Best Dutch Oven for Campfire Cooking

Published Categorized as Cookware, Grills and Outdoor Cooking

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If you enjoy camping, you will know that you need to take cookware with you to prepare your meals. A Dutch oven is well equipped for this task. They are so versatile, and you can cook excellent one-pot meals in them. They are made from cast iron which is a good conductor of heat so your food will be thoroughly and evenly cooked. With seasoning, they become non-stick, so your food won’t stick, and you do not have to watch over it for the whole time that it is cooking. Dutch ovens retain heat so your food will still be hot when you come back for seconds. Because they are non-stick, cleaning is easy. With some dishes that you cook, you can just wipe the pan with a piece of kitchen roll. If you do need to clean it a bit more thoroughly, just use warm water. Use a soft cloth, not a steel scrubber. Don’t use detergent as it can make the oven rust.

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In a hurry? This is our winner!

Our rating:

Lodge 8 Quart Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven with Lid - Dual Handles - Use in the Oven, on the Stove, on the Grill or over the Campfire - Black
  • 8 QT. DEEP CAMP DUTCH OVEN. The Lodge portable “camp stove” is the pot that does it all. The flanged lid holds hot coals and inverts for use as a griddle. The integral legs allow the oven to sit perfectly over the campfire.
  • PRE-SEASONED COOKWARE. A good seasoning makes all the difference. Lodge provides pre-seasoned cookware with no synthetic chemicals; just soy based vegetable oil. The more you use your iron, the better the seasoning becomes.
  • MADE IN THE USA. Lodge has been making cast iron cookware in South Pittsburg, Tennessee (pop. 3,300) since 1896. With over 120 years of experience, their cast iron is known for its high quality design, lifetime durability, and cooking versatility.
  • CAMP COOKING 101. Lodge knows that cooking is about more than just the food; it’s about the memories. Whether you’re roasting a chicken in the oven, or cooking chili over the campfire, Lodge has you covered with the included Camp Dutch Oven Cooking 101 cookbook.
  • FAMILY-OWNED. Lodge is more than just a business; it’s a family. The Lodge family founded the company in 1896, and they still own it today. From environmental responsibility to community development, their heads and hearts are rooted in America.

Best Dutch Oven for Campfire Cooking – Runner Up

Our rating:

Camp Chef Classic 10 Dutch Oven - Cast Iron Dutch Oven Pot with Lid for Indoor & Outdoor Cooking - 10" Dutch Oven - 4 Quarts
  • Dutch Oven Pot with Lid: This Dutch oven with lid also has a flanged lid that you can place coals on top
  • True Seasoned Finish: This cast iron Dutch oven comes pre-seasoned with Camp Chef's True Seasoned Finish, ensuring it's ready to use right out of the box
  • Versatile Cooking: Use this cast iron Dutch oven for everything from soups and stews to roasts and desserts; it's a versatile addition to any kitchen or camping setup
  • Cast Iron Dutch Oven: The Camp Chef Deep Dutch Oven is made with high-quality cast iron
  • About Us: Camp Chef is a passionate team committed to bringing five-star flavor with versatile gear that can stand up to the demands of the backcountry and back patio

Best Dutch Oven for Campfire Cooking – Comparison Table

Best Dutch Oven for Campfire Cooking – Reviews

Lodge 8 Quart Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven with Lid - Dual Handles - Use in the Oven, on the Stove, on the Grill or over the Campfire - Black
Our rating:

This cast iron Dutch oven comes in a variety of sizes from 2 quarts to a mammoth 10 quarts. You should easily be able to find one to suit your needs.

The oven comes pre-seasoned which makes it non-stick. It is seasoned with soy-based vegetable oil and not with any synthetic chemicals. You will have to carry on seasoning it, but it will become better with every use.

Like all cast iron, it offers excellent heat retention and even heating. It distributes heat from the bottom through the sidewalls.

The lid is flanged and can hold hot coals, so you get heating comparable to an oven at home. The lid inverts to become a griddle and you can cook a hearty breakfast of egg, sausage, and bacon on it.

It comes with 3 legs so is easy to use over a campfire.

Before cooking, you will need to preheat the oven. Apply vegetable oil to the cooking surface and start heating slowly at a low temperature, increasing it gradually. Once it is preheated you are ready to cook.

It is easy to clean, but don’t use any type of detergent as it strips away the seasoning. Just wash with warm water, dry, and then put on some cooking oil so it is ready for next time. Don’t ever put it in the dishwasher. You also shouldn’t let it air dry as this can cause it to rust.

You can cook such a variety of meals in this Dutch oven from a stew to a roast chicken. You can sauté, sear, simmer, bake, braise, roast and fry. The oven comes with a cookbook to give you ideas.

This Dutch oven doesn’t have to be used just for camping. It can also be used at home on most stovetops including gas, electric and induction. It is oven safe.

Use wooden or silicone utensils as metal can scratch the surface.

  • Excellent heat retention
  • Even heating
  • Can last a lifetime with seasoning
  • Comes pre-seasoned
  • Non-stick
  • Easy to clean
  • One person said that it cracked on the first use
  • Expensive
Camp Chef Classic 10 Dutch Oven - Cast Iron Dutch Oven Pot with Lid for Indoor & Outdoor Cooking - 10' Dutch Oven - 4 Quarts
Our rating:

This cast iron Dutch oven heats evenly and retains heat well. You won’t have to worry about food going cold if you want seconds. 

It comes pre-seasoned so you will be able to use it as soon as it comes out of the box. This gives the oven a non-stick quality. To keep this up you will need to season it regularly.

The oven has a flanged lid so you can put hot coals or hot wood on top to get thorough cooking. There is a convenient loop handle on the lid and a metal bail handle on the oven itself. A great bonus is a built-in thermometer notch so you can keep an eye on the heat in your oven.

The size of this Dutch oven is 4 quarts which is big enough to feed 10 – 12 people or give fewer people extras!

  • Heats evenly
  • Retains heat well
  • Built-in thermometer notch
  • Great value for money
  • A few people claimed that the lids didn’t fit tightly
Overmont 6QT Camp Dutch Oven Pre Seasoned Cast Iron Lid Also a Skillet Casserole Pot with Lid Lifter for Camping Cooking BBQ Baking 6QT(Pot+Lid)
Our rating:

Here we have another cast iron Dutch oven which will last a lifetime if maintained properly. This means that although it comes pre-seasoned it will need to be seasoned periodically to keep the non-stick surface. The pre-seasoned surface is not coated in toxic chemicals. 

It has legs on both the lid and the oven, and the lid can be doubled up as a skillet if turned the other way round. The lid is flat so you can place hot coals on it to keep an all-round temperature inside the oven. 

It has a metal loop handle so you can easily remove it from the campfire. A lid lifter is included in the package. This is extremely useful as the lid is bound to be too hot to lift with bare hands. 

Clean it with warm water and a wooden or plastic scraper. Dry it with kitchen roll and then while it is still warm, lightly oil the inside. This will get it all seasoned up for the next time.

This Dutch oven comes in 2 sizes, 6-quart, and 9-quart.

  • Retains heat well
  • Even cooking
  • The lid can be doubled up as a skillet
  • Lid lifter included
  • A few people complained that the casting was rough.
Stansport Non-Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven with Legs (2-Quart)
Our rating:

If you are looking for a small Dutch oven because there’s just the two of you, you won’t go far wrong with this one. It’s 2-quart and 8” in diameter. 

Being cast iron it distributes heat evenly and retains heat well. However, it doesn’t come pre-seasoned so you will have to season this oven when you get it.

It has 3 legs, ideal for placing over a campfire, and a flat lid. You can place hot coals on the lid to make sure that the oven is heated equally all over. 

It can also be used at home on a stovetop or in the oven.

  • Distributes heat evenly
  • Retains heat
  • Right size for a couple or small family
  • Not pre-seasoned
  • A few customers said that it came with a wax coating
DARTMOOR 9 Quart Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven with Lid and Lid Lifter Tool Outdoor Deep Camp Pot for Camping Fireplace Cooking BBQ Baking Campfire 9 QT
Our rating:

This cast iron Dutch oven will heat evenly and retain heat for a long time after it’s taken off the coals.

It comes pre-seasoned so you can use it straight out of the box. It is coated with a plant oil coat and there are no toxic chemicals used. The pre-seasoning means that the oven is non-stick, but you will have to season it often to keep it non-stick. 

The lid is flat so you can put hot coals on the top to make sure that the oven is hot throughout. The lid has legs and can be used as a skillet. There is a loop handle so that you can remove the oven from the campfire easily. There is a lid lifter included in the package. In addition, there is a built-in thermometer notch so that you can keep an eye on how hot the oven is. 

  • Heats evenly
  • Retains heat
  • Pre-seasoned
  • The lid can be used as a skillet
  • Built-in thermometer notch
  • One customer complained that it rusted quickly
  • Another customer claimed that it wasn’t as heavy as cast iron should be

Best Dutch Oven for Campfire Cooking – Buyers Guide

Dutch ovens are very heavy so you will only want to get one if you are traveling by car. They aren’t suitable for backpacking. These cast iron ovens have a flat bottom which keeps them stable.


Dutch ovens specifically made for camping come with three legs. They keep the oven off the ground so you can place the hot coals or wood underneath them.


Camping Dutch ovens come with a wire loop so that you can take it off the campfire, but you have to be careful as the pan can become unstable. You will need a tool to take it off the fire and to remove the lid as it will be hot.


The lids on Dutch ovens are especially important. Hot coals should also be placed on top of them as well as under the Dutch ovens. This helps to give an even temperature throughout the oven. Because of this, the lids need to be flat. They also need to be secure and tight-fitting as you don’t want ash falling in your food.


Camping Dutch ovens come in all sizes from 4″ to 24″. In most cases, the sizes in-between the two will suffice. It all depends on the size of your party. Food takes a while to cook in a Dutch oven so it’s best to buy one that will cook enough food for everyone. You won’t want to be cooking a second batch.

The Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Dutch Ovens

The biggest difference is that a lot of indoor Dutch ovens have an enamel coating. It isn’t good to put one of these on a campfire because the enamel may chip and crack and even get in your food.

Indoor Dutch ovens don’t have legs and their lids may not be flat as you won’t be able to put on hot coals. They also have side handles, not a wire loop.


You can wipe down your Dutch oven with kitchen roll. However, you might want to give the pan a bigger clean-up. To do this remove any food from the bottom of the pan with a wooden or plastic spatula. Then fill the oven with warm water and heat to almost boiling. Remove any bits of food and empty the water. Wipe clean. Don’t use any detergent as this can make the oven rusty.

Frequently Asked Questions

You may have some questions and we’ve listed some of the more common ones below. However, feel free to contact us if you want to know more.

How do I Remove the Hot Coals from the Top of the Dutch Oven?

All you need is a small shovel. If you haven’t got a pot hook, you can use a pair of tongs to remove the pot and the lid from the fire. If you do this, use fire-safe gloves. 

Can I Hang my Dutch Oven?

Yes, this is entirely possible if you don’t want too much direct heat. You can buy a tripod specifically made for this purpose. You might also want to get a stand for the lid and aluminum foil to line the oven.

Final Thoughts

We hope that you have enjoyed reading about Dutch ovens for camping and that one of our choices will suit you. We stand by our top pick, the Lodge L12DC03 Deep Camp Dutch Oven. It is the most expensive out of all the Dutch ovens we have reviewed, but Lodge has an excellent reputation. What is great is that it comes in a great variety of sizes from 2 quarts to 10 quarts, so you are bound to find one to suit. It has excellent heat retention, cooks evenly and has a non-stick surface. It has been pre-seasoned without chemicals so is completely healthy. The lid is flanged so you can put hot coals on it, and you can also use it as a griddle or skillet. What is better than bacon and eggs for breakfast? It is easy to clean and season with plant oil.

The great thing about cast iron Dutch ovens is that they will last a lifetime and can be passed on to your children. These camping Dutch ovens are very versatile as you can still use them at home on your stovetop or in your oven. What is better value for money?