Hikes are fun but they’re also tiring, demanding, and physically draining. The best thing to do before camping out for the night after a hike is replenishing your body with a delicious meal. There is no better cookware to bring on a hike than a cast iron Dutch oven for camping. This thick-walled pot is the easiest way to make gourmet food outdoors.
Whether you’re an avid hiker or you just enjoy going on occasional camping trips with your family, this cookware is an essential item along with other camping equipment like portable generators, sleeping bags, and camping chairs.
With that, we’ve done the hard work and searched for the best cast iron Dutch oven for camping along with other great choices. Check out our top picks below.
The Lodge Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven, 5-Quart is our favorite because of its versatility and durability. This cast iron Dutch oven for camping is a multi-functional cookware that is suitable for countless recipes so you will never run out of options while you are on your camping trip. If you’re not on a trip, you can also use this pot for slow-cooker recipes at home.
It features sturdy integrated side handles on both the base and lid so it’s easy to handle when you’re cooking on the campfire. You can safely and easily carry the pot from one location to another. The great thing about this material is that you can use it on multiple surfaces including grills, direct fire, and you can even put it in the oven!
Our next best choice is the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 6-Quart, Island Spice Red. It combines durability, versatility, and style with its enameled coating. It is a workhorse on the campsite with its durable chip-resistant finish. That means it can withstand heavy duty use with very little wear and tear.
This is great if you plan to cook a variety of meals on your camping trip because the smooth glass surface would not react to ingredients. It features loop side handles so you can securely grip the pot when transporting it. The lid has been precisely cast so that it fits tightly into the pot, retaining heat for a long time. It’s easy to clean and you can use it in your home kitchen.
If you’re willing to invest seriously in your camping cookware, the Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron French (Dutch) Oven, Cerise (Cherry Red) is a worthy purchase. This is perfect for serious hikers who need a reliable and camping companion to last them for years. This cast iron Dutch oven for camping is on the expensive side and here is why.
Its enameled finish allows the pot to have superior heat distribution. This means perfectly cooked meals each time and your food will cook significantly faster. If you hike regularly, this makes a lot of difference in your camping experience. It is extremely durable because of its interior enamel so it’s a great investment and it can withstand up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you’re not ready to spend much on a camping cookware and don’t really plan on hiking regularly, the Utopia Kitchen Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 5 Quart does the job well and at a fraction of the price. It’s a simple, old-fashioned, but highly dependable pot that allows you to cook a wide variety of meals while you’re outdoors.
It’s safe because the material does not leak chemicals. The great thing about this affordable cast iron Dutch oven for camping is that you can also use it in your own kitchen at home for different recipes. It’s great for cooking steaks, vegetables, and other foods you might want to eat during your camping trip.
How to Choose the Best Cast Iron Dutch Oven for Camping
You and your camping troop deserve good quality meals after a hike so it’s important to choose a good quality cookware. If you’re the designated cook making the purchasing decision, here’s what you should look for in a cast iron Dutch oven for camping.
A lot of things can happen on a hike. Your Dutch oven needs to withstand outdoor elements and it should not easily break in case your bag jiggles or falls during the walk. Choose pots that are chip-resistant and if possible, enameled both on the exterior and interior. These usually last for the years to come.
Next to durability, you need to make sure that your cast iron Dutch oven is portable. You will be on the move most of the time so it’s important that you can easily carry it around.
You will also have to transport the pot from the fire to wherever your group is eating. Look for Dutch ovens that have built-in metal handles that will allow you to carry the pot safely and easily from one location to another. Poorly designed Dutch ovens don’t only cause inconvenience, they could also cause injuries and burns.
If possible, choose a Dutch oven that comes with a storage bag so you don’t have to worry about where to put it. it’s also a good way to keep your clothes and other items in your camping bag from being soiled from the greasy pot.
Your Dutch oven should allow you to prepare a wide variety of meals and use it for different cooking methods, especially if you’re investing a significant amount of money for it. If you’re not going to hike a lot, choose one that can also be used in the oven to get the most out of your money.
Consider the factors above when choosing a cast iron Dutch oven for camping. For the most versatile and reasonably priced camping cookware, we highly recommend the Lodge Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven, 5-Quart but all items in our selection are great options.