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A dutch oven dome

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Saw a new product in an outdoors store today. It was an insulating dome for using a camp dutch oven on a gas stove. It's used in combination with a heat diffuser to temper the bottom heat.

This is a link to the maker's page for the product. It was cheaper at the store. Looked interesting and fairly durable.

DOCOVER Dutch Oven Dome - Camp Chef

This would be a worthwhile addition for me where even charcoal is often banned as a heat source. Haven't really decided whether to get one or not yet though.

Also saw that Lodge has brought the smoothly curving sidewall of a classic chef's skillet to the 8 and 10 inch skillet size and not just in the 12" pro line size. If you want a 12", the pro line is still the only option though i like the handle design of the standard line better.
post #2 of 7
If there's a gimick with no real purpose somebody will invent it, I reckon.

Two things come immediately to mind with that product. First, if you're going to cook on a gas burner, just use a flat-bottomed kettle (i.e., what most people think of as a Dutch oven). Nor is there any need for a heat diffuser---we're talking cast iron here, not earthenware.

Second, the unit in the pix is a hermorphodite. The pot has three legs, as a real Dutch oven would. But it has a domed lid, rather than a recessed one as you'd actually find on a Dutch oven.

The maker (or its blurb writer, at least) obviously has no idea how a convection oven works, either. Creating a dead zone of hot air doesn't make it a convection oven. It's quite possible that heat would be retained better with it (cast iron is, in actuality, a heat sink that normally radiates heat outwards). But that's called insulation, not convection.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #3 of 7
I have to say I do alot of camp cooking with a dutch oven over a similar stove and I would have no use for this product.

I agree with KYH too these people dont know what they are talking about!
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
It's not dead air, it's vented on top. No, i wouldn't call it a convection oven either. Having seen it in person, I can see where they're going with the idea.
post #5 of 7
If you can see it as useful, Phil, I must be missing something from the pix and description.

If it's vented at the top, and doesn't have a dead-air blanket, then even more I fail to see the point. What, exactly, is it supposed to be contributing?
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Sure, you can simmer your way to many great cast iron dishes on a stove.

The design is to add significant top heating while minimizing the comparatively intense bottom heat. In other words to support baking on a stove where you wouldn't have top heat otherwise. The heat diffuser, besides deflecting heat into the side wall area acts as a stand to raise the oven further from the flame because you're going to burn the bottom of any baked good otherwise, cast iron or not.

I suspect they fiddled with a lot of vent sizes to find one that works though to what extent remains to be seen.

i've seen people attempt this in other ways, usually heating a duplicate lid on another burner and swapping them every 10 minutes-ish. But that's a disaster for raised baked goods; tolerable for a pie or such. It may be that it only works for a certain burner level achieving only one highish temp, I'd suspect in the 400 degree range. Wouldn't surprise me. I can see the vent keeping the temperature more even in the baking chamber rather than stratifying or maybe smothering the burner from combustion products.

And remember, this is the high desert with frequent fire bans so finding a convenient way to bake without open fire/charcoal with gear you mostly already have is a compelling concept. Camp Chef is headquartered an hour away from me up in Logan Utah.

it's fairly new on the market and I've not found any reviews yet, even among the IDOS (International Dutch Oven Society) crowd.

I don't KNOW that it works, but if it does, even at just 400, it offers some performance that would be worthwhile to me.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
One more caveat.

Most of the serious bakers in DO circles in my experience use 14" and 16" ovens. bread in a 12" is sort of limited compared to the loaves and such the larger ovens support. This device is for 12 or smaller.

I've made focaccia in 14 and 16 inch ovens inverted. Didn't brown as well a the edges as I was hoping but it was still pretty good.

Cooking inverted is easier for a number of baked goods in my opinion. You'd need a lid stand in that case for this cover to work. Fortunately, I have those in my kit as well already from my earlier inverged cooking adventures.
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