There’s something about camping and cast iron cookware that just seems right. Maybe it’s the old westerns, with the dutch oven sitting over the fire, or the cowboy frying-up bacon in his skillet over an open fire – cast iron cookware is an icon of the American West and it remains so, today.
When it comes to cast iron cookware, it’s hard to not to argue that Lodge Cast Iron® is the standard by which all others are judged. Their cookware is thick, heavy and made for a lifetime of campfire cooking. In contrast, our name-brand aluminum griddle that we have only used for two years, is warped from the heat. For just a bit more money, we could have bought a similar 12-inch Lodge griddle that we could hand down to our kids, someday.
Lodge cookware is pre-seasoned, meaning that is just needs a light coat of vegetable oil to keep food from sticking. Cast iron cookware should not be cleaned with soap, or scoured with metal brushes or pads, so they’re great for camping. Just use a stiff nylon brush and hot water, then towel-dry and apply a light coat of oil to inhibit rust.
How much cookware do you need for a well-equipped camp kitchen? Thankfully, not a lot. We currently use a 12-inch griddle, a 12-inch skillet, and a saucepan for soups and baked beans. Like our aluminum griddle, our current cookware is in dire need of replacing. Because of the non-stick coatings on most of today’s cookware, they don’t hold up well to camping because the coating is easily scratched by metal utensils. We are planning to replace everything with cast iron this Spring, to include a dutch oven for our soups and baked beans.
I know cast iron isn’t for everybody – you sure wouldn’t want to haul this stuff in your backpack. But if you’re into car camping it cannot be beat.