What Size Dutch Oven Should I Buy For Camping

Do you have multiple sizes of ovens for different Dutch oven camping recipes? Most campers don’t carry an assortment of camp ovens so they end up asking the question, “What size Dutch oven should I buy for camping?” Here’s how you can easily make that decision.

What Size Dutch Oven Should I Buy For Camping by CampingForFoodies features two sizes of cast iron camp Dutch ovens sitting on the ground in a forest covered with pine needles, rocks and ferns to show a comparison of the difference between a 10-inch and 12-inch Dutch oven with text over the image that reads what size to buy?

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Best Size Dutch Oven For Camping

Lodge Cast Iron Camp Dutch OvensLodge Cast Iron Camp Dutch OvensLodge Cast Iron Camp Dutch Ovens


Most camp oven recipes use a standard depth 12-inch Dutch oven.

If you are using a different oven size, you can usually adapt the recipe by using a Dutch oven temperature chart to achieve the correct cooking temperature for the meal. Use our chart to see how many hot coals on top and bottom you’ll need to create a specific cooking temperature.

Dutch Oven Temperature Chart - How Much Charcoal - Camping For Foodies com

It’s also helpful to know how to use a charcoal chimney to light charcoal briquettes quickly, efficiently and without lighter fluid.

Size Capacities Of Cast Iron Dutch Ovens

When it comes to Dutch oven cooking on camping trips, the number of people you are feeding plays a big role in buying a Dutch oven to cook your camp food.

Cast Iron Dutch Oven Size Capacities

8 Inch Classic2 Quarts8 Cups
10 Inch Classic4 Quarts16 Cups
10 Inch Deep5 Quarts20 Cups
12 Inch Classic6 Quarts24 Cups
12 Inch Deep8 Quarts32 Cups
14 Inch Classic8 Quarts32 Cups
14 Inch Deep10 Quarts40 Cups
16 Inch Classic12 Quarts48 Cups

Dutch Oven Size When Cooking For A Crowd

If you tend to camp with larger groups of people, a 12 Qt. Dutch oven is a really nice size.

A 16-inch/12-quart cast iron Dutch oven weighs about 33 pounds and serves approximately 16 – 20 people.

Camp Chef Classic 16Camp Chef Classic 16″ Dutch OvenCamp Chef Classic 16


Although this is one of the biggest camping Dutch ovens, it is still a manageable size for cooking and transporting to, from and around the campsite.

What Size Dutch Oven For A Couple

Cooking for a couple has its own unique challenges because recipes commonly serve 4-6 people. If you like to make camping meals for two, you will want a 10-inch Dutch oven. This size oven is great if you like to make 1/2 recipes of your favorite meals that feed a family.

CLASSICCamp Chef Classic 10″ Dutch Oven –  4-Qt model: Measures 11.5 x 11.5 x 4 inches, weighs 14 pounds

Camp Chef Classic 10Camp Chef Classic 10″ Dutch OvenCamp Chef Classic 10


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DEEPCamp Chef Classic 10″ Deep Dutch Oven5-Qt model: Measures 11.5 x 11.5 x 7 inches, weighs 15 pounds

Camp Chef Classic 10Camp Chef Classic 10″ Deep Dutch OvenCamp Chef Classic 10


What Size Dutch Oven For A Family Of 4

A 12-inch Dutch oven is the perfect size when cooking for a family of four.

It is the most common Dutch oven size that camping recipes are designed to be cooked in to feed a family of 4-6 people.

STANDARDClassic Lodge 12-inch Dutch Oven6-Qt model: Weighs 19 pounds

Classic Lodge 12” Dutch OvenClassic Lodge 12” Dutch OvenClassic Lodge 12” Dutch Oven


DEEPLodge 12-inch Deep Dutch Oven8-Qt model: Weighs 20 pounds

Lodge 12” Deep Camp Dutch OvenLodge 12” Deep Camp Dutch OvenLodge 12” Deep Camp Dutch Oven


Should You Buy A Deep Or Standard Camping Dutch Oven

Let’s say you decide that a 12-inch Dutch oven fits your family’s needs.

The next question is … should that be a deep Dutch oven or a standard/classic depth Dutch oven. The answer depends of the type of food you like to eat.

Deep Dutch Ovens

Lodge 12-inch Deep Camp Dutch Oven, 8 Quart

It is almost impossible to bake food in a Deep Dutch oven without burning the bottom before browning the top because the heat is too far away from the top of the food.

A 12-inch Deep Dutch oven holds 8 Quarts/32 Cups.

Deep Dutch ovens are great for making big pots of soup, stew, chili etc.

Deep ovens are great for avoiding splashing and boiling over because of the taller walls.

As an example, we used a 12-inch Deep Dutch oven when we made our BBQ Ribs.

Camping Dutch Oven BBQ Ribs Can Be Cooked With Charcoal Briquettes Or Over A Campfire

Standard/Classic Dutch Ovens

Lodge 12-inch Standard Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven, 6-Quart

It is almost impossible to simmer soups and stews in a Standard/Classic Dutch oven without having it splash and possibly boil over the top because there is not a lot of oven wall to prevent it.

A 12-inch Standard/Classic Dutch oven holds 6 Quarts/24 Cups.

Standard/Classic Dutch ovens are great for baking things like pizza, lasagna, cake etc.

As an example, we used a 12-inch Standard/Classic Dutch oven when we made our campfire Dutch oven cornbread.

Campfire Dutch Oven Jalapeno Cornbread Camping Recipe perfect for outdoor cooking and a side dish for your camping meals

If you plan to do a lot of baking, you should know how to use Dutch oven liners. They make it easy to lift baked goods out of a hot oven so they can cool. And, you almost eliminate cleanup! Our video shows you how to make your own liners out of parchment paper for pennies!

If you want to bake with your oven but fire restrictions are in place, you can still accomplish your goal. Learn how to cook with a Dutch oven dome and heat diffuser plate on a propane stove instead of using campfire coals or charcoal briquettes as your heat source.

More Dutch Oven Buying Considerations

After you answer the questions on deep vs. standard and what size camp Dutch oven should I buy … you have a few more things to consider before you actually purchase your gear.

Camp Chef and Lodge Dutch ovens are considered to be at the top of the list of high quality cast iron camp ovens.

But, if you are a backpacker or lightweight car camper … you may want an aluminum Dutch oven.

Get help with these factors to find your personal best Dutch oven for camping.

Best Camping Dutch Oven by CampingForFoodies

After I Get My Dutch Oven, Now What?

Purchasing your new gear is just the beginning.

Tips On Using Your Oven

Once you obtain your camp oven, you may need a few tips on how to use a Dutch oven while camping so be sure to check out this post for help.

How To Use A Dutch Oven While Camping by CampingForFoodies is a closeup of two camp Dutch ovens. One is stacked on top of the other. They both have charcoal briquettes on their lids and the bottom oven has coals below it sitting on a cast iron griddle on top of green grass. Both ovens are cooking Dutch oven camping recipes that are ready to be served outside at a sunny campsite with text over the image reading how to use Dutch ovens.

Here are some camping Dutch oven tips that help you with coal placement as the heat source for cooking.

Camping Dutch Oven Tips From The Pros by CampingForFoodies

Helpful Accessories

After you know what size Dutch oven for camping … you might need some of these awesome Dutch oven accessories to compliment your kitchen gear like Dutch oven lid lifters, lid stands and more!

Coolest Camp Dutch Oven Accessories - Camping For Foodies .com

Cast Iron Dutch Oven Care

If you decide to acquire a cast iron Dutch oven, make sure you care for it so it lasts a long time. As sturdy as they are … if cast iron Dutch ovens are not properly cared for … they can rust.

Need To Make More Camping Gear Purchases?

If you need help determining the best camping gear for your camping style, we’ve got help for you!

Check out our reviews on lanterns, generators, grill stoves, camping lights, fire starters, solar panels, campfire cooking equipment and more!

Best Camping Gear For Tent And RV Camping by CampingForFoodies

Easy Recipes To Try

Let’s put your new Dutch oven to work!

If you’re looking for awesome ideas for yummy camping food, you’re in the right place! Here’s our entire camping recipes list.

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