Dutch ovens? Quality?

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Dutch ovens? Quality?

Postby cuyeda » Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:32 am

Harbor Freight has a dutch oven on sale. Are there any quality considerations? Is one brand better than the other?

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Re: Dutch ovens? Quality?

Postby Dean in Eureka, CA » Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:39 pm

Cliff,
"... You get what you pay for." :oops:
Two things before buying a dutch oven from Harbor Freight...
1. Does the lid set flat, or is there rocking back and fourth? :thumbdown:
2. Are the oven walls of even thickness? (Uneven wall thickness will cause uneven heating at the least) :thumbdown:
I'm a Lodge fan myself... Only dutch oven still produced in the USA. :thumbsup:
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Postby Gaston » Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:15 pm

I have a Lodge, a camp chef and a harbor freight and they all are fine IF properly seasoned. Of the 3 the lodge is the roughest inside but still cooks fine and doesn't "stick" any worse than the others..
I had to look over a few harbor freight ovens to find a good one. also there are a lot of other "China" ovens. Stansport and some of the store brands ( usually unmarked other than the box it comes in). For a 1st oven I'd stick with lodge or camp chef, then when you know what a good oven is like you can try some of the cheap ones. You can usually find a 10 or 12" lodge for under $30.00, if thats too much to spend , you should consider a different hobby.
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Postby Ma3tt » Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:31 pm

HF ovens are better than nothin. If are on a tight budget and it means you can get a taste of Iron cooking then get it. If you can spend a little more you will get soemthing a little better.
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Postby Dean in Eureka, CA » Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:49 pm

If the budget is that tight, I'd garge sale it before going with a HF.
Maybe the HFs in other locations have better quality ovens, but the last one bought from the local HF that I know of, was given away by it's owner... It was that bad.
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Postby asianflava » Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:05 pm

It seems like the HF ovens are a crap shoot, some are fine while others aren't.
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Postby Miriam C. » Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:37 pm

Dean in Eureka, CA wrote:If the budget is that tight, I'd garge sale it before going with a HF.
Maybe the HFs in other locations have better quality ovens, but the last one bought from the local HF that I know of, was given away by it's owner... It was that bad.


I can honestly say I have never seen a dutch oven at a garage sale. Here they are gold and not cheap.

My cheappy has shorter legs than a lodge so the coals are pretty close to the bottom. Usually touching...

Saving for a good one may be best.
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Postby Outlaw » Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:32 am

Since the HF 10" DO is only $12.99, not including the 15% off coupon that's out there, I'd say go for it. It will need to be seasoned before using which is no big deal. A great way to get started with DO cooking on the cheap. If you stick with it, you can always add a nicer one later. Just my .02 cents.
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Buy a good one the first time, rather than the second time.

Postby cuyeda » Thu Nov 30, 2006 1:16 am

Thanks for all the tips! I know what to look for now. Budgeting isn't an issue. I just wanted to know if there were any quality differences. Now I have a guideline to go by when looking at one. Costco has a nice set of iron cookware, around the Spring time. I may just shop around until then, and check out the Costco stuff. I think it is a Lodge set, but don't quote me. I don't have a working trailer yet, have a great berry cobbler recipe, and can't wait to put it all together. :twisted:
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Postby len19070 » Thu Nov 30, 2006 5:42 am

I have a Harbor Freight 12" Dutch oven. And it does have its problems. The lid rocks and its not the best casting job I've ever seen.

But, it was a Christmas gift from my daughter. And I use it when ever she's around. Its been demoted to a "Soup Pot" though and for that it works great.

My main, or favorite DO is a Wagner I bought about 30 years ago. I would put it on our wood stove as a heat source. And make mostly Crock pot recipes as I would put it on the stove for the entire day while at work.

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Postby lonebird » Sat Apr 21, 2007 8:42 pm

Anyone heard of CW gear? It looks like they've gone out of bussiness, and Camping World is having a nice sale on their DOs. 2 qt. and 6 qt. DO, 12" skillet, pot lifter, griddle, and nice wooden storage box, all for $35. What do ya think, good starter kit?
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Postby Kevin A » Sat Apr 21, 2007 9:14 pm

lonebird wrote:Anyone heard of CW gear? It looks like they've gone out of bussiness, and Camping World is having a nice sale on their DOs. 2 qt. and 6 qt. DO, 12" skillet, pot lifter, griddle, and nice wooden storage box, all for $35. What do ya think, good starter kit?
:thumbsup: :thumbdown:

For the price, I don't see how you could go wrong. Here's a link to it.
http://www.campingworld.com/browse/skus ... 2&src=SRQB
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I was just looking at the photo of the DO, it doesn't appear to have legs on the bottom. Looks like they have supplied a metal ring affair to set the pot on to allow room to place coals under the pot.
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Postby poolking » Mon Apr 23, 2007 6:53 pm

Hey all,
We started with the CW kit to begin with and it has worked out really well, and still use it. No the dutch oven does not have legs on it, but we have also been able to use on the stove top as well. The ring is there so that charcoal can be used...you just have to be careful when turning the DO to keep it centered on the ring so as not to slide off. We have used the griddle on our camp stove to cook eggs so far and it works really well. As with all cast iron you just have to make sure that you get it seasoned correctly so that you don't have such a mess afterwards or cause the seasoning to come off. I was trying to cook chili in a freshly seasoned DO and found out later that was a big NO! NO!

Buy it local, a friend got a great deal on some cast iron on EBay. He ended up paying more for shipping than the DO set cost him.

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Postby Dewayne_Mellen » Sat Apr 28, 2007 9:24 pm

Thanks for posting about the camping world deal. I've been wanting a DO and that deal was to good to pass up.
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