Things have come full circle, and while we have all the modern conveniences in the world, more and more people find themselves trying to get back to nature. There are more and more people taking themselves and their families into the woods for camping trips, or learning to live off the land in an attempt at off-grid living. An essential tool for anyone in those situations is the best cast iron Dutch oven for camping.
There are so many products out there in this category that it can be impossible to choose which is impossible for you. How do we tell which is the best cast iron Dutch oven for camping? It can be a daunting and overwhelming process to decide which product to purchase and even then, it can be difficult to be sure we have gotten the best bang for our buck regarding what we have purchased. In this guide, I will attempt to help you narrow down the playing field and help you get the best cast iron Dutch oven for camping that fits your budget and your needs.
Best Cast Iron Dutch Oven for Camping
Overwhelmingly, among casual and serious campers and hikers alike, this model seems to be the overwhelming favorite. Lodge brand has a long history of making a quality cast iron Dutch oven for camping. After all, they have been at it for over 100 years, so they must know what they are doing, right? I mean, a company does not continue to churn out an entire line of products for that long and not know what they are doing, do they?
As far as cast iron Dutch ovens for camping go, the Lodge L8DD3 appears to be the Cadillac of dutch ovens. It has a very large capacity, coming in at 5 quarts. This means that it will hold enough food to feed 8 people. This makes it great for a large family, a Cub Scout den, Boy Scout Patrol, or small division of a commune! The lid will double as a skillet. The downside is that the convenience of that capacity will cost you in terms of weight, so if you were planning on throwing this bad boy in your hiking pack and hitting the trail, make sure to plan accordingly. It also does not have handles for hanging, so be sure to plan for that and have hot pads and/or tongs at the ready. It comes pre-seasoned, so there’s also no prep work involved. It’s slightly higher priced than some of the other models, but if you shop around, you can usually find a good deal that will make the price comparable.
Bonus: Made in the US!
Highly regarded and well respected, this product is among the top in terms of being the best cast iron Dutch oven for camping. It comes in at a reasonable price that will not break the bank while fully meeting your campout cooking needs. This Dutch oven has legs to keep it elevated so you can place it down directly in the coals or hang it up in a tripod using the included built-in handles. Whether you are going camping as a family, going on a weekender with your son’s Boy Scout troop, or embarking on a long hike, this is sure to meet your needs.
Coleman Cast Iron Dutch Oven
When it comes to camping gear, Coleman is a name most people recognize. Their cast iron Dutch oven comes complete with a recessed lid for holding coals, which can be convenient for more even cooking and for transport. On the downside, it does not have legs, so this can be a bit of a bummer when it comes to trying to use it over an open flame, so you would also have to have a stand or use it on a grill. But because Coleman is so widely recognized, this should make it easy to find and inexpensive. However, it does not appear to be something that is carried on Amazon at this time, but your local Wal-Mart does carry this product cast iron Dutch oven to accommodate your camping needs.
HONORABLE MENTION FOR LARGEST CAPACITY:
This cast-iron Dutch oven for camping gets an honorable mention for having the largest capacity of all the ones I found in my research. For our family, it ultimately was not practical for our needs because of course, that capacity makes it a bit on the heavy side. Of course, part of that additional capacity is in the lid, which can also be used as a pan. Camp Chef is a relative newcomer to the camping and Dutch oven game, only being in the ballgame since 1990, so only 27 years. This is not all that long when you compare it to the likes of Lodge and Coleman, but they have a little bit of staying power there.
This Dutch oven for camping does include those tiny legs to keep it elevated from the flame and a convenient handle, so you don’t have to worry as much about having as many extra items to tote about. You can set it directly onto the coals or hang it from a frame and be on with the business of preparing a tasty meal for your large group in no time. The product seems to be very durable and able to handle the abuse of the outdoors without so much as a blink and able to stand up to the weather conditions of the outdoors very well. The downsides are that it comes in a bit higher on the price range, but considering its higher capacity, that is to be expected. I also was not able to tell if it had come pre-seasoned, but seasoning really is not that hard of a process, and even the pre-seasoned ones really do need a good going over occasionally anyway.
There you have it, folks. There are a lot of players out there in the Dutch oven for camping game. There are a variety of materials that these products are being made from, but cast iron still is the best for cooking over an open flame as it stands up to the heat very well and cooks food evenly and efficiently. Whether you are taking a solo overnight hike or spending a week in the woods with your family, or taking your life off the grid and getting away from modern conveniences for all of eternity, you are sure to find a product here that is going to meet your needs. Good luck and enjoy the wilderness.