Best Cast Iron Dutch Oven for Camping

best dutch oven for camping

This article was last updated on December 6th, 2020

With so many options available to us today it is not surprising to be asked the common question what is the best cast-iron Dutch oven for camping?

Firstly, choose a good quality seasoned cast iron Dutch oven. Secondly identifying the number of people you intend to feed. The best size Dutch oven for camping would be a 12 inch 6 quart if you are feeding a family. It is not too large for packing and carrying outdoors.

My pick for a camp Dutch oven is the Lodge 6-quart. It feeds my family of 4, allowing for seconds or leftovers.

Best Cast Iron Dutch Ovens for Camping

You need to bear in mind the features you need in a seasoned cast-iron Dutch oven. To satisfy your cooking requirements while camping. Read on past my top 3 picks of camp Dutch ovens to read more about choosing a Dutch oven.


  • Quality
  • Size
  • Shape

Here are my Top 3 picks you will notice that they are all Lodge Cast Iron. Lodge, an American company, has been making cast-iron cookware for years. They are a trusted brand for seasoned cast-iron products.

1. Lodge L8DD3 Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven


Lodge Seasoned Dutch Oven Image
Click the image to see the best price for this Dutch oven 

This one comes in at number one due to the fact that it is a double Dutch oven. Therefore while camping you have the fantastic option of using the lid to fry bacon and eggs at the same time as cooking oats in the Dutch oven.

Quick feature review –

Lodge L8DD35 quart pre-seasoned, made from cast iron material, lid doubles as a 10.25-inch skillet cover, integrated side handles on base and lid, and feeds 4-6 hungry campers. It can be used on all cooking surfaces including grills and campfires as well as a conventional oven.

2. Lodge L8DO3 Cast Iron Dutch oven


Lodge Dutch Oven seasoned cast-iron image
Click the image to see the best price for this Dutch oven

This Lodge Dutch oven comes in at number two due to the fact that it has a Wire Bail Handle. Making this Dutch oven an extremely safe option to use in oven flame fires – like camping.

Quick Feature Review –

Lodge L8DO3nice compact 5-quart in size, also available in a 7-quart and a 9-quart size for larger families, a tight-fitting lid to lock in flavor, moisture and nutrition, lid sports a coil handle for easy lifting, cast iron built, pre-seasoned for non-stick cooking.

3. Lodge 6-Quart L12CO3 Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven


camp dutch oven image - lodge
Click the image to see the best price for this Dutch oven

This is a high-quality Dutch oven designed for outdoor cooking, once you own one of these Dutch ovens you will never look at another for your camping needs.

Quick Feature Review –

Lodge L12CO3 is a large 6-quart size for a large family, pre-seasoned in the factory. Cast Iron lid inverts for griddle use, legs for stability while cooking. Is able to withstand extremely high heat.  It is made in the U.S.A., and last but not least a lifetime warranty.

This dutch oven also is available in 1-quart, 2-quart, and 4-quart sizes for those who want an extra oven or a smaller oven.

How Do I Choose a Cast Iron Dutch Oven?

Dutch ovens have been around for hundreds of years, you were more likely to see these ovens used outdoors more frequently than inside a kitchen.

If you are new to Dutch ovens or camp cooking, you might think what is so great about a Dutch oven?

Well apart from the many benefits of cooking in a Dutch oven. When camping, you can do all your cooking in one cooking pot.

Saving you time so you can enjoy and relax on your camping trip…

So modern-day cast-iron Dutch ovens are a must for any camping trip especially if you have many hungry mouths to feed.


Dutch ovens can be used for any meal of the day while camping. For example, after breakfast, you can prepare lunch and let it slow cook.

The same goes for dinner time you can prepare your meal after lunch and your meal will be ready at dinner time and be staying warm until it is time to serve.

Camping is the perfect time to fry in a Dutch oven. You can fry in a Dutch oven you say – absolutely. In fact, outdoors is the best time to have a fry up due to the splatter that will occur when you heat up that oil and insert your food to be fried.

Please take this into consideration when selecting a Dutch oven. You will need a deep Dutch oven for deep frying.


With this in mind, you should consider purchasing a good quality cast-iron Dutch oven made from superior materials.

Then with care and maintenance, it could last you a lifetime and beyond. As well as using your oven for camping you should be using in the kitchen at home. This would cement the sound investment.


Because cast-iron Dutch ovens are heavy the number of people who need to be fed on the camping trip will determine whether a small or larger Dutch oven is required.


When looking for a Dutch oven for camping durability is the number one feature I look at. This is why I choose a cast-iron Dutch oven for camping.

For open flame cooking choosing a thick-walled Dutch oven that is 3/8 inches thick and can withstand heat sources in excess of 400 to 500 degrees, Fahrenheit will do the job.

Dutch Oven Accessories for Camping

We will also look at a couple of must-have good quality accessories that will assist you in using your Cast Iron Dutch oven safely while camping.

The next feature which needs to be addressed is SAFETY! If your cast iron Dutch oven is potentially heated to 500 degrees Fahrenheit you need to be able to carry the Dutch oven safely. The best feature for this is a built-in metal handle.

Cast-Iron Lid Lifter

Lodge Lid Lifter image
Click on the image to see the price and what others have to say!

An accessory that will assist in safely lifting the lid of your Dutch oven, as well as rotating and lifting the Dutch oven is the Lodge camp Dutch oven lid lifter.

It is made of a heavy-duty steel 9mm bar stock with a high-temperature black finish. It measures 15 inches long with a ‘T’ bar for moving hot coals around and has a heat diffusing spiral handle with a hanging loop on the end. This lid lifter has been specifically designed to fit all Lodge cast iron Dutch ovens. But you would be able to use it with any cast-iron Dutch oven that has a built-in metal handle.

Dutch Oven Tripod

Dutch Oven Tripod Image
Click on the image to see the price and what others have to say!

A separate accessory that is very helpful is a Dutch oven tripod that holds your Dutch oven over the fire and not in it. These tripods allow you to safely add firewood to your campfire without the need to constantly be picking up the heavy hot oven to do so.

The tripods are used by lowering or raising the Dutch oven using the chain which hangs down from the middle of the tripod. You raise the oven higher for lower heat requirements.

Then you can lower the oven closer to the coals or flames so you can heat your Dutch oven to higher temperatures. With this in mind, you must make sure you purchase a tripod that will hold somewhere between 35 – 50 pounds.

A stable tripod should come with legs that are in one piece as they are solid metal.

Maintaining A Cast Iron Dutch Oven While Camping

When caring for your Dutch oven while camping you should use a soft cloth to gently clean the cooking surface after the oven has cooled slightly.

You can boil some water in the Dutch oven to assist in removing baked-on food inside the oven.

To avoid rusting you should not submerge your Dutch oven in water.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning your cast iron Dutch oven and a good quality cast iron Dutch oven will last a lifetime of camping and more…

The last feature that needs to be addressed is re-seasoning. I always season my new Dutch ovens, even though they may come pre-seasoned from the factory.

Seasoning your cast-iron is easy!

First heat up the oven until it starts to smoke.

Secondly, rub the oil of your choice onto the cooking surface, in fact, it is recommended that you rub oil on the outside of the Dutch oven and the outside of the lid.

Thirdly, allow the oven to cool and dry. When the oven is dry wipe off any excess oil so it does not go rancid on the cast iron. Excess oil can also cause the cast iron to rust.

I season my Dutch ovens before and after every use, this small task gives me the peace of mind knowing I am prolonging my Dutch ovens life.

Hikers – Aluminum Dutch Ovens for Camping

It should be kept in mind that cast-iron Dutch ovens are heavy! So if hiking is involved the weight of these comfort food makers needs to be at the forefront of your mind.


Aluminum Dutch oven image
GSI Outdoors Hard Anodized Dutch Oven

Aluminum versions of the original cast-iron Dutch oven are available like the GSI Dutch oven, for those who may need a Dutch oven to be a little lighter.

Lightweight dutch oven camping Aluminum Dutch ovens are made using a manufacturing method to hard-anodized the walls, which provides a non-stick coating, therefore, no need for seasoning.

If a lightweight Dutch oven for camping is required you should check out the GSI Outdoors Hard Anodized Dutch Oven this Aluminum option is available at Amazon.

What Size Dutch Oven Should I Buy for Camping?

A perfect Dutch oven is a 12-inch oven with 4.5 inch high walls that holds 6 quarts and will feed up to 6 people comfortably. This size Dutch oven will carry out all your camp cooking needs.

Use this equation when choosing a Dutch oven size that is right for your needs…

1-quart per person plus 2-quarts for large eaters or guests.

Family of 4 = 6-quarts

Dutch Oven Sizes

{Remember with serving sizes you should take into account the portion size as well as the dish being prepared. Stews, casseroles, soups will feed more people than a roast.} See a full article about Dutch oven sizes here.

Camp Dutch Oven Size Chart

Camp Dutch Oven Sizes xxx

Lodge Camp Dutch Oven Sizes

Here is a concise resource with all the sizes of Lodge cast iron including camp dutch oven sizes.

Click here if you have landed on this page and already know you would like to purchase a cast-iron Dutch Oven and you will be taken through to Amazon to your make secure purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Choose a Dutch Oven for Camping?

Because Dutch ovens are so heavy if you choose cast iron. You need to consider the size, if you are hiking you do not want to be carrying a large Dutch oven. This changes though if you are able to drive up to a campsite and unpack your camping gear.

A good choice is the Lodge L8DD3 Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven – a double Dutch oven. This Dutch oven is perfect for camping because the lid is perfect for inverting and using as an extra cooking surface.

Check out this article all about what you should consider when choosing a Dutch oven. Just go here.

How Do You Use a Dutch Oven While Camping?

Camp Dutch ovens require either hot briquettes underneath and on the lid of the oven to heat it up. Or you can sit or hang an oven over a campfire.

You also need the correct tools, utensils, and accessories to use the camp Dutch oven safely. Clean the oven with scourer and water after each meal, dry thoroughly, and lightly season if required.

You can see a piece of in-depth information here about Dutch ovens and camping…

How Do You Pack Cast Iron for Camping?

A great accessory for the transport and storage of your Dutch oven while camping is a good quality polypropylene storage bag for the one I like you can see it here. 

Some Dutch ovens come with their own storage bag, these bags save everything around the Dutch oven from becoming greasy when packing up to go home.

If your Dutch oven didn’t come with one it would be wise to purchase one before a camping trip.

Best Dutch Oven Size for a Family of 4?

A 5-quart or 6-quart for larger serves or leftovers.

What Size Dutch Oven for a Whole Chicken?

It depends on the size of the chicken but I would say a 7-quart would also give you plenty of room for vegetables.

You will find the answers to all of these questions and more when you check out my article Dutch oven size chart. You will also find out the most popular Dutch oven size that people are purchasing. – (7.5-quart).

If you need some extra assistance regarding the features to look for in a cast-iron Dutch oven go over and check out my review of the 3 things to consider when buying a Dutch oven.

Final Thoughts – Best Cast Iron Dutch Oven for Camping

So what type and size of Dutch oven will you be purchasing for camping?

If you purchase a great quality Dutch oven that is durable, versatile, is designed for open flames, as well as very high heat capacity you can’t go wrong.

With the correct care and maintenance, instructions will be provided by the manufacturer, you are sure to have a very special piece of cookware that will last you a lifetime.

Also, stay safe and purchase the correct accessories to use while cooking outdoors. Enjoy your choice of cast iron Dutch oven, prepare yourself many feasts while out in the fresh air camping.

It is a great time to relax and really enjoy preparing and cooking hearty nutritious meals with family and friends.

Click here to check out the large range of cast iron Dutch ovens. Or to purchase a Dutch Oven today, you will be taken through to Amazon.

Recommended Reading

Head on over and check out my full reviews of the top 3 best cast-iron Dutch ovens for Camping.

Lodge L8DD3 Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven – double Dutch oven

Lodge L8DO3 Cast Iron Dutch oven

Lodge 6-Quart L12CO3 Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven

One-Pot Cooking Rocks

Recent Content