Cast Iron or No? (weight right now is not an issue for me)

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AlexG

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At home or the outdoors, Cast Iron. Just last weekend I got myself a dutch oven. Used it a couple times over the stovetop to cook some eggs in the morning. Gonna get out this weekend and take a shot at the Mountain Man Breakfast for sunday morning.
 

John Worley

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I love this thread... I thought I was the only one that lugged around cast iron. Yes, it's totally worth it! I bring a 9 and 12 in., trivets, stands, tripod, charcoal, steel feed tray, fire gloves, straw brush, and cleaning supplies. Sounds like a lot but it all fits within 2-3 cubic feet of space. Pack the gloves, trivets, brush, in the ovens themselves.

I bring the charcoal and steel pan just in case. I agree that using coals from the fire is easiest, however, I've been in situations where I had damp firewood, and/or no fire ring. Charcoal and a pan has saved my tail a few times (and prevented brush fires). Oh and it's nice to have around when you are using the campfire for skillets. Steak over the campfire while sides are cooking in the dutch oven - nothing better!
 
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Brandon Harvey

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We use cast iron at home and at camp. But it is not our only source of pans. Somethings just done work with cast iron, like anything that has acidic properties.
 
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F4T XJ

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We carry our dutch oven on most trips and typically use it for dinner, we use coals from the fire on top. We also wipe them with paper towel then put back on the fire to burn anything left off. Once cooled we wipe with olive oil or veg oil before packing away. Its a great way to cook and you spend more time talking around the fire than having to concentrate on cooking.
 
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Waino

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I've been on the cast iron bandwagon for a long time. The only additional tip I'll throw out is to do the initial seasoning with Flax Seed oil. Take a few hours and bake on a couple of coats in the oven. The finish holds up way longer than vegetable oil or fat. I got this from Cooks Kitchen, which tests everything and it was the best method they found.
 

4wheelspulling

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If you have never made cornbread in your solar oven and chili in a Dutch oven while out camping you are missing out on some good eats! Practice at home first, then try cooking outside. Stay away from the cast Aluminum! Yes it is lighter in weight, but not good for you, and does not cook the same. Benz.
 
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Overland USA

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Would really like to bring some cast iron and try my hand at cooking the old fashioned way with briquettes on it/under it.....
Anyone ever try this before? If so- can you tell me how you do it....Pros and Cons....etc...

I already understand that hauling briquettes and the weight would be an issue/cumbersome.....but some of us aren't quite into rockcrawling yet and into more of the camping aspect sometimes....

Would love thoughts/ideas from all! :)
It used to be, when I was a scout many years ago, we only had what we carried. When my son became a scout his troop and every other troop we saw had a trailer and there was no end to the stuff they brought out into the field. Dutch ovens is a prime example of this. Of course if you're packing all this stuff into a vehicle and not on your back why not bring it and make the most enjoyable meal possible.
 

HAAANK

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I use cast iron almost 100% of the time at home and the trail4x4. When dirt biking I leverage the CC (credit card) or I don’t cook: meat stick, cheese, granola, etc.

I have copper cookware(inherited), some heavy bottom triple ply steel / copper / steel pots and pans and I’m always going back to cast iron for three reasons:

Durability
Low fuss
Heat tolerance


I don’t do anything crazy with it on the trail, just scrambles aka breakfast burrito filling warm I tortillas so they roll and baked beans Mac n cheese at dinner. I once did a jambalaya which turned out fantastic. I don’t have much luck with pancakes so I pass on those. Depending on what kind of hurry I’m in and how many people need food I. Their faces I’ll use multiple pieces of cookware.

I drive a kind of built 80 so weight isn’t an issue and they fit real well in my storage drawers.


There was a time when I spent a lot of energy trying to find smooth cast iron but ended up just buying lodge pieces. The truth is that all cast iron will be textured at first as these pieces are cast in sand smooth glassy surfaces come with use and are therefore present on used cast iron. I use a metal spatula that looks like a paint scrapper but has a wooden handle. It’s done a great job at smoothing out the cooking surface over time. One way to get there on day one is to employ a flap disc on an angle grinder and in about 5 min you’ll have a very smooth surface.

Long story short, cast iron is awesome buy it new or used and you’ll be in a great place for cooking on the trail and at home.
 

HAAANK

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We use cast iron at home and at camp. But it is not our only source of pans. Somethings just done work with cast iron, like anything that has acidic properties.

I’ve cooked a bunch with tomato based sauces, at first on accident and since cause I haven’t tasted a difference. I’ve heard tell that there can be a reaction between the iron and acid, but I’ve never tasted it. I believe that people experience negative tastes and I’m curious about what it’s like.
 

billum v2.0

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Attributes of cast iron well detailed (fan as well), but one feature not mentioned.

Am a Fall/Winter camper. Heat up dutch oven lid, wrap it in a heavy towel/blanket, place in foot of sleeping bag and it'll keep you warm (hot) most all night. Just make sure lid is warm verging on hot and towel/blanket is heavy enough for task.

Life is good.
 
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Madbodhi

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A camp dutch oven will have feet and a flatter lid with a rim to hold the coals. I normally just pull coals out of the firepit. Incredibly versatile and well worth the weight. I lived in St. Vincent for a time and we had an ancient South African Potjie that was the sole cooking vessel. It was fantastic and made some pretty good breadfruit,chicken back, and rice pilaf.
 
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toxicity_27

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I carry two cast iron skillets, and a Dutch oven. The oven doesn't get used as much as the skillets, but I want to start making bread, etc. with it. I need to season everything and get it easier to clean up. Still kind of a pain, but I know I just need to use them more.
 

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Our popup camper is full of cast iron pans and dutch ovens. Our most used is actually a cast iron lid off a very old washing machine. We got it from my grandparents when they stopped camping. That thing is the perfect size for cooking on the fire. And after 50 years of campfire cooking it is amazing how well it cooks. We have recently brought a few of the frying pans into the house and are using them inside now.
 
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ScottinAZ

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I have a set of Japanese cast iron sizzling plates. keeps food warm for a long time- really nice in winter! they are kinda like the plates for fajitas at the restaurant