I have been using Camp Chef 12” dutch ovens for much of my campfire cooking for the last few years. I originally bought the Camp Chef for the price. I have had two of these for over 8 years now. As with any other cast iron cookware, they will last a lifetime with proper care. The Camp Chef ovens are quite a bit cheaper than competing dutch ovens. But they are good quality cooking pots, and I have also found there are a few features on these cast iron pots that are very useful.
Camp Chef Dutch Ovens are well made. The 12-inch ovens I use, which are the deluxe model, have feet on the bottom as well as on the lid, making them perfect for stacking. The top of the lid is flat so you can flip it over, but also has a slight lip on it to help keep coals on the top when baking.
Once you turn the lid upside down, you have an approximately 1-inch deep skillet. Browning meat, or cooking bacon can be easily done in the lid while preparing some other food in the dutch oven itself before combining everything together.
My Camp Chef came with a lid lifter, and it was pre-seasoned. I’ve read some reviews that the cooking surface wasn’t as smooth on the Camp Chef as on a more expensive product. However, I have had no problems with this at all. While it is a little rough, it is a great non-stick surface.
Camp Chef Accessories
Camp Chef Dutch Oven Table
Camp Chef makes a dutch oven table, which allows you to easily cook over charcoal, but keep your ovens up off the ground. As I get older my knees are becoming less and less of a fan of cooking on the ground. The table is a bit much to take camping unless you have an RV or a pickup truck. The legs come off and it lays flat, so it is somewhat portable, but probably too bulky for a smaller vehicle. However, if you have space, it may be worth taking it. But for cooking on your back lawn I highly recommend this table.
This bag is useful for transporting your dutch oven. It protects it from getting banged around with your other camping equipment (or protects your other camping equipment, depending on how you look at it).
Camp Chef – Cooking Tips
One thing I have found with my Camp Chef is that it seems to take a little more heat to cook than some other dutch ovens I’ve used. Most of the recipes for dutch ovens give you an estimate of how many pieces of charcoal to put on the top and/or the bottom of the oven and how long to cook it. I usually find that with my Camp Chef dutch oven, I need to apply more charcoal, or the cooking time is much longer. Once you get used to it, you can usually get the hang of it pretty quickly. This works well for me, because many times I find myself cooking on coals from a wood fire anyway, and that can sometimes be hotter. Pulling some coals out of the fire and placing the pot on the coals right next to the campfire itself can be a little hotter than just charcoal, but it does work well. Just be sure to keep an eye on dinner so you don’t overcook it in these conditions. Your mileage will vary depending on the size of your campfire.
I have Amazon affiliate links in this article, and I will get a percentage of the sales if you purchase something there. But other than that, I am not being paid to write about the Camp Chef. I use it because I’ve had very good luck with it. I bought a second one just like the first one when I wanted to be able to have a couple of things going at once for a meal. Check back on MustGoCamping.com to see some dutch oven recipes that will be posted in the coming months. And check out our article on the basics of Dutch Oven cooking. I hope you enjoy cooking over a campfire as much as I do!