In our continuing saga, we help you get the best camp oven for your next outdoor adventure.
Camp ovens are a wonderful addition if you don’t want to do without a nice, delicious home-cooked meal on your trip. In Australia, they’re fast becoming a necessity for conscious camping and caravanning.
Camp ovens for sale on the market can cost you a couple of hundreds dollars, so you would want to make sure that you’re making a great choice.
Whether you’re in the market for a topnotch cast iron camp oven or a budget camp oven, we’ll help you out.
Types of Camp Ovens
Here are some factors you need to consider when choosing a camp oven.
Camp ovens for sale are made of various materials and differ in weight, size, durability and overall performance. First let’s look at the different types based on materials and types.
Cast iron camp ovens
Cast iron camp ovens offer optimum quality and results. This camp oven retains and distributes heat effectively due to the nature and thickness of the material, along with its built.
The upside of choosing this type is its outstanding and even heat distribution and retention as well as durable quality.
The downside is its potential to break: be careful not to drop it! A cast iron camp oven can also be quite heavy, but rest assured it’s likely to last a lifetime with proper handling.
Dutch camp ovens
Usually centuries old, these types of ovens offer a traditional way of cooking. Because of their legs, they can rest above coals when used for outdoor cooking.
A dutch camp oven can also be cleverly designed where you can use the lid as a skillet with legs when you turn it upside down.
This camp oven is also made with thick cast iron camp oven material, which requires seasoning. The enameled cast iron dutch oven type doesn’t need to be seasoned.
Flat bottom camp ovens
These camp ovens are flat on the bottom, meaning no legs and designed for placing on top of a gas, wood or electric burner. You can also mount it on a rack above open fire.
This oven is usually made with seasoned or enamel-coated cast iron.
Spun steel camp ovens
These are an alternative to heavy, brittle cast iron ovens. The good news is that spun steel is lighter and not as susceptible to cracking.
With this camp oven you can heat and cool stuff down quickly. A few cons: it’s thinner, therefore not retaining heat as efficiently as cast iron.
Cast iron potjies
A potjie camp over is a pot with round bottoms and tall legs, allowing coal to be placed underneath.
These ovens are traditionally used in South Africa and might even be likened to a huge cauldron associated with witches. The thing is they can only be used outdoors since coal fire is a must.
Seasoning and Care: Cast Iron Camp Ovens and Spun Steel Camp Ovens
It’s important to season your camp oven if you have a new cast iron or spun steel camp ovens. Best to do this at home before venturing out.
Here are some standard steps in seasoning your camp oven:
- Clean your camp oven with a cloth. Use hot water with soap to remove residue.
- Dry the camp oven completely.
- Apply a thin layer of your seasoning, where any oil or fat should do. You may also opt for seasonings like vegetable, peanut or flaxseed oil.
- For one hour, bake the camp oven in your full size oven at home. Camp oven too large? Heat it like you’re cooking until it stops smoking, which typically means the seasoning is baked on.
- Let cool completely.
For a camp oven, once the lid and pot are separated and the pot is upside down, run it on medium to high heat for around 40 minutes. Turn the barbeque off and let cool completely.
For a spun steel oven, there’s a similar process to follow as the cast iron oven.
You can, however, leave the lid on and run the barbeque for about 15 minutes. This is because the material is thinner and absorbs heat a lot quicker.
After using your camp oven, make sure that it maintains a slight oil firm over the surface, particularly if you’re looking to scrub it clean.
Now, it’s time for us to share a few top-rated camp ovens for you to consider.
Top Camp Oven Reviews 2021 in Australia
Here’s a quick rundown of some recommended camp oven sets for your camping, hiking or caravan trips.
Campfire Pioneer 4.5QT Camp Oven Set
Camp oven for two
A flat bottom cast iron camp oven, this set offers 4.3L in capacity and 7.3kg in weight. It comes pre-seasoned with a storage bag, lid lifter, protective gloves and spiral carry handle for easier lugging.
Use the lid as a heavy duty skillet when flipped over. For stability, the set features three legs. There’s also a steam hole to protect from hot steam when you lift the lid.
The Campfire camp oven comes at a friendly price tag as well as a 12-month warranty.
One drawback is it may be ideal for couples but not suitable for families or a larger group.
Ranger Nick Premium Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron
Smaller but just as heavy-duty camp oven
Another flat bottom cast iron camp oven on this list is this Ranger Nick product, which boasts of a 1.9L capacity and 5kg weight.
It’s made of thick cast iron for awesome heat distribution as well as comes with a multipurpose lid. A vent hold also helps you control the steam.
It also comes pre-seasoned and at a wonderful price point. All in all it isn’t a far cry from the Campfire product and is also a handy option for those looking for a smaller camp oven variety.
Camp Chef DO10 – 6 Quart Dutch Oven Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron
Next up on this mini list is this dutch oven from Camp Chef, featuring cast iron material, 5.7L in capacity and 7.7kg in weight.
Its legs also function as a full size skillet when turned upside down, and its stainless steel carrying handle and free lid lifter are also worth mentioning.
A thermometer notch is built in so there’s no need to lift the lid to check the temp.
Coming double seasoned (and therefore ready to use), this camp oven has the potential to outlive you when handled and maintained well.
Aussie Oven Co 380MM 9L Oval Camp Oven
Aluminium camp oven you can personalise
A relatively new oven model, this aluminium camp oven from Aussie Oven Co. is oval in shape, a deviation from the standard round oven. I
Weighing a relatively light 4.2kg, it comes available with a sand cast lid with your own name, club, motto or catchphrase on it. You can customise during the ordering process.
The personalisation is a plus, and an aluminium option might come in handy if you’re not keen on other camp over types.
Bonus: Camp Oven Accessories and Maintenance
Cast iron camp ovens and other types are pretty much self-contained, so they don’t come with a lot of accessories.
However, these may be some you might find useful:
This keeps your camp oven off the fire for better cooking control.
A good way to protect your camping “toy” and precious investment.
Height Extension Ring
This extends your oven’s capacity, but only for cast iron ones and not the spun steel camp ovens variety.
This grate or perforated base can be placed inside the oven to prevent food from contacting the base, resulting in burning or sticking.
When it comes to maintaining your camp oven, it’s important to take note of a few things:
- Make sure not to drop your camp oven.
- Season it on a per-need basis.
- Avoid pouring cold water into a hot camp oven.
- Avoid pouring boiling water into a cold camp oven.
- Oil your oven before putting it away. This will prevent rusting or corrosion.
Once you've set your sights on your camp oven purchase, whether a cast iron dutch oven or dutch oven of another material, it's time to prepare your camp oven recipes!
These are essential camping products that you probably wouldn't want to do without.