What camp oven should I buy?

I’ve been promoting camp oven cooking for 10 years now, however, over the past few years, there has been a big rise in popularity for people wanting to get into camp oven cooking. I’ve seen this first hand in my Facebook group with people joining to ask questions.

This has led to many questions like:

  • What Brand of Camp Oven should I buy?
  • What Type of camp oven should I buy?
  • What Size camp oven should I buy?

Choosing your first camp oven can be a hard choice, so I’m going to answer these questions below to help you make the best choice that fits your needs but ultimately any camp oven will be suitable as long as you look after it properly.

My tip to you is to make your selection in the following order.

  1. Choose what type first, Cast Iron, Spun Steel or Aluminium – View Types
  2. Choose what size next will suit your cooking needs.
  3. Then choose what brand, this one is not so important as all brands are really good.

key points to remember when purchasing a cast iron new camp oven.

  • Make sure the lid fits well. – Due to the way camp ovens are manufactured, it is common for the lid to not to fit snug and it is important that they are a match.
  • There are no defects or large holes. – Due to the sand casting of the camp ovens, the ovens can have dags or holes, and while it is okay, you don’t want too many.
  • Is it already pre-seasoned? – A pre-seasoned camp oven is great as it is ready to use. Yet, we do recommend you give it a quick wash and a light coat of cooking oil.
  • Does it have a lip on the lid? It is important if you are cooking with coals or briquettes that the camp oven has a lip to stop the coals falling off.

What Type of Camp Oven should I buy?

This defiantly comes down to personal choice, traditionally a camp oven is made of heavy cast iron, but we now have to steal camp and aluminium camp ovens which are much lighter than cast iron camp ovens.

Camp ovens come in 4 common types here in Australia

  • Cast Iron Camp Ovens
  • Spun Steel Camp Ovens
  • Cast Iron Potjies
  • Cast Aluminium Camp ovens

Here is a detailed list of all types of camp ovens and their pros and cons, to help you choose which one you would like to buy.

What camp oven should I buy? | The Camp Oven Cook

Cast Iron Camp Oven

Cast Iron Camp Ovens are the original and most popular camp ovens.

Pros

  • Cast iron has great heat retention, ideal for slow cooking.
  • Even distribution of heat for oven effect; and
  • It will last forever if properly looked after.

cons

  • Can crack when dropped or when cold/hot water is added to a hot oven.
  • Heavy Cast Iron
What camp oven should I buy? | The Camp Oven Cook

Spun steel Camp Oven

Spun steel camp ovens are a versatile, robust and lightweight alternative to cast iron camp ovens.

Pros

  • Robust and lightweight, ideal for travellers.
  • Heats and cooks quickly
  • The lid can be used as a frypan

cons

  • Not a traditional Camp Oven
  • Doesn’t retain heat as well as cast iron
  • Heat management can be tricky due to thickness.
What camp oven should I buy? | The Camp Oven Cook

Cast Iron Potjie

A three-legged South African-style cast iron camp oven with a cauldron shape.

Pros

  • support legs allow it to nestle into the coals
  • hick cast iron retains heat, ideal for slow cooking;
  • The rounded shape is ideal for wet dishes like stews and curries.

cons

  • Big and heavy
  • Not as good for roasts and cakes due to shape.
What camp oven should I buy? | The Camp Oven Cook

Cast Aluminium Camp Oven

Cast aluminium is a lightweight alternative to a cast iron camp oven.

Pros

  • lightweight, ideal for travellers.
  • Won’t Rust.
  • Heats and cooks quickly.
  • Can be customised with your name or slogan.

cons

  • Doesn’t retain heat as well as cast iron.
  • Made of aluminium
  • Still heavier than a spun steel camp oven.

What Brand of Camp Oven should I buy?

The most common brands of cast iron camp ovens you will find are Oztrail, Coleman, Camp Fire, Spinifex, Outdoor Connection and many more. 

Don’t fixate on which brand is better as they are all good, any brand camp oven will be suitable as long as you look after it.

Mick – The Camp Oven Cook

Here is a list of camp oven brands you will find at your local camping store or online here in Australia:

Cast Iron Camp Oven Brands

What camp oven should I buy? | The Camp Oven Cook

Different brands are available in Australia of cast iron camp ovens.

Chinese Brands

Australian Brands

Spun steel Camp Oven

What camp oven should I buy? | The Camp Oven Cook

Different brands are available in Australia of Spun steel camp ovens.

Australian Brands

Cast Iron Potjie

What camp oven should I buy? | The Camp Oven Cook

Different brands are available in Australia of Potjies.

Potjie Brands

  • Camp Fire
  • Best Duty
  • Cadac

Cast Aluminium Camp Oven

What camp oven should I buy? | The Camp Oven Cook

Different brands are available in Australia of Cast aluminium.

Aluminium Brands

What Size Camp Oven should I buy?

I personally recommend that any one starting out should purchase a size that would be perfect to cook anything, from roast, dampers, cakes and more, i recomend a 9qt (12inch) camp oven they are a great all rounder size of camp oven. For a second oven i would recomend a 4qt (10inch) Camp oven, these are also good if you are only cooking for one or two people.

What camp oven should I buy? | The Camp Oven Cook
I like to own many camp ovens, it enables me to cook a Camp Oven Feast.

Cast iron vs Spun steel?

The answer to this question comes down to your personal preference, you need to make a decision based on your needs, because