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Camp Chef Classic Dutch Oven
Flanged lid to hold coals on top
Opening in the rim for thermometer
Seasoned and ready to go
Lid acts as a skillet/trivet
Can’t be used on all heat sources
Not dishwasher friendly
We purchased the Camp Chef Classic Dutch Oven so our reviewer could put it to the test in her kitchen and outside. Keep reading for our full product review.
Dutch ovens, like the Camp Chef Classic Dutch Oven, have been used for wilderness cooking for ages and are a wonderful way to cook nourishing food in the great outdoors. They retain heat and enhance the transfer of heat through the food. By trapping and diverting the heat inside the Dutch oven, steam is created, and the food cooks in its own juices.
With that said, the last thing you need on a trip meant for rest and recuperation is more chores. And those were my exact thoughts at first. Will I be spending more time cleaning the Dutch oven than sitting by the campfire? Would I need to carry or buy extra accessories to cook in it? And I wanted to see if with a little planning, I could pull off delicious hot meals effortlessly at the campsite and if the meals would actually turn out well. I tested the cast iron Camp Chef Classic Dutch Oven on my camping trip to answer some of these questions for me and for you.
Read on for my honest thoughts.
Design: Rustic yet smart and compact
The Camp Chef Dutch Oven has a flat lid that is flanged to hold coals on top. The lid fits snug and has an opening in the rim for the thermometer. The lid also works as a skillet and a trivet. I made eggs sunny side up and also warmed tortillas on the lid. The sides are straight and 3 inches deep, allowing for more food to be cooked. The 3 feet kept it raised over hot coals and kept it balanced. The oven arrived pre-seasoned, which was super helpful, and worked really well from the first cook. The wire handle looks rustic but was actually very convenient to use with a lid lifter.
It was exciting to cook eggs on the lid of the pot and see them slide right off after cooking.
Material: Dependable cast iron
When hot things stay hot and cold things stay cold, it is a great day in the wilderness. The Camp Chef Dutch Oven is made with cast iron, which enables it to heat up quickly and retain that heat for long periods of time. I made some chicken and cheese enchiladas that stayed warm and gooey until everyone was ready to eat about an hour later. The pot arrived pre-seasoned with a black patina that appeared to get better and better after a few days of cooking in it.
I wanted to test the cooking performance of this pot on different heat sources. I first put this on a camp stove to make an easy taco soup. The pot heated up slowly at first, as is expected from cast iron, but once it was hot it was able to retain that heat. The soup was bubbling away soon and stayed warm for the campers to have seconds.
Using the charcoal distribution guidelines provided in the accompanying cooking guide, I was able to use the Dutch oven as an oven for making biscuits. I placed about 11 coals on the top and six at the bottom to get the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit to bake. The biscuits rose well and were flaky and completely browned on top.
I also made chicken and vegetable enchiladas for which I brought the temperature down to about 350 degrees. All I needed to do was to remove one coal from the top. Once I got to know the charcoal distribution, it was easy to control the temperature of the oven, so much so that I made shakshuka, and the eggs were cooked to perfection. The legs made it easy to balance the pot on coals and also allowed space for coals to be put in. My "Aha" moment with this Dutch oven was when I placed the lid directly on coals and made fried eggs. The eggs lifted off the lid with surprising ease.
Cleaning: Hand wash and dry quickly
In the wilderness, I always use the LNT principles, and cleaning this pot was no different. In fact, the Camp Chef was super easy to clean. With just some hot water and a scrubber, it was clean in moments, after which, I dried it with a cloth and then coated it with a little oil. The answer to the question of whether I would be spending more time cleaning after cooking was a resounding no! Because this pan was pre-seasoned, washing up was easy and efficient.
Price: Great value
Retailing for around $50, this Dutch oven is budget-friendly, and its use is not limited to camping only. With a little resourcefulness, I was able to place it inside my home oven to bake sourdough bread. I placed a pizza stone underneath it to give its legs a plain surface to stand on. And for camping, it is a versatile and sturdy piece of equipment that will last a long time with proper care.
Camp Chef Classic Cast Iron Dutch Oven vs. Lodge Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven
Lodge is a trusted name in cast iron and Dutch ovens. The Lodge 4-Quart Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven is another option in the same size as the Camp Chef Classic and retails for around the same price. However, it does not have the opening in the rim for a thermometer, leaving you to guess the actual temperature of the food cooked and of the oven itself. For experienced wilderness cooks, Lodge would also be an excellent option to choose, but if you are a beginner to campsite cooking or plan to do a lot of baking, Camp Chef Classic is an ideal choice.
A ruggedly impressive pot.
With the Camp Chef Classic Dutch Oven, I was able to cook delectable meals with no extra effort needed to clean up and cook. For outdoor explorations, it would be a welcome addition to the adventure gear.
- Product Name Classic Dutch Oven
- Product Brand Camp Chef
- MPN SD010
- Price $49.99
- Weight 14 lbs.
- Color Black
- Material Cast iron
- Size 10 inches / 4 quart
- Warranty 90 days from the date of purchase
- What's Included Dutch oven, lid, cooking guide