The Camp Chef Delux Dutch Oven fits into my world without me having to worry about it, ever. Slop in big old pieces of elk, potatoes, tomatoes, chili, salt, pepper – you name it – and let it slow cook.
If you’ve met me you know I don’t go easy; I am not gentle or subtle or squeaky clean. So when I find something that really does its job well and is indestructible; winner winner, chicken dinner – game on!
Dutch Oven Convection Oven
Over an open fire or over a camp grill the Camp Chef Dutch Oven handles it like it should. I mean, it is for cooking, right? According to the manual, “The heat in the Dutch Oven gets diverted, trapped and circulated, turning your Dutch Oven into a convection oven.”
Then factor in the Dutch Oven lid, that can double as a gridle or frypan, and add in a bomber Lid Lifter Tool for plucking the Dutch Oven out of flames without getting burned; I love it.
With the Elk bugling outside my windows and the temperatures dropping in the evenings it is the perfect time to load up my portable hunting camp (R-Pod trailer) and head out. My wife found a recipe for cornbread that we cooked in the Dutch Oven Lid. I hate having to worry about non-stick cookware when I have a knife and need to serve myself food fast.
Yeah, I get hungry that can make me a little rough with cookware. This Camp Chef cast iron pot will not flinch an inch if you cut right in it. The cornbread cooked through from the even heat of the thick cast iron and didn’t stick. The lid just wiped clean.
The Camp Chef Dutch Oven Lid Lifter is a great way to pull the oven out of the heat. And surprisingly it works well at carrying lots of weight like a full pot of water or food. It would have been nice if it would have worked on the lid when being used as a skillet but that is the only flaw I could find. There is also an opening to use a thermometer without having to remove the lid. That is a nice touch.
The Camp Chef Deluxe Dutch Oven comes in a few different sizes; 10, 12 and 14 inch deep. There are plenty of accessories that you can purchase to add value; a handy Dutch Oven carrying bag, cooking tripod, chainmail scraper, etc. Camp Chef has you covered. The manual covers how to care for “seasoning” the cast iron and outlines cooking temps based on charcoal distribution. To that end, the lid is flanged to hold the hot charcoal when using the Dutch oven as an “oven” in an open fire pit.
Dutch Oven Feet
The Camp Chef Deluxe Dutch Oven has feet on the bottom and on the lid that help it stabilize and stay a little removed from fire and charcoal. The feet get hot though so watch that it fits on any hotplates you have before putting it down on kitchen surfaces; those feet get hot in direct flame.
It would have been nice to test the tripod that is available for the Camp Chef Dutch Oven but it really isn’t needed; The Camp Chef is comfortable to use on open or hot coals. It heats predictably and holds the heat for a long time. Combine that with the recommendations in the manual, for “oven” cooking, and most camp recipes are within reach.
I would have thought a camping Dutch oven would be hard to clean, especially after cooking on open flame but it was not. Let the Dutch Oven cool naturally, then soak and scrub; things come right off. Don’t forget to season the black patina of the Camp Chef so it gets better with age.
The ways to use the Camp Chef Deluxe Dutch Oven ($69.99) are varied and only limited to your imagination. Slow Cook, Dutch oven cooking, skillet, baked bread with coals on the top, the list goes on. Think of new things to cook and get after it, the Dutch Oven will last for years a never stop performing like a champ. It’s nice to have cast iron cookware that I know will last through the apocalypse, or at least through all my manhandling.