camp chef table

How I Enjoy Dutch Oven Cooking with Old Knees

If you have spent any time on my website, you probably have figured out I enjoy Dutch Oven cooking.  I have spent quite a bit of time beside a fire pit on a campout tending to an oven meal.  Times are never exact, especially when you are cooking over a wood fire, so you just watch the oven.  As I’ve gotten older, the fact that the oven is on the ground, mixed with arthritis in my aging knees, have made this a little less enjoyable as time goes on.  So I began looking for alternatives.

Options

Apple cobbler in a dutch oven with dutch oven table
Camp Chef table -lighting charcoal

I have seen a number of Dutch Oven tables online.  These range from homemade, to gas grill conversions, to commercial tables.  I have an old gas grill out back that is waiting for a weekend when I have time to attempt a DIY project.  But that needs a spot to sit permanently.  It’s not portable.  What if I want to throw something on the back of my truck and take it camping?

I found a camp table put out by Camp Chef.  It is reasonably priced, somewhat portable, and at 38” tall it brings the oven up off the ground where it is much easier to work with.

Portability

This table weighs 28 lbs and breaks down fairly easily.  The legs come off with thumbscrews, and the windscreen around the back and sides just clips in place and is easily removed.  It comes with a bag that holds the shield and the legs (and even keeps them apart so they don’t get as scratched up).

Using The Camp Chef Table

This table, in my opinion, strikes a very good balance between portability and durability.  You definitely won’t use it for backpacking or camping with limited space.  For RV camping it would not take much to bring it along, and for the backyard cookouts, it’s perfect.  It is solid and does not feel flimsy.  It should support the weight of multiple dutch ovens with no problems.  The cooking surface is just under 38″ wide, and 16″ front to back. There is enough space for a couple of ovens, along with a charcoal chimney to sit on the table at one time.

If you want to move it right away after using it, you will want to have someplace to put the coals.  Same as a charcoal grill, the coals will remain hot for a while after you are done cooking.  Ideally, a metal bucket and shovel for ashes would be good to have on hand.  Or, just let it sit for a few hours. You can also put aluminum foil down under the coals, allowing you to wrap them up and relocate them to your fire pit after they have cooled down.

The Bottom Line

I can now cook using my dutch ovens without kneeling on the ground and aggravating my old knees.  The table does what I hoped it would do, and seems like it will last a while.  I am looking forward to many great meals using this table!!

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