The Best Cast Iron Dutch Oven for Camping in 2021

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Are you searching for a cast iron Dutch oven to quickly and easily bring your camping recipes to life?

You’re on the right track. Cast iron Dutch ovens cook evenly and retain heat to keep your meals warm longer. They also won’t melt on the hottest fire and can last for a lifetime.

We understood that choosing the best cast iron Dutch oven for camping can be tasking. So, we have taken the time to research and test some great options for you.

But first, here are some considerations you should be aware of before purchasing a Dutch oven:

  • Size: how big or small should the Dutch oven be? The answer will depend on the number of mouths you’ll be feeding.
  • Material: of course, we are dealing with only cast-iron Dutch ovens here, so let’s pretend the others never existed :).
  • Weight: unfortunately, cast iron products are always heavy. However, you still don’t want something as hefty as a dead whale.

Read More: Camping Cast Iron Dutch Oven Buying Guide

Without further delay, here are our top picks for the best cast iron Dutch ovens for camping:

1.   Lodge 6 Quart Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven

Lodge Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven 6-Quart

Image Credit: Lodge Cast Iron

 

This is an Amazon’s Choice Dutch oven from Lodge. It is a multipurpose Dutch oven with a 6-quart capacity. It’s designed to work over a campfire or on a grill.

The pot is pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil. This makes it perfect for baking, frying, and broiling, etc. The Dutch oven features unique heat retention and even a heating design.

You can use the flanged lid to hold hot coals. It can also be used as a griddle when inverted. The integral legs make it possible to place it over hot coals. This is ideal for high heat cooking.

Alternatively, you can hang the pot using the bail handle for low heat cooking.

Lodge Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven 6-Quart

Customers who have used this Dutch oven confirmed that it’s easy to clean. And it’s also highly rated for versatility and durability.

You even get a free copy of the Camp Dutch Oven Cooking 101 cookbook when you buy this product.

Lodge 6 Quart Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven is a bit heavy at 19 pounds, but that isn’t a surprise considering the exciting features it offers.

PROS

  • Heat retention and even heating
  • Easy to clean
  • Multipurpose lid
  • Free cookbook
CONS

  • Heavy
  • Small rim

2.   Texsport Cast Iron Dutch Oven – 4 Quart

Texsport Cast Iron Dutch Oven - 4 Quart

Image Credit: Texsport

 

This dutch oven is ideal for two to three people. It’s a 4 quarts unit with only 12 pounds of weight. It comes with legs, a lid, dual handles, and an easy lift-wire handle – these nicely promote convenience.

The Texsport Cast Iron Dutch Oven first hit the market in 2007 and has remained one of the best Dutch ovens for camping since then. It’s designed to last long. It has super resistance to chipping and warping.

This dutch oven is perfect for outdoor cooking thanks to its incredible heat distribution and retention. It features a tight-fitting lid that keeps food warm for longer.

The relatively low weight of this cast-iron Dutch oven makes it very portable. In addition, the wire handles make it easy to lift.

It’s easy to clean. But, the manufacturer recommends that you hand wash using hot water and a stiff brush.

We love this Dutch oven for its sturdiness. Also, it’s one of the most affordable products on this list. You can request a warranty from Texsport if you buy this product.

PROS

  • Not heavy
  • Tight-fitting lid
  • Wire handle
  • Not expensive
CONS

  • Sharp edges
  • The surface is a bit rough

3. Camp Chef 12 Qt Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Camp Chef 12 Qt Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Image Credit: Camp Chef

 

If you need a large cast-iron Dutch oven, this Camp Chef pot is one of the best options. It’s an Amazon’s Choice product with a 12-quart capacity. This is the Grand Canyon National Park Commemorative Edition.

The Dutch oven is pre-seasoned with Camp Chef’s True Seasoned Finish. You can prepare healthy meals as it offers a natural and easy-release cooking surface.

Thanks to the lid flange, this Camp Chef 12 Qt Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven is ideal for cooking with wood or charcoal briquettes. You can also cook over an open flame.

Camp Chef 12 Qt Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven

The pot comes with a built-in thermometer notch and a convenient loop handle on the lid. You can use the lid as a griddle or skillet.

It’s also easy to clean, and you can dry with a towel. Overall, this is a very durable and sturdy unit, and most customers will agree with us.

No surprise that it weighs 24.9 pounds – remember, this is a 12 Quarts cast-iron Dutch oven. So, be sure you can pack the weight.

But surprisingly, the price is relatively low. You also get the Dutch Oven starter booklet with seasoning tips.

PROS

  • Easy-release cooking surface
  • Multipurpose lid
  • Good for large camps
  • Fee cookbook
  • Lid lifter
CONS

  • Heavy
  • Lid interior rusts

4. Uno Casa Cast Iron Camping Dutch Oven – 6 Quart

Uno Casa Cast Iron Camping Dutch Oven

Image Credit: Uno Casa

 

This 6-quart is a very durable unit, built to last, maybe forever.  It is pre-seasoned and exclusively made for camping.  The pot features extra-long legs to allow it to sit perfectly over the campfire.

You can also hang it over an open fire with the added handle. The featured steel lid lifter makes it easy to open. You can use the lifter safely even when the pot is hot.

The lid can be used as a griddle as well. You just have to invert it. Hence, this is one of the best dutch ovens for camping if you’re preparing grilled meals.

The Uno Casa Cast Iron Camping Dutch Oven weighs 17 pounds. But worry less about the weight; it comes with a heavy-duty polyester tote bag with PVC backing for easy transport.

You also get a free recipe eBook.

PROS

  • Extra-long legs
  • Carry bag
  • Lid lifter
  • Free recipe eBook
CONS

  • It is still a heavy unit at 17 pounds.

5.   Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Round Dutch Oven – 5 Quart

Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Round Dutch Oven

 

Here is a product to consider if you’re on a low budget. It is the cheapest on this list. And it’s just 5 quarts, so it’s only ideal for three to four people. Furthermore, it comes in a very simple design.

You can buy this Dutch oven in deep gray or deep cranberry color. This product wasn’t primarily designed for camping, but it’s just as valid. It’s a versatile unit that you can use for roasting, baking, boiling, and braising.

It’s a non-stick pot with even heat distribution and retention. The cast-iron Dutch oven features side handles and a fitted lid.

It can withstand heat up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll need hot pads or potholders when removing it from the fire.

You can easily clean the oven by hand washing. As you’d expect, the AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Round Dutch Oven is lightweight. It weighs just 12.68 pounds and shouldn’t be hard to transport.

Despite the lightweight, this unit is still highly rated for durability and versatility.

PROS

  • Not too heavy
  • Performs well for high heat cooking
  • Not expensive
CONS

  • Requires potholders
  • Not primarily for camping

6. Bruntmor Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven – 8 Quart

Bruntmor Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Image Credit: Bruntmor

 

This is an ideal option for a medium-sized cast-iron Dutch oven. It has an 8-quart capacity. This Bruntmor product is very sturdy and designed to last a lifetime. It’s made from 100% cast iron and is resistant to chipping and warping.

The pot is legless to ensure heat is well distributed when put over a campfire. It features a lid that doubles as a skillet and griddle. The lid also locks in moisture and is perfect for high heat cooking.

The Bruntmor Cast Iron Dutch Oven is pre-seasoned and will work on almost all cooking surfaces. This means you can continue using it at home after returning from your camping trip.

You should have no problem with cleaning if you follow the manual. This product weighs 18.2 pounds.

PROS

  • For large camps
  • Suitable for high heat cooking
  • Resistant to chipping and warping
  • Legless
CONS

  • Heavy
  • Rough surface

 

Camping Cast Iron Dutch Oven Buying Guide

This buying guide will make it easier for you to select the best dutch oven for camping. Here are some essential things to consider:

Size

A big cast-iron Dutch oven is ideal if you frequently camp in a large group. The perfect choice is the Camp Chef 12 Qt Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven. It should be enough to cook for up to 10 people.

Conversely, you’d only need a small Dutch oven if you have four persons or fewer in your group. You can consider the Texsport Cast Iron Dutch Oven or the AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Round Dutch Oven.  They are 4 Qt and 5 Qt, respectively.

In the middle are the 6 to 8 Qt Dutch ovens, which will be great if you are five to seven persons in your camping group.

Shape

Most cast-iron Dutch ovens have a deep shape while others are shallow. This is different from their size. Shallow options like the Uno Casa Cast Iron Camping Dutch Oven are ideal for baking.

On the other hand, the deep products are the best for preparing full meals and roasts. The Camp Chef 12 Qt Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch is a good option.

Finish

Pre-seasoned camp dutch ovens are the best. You can pick any of the products on this list for this criterion as they’re mostly pre-seasoned. Pre-seasoned camp Dutch ovens can withstand outdoor elements and they hardly rust.

If you purchase an unseasoned cast iron, you’ll have to season it yourself before taking it on your trip.

Weight

The greatest downside of cast iron Dutch ovens is their weight. Of course, the average cast-iron Dutch oven is heavy. And they are usually not very travel-friendly.

These big cooking toys are probably only going to be suitable to carry in a car or RV.

However, if you cannot pack much weight, you’ll want to go for low-weight pots like the Texsport Cast Iron Dutch Oven and the AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Round Dutch Oven. They weigh just 12.03 and 12.6 pounds, respectively.

Price 

In the end, your budget will have a significant effect on whatever decision you make. However, you don’t want to jeopardize quality for a low price. Fortunately, cast-iron Dutch ovens are available at decent prices. Note that the prices are greatly influenced not just by the quality but also the Quart (Qt) capacity.

Anyway, if you are on a low budget, the Texsport Cast Iron Dutch Oven is the most affordable on the above list; it is available for under $40. As mentioned in the review, you can see it still offers enormous features despite its low price.

Otherwise, you can opt for any of the others.

Accessories

There are essential accessories you’ll need to use your dutch camp oven. Some products come with these accessories while others do not. For example, the Uno Casa Cast Iron Camping Dutch Oven comes with a carry bag and lid lifter. This could save you money on purchasing these separately.

 

Other Accessories Needed to Use A Dutch Oven for Camping

There are other accessories you need to use with your dutch oven. Some of them include:

Pan Scrapers

Pan scrapers help clean your Dutch oven. Notably, they’ll help remove sticky remains. This accessory is very affordable. You can get a good one for less than $5 on Amazon.

Tripod

Tripods are hangers. It lets you hang your dutch oven over the campfire. This is ideal for low heat cooking or if you want to warm your food. You should purchase an adjustable tripod. This allows you to set the length of the tripod according to your cooking intention.

Lid Lifter

Your Dutch oven lid can get very hot while cooking. Lifting the lid with your hands when hot means harming yourself. A lid lifter is a safe tool to take off the lid when hot. It also puts you in control to avoid swaying. You should go for a relatively long lid-lifter. A lid lifter of 15 to 20 inches long is ideal.

Carry Bag

A carry bag makes transporting your dutch oven a lot easier. It’s also a safe place to store your Dutch oven when it’s not in use. If your unit doesn’t come with one, you need to purchase a sturdy carry bag. You should consider the size of your Dutch oven when buying a carry bag.

Frequently Asked Questions – Camping Dutch Ovens

Q: What is the best dutch oven for camping?

A: You can pick any of the 6 Dutch oven products listed in this article. The best depends on your preference and wants.

Q: What makes for a good Dutch oven?

A: A good Dutch oven should feature quality cast iron. It should be well constructed with uniformity and thick walls. Furthermore, it should have a well-fitted lid.

Q: What can you not cook in a Dutch oven?

A: A Dutch oven is pretty much like any pot. You can use it for cooking anything.

Q: Are Dutch ovens good for healthy cooking?

A: Most Dutch ovens are pre-seasoned, which makes them healthy for cooking. Nevertheless, healthy cooking has more to do with how you prepare your food.

Conclusion

The above article showed you our best picks for the best cast iron Dutch ovens for camping. We also discussed the features to consider to make the custom best choice for you in the buying guide. And finally, we discussed some of the other accessories needed to get the best out of your brand new Dutch oven also the frequently asked questions by others.

You can go for any of the products in our pick that meets your interest and needs. However, the Lodge 6 Quart Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven is our overall best. Because of its heat-retention superpower, rugged build, easy cleaning, fair price, etc. This is excellent value for your money.

However, if you are on a tight budget, you can go for the Texsport Cast Iron Dutch Oven, which is still well-made and offers a lot of value as well.

We wish you all the best on your future adventures.