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Ok, I think I'm totally sold now.............

906 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Steelheader69
For the longest time, I've been ignoring getting one. When I was working with Cee Dub, we BS'd indepth about them. After debating, I broke down and bought two. Been field testing them for a bit, even using them at home ALOT. Finally came to the conclusion that I'm sold on them. Am tempted to sell off the ones I have, and buy these.

Now, you're probably wondering what the hell I'm talking about. Well, they are Aluminum dutch ovens. Hard anodized to be exact. I've always had cast iron camp ovens (aka dutch ovens to most of everyone else). But upkeep is constant on them. Even then, cold wet weather (and high humidity) you have to keep up on them. Hoh Down was a big one. But heard the pros and cons from tons. Some saying they don't cook even, don't cook at all, not as good as cast iron, etc etc etc. Yup, true they don't hold the heat like cast iron. But you can put that baby on coals, and will heat up just like cast iron, and you just leave it on until it's ready to be served (I'll pull the cast iron a tad early to let it finish cooking with the heat in the iron). After using the aluminums alot lately, I'm S O L D SOLD!!!! It's simply amazing how easy they are to work with. Easy they are to get to temp, and easy they are to clean afterwards. No seasoning needed. Simply clean out of hot water and soap (if you want to add soap) and it's done. Even hard cooked in stuff comes right out with a little soaking. I was really learly about using them. But the more I use them, the more I love them. Now, the only thing I can say about the cast iron is doing breads it's super nice. A slight heat up of the lid and it'll help rise your rolls (so far, haven't played with the aluminum alot, but it doesn't hold the heat well for long periods of time). So will keep some aluminums for my breads. Which, are easier to clean afterwards anyways (at least the way I do alot of mine).

The final bennie, a 12" dutch oven in cast iron is around 26#'s. Same in aluminum is about 6#. When I was carrying 5 dutch ovens into camp, would've been nice if they all were a total of 30#'s, not almost that much for one. LOL.

I'll keep things updated though. Still tinkering a bit with them. But thinking of buying at least 2 more 12". Unfortunately, Camp Chef only has a 12" anodized aluminum. So I may have to buy a couple smaller and bigger ones from GSI.
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Jerry, I grew up with all aluminum pots. They were my Grandmothers. Mom swore by them, She liked the way they transmit the heat fast. They are Guardian Service. Really good for candy making. I still have a few of them. The 6 Qt. roaster w/lid gets used atleast monthly.
I will say they do impart some flavor to the food. Just make sure to clean them if they have been sitting for a wile.
Jeff, these are the hard anodized. I know the Guardians, they're poured a bit different. I remember my Grandma's putting a tad off taste in the food. Why I was glad when she used her iron more often. Say it this way, alot of the desserts served at the Hoh Down were cooked in the aluminum dutches. :) The hard anodized don't transfer the taste like the cast aluminum do. I love the ease of cleaning. Had two of my iron dutches that had just a SMALL amount of water on them when I put them away from the Hoh Down. Pulled them out a couple days later and were rusted up pretty good already. The wet aluminums were just that, wet. Great for alot of the areas I fish and hunt. I'm still tinkering though with them. I've been checking for the odd taste. But so far, nothing.
SAY IT ISN'T SO!!!!:mad:
I still like my cast iron Lonnie, don't get me wrong. But for those backcountry trips, especially in humid areas, the ease of upkeep of the aluminums was nice. I'm pretty meticulous with my cast iron, but with the Hoh Down I'm pretty busy to take proper care of it like I normally would. But, I'm a cast iron whore. I don't really see myself getting rid of it. Have 40 or 50 cast iron pans and ovens in my cabinets now. LOL.
My mom has a cast aluminum roater, that gets used everything Thanksgiving! I think my sister will inherit it, so I'm out of luck. Other friends have used the aluminum dutch ovens, particularily on float trips where they are much lighter and I guess easier to clean up. I love the cast irion one that I have from you and will be using it a lot more this summer! I've found a bunch of good recipes and just need to plan things ahead of time a bit more...
I'm just giving ya a hard time Jerry! I can definitely see the place for aluminum in wet environs or where weight is an issue. Or for the person who does not like the bit of maintenance of iron.
The misses and I have been talking about Dutch Ovens since my return from the Hoh Down. I recently was browsing a 12" hard anodized aluminum one and was very impressed with how light and bright it looked. I look forward to seeing what the pros say because in this area I'm just a lemming following the fine cooking leaders that I trust.
LOL guys. I won't be giving up on cast iron. Still has it's purpose. But alot of my trips are in the rain and muck. So the aluminum shines.

Ed, you can go either way. If you don't plan on serving right away, the cast iron will keep the food warm ALOT longer. If you always plan to serve right away, the aluminum is fine. Or plan on putting more coals on top and bottom periodically.
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