THE BEST DUTCH OVENS: GSI 12-INCH HARD ANODIZED DUTCH OVEN

Q: WHAT ARE THE BEST DUTCH OVENS FOR CAMP COOKING?

I want to go beyond normal camp food for my next trip. I’m talking cobbler, cornbread, even pizza. What should I do?

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A: The GSI 12-Inch Dutch Oven

The humble Dutch oven isn’t something you would pack for a speed hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, but these heavy, thick-walled pots have long represented the easiest and most pleasurable means of making gourmet food in the outdoors. Dutch ovens distribute heat evenly so you are less likely to burn chili or spaghetti sauce, and they churn out perfect cornbread, cobblers, crisps, stews, and meat every time.

While the original Dutch ovens date back three centuries to the Netherlands, the pots have seen significant upgrades in the past few years. Most cast-iron varieties now arrive from the factory pre-seasoned, making maintenance less of a hassle. Aluminum versions use a manufacturing method to hard-anodize the walls, making seasoning unnecessary. All Dutch ovens are relatively heavy, though, and more appropriate to sites within a mile from the trailhead (and even then, we recommend slipping them into the pack of the least-popular member of your group).

GSI 12-Inch Hard Anodized Dutch Oven.

There are benefits to GSI’s non-reactive aluminum Dutch ovens. They never rust, don’t need seasoning, and are relatively lightweight (this version weighs less than a gallon of water). The 12-inch, equivalent to a ive-quart, bears a hard-anodized coating that makes it non-stick out of the box and lets it withstand the hottest campfires. If you’re looking to create a multi-course feast at the campsite, like a main course and a dessert, the 12-inch neatly holds the 10-inch version inside.

WEIGHT: 6.1 pounds
PRICE: $110

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Q: THE BEST DUTCH OVEN ACCESSORIES

A: GSI Dutch Oven Econo Lid Lifter

An essential tool for a hot dutch oven, the lid lifter works well with the GSI model described earlier.

PRICE: $15

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