Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Pots...One Year Later

I've had several requests to do a post on how well my pots held up under heavy usage.  I'd wager that most dutch ovens are used only during the summer months and even then only occasionally.  Its been really fun for me to see just how well they really do hold up. 

First, let me tell you about my pots.  I have a 14" Lodge that is 20+ years old, a 12" Avid Outdoors that is 20+ years old, 2 Camp Chef 10" ovens that I bought in December of 2009 and a 12" Camp Chef that I bought back in July 2010.  I also have a Camp Chef dutch oven table that I bought back in March.

Next, let me recap how I clean and care for my ovens.  I've tried several different ways to clean them.  The one I liked best and stuck with was spraying the pot with a mixture of 1 part apple cider vinegar and 4 parts water, let it sit for a minute or two, then scrape it with a plastic scraper and wipe clean with paper towels.  I'd repeat that as many times as necessary to get the pot clean.  I'd brush the ash off the lids with a stiff paint brush and very lightly oil the entire pot inside and out.  I did re-season them before a cook off, so the last time was last August.

Time for the big reveal!  Here is what my pots look like today:

These are my two 20 year old pots and they did the majority of the work last year. 

These pots are about a year old.  The one in back looks like it needs to be reseasoned before I start cooking again!
 My Camp Chef dutch oven table took a lot of abuse.  My kids loved to start charcoal on it instead of on the gravel where they were supposed to.  And it was used every day, and a lot of times more than once a day.  The top is gray and there are some browninsh/black spots from where my kids set the chimney when they started coals, but other than that, it is in really good shape.  And truth be told, if I went out and used a plastic scrubber on it, it would look almost as good as new.  And I'm going to do that as soon as the weather warms up.  It has held up under heavy torture and is ready for more.  The paint is still in good shape, as are all the parts.  Even the plastic thumb screws haven't needed to be replaced yet.  I would definately recommend this table to anyone who asked.  It was worth every penny and I'll probably get another one this spring.

As far as ovens go, my favorites are the ones made by Camp Chef.  Don't get me wrong, I love my Lodge oven.  But when I compare price and quality, Camp Chef will win everytime.  At around $35 for a 12" they are very affordable and the quality is as good as anything on the market.  (Just a note:  that is my opinion and I'm not being paid to endorse Camp Chef.)

So there you have it!  After a year of heavy use and sometimes abuse, my pots and all my equipment is still in great shape.  I wish the rest of my kitchen equipment held up as well!  I LOVE MY DUTCH OVENS!!


  1. Thank you for the review :) As I was expecting the DO's held up beautifuly. :)

  2. I can't believe I just found your blog last week! Now I get to catch up with your amazing endeavor and get inspired. My DO is enamel coated, but to be honest I use it outside over coals too. I've enjoyed what I've read so far and even made one of your lemon chicken recipes. It was outstanding! I look forward to seeing your past posts and whatever may come in the future. Thank you for your dedication!

  3. Chef- I was happy with how well they held up. They saw some serious miles last year. I hope they see another 20 years of use!

    Paula--Welcome! There will be a lot more to come, so stay tuned!

  4. I've been a big Lodge fan and only recently started using Camp Chef, so far so good. I really want to get the Camp Chef table (because I'm too lazy to bend down) sounds like it would be worth it. Thanks for the tips.

  5. Rhonda--You won't regret getting the Camp Chef table. I love mine so much I would have paid double for it!

  6. any recommended trustworthy sources for purchasing the Camp Chef and the Camp Chef table?

  7. I took a old disc I got from a local Farmer and welded legs on it for a table !! Try it works awesone and kinda cool too!!
    Jim in Indiana

    1. I've seen those and they ARE cool! They work great too! I'd love to have one!


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