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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thinking of rigging my own camp oven

***Here's an "after the fact" update: Now that I've tried out this setup a couple of times, I conclude that the "right tool for the job", which is an actual camp oven, makes the process a lot easier. So, I don't recommend doing this; Buy a camp oven.***

This is the Lodge camp oven lid stand. It's meant to be used as a place to put your camp oven lid, to keep it out of the dirt.

It's also used to invert your flat lid to use over coals as a griddle.

What I want to know is, is it sturdy enough to safely place a cast iron pot over coals? What size pot?

See, I don't own an outdoor camp oven, but would really like to learn the skill of cooking over coals. And the only way to learn, is by experience.

But my thought was, instead of buying a camp oven, why not use the pots I already have?

I just need something to set them on over the coals, since they don't have legs.

According to customer reviews, this lid stand can indeed be used to safely hold a pot over coals.

But that only solves the first problem.

Camp oven lids are flat, in order to keep coals on top. How do I keep coals from falling off the dome lid?

I've received several suggestions; My favorite is to buy a custom length heavy chain from a hardware store, and link it together at the ends to form a "ring" which will keep the hot coals on the lid.

My first idea was to use a skillet as a lid, but a skillet might not form a tight enough seal, which is essential for camp oven cooking.

The Lodge 12 inch camp oven lid does NOT fit on the 7 qt dutch oven.

If I can indeed get this to work, then I will have a few outdoor camp ovens, for almost FREE.

I would not be able to do "stack cooking" this way, in which you stack camp ovens on top of each other. But it's still a great start.

I would still need a cooking table, so as not to burn up the grass or pavement; The most economical choice is cinder blocks with patio stones on top.

And a lid lifter; I thought about just using a hammer, but a lid lifter is designed to keep the lid from wobbling, which is important if you don't want ashes in your food.

And of course, tongs for the coals, and welding gloves for my hands.

A charcoal chimney starter can be made with a large coffee can.

Mind you, I already have a propane burner for outdoor cooking. I'm rigging this up because I want to learn how to cook with coals.

***UPDATE: My lid stand came in today, and it does hold my 7 quart pot, with very minimal wobble.

However, I found this trivet which is said to be much more sturdy, and ordered one.

I can still use the lid stand, though, for its intended purpose-- keeping my lid out of the dirt.

***UPDATE part 2: My lid lifter came in, and I discovered it works fine for the regular pot lids, but NOT for the pro logic lids, due to the indentation under the handle.


  1. I have a 12" Camp Oven and a 7qt Dutch Oven and a 5qt chicken fryer. The chicken fryer and 7qt dutch oven do indeed use the same lid but I didn't find that the 12" camp oven lid fit either with a good seal. It is a little disappointing since it seems by design.

  2. Good info. I had emailed Lodge to ask if the camp oven lid fit, and they said no, which didn't make sense to me because they're both 12 inches, but you're right-- it needs a good seal.