If you aren’t cooking in a dutch oven you are missing a lot of fun and some great food! Now nobody is going to carry a dutch oven backpacking; this is a ‘car camping’ option for sure.
If you need to get outfitted here’s what you’ll need and a few things that you may want (note the difference!)
Lodge 8 quart pre-seasoned dutch oven
Lodge dutch ovens are the industry standard. Some are cheaper but I think it’s hard to beat Lodge for fit and finish (and they are made in the USA). You do need a dutch oven with feet and a lid that is rimmed to hold coals; there are dutch ovens with domed lids for the kitchen but they don’t work well on a campfire.
Standard retail for these beauties is around a hundred bucks (!) But you can get one from Amazon for less than $60.00 at this writing (including shipping)
Lodge 8 quart dutch oven at Amazon
Lodge Camp Dutch Oven Lid Lifter
Do you absolutely need a fancy lid lifter? I use one and would not be without it; it makes things a lot easier. You’ll find yourself lifting the lid to check the progress of your cooking fairly regularly and while pliers or improvised hooks will do the job a lid lifter is much more secure and pleasant to use. Lid lifter at Amazon
Lodge Fire Gloves
Oven mitts and the like tend to burn when I have used them around campfires. Leather work gloves are too thin. What you want are insulated leather gloves designed to take the heat. I have used welding gloves successfully and these are basically the same thing. These cover your forearms and make handling hot pots and other stuff around the fire much easier.
Don’t try to save a few bucks by buying cheaply made gloves – they are thinner and won’t last. A couple of extra dollars for purpose built gloves is worth it.
Lodge Red Leather Insulated Gloves at Amazon
Dutch Oven Lid Stand
It’s certainly handy to have a parking spot for a dutch oven lid while you are stirring or adding ingredients. You can park your lid on another pot or a couple of empty cans but having stand assures you wont soil the inside of the lid or loose the coals on the top.
Lid stand at Amazon
Lodge Dutch Oven Table
You don’t need a dutch oven table but it will make life easier if you really get into dutch oven cooking. Lodge makes the Cadillac of dutch oven tables (and it costs a mint of money). A generous wind screen and sturdy legs raise the oven off the ground. This is on my wish list.
Dutch oven table at Amazon
Weber 7416 Rapidfire Chimney Starter
I do most of my dutch oven cooking over a wood campfire. If I can’t build a fire I’ll use charcoal and a chimney-type starter is important. A couple of crumpled sheets of newspaper on the bottom, charcoal on top, light the paper through the draft holes and you’ll have hot charcoal in a few minutes. The Weber 7416 has a cult following because it’s the best; it has a bail handle to make emptying the charcoal a lot easier.
Weber 7416 at Amazon
Poor Man’s Dutch Oven Table
A galvanized steel bushel basket or washtub is one way to contain the coals and holds the oven while cooking. It also carries all you gear and charcoal. We have one that was in the troop gear room when I showed up a couple of decades ago.
Bushel basket steel tub at Amazon
Lodge Pan Scrapers
Two polycarbonate Pan Scrapers for cleaning the stuck on food from dutch ovens without scratching. Each corner of the scraper is a different shape to easily clean every crevice or corner. Set of 2 Pan Scrapers at Amazon