I am really new to dutch oven cooking. but…wow. What fun! This particular unit is the first I’ve ever purchased. But it has some nice touches that some other dutch ovens don’t have.
6 quarts is…well…a lot. I was expecting this to be much smaller and am especially happy I didn’t buy the 10 or 12 quart dutch ovens because that would have been out of control huge. As it is, I can make enough chilli that as a side dish, it easily serves 15. As a main dish, it serves about 6-8, though 4 big eaters could finish the pot.
Heating is a little interesting. While it definitely cooks more evenly than a thin steel pot, I found that there are some colder and hotter spots that develop, though slight adjustment of coals can fix this. This is only noticeable when baking. Stews and Chilis of course, aren’t really affected. I thought maybe I was just doing something wrong, but I’ve read others have similar problems with a variety of dutch ovens, so I guess this is fairly typical, and the simple solution is to move some coals around if you notice anything. Still, it is waaaaay more even in cooking that any other steel “pot” I’ve ever used, and pretty similar in even heating to the analon copper lined pots and le creusets in our home.
On to more specifics.
This particular unit has the top that you can place coals on and also can be flipped and placed on a bed of coals to use as a skillet. Nice touch. I do have a cheap flat aluminum topper that I can use for the dutch oven while I’m using the dutch oven topper as a skillet, so this works out well in case I want to heat up something and retain heat in the pot while doing the skillet thing.
This unit also come with the lid lifter. When I was at Walmart recently, I saw another dutch oven with a topper where you could put coals on it, but that unit didn’t have a lifter, so this was a nice add on from Camp Chef.
Another nice touch are the legs. Many dutch ovens have them so you can put coals underneath, many don’t. So having them is great. what’s more. some companies make the legs too long so heat is harder to transfer, but the Camp Check version is perfect for briquettes, so this is another well thought out design component.
All in all, when comparing the dutch ovens through various reviews, and also experiencing this one, I think it’s clear that this was the right choice for me.
One other note, if you get a dutch oven table, and you happen to select the smaller one, it’s worth noting that with this smaller 6 quart 10″ dutch oven, you can also put a tuscan grill next to it.
Hope this helps and happy grilling!