Lodge make two types of cast iron dutch ovens: porcelain enamel dutch ovens that are designed to be used in a kitchen, and camp dutch ovens designed to be used outdoors on a camp fire. We look at both on this page.
Lodge Porcelain Enamel Dutch Oven
The enamel dutch ovens, like the one in the picture left, are made of cast iron, and then enameled with two coats, both inside and outside. The first coat of enamel is black (and the rim of the base pan shows the black enamel at the edges), and then the outer coat of enamel is in primary colors (red, blue, green), while the inside of the oven is enameled in cream.
They are heavy duty, being cast iron, and come with two enameled handles to help you lift the oven easily. These enameled dutch ovens (or casserole dishes as they are sometimes called) are safe in the oven to 400F, and also safe in the fridge and freezer and can also be used for stove top cooking. Because they are designed for kitchen cooking, do not use them on open flames outside.
The enamel is stain resistant and easy to clean (they recommend hand washing), and you can make all manner of dishes in them (stews, casseroles, soups and so on).
The Lodge enamel dutch ovens are made in China (unlike their camp dutch ovens – see below). They come in a number of different sizes from 3 quarts to 7.5 quarts, and have a limited lifetime warranty. Here are some of the variety of colors you can get:
Lodge Camp Dutch Oven
The Lodge camping dutch oven is the classic old-fashioned cast iron pot used on camping trips for outdoor cooking. It comes with a wire loop handle (the bail) that you can use to hang the cooking pot over a camp fire, or to lift it away from heated coals.
The lid is recessed, which means you can heap hot coals on top of it, to help it to cook faster. It also has three small tripod feet, so you can stand it on a small fire too. The point of the legs is that you can slide heated coals under the lodge oven using a shovel, to keep it hot.
Is it any good? Yes! You can cook a simple but delicious meal in one of these. For campers, this is the best camp dutch oven you can get. (Note that though you can cook acidic food like tomatoes in your cast iron lodge oven – unlike aluminum, cast-iron can take it – the acid eats away at the seasoning that protects the pot- so my recommendation is to leave the acidic foods at home and use the enamelled pot (see top of the page) to cook them in your kitchen).
It comes pre seasoned, so you can use it out of the box, and to maintain all you need to do is rub it with olive oil after you have hand washed and dried it. Even if you don’t go camping, cooking outdoors on a patio in a dutch oven makes a nice alternative to barbecues.
The Lodge cast iron camp dutch oven is made in the USA and have a lifetime warranty. They come in a number of sizes:
Lodge include an instruction booklet and recipe book with their camp dutch oven, but if you want more free camping dutch oven recipes, I recommend the following university site where their camping enthusiasts collected all their favorite recipes. Lodge also have a selection of recipes on their website, including sourdough biscuits and camp chilli – see here.
If it’s your first time cooking outdoors in this manner, I recommend the following US Scouts page, which advises exactly how to go about cooking over a campfire, and they’ve got recipes too, plus they advise you on the best methods of seasoning cast iron, plus how to adjust where you put coals and heat depending on whether you are baking, roasting or stewing.