Can You Put an Enameled Dutch Oven on a Campfire?

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Person opened the lid of a pan on a small firepit - Can You Put an Enameled Dutch Oven on a Campfire?

There are certain brands of enameled dutch ovens that you will be ok putting on or over your campfire. There are also certain brands that tell you to forgo the use of campfires altogether when using their enamel dutch ovens.

The enamel coating restricts where you can and can’t use your enamel dutch oven. Even if basic cast iron is a campfire classic, heating an enamel-coated one on direct open flame might shatter or damage the enamel.

And brand-to-brand variations exist in the suggested temperature ranges for oven use. Some brands recommend a maximum oven temperature of 480F.


What Can Happen If You Put it on a Campfire?

With some enamel dutch ovens, you will walk away with a delicious savory camp meal that will warm your weary body. However, as we mentioned earlier, overheating your enamel dutch oven can damage it.

Don’t get us wrong, there are ways you can safely use your enamel dutch oven while camping, and it’s a great cooking tool. However, using it directly in your campfire can cause the enamel to crack, chip, or flake off.

The enamel is fused particles of powdered glass. If that enamel chips off into your food, you’ll be essentially eating glass. Additionally, some of the handles on newer enamel dutch ovens are plastic and may melt if left in the fire for too long.


Is it a Fire Hazard to Put it on an Open Campfire?

If your dutch oven has a plastic handle, you may be more at risk for a hazardous fire. You run the risk of the handles melting and then hot molten plastic dripping into a fire and maybe spreading if you try to take out your melting pot.

There are so many variables that could go wrong when using cookware incorrectly around any open flame.

As a side note, whenever you are cooking with an open flame, whether over a campfire or using your kitchen gas stove top, you will want to keep fire safety as your top priority and have proper fire suppression tools close at hand.


Is There Any Way You Can Use a Dutch Oven on a Campfire?

The good news is, there are options, safe options for using an enamel dutch oven on a campfire. One option would be a campfire cook stand. This stand is a tripod that you place over the fire and hand the dutch oven from this stand.

It keeps the dutch oven far enough away from the open flame, and you are able to adjust the dutch oven closer or farther away from the flame.

Also, cooking grates can be used as long as you have something to support the grate up and out of the flame. Then, you will be able to safely use your enamel dutch oven.


What Can You Use Instead of an Enameled Dutch Oven?

If you are 100% committed to using a dutch oven but don’t feel confident in using an enameled oven over your campfire, then may we offer the option of using a non-coated cast iron dutch oven?

You are essentially using the same exact cooking tool minus the enamel. What does that mean for your cooking process? You may have to take one additional step before using your cast iron dutch oven, which would be seasoning.

Where the enamel dutch oven will already have some non-stick properties, you will need to season your cast iron to make it non-stick. Luckily, if you season it properly and maintain it properly, you won’t know the difference.

You will still want to adhere to all the safety precautions of using your cast iron in an open fire, such as not flash heating it, which could cause cracks. Warm your cast iron slowly and steadily, and you’ll be good to go.


Final Thoughts on Can You Put an Enameled Dutch Oven on a Campfire

There are benefits to using enamel-coated dutch ovens. They have amazing applications inside the kitchen with conventional cook stoves. However, a little more caution is needed when using enamel dutch ovens at a campfire.

You will need additional tools, but it can be done. Always become familiar with the manufacturer’s guidelines for using their cook tools and keep fire suppression handy when working with your campfire. Happy Cooking!