I’ve been using the dome for nearly a year now and if your weather conditions are cold and/or windy, the dome is a definite game changer.
There are two ways to use it.
On a Camp Stove
If you don’t want to pack coals, don’t want the hassle of coals or can’t use coals because of a fire restriction, but still want to use your Dutch oven, you can still use it on a camp or backpacking stove with a Dutch Oven Dome and Heat Diffuser Plate. The plate sits on the stove burner. Your Dutch oven sits on the plate. The plate efficiently uses the heat from your stove and distributes it to your Dutch oven. The dome goes over your oven and traps, diverts, and circulates the heat creating a convection oven. (Please see photograph below.)
Place your coals on top and bottom of your oven just like you normally would. Place the dome over the oven and not only does it circulate the heat but it also insulates the oven from inclement weather.
Last March I was a facilitator for an outdoor training for Girl Scout leaders. We were feeding about 30+ women so I brought my 2 12-inch deep Dutch ovens. It was very cold and rainy with overnight temperatures below the freezing point and we were getting a cold breeze off the water the whole weekend. Saturday night for dinner and Sunday morning for breakfast, we loaded the two identical Dutch ovens with identical recipes and used the same amount of coals on each.
I only had the one dome (should have asked Santa for two) so I thought this would be a great opportunity to do a side-by-side comparison and I domed one oven each time. We pulled them at the same time and checked them. For both meals, the un-domed oven was slightly undercooked and actually had to bake a little longer. The domed oven was perfectly done both times.
How Cold is Too Cold?
Below what temperature do I need to use the dome to level the playing field? I’m still trying to figure that out. If it’s not cold enough and I dome my Dutch oven, then I can end up with a hotter oven and risk burning my food. However, here in the Northwest, we have a lot of cold, rainy, windy weather and I like my dome so much it only stays in the equipment box in summer.
The Dutch Oven Dome with Heat Diffuser Plate included retails on the Camp Chef website for $37.50. If you want just the Dutch Oven Dome without the Heat Diffuser Plate, that retails for $29.16.
This Christmas, I definitely need to ask Santa for a second dome!