How to Identify Vintage Camp Ovens

With camp oven cooking becoming so popular nowadays especially since covid and more and more people are wanting to get that old vintage collectable camp oven for their collection.

Having owned many old camp ovens I completely understand why as vintage camp ovens are really nice to cook with and in my personal opinion, I think they season so much better.

How to Identify Vintage Camp Ovens | The Camp Oven Cook
The camp oven on the left is an 14′ Etna camp oven from Glasgow, its at least 115 years old.

I’ve often seen post’s of camp ovens for sale that say “vintage rusty camp oven”, however, it’s just a Chinese made camp oven that’s a bit rusty and maybe the seller didn’t know anything about it and they have just assumed that just like if you don’t know if its vintage and you have assumed it because it’s rusty.

Example of a listing I have seen, mistakenly listed as a very old vintage camp oven.

image of a camp oven for sale that is not actually old - how to identify a vintage camp oven.
A 2QT Campfire camp oven for sale thats mistakenly listed as being a very old vintage camp oven.

Because of for sale posts like that is the reason why I have created this post, as I just want to help you know what you are looking for when you are out there looking for a vantage camp oven. (there is nothing wrong with that camp oven it is just mistakenly identified)

The most common way to tell if a camp oven is old is by the ears or via the lid. I have put together a list of features below to help you identify if your camp oven is old or not.

Please note: This guide is to help you identify whether your camp oven is vintage. If you have a vintage oven and need help to identify the brand, please feel free to contact us for help with identification.

Here’s what to look out for.

Asian made camp oven’s have the following features

  • have flat lids,
  • a tapered teardrop lid handle
  • a plain wire bail
  • flat horizontal ears
  • Often don’t have legs.

Vintage camp oven’s have the following features

  • Domed lids
  • An even lid handle often with a join in the middle
  • Blacksmith made bails
  • Vertical ears
  • and will have legs unless they have been cut off.

Watch the How to Identify Vintage Camp Ovens Video


More photos of Asian Camp Ovens

The Bail
The bail, or handle, of Asian camp ovens are generally a plain wire handle or a wire handle with a spiral.

The Lid
The lids have a very distinctive shape; they are flat with a lip and commonly have big branding. They often have the sizing listed in quarts. Australian or European ovens are sized by inches.

The Ears
The ears are the part of the camp oven that holds the bail. The ears are a dead give away for Asian made ovens as they are always flat with two holes.

The Base
Generally have a flat bottom, however, there are some that do have legs. Just look at the ears or the bail if you’re still unsure.

How to Identify Vintage Camp Ovens

More Images of vintage camp ovens

The Bail
The bail, or handle, of vintage camp ovens were generally made by a blacksmith out of thick steel, and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, depending on who made it.


The Lid
The lids have a very distinctive shape; they are domed with a different style lip for coals to stay on top and the lid and handle are also different.


The Ears
The ears are the part of the camp oven that holds the bail. The ears are a dead give away for vintage camp ovens as they are sit vertical, like our own ears, and have a wide opening.


The Legs
These camp ovens have legs, and it is also common to find them with the legs cut off.

If you’re still unsure, please feel free to post some photos on our Facebook page so we can have a look for you.