as well. On the other hand, boiling, simmering, sautee, pan-frying, shallow frying, etc. only requires bottom-end heating.
- Taller or deeper Dutch ovens are ideal for stewing and frying, whereas shorter Dutch ovens work better for baking.
What accessories are required to get the best out of a Dutch oven?
In addition to a Dutch oven, you can consider buying the following additional accessories –
Lid Lifter – used to lift the heavy lid of a Dutch oven.
Metal Tongs – to move the charcoal
Heat Resistant Gloves – to protect your hands against heat
Thermometer – to get your heating temperatures right.
Tripod -to hang the Dutch oven over a campfire
If you do not want to buy accessories individually, you could consider purchasing a Dutch oven that comes with accessories such as this 6-piece Dutch oven set by CampMaid.
Personally, I only have metal tongs and heat resistant gloves. A lid lifter would definitely be helpful, as I’m usually worried about dropping charcoals in the food when I try to lift the lid.
The Reflector Oven is a nifty, though less popular, alternative to a Dutch oven and is good for baking.
How to determine what size Dutch oven to buy?
You will find a variety of sizes of Dutch ovens available in the market. Since you want to minimize size and weight on camping trips, go with the smallest size that can accommodate your group.
Here is a general guideline for choosing a Dutch oven –
- 8-inch 2-quart: 2 to 4 people
- 10-inch 4-quart: 5 to 7 people
- 12-inch 6-quart 6 to 10 people
- 14-inch 10-quart 12 to 20 people
Note that the diameter of the Dutch oven alone will not tell you how much food can be cooked in it. To figure that out, you must check the volume or the capacity of the Dutch oven too.
Some of the best rated Dutch ovens come in varying volumes for the same diameter. Thus you will find a 12-inch diameter Dutch oven that comes in a 6-quart capacity as well as one that may come in an 8-quart capacity.
Best Dutch Ovens Camping 2020 – Detailed Reviews
In this section, you will find detailed reviews of my top rated Dutch ovens for camping. While all the products listed here are great for campers, the detailed reviews will help you narrow down your search to find one that’s suitable for you.
Pros – Excellent quality, comes with legs, has a flanged lid with bail hook, versatile lid, and pot, affordable.
Cons – Could be too big and bulky for a small group.
Lodge cast-iron Dutch ovens are considered to be the best in the market, and rightfully so. A lodge Dutch oven is thoughtfully made and can last a lifetime if looked after properly.
This 8-quart Dutch oven by Lodge comes with legs that make the pot stand evenly over the campfire. The tight-fitting flanged lid can easily hold sufficiently hot coals on top. Moreover, when you do not need to use the cover, you can invert it and use it as a griddle.
The lid also comes with a bailing hook that lets you hang the Dutch oven over the hearth or campfire.
The pot itself is also versatile and can be used as a skillet for home cooking and camp cooking. It can easily sit on various heating surfaces such as gas, electric stove, or an induction.
The makers do state that the pot is pre-seasoned. However, to avoid the hassles of the food getting stuck to the sides, it is best to season it again before the first use. You will find detailed instructions on seasoning this Dutch oven in the manual.
Additionally, Lodge also provides a super useful cookbook to help you get the best out of your Dutch oven.
In my opinion, Lodge’s dutch-oven is one of the best cast iron Dutch ovens in the market. You will also find it in smaller and larger volumes and can select one based on your requirements.
Pros – Affordable, ideal choice for casual campers, perfect size for a small group, comes with a domed lid for roasts, the lid can double up as a skillet.
Cons – Does not come with legs, a bit heavy for the size, round lid top not ideal for coals. Doesn’t have a handle.
This is a top-quality product available in the market for an incredibly affordable price. This product features on my list of cast iron Dutch oven reviews because it is a unique Dutch oven that can not only be used at home but can also easily sustain campfire use.
First, it is a smallish 5-quart cast iron Dutch oven that comes in a 14-pound weight making it an ideal choice for a small family of campers. The construction is reliable and can easily withstand extreme temperatures.
But the unique feature of this Dutch oven is that it comes with a dome-shaped lid. This dome-shaped lid is particularly suitable for roasts and meat recipes.
When you do not need a lid, you can invert the top and use it as a rarely available 10-inch campfire skillet.
The flat bottom also helps when you need to use the Dutch oven at home or on stove tops or inside ovens. This oven’s sturdy handles come with holes that make lifting convenient and hanging on a drying rack possible too.
I must state that this Dutch oven is suitable for casual campers who do not want to invest in a proper camping Dutch oven. Serious campers should look for an oven equipped with legs, a hook and a flatter top.
Pros – Super affordable, ideal choice for regular campers, perfect for large groups, comes with built-in legs and a lid that can double up as a skillet and a griddle, is also equipped with a built-in thermometer.
Cons – Not suitable for small groups, not as durable as other Dutch ovens.
This camp chef Dutch oven is a beast in terms of performance and make. It comes in solid cast-iron construction that can withstand extreme temperatures and harsh conditions. It is an ideal Dutch oven for feeding a large group of campers.
The Dutch oven comes with legs to stand evenly on all types of surfaces. Plus, the lid fits snug for baking and braising. It is also deep enough to use as a skillet when inverted. You can quickly cook your eggs and pancakes in the inverted lid.
The lid has also been thoughtfully constructed to come with legs that allow it to balance when inverted for use as a grill or griddle.
The lid is also equipped with loop handles on the top to make it truly versatile.
This Dutch oven’s highlight is its built-in thermometer, enabling you to efficiently heat the pot to an appropriate temperature, leaving no room for guesswork.
Of course, this Dutch oven is only suitable for large groups and regular campers as it needs constant seasoning. Plus, this oven is supposedly less durable than comparable models.
Pros – Affordable, provides excellent value for money, superior quality of cast-iron that can last a lifetime, pot and lid come with legs, comes with wire for hanging. A lid-lifter is also provided.
Cons – A bit heavy for its size.
I think this one is my favourite on the list. The Overmont Camp Dutch oven is known to be the best in terms of its cast-iron quality. It can easily last you a full lifetime, and that’s why the makers call it the Lifetime Pot.
Just like the Camp Chef Dutch Oven, this Dutch oven is also equipped with legs both on the pot as well as the lid.
I really like that this one has legs, even though it’s a small Dutch oven. (Lid legs are rare for a six-quart pot.)
The lid also comes attached with a stainless steel wire to facilitate hanging over a campfire. To make lifting the top more comfortable, this Dutch oven provides a lid lifter too.
But what truly makes this Dutch oven an excellent investment is the quality of its cast iron. The high-quality cast iron, coupled with its superior design, allows excellent heat retention and even heat distribution. These qualities are environment-friendly and ensure even cooking.
In my opinion, if you are looking for the best camp Dutch oven, you should not look beyond this product.
Pros – Affordable, can be used while camping and at home, uses high-quality cast-iron, comes with wire for hanging, and a unique tab on the pot for easy pouring.
Cons – Both the pot and lid do not have legs.
I love this CampMaid Dutch Oven because of its make and size. In my opinion, this is the best cast iron Dutch oven for camping in mid-sized groups.
This Dutch oven is wider than other comparable 7-8 quart Dutch ovens, thus providing a better experience when cooking meats.
In terms of its quality, too, this Dutch oven does not disappoint. It uses good quality cast-iron that beautifully distributes heat throughout the pot.
The flanged lid is ideal for placing coal on top for even baking and braising. It also comes with a wire for ease of handling and for hanging it over campfires.
But the addition of a tab on the pot is what makes this Dutch oven genuinely unique. This tab makes pouring of liquids from the large, heavy Dutch oven hassle-free.
Of course, the lack of legs both on the pot and the lid mean that you will need to use it on even surfaces or charcoal briquettes. But the lack of legs makes it ideal for home use too, thus giving you substantial value for money.
Pros – Uses high-quality cast-iron, comes with wire for hanging, the lid can be inverted for use as a griddle; the shallow design allows better baking.
Cons – A bit heavy
As I have specified earlier, Lodge cast iron Dutch ovens are the best in the market. They are made specifically for camping needs and therefore are tough enough to sustain rough conditions, extreme temperatures, and various heating sources.
This model is much more shallow than some of the comparable Dutch ovens above. This means it works better for baking, but doesn’t offer the same versatility as other models.
Like the other Lodge Dutch ovens, this oven is also made using high-quality super durable cast iron. The lid is flanged and deep enough to hold coal placed on top of it securely. The lid can also be inverted and used as a griddle.
The pot legs are sturdy enough for placing on uneven surfaces and charcoal. Overall, the heat retention and distribution are excellent, and the wide and shallow design renders even baking.
The only downside of this Dutch oven is its weight. The Dutch oven is quite heavy for being carried around to remote campsites but should work well for car campers. In comparison to the Overmont (my top recommendation), this oven is heavier and more expensive.
Pros – Super affordable, good-quality cast-iron, durable, ideal for small family campers, comes with legs on the pot and a wire for hanging.
Cons – Heavy for its size, quality is not as high as other ovens.
I like this Texsport Dutch Oven because of its simple, classic look and compact sizing. This 4-quart Dutch oven is perfect for 2-3 people.
It comes with most of the features of a Lodge Dutch oven but costs much less.
It features legs on the pot, wire for hanging, a tight-fitting lid that ensures even multi-directional distribution of heat. The fit of the lid also keeps the food inside moist.
The only area in which it could see improvement is in the versatility of the lid. While it is not entirely impossible to use the lid as a griddle or a skillet, the lid is not as stable as a Lodge Dutch oven lid.
Similarly, the Dutch Oven does not come pre-seasoned, and therefore you will have to take off its protective wax coating and then season it before your first use.
However, this Dutch oven is a great investment for a small family of campers, and if taken care of properly, it can provide tremendous value for money.
Pros – Affordable, good-quality cast-iron, durable, perfect size for all types of campers, comes with legs on the pot and a wire for hanging.
Cons – Lid can’t be used as a skillet or griddle, very heavy and quite expensive.
The quality of a Bruntmor Dutch Oven never fails to impress, which is why I had to include one more Bruntmor Dutch oven in this list.
This Dutch oven, unlike the one mentioned earlier, does not come with a domed lid. Its shape and style are comparable to most other classic Dutch ovens on this list, but this Dutch oven comes with a more affordable price tag than Lodge Dutch ovens.
This Dutch oven is equipped with solid legs that stand stable on charcoal. The lid is flanged and can hold charcoals safely on top. Plus, the lid fits firmly and distributes the retained heat across the body of the pot. The pot can also be hung over a campfire using the lid hooks.
Furthermore, since the Dutch oven comes pre-seasoned, you can use it straight out of the box.
Despite this, I just don’t think the weight and price are worth the size and quality you get.
Pros – Affordable, good-quality cast-iron, durable, perfect size for couples, super lightweight, capable of withstanding outdoor use
Cons – Lid can’t be used as a skillet or griddle, no legs. Curved lid makes it difficult to keep coals on top.
Oh yes! I am including yet another Dutch oven by Lodge in this list. But that is because I absolutely love how functional and user-friendly this modest 2 quart cast iron Dutch oven is.
This Dutch oven also comes with the same quality standards as the other Lodge Dutch ovens do, and therefore despite its lower capacity, this product can easily withstand outdoor use. Plus, thanks to its simplistic design, it can be regularly used at home as well.
In my opinion, this cast-iron Dutch oven is perfect for a couple looking to spend some time out camping. Its light weight makes it a convenient option for carrying it around, even on a motorcycle.
In terms of its cooking potential, even without a flanged lid, it can be used to bake and braise. The lid fits perfectly, and the compact size assists with moisture-retention.
Overall, if you want to invest in a multi-use small Dutch oven, you should definitely opt for this product.
Pros – Super affordable, good-quality cast-iron, durable, capable of withstanding outdoor use.
Cons – Curved lid makes it difficult to keep coals on top. Lid can’t be used as a skillet or griddle, no legs. Small size, so not suitable for large groups.
If you are looking for mid-sized, good-quality cheap Dutch ovens, here’s one for you. This product by Utopia is a steal. It costs half as much as the other comparable market variants and yet does not fail to deliver in terms of its functionality.
If you are a newbie trying to get a feel of using a Dutch oven on a campsite, you should use this one by Utopia. This Dutch oven supports all types of cooking, and you can easily try your hand at making cakes, biscuits, roasts, soups, etc.
The one uses great quality cast-iron. Plus, the 5 mm thickness makes it ideal for withstanding substantial amounts of heat.
Of course, given that this Dutch oven is a budget-range product, you will not find it equipped with features such as bottom legs, a flanged lid, or a steel wire for hanging. But on the flip side, the Dutch oven can be conveniently used at home as well to get the best out of the product.
Final Thoughts on the Best Dutch Ovens for Camping
I hope you find this detailed guide with reviews of dutch ovens useful for deciding which Dutch oven to settle down on. Honestly, as I have stated earlier, I find the Overmont Dutch oven the best and worth every penny.
But you could choose any other Dutch oven listed above based on your specific requirements.
Here are my top picks based on size –
Best 2-quart Dutch oven – Lodge 2 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Best 4-quart Dutch oven – Texsport Dutch Oven
Best 7-quart Dutch oven – CampMaid 7 Quart Dutch Oven Without Legs
Best large Dutch Oven – Camp Chef Deluxe Dutch Oven
So which Dutch oven did you pick? Let me know!
(Also make sure you check out my backcountry cookbook for some interesting Dutch oven recipes for camping or some fun Dutch oven dessert recipes for camping.)