Best Dutch oven for camping vs normal dutch oven (hint: lightweight & legs!)

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  January 9, 2022

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You may have heard both the term Dutch oven and camp Dutch oven, and wondered what’s the difference?

Today we will explain what sets a regular Dutch oven apart from a camp-style Dutch oven.

If you enjoy camping, a Dutch oven is a tool you won’t want to be without.

Camp vs regular Dutch ovens

What is a Dutch oven?

For the uninitiated, a Dutch oven is a heavy cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid.

Dutch ovens are thick-walled cooking pots with a tight-fitting lid and are used to cook any foods from stews to browning meat, making soup, and even baking desserts.

Some are made for home use and some are made for camping.

Dutch ovens used for camping are typically made from cast iron and have legs that allow them to be placed on the ground over a fire.

They also have a flat flanged lid to keep charcoal from rolling around while cooking and a handle that allows the oven to be moved easily.

You can use it to cook your favorite meal not just on your stovetop, but in your oven too.

Let’s check out the top choices of both real quick, then I’ll get more into the differences and review each of these some more:

Dutch oven model Images
Best small lightweight Dutch oven for campingLodge 8 quart Beste Deep Camp Dutch Oven: Lodge 8 quart


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Best double & best budget camp oven: Overmont 8QT Best Double Camp Dutch Oven: Overmont 8QT


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Best large outdoor Dutch oven: Camp Chef 12QT Best Large Outdoor Dutch Oven Camp Dutch Oven: Camp Chef 12QT


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Best hard-anodized Dutch oven: GSI Outdoors Best Hard Anodized Dutch Oven: GSI Outdoors


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Best cast-iron Dutch oven for homeLodge 5 Quart Dual Loop Handle Best Cast Iron Dutch Oven: Lodge 5 Quart Dual Loop Handle


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Best square Dutch oven: Camp Chef Square Dutch Oven Camp Chef Square Dutch Oven,


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Best double Dutch ovenLodge Pre-Seasoned Best Double Dutch Oven: Lodge Pre-Seasoned


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Best enamel Dutch oven for stovetop & best induction: Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven Lodge 6 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven


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What is the difference between a camp Dutch oven vs. a regular Dutch oven?

Now, let us go to the next question: what is the difference between a camp Dutch oven vs. a regular Dutch oven?

If you are not familiar with Dutch ovens, you might think that these two are just the same.

Well, they are not.

In this post, I will share with you the major differences and similarities of these two ovens and help you decide which one to get for yourself.

Camp Dutch oven vs. regular Dutch oven

Several features set a camp Dutch oven apart from a regular one.


The biggest difference between the two is the way their lid is built. The classic Dutch oven has a domed lid with drippers that allow for self-basting.

Meanwhile, the outdoor camping Dutch oven has a thick and flat lid. It’s also has a smooth bottom and a noticeable ridge around the top edge.

This large lid design allows for maximum heat retention.

Design and build

Let us start with the design and build of these two Dutch ovens.

As the name implies, the camp Dutch oven is basically designed to be used outdoors or in camping occasions.

On the other hand, the regular Dutch oven is originally designed for use indoors.

A typical camp Dutch oven has a wire bail that you can use to hang it over a campfire or hearth. The wire bail also comes in handy when you need to transfer the pot somewhere else after cooking.

This pot also features three short legs, making it ideal for cooking over wood or charcoal.

In contrast, the regular Dutch oven looks like your typical pot. It does not have a wire bail or set of legs.

Its bottom is flat, making it suitable for stovetop cooking and baking in the oven.


Before, Dutch ovens are only made from cast iron. That goes for both camp and regular Dutch ovens.

One of the popular brands is Lodge and their cast-iron Dutch ovens are among the best because of their great value. These are durable and affordable and made of a good quality cast iron.

Cast iron is an excellent material for retaining heat and releasing it evenly into any food.

Thus, making Dutch ovens perfect for braising and stewing meat.

However, in the past years, manufacturers have turned to other materials to make Dutch ovens more affordable and efficient.

Aside from the plain cast iron, we now have enameled cast iron, ceramic, stainless steel, glass, aluminum, and cast aluminum Dutch ovens.

Here are some of the things that you should know about these Dutch oven materials:

Plain Cast Iron

  • Affordable
  • Has to be seasoned
  • If unseasoned, you cannot use acidic ingredients
  • Heavy
  • Long-lasting

Enameled Cast Iron

  • Expensive
  • Do not have to be seasoned
  • Can handle acidic ingredients
  • Enamel can crack over time


  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to heat
  • Easy to clean

Stainless steel

  • Affordable
  • Thin
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to clean
  • Poor heat retention


  • Non-porous, repels stains and odor
  • Lighter than cast iron
  • Safe for conventional oven and microwave
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Refrigerator safe


  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to heat
  • Do not have the same heat retention as cast iron
  • Surface can be easily scratched

Cast Aluminum

  • Expensive
  • Lighter than cast iron
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Good heat retention

To date, camp Dutch ovens are mostly made from cast iron.

Meanwhile, regular Dutch ovens are manufactured using different materials.


The difference between the camp Dutch oven vs. regular Dutch oven really comes down to one thing – functionality.

While both ovens are excellent for cooking a wide variety of dishes, they still have different functions.

For instance, the camp Dutch oven, commonly referred to by many as the “real Dutch oven,” has a flat lid with a lip around it.

This allows for hot coals to be put on top of the lid so heat will come not only from the bottom but from the top of the pot as well.

If used this way, you will be able to bake bread even when you are outdoors.

On the other hand, the more familiar Dutch oven comes with a curved lid. Meaning, you cannot put hot coals on top of it.

However, if you want to bake using your regular Dutch oven, you can just put it in your oven or furnace.

Buying guide: find the best Dutch oven

When you are looking for a Dutch oven, there are certain features you will want to look out for.

Dutch oven handle

A handle is a feature that really comes in handy in a Dutch camping oven.

It allows the oven to be moved around easily. It also allows it to be hung over a fire.

Lid or no lid

Dutch camping ovens typically come with a lid.

The lid is flat and has a raised rim around it to keep charcoal from rolling around.

Lids can have several features that make the oven unique. For instance, the lids may have their own legs that allow it to stand when inverted.

Others may have their own lid stand. These are features that allow the lid to be kept over the fire to cook food working as a skillet or griddle.

Body material

Most Dutch ovens are made of cast iron. This is ideal for camping as it is durable and retains heat well.


The legs should allow the oven to sit a couple of inches above the ground so it can be placed on top of charcoals or fire.


Dutch ovens come in various sizes and the one you choose will be according to your needs and personal preference.

Options are as follows:

  • Shallow: Shallow ovens are ideal for baking because the lid is closer to the food. However, many find them versatile enough to work on any recipe. The smaller size makes them ideal for smaller camping groups.
  • Deep: Deep pans may not cook the top of baked goods as well as shallow pans because the lid is farther from the food. However, they are great for stews and soups. The increased volume also makes them good for larger camping groups.
  • Diameter: Diameters typically run from 8 to 14 inches. Of course, a larger diameter will also make for a bigger oven that feeds more people.

Also read: how to make smoked hard-boiled eggs the right way

What size Dutch oven should I buy for camping?

Dutch ovens come in a variety of sizes, but the most common size for camping is 12 inches.

If you’re cooking for large groups outdoors and need to pack light, this 6-quart Dutch oven will be your best friend!

For home use, a 5 quart is a great size for most stovetops and hobs.

Also check out these great BBQ’s to take camping: portable and efficient

Camp and regular Dutch ovens reviewed

To help you better decide which one to purchase, here are some of the best Dutch ovens available in the market today.

You can usually use a cast-iron Dutch oven both for camping and for indoor cooking.

If your Dutch oven doesn’t have legs, you can use a special Dutch oven stand or table and place it over the fire like that.

Best small lightweight Dutch Oven for camping: Lodge 8 quart

  • best for camping & outdoor use
  • size: 8 quart
  • material: cast iron
  • pre-seasoned
  • legs: yes
Beste Deep Camp Dutch Oven: Lodge 8 quart

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This versatile Lodge Dutch oven is perfect for all your camping cooking needs. If you’re looking for the best value for your money, the outdoor camp stove is one of the most durable and most practical ones you can buy.

The Lodge Deep Camp Dutch Oven is a great addition to your outdoor cookware collection.

It has a flanged lid that can hold hot coals and can be inverted for use as a griddle. So, when you want to fry some tasty potatoes, or cook eggs, you don’t need to carry other cookware with you.

Furthermore, its three legs will allow you to place it perfectly over the campfire.

Compared to other Dutch ovens like the Camp Chef, the Lodge cooks the food evenly and it’s easier to maintain a steady temperature. Therefore, it’s great for baking all kinds of cakes, bread, and biscuits. It’s also good for searing meat while camping.

It’s the kind of Dutch oven that is easy to clean and you don’t have to spend too much time scrubbing.

Customers recommend re-seasoning the product before the first use since it’s not always properly seasoned at the factory. But, once seasoned with vegetable oil, it will cook the food well on the first use without much black-colored residue.

Also, it’s best to avoid cooking acidic food like tomatoes (don’t use this for tomato pasta sauce) on the first few uses because it can turn food a bit black. But after a few uses, you can cook whatever ingredients you prefer.

Here’s coach Helder raving about it:

While a large camping oven is great for cooking a lot of food if you’re camping with a small group, why bring along such a large device?

This oven is perfect because it comes in a variety of sizes including 5 oz, 8 oz, and 10 oz. The 8 quart is my favorite though because it’s not too bulky but large enough to cook for a group.

It is great for everything including braising, roasting, searing, sauteing, frying, broiling, baking, and searing. If you like to offer family and friends a variety of meals while camping, this is the cookware that does it all!

It can be used on a grill or a campfire. It is pre-seasoned without any synthetic chemicals so you don’t have to worry about any nasties seeping into your food.

The cast-iron makes for a durable design that will last a lifetime.

It even comes with a Dutch Oven Cooking 101 cookbook!

It provides the ultimate in heat distribution and heat retention. Its tight-fitting lid locks in heat and flavor so it’s among the best Dutch ovens you can get for outdoor cooking and baking.

Check it out here on Amazon

Best double & best camp Dutch oven: Overmont 8QT

  • double
  • best for camping
  • size: 8 quart
  • material: cast iron
  • pre-seasoned: no
  • legs: yes
Best Double Camp Dutch Oven: Overmont 8QT

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Are you an occasional camper? Do you like to take the family outdoors to cook delicious meals?

This Overmont budget-friendly Dutch oven is a double pot with all the features of more expensive ovens. It is large enough to cook for 5 to 8 people, so it’s a great camping tool to have.

The Overmont Camp Dutch Double Oven is what I refer to as the all-around Dutch oven.

It has legs not just at the bottom of the pot, but on the lid as well. This allows both pot and lid to sit perfectly over the campfire.

The flanged lid is designed to hold the hot coals safely. It can also be flipped over and used as a griddle, skillet, or frying pan which makes it perfect for making a quick breakfast. You can even fry and grill some meat and foraged mushrooms in minutes!

Again, like other Dutch ovens, this one is excellent for baking bread outdoors.

Some customers claim that you can even use this Dutch oven at home on your stovetop since the legs are short. That makes this a truly versatile piece.

There are 3 integral legs and these raise the Dutch oven just over the burning coals so the pot heats up evenly throughout the cooking process.

Unlike other cheaper Dutch ovens, this one has a wire handle so you can hang it up over the campfire.

The cast iron on this product is not as smooth and finely finishes as a Lodge product, but it’s just the same when it comes to heat distribution, retention, and functionality.

Just a heads up, this product is very heavy so it might be a bit inconvenient to carry around when camping. But, it’s a great durable product that will replace a host of other cookware so the extra weight is worth it.

Check prices and availability here

Lodge vs Overmont outdoor camping Dutch ovens

Overmont is an excellent budget-friendly Dutch oven. It’s a good product for the occasional camper who wants to cook delicious campfire meals like stews, braised meats, and hearty soups.

The main advantage of this Dutch oven is the price and the legs on the lid. These allow you to put hot coals on the top for faster and more thorough cooking.

But, compared to the Lodge Dutch oven, the build isn’t quite as good. The Lodge Dutch oven has unparalleled heat retention and distribution and it’s hard to beat.

Both products are a bit problematic when it comes to the coating. The Lodge tends to flake a bit while the Overmont’s non-stick coating tends to stick depending on the food you cook.

Also, the Lodge is pre-seasoned while the Overmont needs some seasoning once you get it which might be a bit inconvenient.

Overall, both are great camping Dutch ovens but the Lodge might just last you longer.

Looking for a Dutch oven recipe? How about cooking a whole chicken in one!

Best large outdoor Dutch oven: Camp Chef 12QT

  • best for camping & outdoor use
  • size: 12 quart
  • material: cast iron
  • pre-seasoned
  • legs: yes
Best Large Outdoor Dutch Oven Camp Dutch Oven: Camp Chef 12QT

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If you’re planning on a large camping trip with more than 10 people, the Camp Chef Deluxe is a great large size Dutch oven for all your camping needs.

You can cook enough food for up to 20 people – that’s amazing, right?

Its large size makes it terrific for small or large groups and its ability to be used as a cooking pot, griddle or skillet makes it a versatile choice.

It is great for making eggs, bacon, and pancakes and you can also use it to roast meats or even make a mean peach cobbler. Say goodbye to limited food choices when you’re out camping, this oven can make anything!

Unlike other Dutch ovens, this one has a thermometer channel so you can actually see the temperature in the pot without having to remove the lid.

It is great for making eggs, bacon, and pancakes and you can also use it to roast meats or even make a mean peach cobbler. Say goodbye to limited food choices when you’re out camping, this oven can make anything!

The oven has a cast iron finish that is super durable and gives food a great flavor. With a diameter of almost 12 inches, it has plenty of room for all the food you need to cook.

The lid has legs that allow it to be used as a griddle or skillet. It also has a handle that makes it easy to carry.

The oven even comes with a booklet with seasoning tips.

One disadvantage is that the loop handle located on the lid is too small so you need to use a lid lifter, you can’t use a mitted hand.

Also, the craftsmanship isn’t quite as high-quality as Lodge, for example. It is a bit abrasive inside so it can be hard to clean and snags on cleaning cloths.

Overall, this is an excellent Dutch oven because it has great heat retention. It’s very durable, strong, and you can use it to cook on an open fire with a ring of rocks around it without worrying about burnt or bitter flavored foods.

Check prices and availability here

Best hard anodized Dutch oven: GSI Outdoors

  • best for camping & outdoor use
  • size: 12 quart
  • material: cast aluminum
  • not seasoned
  • legs: yes
Best Hard Anodized Dutch Oven: GSI Outdoors

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Cast iron isn’t for everyone – and if you’d rather get a lighter Dutch oven that’s easier to clean, I recommend the GSI Outdoors products.

People rave about this Dutch oven because it’s the best alternative for cast iron and cooks just as well if not better.

While most Dutch cooking ovens are made of cast iron, this one is made of anodized cast aluminum. This means it won’t rust easily, is a better heat conductor, and heats up very quickly.

It is a lighter-weight solution that makes the oven more portable. It is therefore ideal for both home and outdoor use.

It can produce a wide variety of dishes, from beef to stew to biscuits. Unlike cast iron, this anodized version doesn’t require you to season it when you buy it.

While the anodized steel is lighter weight, it still provides many of the benefits the cast iron cooker does. Just imagine that this Dutch oven weighs about a third of a regular cast iron pot.

That means you can carry it in your backpack when you go on a fishing trip or decide to hike and eat up on the mountain.

The anodized material is great for heat retention and heat distribution. Also, the nonporous surface provides nonstick properties.

This is especially helpful if you want to use the Dutch oven to bake.

With a cast iron pot like the Lodge or Camp chef, your stews and cakes can stick to the bottom or sides but this doesn’t happen with the GSI products.

The lid has a lipped edge that holds the coal in a ring. It is also rust-resistant and easy to clean.

It comes in a variety of sizes including 10”, 12”, and 14 inches. You should pick the one that suits your needs based on how many people you cook for regularly.

The main criticism for this Dutch oven is that it is a bit off balance. When you fill it with liquids like soup or smoked chili and lift it using the handle, it can move around and spill over. I recommend holding it with both hands when maneuvering a full pot.

Check it out here on Amazon

Camp Chef vs GSI camping Dutch ovens

If you’re tired of heavy cast-iron Dutch ovens, then the GSI one is your top option. It’s made of anodized cast aluminum and is significantly lighter than the Camp Chef, Lodge, or any other cast iron pot.

Many people prefer this alternative material because it’s more practical if you want to carry your Dutch oven on fishing, hiking, or exploring trips. You can fit it in your backpack and it won’t cause back pain.

However, the Camp Chef is better if you’re looking for versatility. The GSI isn’t as multifunctional because the lid isn’t a good skillet or frying pan like the Camp Chef.

Another major advantage of the Camp Chef is that it has a built-in thermometer channel so you don’t have to remove the lid to see the internal temperature.

It all comes down to how you use your Dutch oven – do you like to keep it near the campfire so you can make any type of dish including bread?

Then you can use the Camp Chef to cook anything. If you need to carry the pot with you, the GSI is the best lightweight choice.

For a delicious Dutch oven dessert, try this Camp Dutch Oven Apple Crisp Recipe

Best cast-iron Dutch oven: Lodge 5 Quart Dual Loop Handle

  • best for stovetop and oven at home
  • size: 5 quart
  • material: cast iron
  • pre-seasoned
  • legs: no
Best Cast Iron Dutch Oven: Lodge 5 Quart Dual Loop Handle

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This Lodge 5 qt cast iron Dutch oven is the perfect size for couples and small families. It fits on all gas stovetop hobs and in ovens so you can use it for almost any recipe.

The Lodge 5 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven is already pre-seasoned. Meaning, you can use it right away after purchasing it.

Lodge is known for its many cast iron cookware, including Dutch ovens.

They’re among the best and you can choose between this stovetop one or their models with legs which are suitable for camping.

For everyday home cooking, this is the only Dutch oven you need because it can do it all.

Their ovens are made from high-quality cast iron and are guaranteed to be durable and versatile.

So, if you want a regular Dutch oven that will last longer than other cookware, this one is highly recommended.

Many people use this pot to bake artisan bread in the oven. It makes the bread have a crunchy crust but a soft moist interior so you don’t need to deal with dry bread.

As with some of the other Lodge Dutch ovens, you may find that some of the food is covered with grey or black flakes.

Once you keep seasoning and using the pot the problem will probably disappear. It’s all due to poor seasoning in the factory and Lodge should probably look into this issue.

However, the overall performance of this Dutch oven is far superior to many others, especially the enameled versions because those are prone to cracks and chipping.

If you want a practical pot you can use on your stovetop and oven for cooking all foods, this is the best and it has a great price.

Check the latest prices here

Best square Dutch oven: Camp Chef Square Dutch Oven

  • best for stovetop and oven
  • size: 8 quart
  • material: cast iron
  • pre-seasoned: no
  • legs: no
  • square shape
Camp Chef Square Dutch Oven,

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Do you like to bake biscuits and cook casseroles? Then, you should get a square-shaped Dutch oven as opposed to the classic round ones. The advantage is that you can make even rows of biscuits and buns.

When you want to make family-sized roasts, you can do that too because it’s quite big with an 8 qt capacity.

But the best part is that this pot can do it all – the lid is a reversible grill so you can make grilled steaks and vegetables.

It’s the ultimate versatile cooking pot for the stovetop, oven, and you can also use it outdoors but you need to have some type of stand to hold it up.

Customers rave about the casting quality of this product. It’s not rough like some of the round Dutch ovens. It’s ideal if you like to make ribs because you can cook 2 0r 3 rib sections with sauce in this pot and the ribs will be juicy, tender, and fall off the bone without sticking.

The Dutch oven and lid are pre-seasoned at the factory. This means you can use them right away without having to spend hours seasoning it when it arrives.

Although it’s supposed to be nonstick, the more you season it and use it, the surface becomes even more nonstick. It may also be used as a stovetop grill because the lid is reversible and has raised ridges.

The lid has loop handles so it’s easy to carry and maneuver, even with oven mitts on. The problem is that the handles are a bit too close together.

This item should be washed by hand only so it’s a bit of work cleaning it after every use.

Check the price on Amazon

Lodge vs square camp chef Dutch oven

For those who want to invest in their cooking tools and cookware, Lodge is an excellent round Dutch oven choice because they are made from high-quality cast iron that will last longer than you do.

On the other hand, Camp Chef has a square Dutch oven which is quite unique.

I do think it comes down to durability or ease of use with these two brands.

If precision is important to you, then you have to try the Lodge stovetop Dutch oven because it’s the best when it comes to heat retention and heat distribution.

The Camp Chef is great too but it’s not round, so I recommend it more for people who use a Dutch oven for baking biscuits, buns, and all kinds of goodies that are cooked in an even row.

Best Double Dutch Oven: Lodge Pre-Seasoned

  • double
  • best for stovetop
  • size: 5 quart
  • material: cast iron
  • pre-seasoned
  • legs: no
Best Double Dutch Oven: Lodge Pre-Seasoned

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If you are looking for a Dutch oven with a lid that doubles as a skillet, the Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven is the perfect choice for you. It’s very affordable and built to last a lifetime.

This Dutch oven has a great size for stovetop cooking at home (5 qt). But the best part is that it’s multifunctional and versatile.

It works on both the stovetop and in the oven. But, the domed lid makes it suitable for use as a skillet so you can even fry all kinds of meat in it. The lid actually converts to a 10″ skillet which is a great size for cooking for up to 3 people.

People like to use this Dutch oven to roast beef in the oven and for baking no-knead bread. The domed lid shape makes it easy to bake bread because even as it rises, the Dutch oven is still spacious enough.

This Lodge product is pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil and is good for simmering, baking, broiling, roasting, grilling, and frying, to name a few.

Since the Dutch oven is pre-seasoned, over time it can flake a bit, which reveals a brown color but this is just caramelized seasoning so it will come off with use.

Some people report that a lot of the foods take on a black tinge because of the cast iron’s color and coating. This means you might need to do your own seasoning and re-season often even though the product is technically pre-seasoned.

Lodge cast iron Dutch ovens are well-known for their superior heat retention and their even heating.

The handles are loop-shaped for easy maneuvering and they offer a secure grip without slipping between your fingers.

Check it out here on Amazon

Best enamel Dutch oven for stovetop & best induction: Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

  • best for stovetop
  • size: 6 quart
  • material: cast iron & enamel
  • pre-seasoned: no
  • legs: no
Lodge 6 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

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If you’re looking for a Dutch oven to use on the stovetop or in the oven, this stylish porcelain enamel is definitely going to be both practical and a lovely addition to the kitchen.

The Lodge enamel Dutch oven has a nice glossy finish with chip-resistant enamel and it’s a great dupe for the much pricier Le Creuset.

This Dutch oven is only suitable for use on stovetops in ovens and not on open fires. But, it has a huge advantage over other Dutch ovens because you can also use it on an induction cooktop!

It’s hard to find good Dutch ovens that work on induction hobs so this is a great value buy.

Use it in the oven to at up to 500 degrees F. You don’t need to worry about any cracking or chipping because the enamel coating is very heat-resistant.

You can use this pot to cook almost any type of food. It’s quite spacious (6qt) and a great family-sized pot.

The domed lid fits tightly and locks in the moisture so the food stays nice and juicy. This pot offers excellent heat retention and heat distribution so the food cooks evenly.

There are two side handles that make it easy to move the pot around.

Some customers are concerned that the glass enamel layers start to crack on the bottom of the pan after extended use. It seems to happen when the Dutch oven isn’t used properly or used at extremely high temperatures.

The only other criticism is that the rounded bottom shrinks the size of the pot too much since it’s too small.

The main advantage of this Dutch oven though is that you don’t need to season it as a result of that enamel coating. This is a big time saver and also makes it very convenient to use, even when you’re in a hurry.

Check the latest prices here

Double Lodge Dutch oven vs Enamel Lodge Dutch oven

Here you’ve got two great Dutch oven options from Lodge. If you like to bake artisan bread that rises, you need to get the double Dutch oven because it has a domed lid and is more spacious.

But, if you want to cook on the stovetop more, an enamel Dutch oven is a great option because it’s non-stick, easy to clean, and you don’t need to season it.

The enamel pot is a great dupe for the famous Le Creuset cookware but it’s so much cheaper!

The double Dutch oven is more versatile because you can use the lid as a reversible skillet so you can fry some meat and veggies.

Enameled cast iron cookware is more sensitive because the glass layers can crack so this is something to think about before investing.

Dutch oven FAQ

What does the term Dutch oven mean?

The Dutch oven is a thick-walled cast-iron cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid.

They are known by different names in other countries depending on the local language, but were originally called “Dutch ovens”.

The name “Dutch” comes from inventor Darby who patented his invention for casting pots in 1707.

How do you cook with a Dutch oven?

There are many ways you can use a Dutch oven to prepare food.

All it needs is food inside it and a heat source below it and it’s good to go.

If you are looking to bake food, add coals to the top as well. This will keep the food at the bottom from burning.

Dutch ovens can be used in the oven, on a stovetop, over a fire, or on top of a grill.

When camping you will be going with the grill or fire top options. Often, the lid can also be flipped over to be used as a skillet.

What are the benefits of using a Dutch oven?

A Dutch oven is ideal because it cooks a variety of dishes.

It is great for making pasta, simmering and braising meat, making stews and soups, and even for preparing baked goods.

Its ability to distribute and retain heat means every dish will come out terrific.

Can you use a crockpot instead of a Dutch oven?

Yes. Because the processes are so similar, they are pretty much interchangeable.

Most recipes for a slow cooker and a Dutch oven start out the same way: you brown the protein, saute the vegetables, add liquid, and cook.

For example, check out this Camp Dutch Oven Beef Stew Recipe

You will just have to make some small adjustments when it comes to the timing and temperature settings.

With a slow cooker, you will have to select a low or high setting and let the machine do the work.

With a Dutch oven, a stovetop, oven, fire or grill will do the work of heating the pot and the contents.

Why do some Dutch ovens have legs?

A Dutch oven with legs is a type of pot that can be used outside on coals or campfires and cannot be used in the kitchen because it has legs.

The legs allow it to stand above the fire, but be aware that when using these outdoors they may catch onto your firewood so use extreme caution!


Dutch ovens are great versatile cooking pots that can’t be missed in any serious outdoor cook’s arsenal.

The great thing is they last forever, so buying a good Dutch oven now will pay off for many years to come.

Tip: Beer is great when cooking in a Dutch oven, and not just on the side. Here is why Beer and Barbeque mix so well.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.